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Journal

New Foal

Last night, at my home in the hills outside of Melbourne, a new foal was born. It is wonderful for us who are here to share in the experience of a new life coming into being.…

I cannot help but feel, though, that it is indeed a strange and shocking experience for the new life. He (for it is a little colt) has gone from the absolute comfort and warmth of being one with his mother, and through her to the Devine itself, to separation. The Buddhists believe that our journey is one back to unity. At the moment of birth, when we are called to walk quickly upon our four feet and learn the struggle of survival, we forget the unity from which we come and to which we will return.

But in the the here and now, the colt wobbles and drinks, with a lovely star upon his black face. He brings us wonder. P

Loving & Giving

It is possible to give without loving, it is not possible to love without giving. (I am not sure to whom this thought originally belongs, probably St Paul.)

Meaning of Life

This is not really a daunting question – cartoons of pilgrims and gurus on precipitous peaks notwithstanding.

What is the meaning of a painting, a poem or a novel? The academic may attempt a convoluted answer but for most of us the answer springs quickly and readily to mind. The meaning is in the experience as it occurs. The “meaning

Contemplation

In 2004 I was quite ill and became involved with the Gawler Foundation. This had many positive consequences but most importantly I discovered meditation. Prayer for me has always been a bit challenging. I often find I have nothing to ask for. Perhaps I lack imagination. I can, and do, recite the Lord’s prayer regularly but beyond this have struggled to find a way of active prayer with which I am comfortable. In discovering mediation I found a new way of simply being quiet with God and being comfortable that this was indeed prayer.…

The Gawler Foundation teaches an ecumenical form of meditaton based on simple silence. Ian Gawler has written a number of books on the subject which are worthwhile: Medititaion: Pure and Simple and Peace of Mind. It is possible to add a more overly Christian e

Gratitude

There are many starting points on a faith journey. But one essential milestone along the way is gratitude. Without waking each day with a sense of wonder and delight in the world we begin to stagger on the journey.…

We all know about the bitter priest, the hardened nun or the strident convert. They all, apparently, have faith and solid morality. But where are the smiles and the celebration of the joy of God?

Of all the stories of grace and salvation, I always find the most moving are those of people, confronted by inexplicable hardship or sorrow, finding their way to reaffirming faith in a loving God. It is remarkable how people have retained faith, or even found it, in concentration camps, prisons and in the midst of extreme physical hardship. Indeed one of the startling characteristics

Journal Overview

This journal is to share and discuss important and enduring matters: spirituality, religion, creativity, art, literature, philosophy and theology. Politics and other momentary contentious issues can be discussed in many other forums – they are not for here. I am happy to be held to high standards and to engage in discussion but am not interested in argument. On the enduring matters that are the subject of this journal I respect your right to be different and hope to learn from you. The difference is the energy and I have no desire for us to be more similar.

Mao, Jobs, Bede Griffiths

Over the last few months I have read biographies of Chairman Mao Steve Jobs and Bede Griffiths.…

The three men’s lives provide complementary illumination on the puzzling question of “what to do?. How to live? And even why to live? Are for me less troubling questions then what to do with the life we have. The “how" is readily answerable by a moral framework. The “why" is tricky but in the quiet moments of contemplation slowly fades as a real dilemma. The “what” recurs; badly illuminated by the prophets and untouched by contemplation.

It is an easy question in-extremis. When I am ill or threatened, wondering about “what" is not useful to the problem at hand. The prophet who neglects the lion (or bus) is short on insight. But when the danger fades how to fill the day stretching-out-in-front

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