Beauty & The Path Of The Courageous Soul
By Mantra the Devi appears, for Mantra is the Shakti of Consciousness
A sacred exploration of the path of courage, and the support available to us from nature.
With myth, mantra, yantra and meditations, journal prompts, and suggestions
to cultivate this grace in daily life.
The Cardinal Reminds Me
It sweeps and arcs across my path
almost every day on my walk to the cafe,
under sun or cloud, its red
seems lit from inside, a brightness
bold as the lipstick my mother wore
no matter the day or the time,
no matter how near to the end
she got, even two days before the last –
the young dark-haired nurse applying it
for her while I sat near, my own
lips trembling from fear or hope
I could not tell,
I could not separate anything
not now either – the bright flame of this bird
recalling me to loss, or to joy.
Things Are Such
Things are such, that someone lifting a cup,
or watching the rain, petting a dog,
or singing, just singing – could be doing as
much for this universe as anyone.
We can slip into the Beautiful with the same ease as we slip into the seamless embrace of water; something ancient within us already trusts that this embrace will hold us.
1. Think of a time in your life that required an unusual courage. What did you learn about yourself?
What did it reveal to you about your own gifts, values, heart?
2. Meditating on Beauty, what do you feel? What does Beauty want you to know?
3. In what way can Courage or Beauty support you now?
4. How do these poems speak to you? Perhaps there is one poem or one line that inspires you now. If so, why?
5. What in your life currently is asking for this Presence, Courage & Beauty? How will you access that?
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For the time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Poetry is above all a concentration of the power of language, which is the power of our ultimate relationship to everything in the universe.
Don’t forget love,
It will bring you all the madness you need
to unfurl yourself across the universe.
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird –
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Laura, These stories and meditations are so divine. As soon as I begin to listen I just melt into a state of deep bliss. Thank you, thank you!
After all the Yoga I’ve studied, thanks to these stories of Shakti, I have learned that my favorite and quickest Yoga, pathway to God, is chanting. Thank you! Jai Ma!