53 Seconds

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53 Seconds of Meditation.

Meditation has been defined as engaging in mental exercise, breathing deeply and repeatably so as to reach a special and elevated understanding of our place in the fast-paced, mercurial world that surrounds us.

Reflections, pondering or whatever you believe meditation to be – definitions are easier than the practical application. Simply because of our time-constraints and responsibilities. Our minds are active throughout the day, and according to brain research, achieve heightened activity in sleep.

Today, this is my way of slowing down! Happy meditating.

A Chief Speaks

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“What treaties that the whites have kept, that the red man broken?
Not one.
What treaties that the white man gave to us they kept?
Not one.” 

 Sitting Bull

 Sitting Bull

Sitting Bull, a Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux, is recognized by many as the most powerful of all First Nation leaders.  Born in 1831 in Grand River, South Dakota, his destiny was to become a holy man and tribal chief during a time of great upheaval.  As a young boy, he wanted to emulate his warrior father, Returns-Again, but he lacked the aptitude for martial endeavours.  As a consequence, he was given the nickname, “Slon-he or “Slow.” That changed dramatically when Sitting Bull felled his first buffalo at the age of ten.    His name became Tatanka-Iyotanka, a Lakota name describing a buffalo bull sitting on its haunches.

Sitting Bull was a guardian of his people; he recognized that their tribal ways would be forever changed by the ever forward movement of pioneers moving west.  He said, “Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” His life was a testament to courage and determination in the presence of hardship.  He travelled many miles across the plains and into Canada in his search to find a place for his people to live in peace.

Wherever he went, Sitting Bull left his indelible mark. James Morrow Walsh, commander of the North West Mounted Police, became Sitting Bull’s life-long friend.   Chief Crowfoot of the Blackfoot nation, an old and powerful enemy, accepted Sitting Bull’s offer to smoke the Peace-Pipe.  On leaving Canada, Sitting Bull joined Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show and adopted Annie Oakley as a daughter, giving her the name “Little Sure Shot.”

“If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man, he would have made me so in the first place.”

 Sitting Bull

In the end, Sitting Bull sacrificed his life for his people. There were false rumours he would participate in the Ghost Dance, a sacred ceremony that would bring back together the living with the spirits of the dead to bring peace, prosperity and unity to the tribes across the land. On December 15, 1890, Sitting Bull was mortally wounded.

“Behold, my brothers, the spring has come; the earth has received the embraces of the sun and we shall soon see the results of that love! Every seed has awakened and so has all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being and we therefore yield to our neighbours, even our animal neighbours, the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land.” 

 Sitting Bull

A Day of Peace – September 21, 2012

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Each year, on September 21, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world.  We live in a global community that must come today to seek ways in which to build a future that is sustainable.  May we find ways to bring peace in our lives and share it with others…

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. 
Mother Teresa

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” 
Dalai Lama

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. 
Albert Einstein

Open Now

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The week is already one day old and it is time to open myself up to a new idea. Ideas need a door or window to come through.  It is very difficult for them to chisel through hardened hearts and closed minds.

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”

Oliver Wendell Homes

Start

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Today, I will start.  Start to enjoy, to smile, to laugh, to think, to care, to love…to be.

“There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.”
Jean-Paul Sartre

St. Francis of Assisi

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“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.”

Francis of Assisi

Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Italy