the online magazine for seekers of spiritual and universal truth


Emily’s Pictures

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Immersing myself in nature in a part of my spiritual journey. I love to spend time outdoors. I feel very peaceful outside. Lately, I have enjoyed hiking in Western Massachusetts. I also enjoy to bike ride, which is a great way to be in nature.

I love the changes of the seasons and watching how everything transforms. I love to keep my camera near me, to capture the beauty I see. I see beauty all around. Beauty in nature is something that a lot of people can just take for granted. Beauty for one person may be completely different from what somebody else might find as beautiful. Whenever I am in a place I feel is beautiful, my heart sings, and I feel joy.

Another part of my spiritual journey is music. There is something so releasing and meditative about singing. I have been involved with kirtan, which is hindu devotional singing. The music resonates in the room and in me. Music is supposed to be very healing on the mind and body.

I am also in a band, and one of the singers. The lyrics we sing have so much meaning to ourselves, and the rest of humanity. The lyrics are what connect ourselves to humanity. It teaches us to have compassion for all.

Dancing is another part of my spiritual journey. Dance is a way of expressing yourself, without words. I feel that the body can express much more than words sometimes. Dance is about connecting with yourself, and your emotions. Dance is also about connecting with others.

Emily J.

1.) This picture was taken on the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, in Deerfield, MA. The light filtering through the clouds is what creates so much interest.

2.) I am fascinated by sunsets. The warm colors which are created are so beautiful. I feel as if I am in the right spot, at the right time when I view a sunset.

6.) This picture symbolizes how desires we have may be beyond our grasp. But the basic truth is that we already have everything that we need. We already have beauty and wisdom within ourselves.

10.) The water in this pond can represent the mind after meditation. It is very clear and calm. The sky and the trees are reflected into the water.


Old Flowers – Photos & Words by Marc Goldring

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

It’s an old theme for me but one I find myself revisiting often: finding beauty in the dryness of decay. Especially with flowers, it has become important to me to keep looking, even after the easy radiance of blossoms passes.

Perhaps it’s been said enough, maybe I’m the only one who needs the reminder. But I do. As often as I aim my camera at a natural world glorified, sanctified by decay and dissolution, I still need the reminder.

All things rise up and subside. We could not appreciate the one without the other. Even the sublime presence of lilacs would become cloying were they present all the time. We need the contrast, the transition, the decay.

Yes, it’s about contrast, even if that contrast ultimately includes decay and death. And yet, sitting at the edge of my sixty-fifth year, these aging bouquets, with subtle, translucent petals and the delicate memory of blooms, these graceful bouquets have much to teach me. I can see beyond their stiffness to a quiet humility and a degree of ease. Perhaps there is some wisdom for me here.



New Photos from Marc Goldring

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Swan’s Departure – Andrew Baer

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Andrew Baer

Snowrise – Photos by Bert Jackson

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Sunrise on fresh fallen snow. Clean. Crisp. Calm peace in a new day.

Click first image to zoom…

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Ice and Stillness – Photos by Marc Goldring

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

It is with some shyness that I find myself at a place where water, ice, and earth greet each other. On a chill morning, it is a quiet place, one that asks little of me. Indeed it is a place that barely acknowledges its own presence – a mere shift of cloud and sunlight would change these elements in profound ways. So I notice, and honor, the tenuousness of this visual moment. It’s what I’ve been looking for without knowing it. Tramping alone, I am cold and glad to be here.

I have been attentive to edges lately, edges and decay and reflections, my old friends. What draws me is the presence of these elements and something that I feel in my heart without concept or words. In this place I am at a borderline, a small, hectic outpost of change. It is inherent in this particular and personal mix of freezing water, earth, branches, leaves, animals, wind. And what attracts me is that in this bustling inevitability there is profound stillness. It resembles moments in meditation when stillness dominates even as action becomes imaginable. I aim to appreciate stillness in whatever form it manifests.

So, our days begin lengthen as they will. We do nothing but notice and are blessed by our knowledge that can bring hints of spring. We know the ice will melt, that imagined action will emerge from stillness. What we may also remember is that our heart need not wait for some thaw, that it might sing, right now, of the flowing even when ice remains solid, when it is cold and far from thaw.



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Street Lines by Marc Goldring

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

The day was rich with texture and sound, even though it was quiet or as quiet as this place is likely to get on a workday morning. My surroundings, what I could see of them, moved and pulsed yet the activity that I was attentive to was invisible, internal. It was sensed, not seen, the work of natural forces I walk among endlessly, often without noticing.

On this early morning, I walk through the brilliant streets of this city, at the same time familiar and new. The trees are free of leaves and winter is a thought more than an experience. Today is different. As my physical body gently drops into an awareness of limitations of movement, I become more attentive. With the clarity of this decreased capacity, I slow down. What I notice is that slowing down allows me to notice moments of connection – with my heart, with all my body – so that I can focus more and more directly on what I need.

And what is needed, more often than I realize, is this attentiveness. What it brought to me that day was street lines, the markings made to guide us as we travel or ease the repair of technologies buried deep beneath our feet. To see them as I walked, so familiar, so utilitarian, and yet such odd abstractions as we look down and especially when framed by a lens. Once separated from their surroundings, there is something vaguely geographic about these images, as though we were flying high above them and they were some strange element of landscape or architecture. Or perhaps they reflect some strange, complex language from the future or the past. Street lines.

The walk continued, the din of traffic gaining in intensity. Yet the images have stayed with me and I have continued to see them and capture them with eye and lens. So I pray that I may manifest this sensitivity, this awareness more frequently and more fully in my life, to see what is always there and to see it anew – perhaps not all the time, but often enough to nudge me in the direction of openness, attention, and gratitude.



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Illuminations – Bert Jackson

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Perspectives on nature by Bert Jackson…

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Burnished Fall second collection by Cathy Drew

Friday, January 1st, 2010

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Slipping into Hopefulness – Marc Goldring

Monday, November 30th, 2009

It inevitably comes as a profound surprise to me when I easily slip into hopefulness. It is as though my trust in the goodness of this life is so shaky that I will believe in the permanence of whatever uncomfortable reality happens to be sitting in front of me. The comfortable is a bit harder to see, harder to expect.

And yet in truth it doesn’t take much to brighten my world, to shift me out of my guarded stance and allow me to appreciate my suddenly gentle, soft, easy surroundings.  And, of course, I will notice sooner or later that hopefulness slips away just as easily. Is there a pattern?

Yes, and not the first I’ve noticed it. What I am learning and relearning endlessly is that the name of the game – or at least MY game – is sitting with what’s in front of me, knowing that my role is to cultivate patience and equanimity that is distinct from the rightness or wrongness of the feelings or actions that confront me, to hold that in my heart, knowing that I have been here before and will be here again.

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