Happy New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Welcome to 2018.

As particles of time swirl around and fly past us, let us remain bright and steady in the light of our hearts. 

Knowing that we are not defined by the judgments or dualities of battling controversies, we shall not be pulled from our center point of clarity. We're able to see all possibilities and all sides. Everything is held in light.

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), if we feel particularly polarized regarding a topic, it's a perfect opportunity to apply TRT® hands-on. When we access universal energy with TRT®, we bring balance to our thinking or feelings. With use of TRT®, we expand our awareness and insight into a situation or events. We begin the healing process for ourselves.

DANCE INTO THE NEW YEAR

As time passes through us, we are observers of the celestial dance.

Wishing all of us love, good health and joyful discoveries throughout the new year.

Let's dance like we'll dance forever.

 

Christmas Songs And Mary

 

Mary And The Birth Of Jesus

What are all our Christmas songs about? We touched upon vernacular and religious songs of the season in another blog post Christmas Songs Across Time.

Christianity brings us the spirit of Christmas. It's the story of the birth of a child, the manifestation of spirit into mortal flesh. This birth of light is embodied through a mere mortal woman, Mary.

(Artwork by Jason Jenicke.)

Mary's Song

What do our Christmas carols tell us about Mary, the earthly Mother of Jesus?

Come to find out, not much. Christmas songs across the years celebrate the birth of Jesus, but there are not many that sing the story from Mary's viewpoint.

In Michael Linton's article on this topic called Looking for Mary in Christmas Carolshe describes with charming humor:

 
Both the “First Noel” and “Angels from the Realms of Glory” are remarkable for Mary’s invisibility.

In the nine verses of “Noel,” we have the economic condition of the shepherds (poor), the weather report (cold), the star (bright), the homeland of the wise men (far away), their mental condition (assured), the gifts (you know the list), the local livestock (ox and ass), the nature of divine creation (of naught), and, in a verse mercifully found in no hymnal, the doctrine of salvation through good works...

...there’s not even a hint of Mary. She’s simply not there.
— Michael Linton
 

As for Mary's lack of visibility, Linton offers this theory:

 
Our carols are primarily nineteenth and early twentieth-century Protestant inventions (although the tune dates from the Renaissance, the medieval-sounding text ‘What Child Is This’ was written in 1865), not a time that’s known for its deep Roman Catholic, Protestant cooperation and mutual affection.

Mary can’t be excised from the Christmas story completely, but in the carols she’s mentioned as little as possible, for fear of turning her into an object of cultic devotion, something most Protestants have accused Roman Catholics of doing for a fairly long time.

So Mary merits only passing mention in a few carols or, even better, no mention at all in most.
— Michael Linton
 

Today, there are a few songs that view the miracle of the birth of Jesus through Mary's eyes:

Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song) – by Amy Grant

Mary's hesitant questioning speaks to her human frailty. You can almost sense the trembling of her hand as she embarks on this journey. Her doubts give voice to her concerns that she will live up to the task before her.

 
I am waiting in a silent prayer.
I am frightened by the load I bear.
In a world as cold as stone,
must I walk this path alone?
Breath of Heaven, hold me together. Be forever near me.
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness.
 


For The First Time – by Jason Bare

With his voice and music, Jason Bare paints a scene so we can envision when Mary and Joseph look upon their son, this birth of light, and hear his cries for the very first time.

 
In a world so dark, heaven and earth would collide and would change who they are.
Could this be the same voice that brought us to life?
Unbelievable, the promise is this little child.
What a miracle.
The world has seen the Light for the first time.
 


Mary, Did You Know? – by Clay Aiken

As Mary held her baby boy for the first time, could she have possibly guessed the future that was about to unfurl in front of him? Clay Aiken wonders out loud if Mary could have known the remarkable destiny of her child and his greater purpose. 

 
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
 

Mary And The Radiant Child

The artwork by Sulamith Wulfing entitled Frohe Weihnachten portrays the radiant child of light held in Mary's heart center.

The symbology is there for all of us to appreciate. It's the awakened child within our hearts, the birth of light into the darkness of this outer existence.

For any Christmas music, students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) can bring a song's imagery to their meditations with use of TRT® hands-on. Accessing universal energy with TRT® lets you explore the deeper meaning behind the notes and the words.

What child is this who is awake? Awake in consciousness, even at our birth. 

 

(The Radiance Technique® is not associated with any religion or belief system.
Please see Radiant Nursing – About for more details.)

 

The Life Of Julian Of Norwich

 

All Shall Be Well

In my blog post All Shall Be Well, we were introduced to Julian of Norwich, a Christian mystic and writer from 14th century England.

Intrigued by her story, that she was likely the first woman to write in English, I launched a search into this remarkable woman. Various books about Julian are available, especially books that present her writings. However, to delve into the person behind the mystic, I recommend a book of historical fiction :

 Julian's Cell - An earthy story of Juiian of Norwich

Julian's Cell

Like a master weaver, author Joseph Milton spins fiction with the threads of factual events to create a colorful tapestry of story-telling.

Set in the late 1300s of England, Milton weaves together the smells, sights and emotions of medieval life such as the pungent stench of urine from the tannery and the heavy smell of wet wool in the woolen shop. Milton captures the daily struggle to stay alive in a time far-removed from our own. War, pestilence, famine and plague weighed heavy in the air and people would breathe it in with every step they took.

Milton displays a kaleidoscope of colors of medieval life in the 1300s. He conveys powerful emotions in a time far-removed from our own and yet, makes situations recognizable and understandable. Although details of daily life are different from today, our human fears, tears and joy remain quite similar.

Without access to formal education as a child, Julian was considered to be an unlettered, laywoman. Milton offers an idea of how she taught herself to read and write; a painstaking, letter-by-letter process pouring over books in both Latin and English. 

God Is Love

Death took no holidays in medieval life. Death lurked around every corner and strolled with calm insolence in the village square. Infant and child mortality ravaged everyone, from the lowest peasant to the highest monarch. The plague wiped out entire families. No one was left untouched by mortal suffering. 

People of that era looked around and believed the world was coming to an end.  600 years later, we marvel at Julian's writings of mysticism and marvel that she could have had the realization that love is at the center of all that is.

In spite of all she witnessed, Julian would go on to write her brave words,

 
All shall be well,
and all manner of thing shall be well.
— Julian of Norwich
 

For Julian to have found God's universal love in such a harsh and violent world is indeed remarkable. Julian shared an insight she had from a humble hazelnut:

 
God showed me something small, round and frail, like this hazelnut. And I wondered why I was seeing this. Then an answer came. There weren’t words, but I understood why I was looking at such a tiny thing.

It is all that is made. Everything is there in this tiny creation that could crumble into nothing so easily. But I knew it would last, because God loves it. It has its life, its being through the love of God.

God made it. God loves it. And God keeps it.

You and I are part of that creation. Just like this hazelnut, God is our maker, our lover, our keeper. But we can never really know what that means until we are united with God the way this hazelnut is part of God.

That is why we are created. To be one with God.
— Julian's Cell
 

 

Milton captures Julian's journey from humble peasant to anchorite, from human to saint, while remaining in touch with the humanity that housed her soul.

Touching A Saint's Life

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), we can get in touch with an historical figure through use of TRT®.

Students of The First Degree and Second Degree of TRT® can apply TRT® hands-on while reading her writings, or the book, and experience her story with more light. They can also have a meditation focusing on Julian of Norwich herself, or a specific passage from her writings.

Students of The Second Degree of TRT® can direct radiant energy to Julian, or the time period she lived in. It helps us to  expand our awareness and understanding.

If you like historical fiction, Julian's Cell will educate and delight.

 

The Pretender

 

Songwriter Jackson Browne spins a tale about the ordinary rhythm of our daily lives:

 
Where the sirens sing and the church bells ring
And the junkman pounds his fenders
Where the veterans dream of the fight
Fast asleep at the traffic light...
— The Pretender
 

No Sleeping At The Lights

In the Pacific Northwest, the surrounding mountains reign over the lowlands. Their dignified mountaintops, especially when topped with snow caps, serve as a reminder that Valhalla shimmers above us.

Take your pick – the Cascades, the Olympics, or the great one itself, Mt. Rainier

Caught up in the harried business of the day, you swing around a corner and, for a moment, your breath catches when the mountains pop into view. For just that second, you hear the call and humming of the wide expanse of nature.

I often think of that line in Jackson Browne's song when I'm driving around in western Washington.

Veteran or not, there's no sleeping at the traffic lights here. The views are too good to be missed.

The Mountain Is Out

There's a saying in the Seattle area: "The Mountain is out" – it means the sky is clear enough to see Mt. Rainier. Given the rainfall and cloudy days in the area, this is an event worth noting among the natives.

According to Barry Popik’s etymological dictionary, The Big Apple, this phrase was referenced as long ago as August 1951 in a syndicated column in a newspaper from Illinois, the Registered-Republic:

 
When Seattle folk can see Mount Rainier... the common phrase is,
Oh, look: the mountain is out today.
— Bennet Cerf, 1951
 

A Mountain Greets You

On a clear day in one mountain town, Mt. Rainier welcomes you at the traffic light.

It's one of the rare times you hope that you'll get stopped at a red light, just so you can drink in the scenery.

When Smoke Fills The Sky

In the summer of 2017, a smoky haze from the wildfires in British Columbia drifted over Washington State. The mountains were obliterated from view.

If you were seeing it for the first time, you'd think there were no mountains.

For those of us used to seeing The Mountain as we drive into town, it was unsettling for it to suddenly be invisible.

A 12,000 foot mountain erased.

Below, same intersection, no hint of a mountain (no filter, no Photoshop).

The mountain is supposed to only disappear behind the clouds.

With the smoke from the wildfires, The Mountain wasn't out even though we had no cloud cover. A massive volcano had vanished, beamed into another dimension.

If you didn't know a mountain was supposed to be there, you'd never have been the wiser.

So much for our perceptions of reality.

Poetry In The Pretender

In the song lyrics in The Pretender (1976), Jackson Browne reveals himself to be a story-teller and prophet.

He reminds us of a time in our youth when we were clear-sighted and exquisitely aware. We believed nothing could stop us.

Found in his words, a wistful longing.

 
I want to know what became of the changes
We waited for love to bring
Were they only the fitful dreams
Of some greater awakening?

The story books of our lives have grown older. Page corners are yellowed. Bookbacks now have powdery flakes that spill on the floor, instead of tight glue holding them together. Not unlike our own aging bodies.

Lofty ideals pound in our hearts when we are young. Years later, we're vaguely aware of a dull aching in our chests. Smoky dreams waft around our darkened rooms at night when we can't sleep.

 
Caught between the longing for love
And the struggle for the legal tender

Did we compromise too much?

Who's to say?

It's impossible to know where we'd end up if we made a different choice. We're not afforded a glimpse into the alternate reality of a path not taken.

 
Thought true love could have been a contender.
Are you there?
Say a prayer for The Pretender...
Who started out so young and strong
Only to surrender.

In the end, we say a prayer for all of us. 

 

No Sleeping At The Traffic Light

 

Songwriter Jackson Browne spins a tale about the ordinary rhythm of our daily lives:

 
Where the sirens sing and the church bells ring
And the junkman pounds his fenders
Where the veterans dream of the fight
Fast asleep at the traffic light...
— The Pretender
 

No Sleeping At The Lights

Driving in the Pacific Northwest, the surrounding mountains reign over the lowlands. Their dignified mountaintops, especially when topped with snow caps, serve as a reminder that Valhalla shimmers above us.

Take your pick – the Cascades, the Olympics, or the great one itself, Mt. Rainier

Caught up in the harried business of the day, you swing around a corner and, for a moment, your breath catches when the mountains pop into view. For just that second, you hear the call and humming of the wide expanse of nature.

I often think of that line in Jackson Browne's song when I'm driving around in western Washington.

Veteran or not, there's no sleeping at the traffic lights here. The views are too good to be missed.

The Mountain Is Out

There's a saying in the Seattle area: "The Mountain is out" – it means the sky is clear enough to see Mt. Rainier. Given the rainfall and cloudy days in the area, this is an event worth noting among the natives.

According to Barry Popik’s etymological dictionary, The Big Apple, this phrase was referenced as long ago as August 1951 in a syndicated column in a newspaper from Illinois, the Registered-Republic:

 
When Seattle folk can see Mount Rainier... the common phrase is,
Oh, look: the mountain is out today.
— Bennet Cerf, 1951
 

A Mountain Greets You

On a clear day in one mountain town, Mt. Rainier welcomes you at the traffic light.

It's one of the rare times you hope that you'll get stopped at a red light, just so you can drink in the scenery.

When Smoke Fills The Sky

In the summer of 2017, a smoky haze from the wildfires in British Columbia drifted over Washington State. The mountains were obliterated from view.

If you were seeing it for the first time, you'd think there were no mountains.

For those of us used to seeing The Mountain as we drive into town, it was unsettling for it to suddenly be invisible.

A 12,000 foot mountain erased.

Below, same intersection, no hint of a mountain (no filter, no Photoshop).

The mountain is supposed to only disappear behind the clouds.

With the smoke from the wildfires, The Mountain wasn't out even though we had no cloud cover. A massive volcano had vanished, beamed into another dimension.

If you didn't know a mountain was supposed to be there, you'd never have been the wiser.

So much for our perceptions of reality.

What We Perceive

With The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), it's possible to apply TRT® hands-on in whatever circumstance you find yourself. Whether The Mountain is Out or not. 

With ongoing use of TRT®, you can deepen your awareness of things seen and not seen, the deeper energies behind our perceptions. 

Even to include the mountains. Just like you know you're from The Pacific Northwest if:

You can point to at least two volcanoes,
even if you cannot see through the cloud cover.

 

 

Storms, Hurricanes And Flooding

 

Weather Events Across The U.S.

It's hurricane season and the United States is swirling in the midst of eventful storms and hurricanes. Following the news on the television, we are acutely aware of the risks, threats and damage that is occurring.

It is, indeed, nature being nature. Below is a weather image of Hurricane Irma.

In The Path Of The Storm

A storm, in and of itself, doesn't have a price tag on it. That exorbitant price comes from all the infrastructure that we've built that lies in the path of a storm and its resulting damage. The flooding in Houston after Hurricane Harvey was widespread and deep.

Recovery is expensive, but we choose to rebuild those structures, right in the same spot of destruction, because under non-storm circumstances, these are wonderful places to be.

Sometimes they say the storm is headed to an unpopulated area and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.. Well, unpopulated with humans, but there are many animals and plants living there and my thoughts and prayers go out to all of them, too. 

Support From Within

For my students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) – you are able to participate in supporting everyone and everything in the path of a storm. If you are a student of The Second Degree of The Radiance Technique®, you can direct radiant energy as taught by your Authorized Instructor.

TRT® is not a panacea or a magic wand. It doesn't make a storm disappear from existence or change the fact that it causes damage, or even that there might be loss of life. It's about aligning energies with wholeness even while things on the outside are chaotic, such as in a storm.

When you direct radiant energy., you weave radiant light within the inner planes and help to build an inner reservoir of energy that others can drink from deep inside. With TRT®, you access transcendental, universal energy that is beyond the outer planes.

Directing Radiant Energy With TRT®

You can direct energy to the hurricane or the storm, itself. You don't know, maybe it will support the hurricane to lessen or turn, but then again, it may not. It's not about controlling an outcome. 

It's about supporting a process in wholeness. The energy accessed with TRT® is always harmless.

You can direct to the people affected by the storm. Maybe that radiant energy will help someone calm a fear or support them to make a decision that is beneficial to them. 

Perhaps you'd like to help support all the animals, wild and domestic, that are impacted by the storm. Deep inside the structure of the inner planes, you are weaving radiant light and inner support for all of our creatures.

You won't know what support your inner work has provided. Your service will be in silence in the outer world. 

TRT® Hands-on, Radiant Touch®

Once you have studied TRT®, you have Radiant Touch®. When you apply TRT® hands-on as taught in your seminar, you access universal, healing energy.

As a student of The First Degree of The Radiance Technique®, remember to do your own TRT® hands-on while watching the news or with your meditation of the storm. You are bringing greater light to your own thoughts and fears that may arise about the storm. The strings of all our hearts hum together, and when you do TRT® hands-on, our hearts connect in energy beyond time and space.

Students of The Second Degree of TRT® will also want to remember to use their hands-on. TRT® hands-on is an important aspect in all degrees of The Radiance Technique®.

Of course, there are also ways you can donate money or volunteer to help if you live close enough. Working from within and without, it's all about service to one another and the planet. 

 

A Butterfly And The Opera

 

At The Seattle Opera

The Seattle Opera opened its 2017-2018 season with a production of Madame Butterfly written by Giacomo Puccini. All the action takes place in Japan, in the home of Cio-Cio-San, a young Japanese woman also known as Butterfly.

Puccini wrote Madama Butterfly at the turn of the 19th century and historical accuracy was not his main objective. It's opera, after all.

In today's overly sensitive atmosphere, some people might cry "cultural appropriation" because of the Japanese context. That's a little silly in opera.

Since when did opera resemble real life? Never.

Opera is some of the finest cosplay. Not only do you get to dress up as a character, you act out entire scenes complete with a live orchestra sawing away underneath the action.

Everything in opera is overly-dramatic, intensified and condensed into a few hours. It's filled with fantastical, over-the-top characters. In opera, it's best not to get too bogged down in reality.

The Heart Of The Opera

Not that the emotions aren't real. Morte (death), sangue (blood) and amore (love) are grand themes that cross all our lives. And let's not forget to add in a smattering of revenge and damnation!

The magic happens when the music begins. Grandiose emotions sweep through the opera house, carried on the voices of singers and the musical strains of the orchestra.

The nuance of a vocal phrase, the lift of the melody from the violins and a musical motif capture the mercurial moods of the operatic characters. Tumbling notes twirl us along the story of life.

As a live audience member, we have only to allow ourselves to be swept away in a suspension of disbelief and to let our hearts ride the tsunami wave of music washing over us.

Madame Butterfly's Story

Madama Butterfly captures all the essential operatic elements: love, happiness, crying, sorrow, despair and death. That's the story in a nutshell. 

In the early 1900s, Butterfly falls in love with Pinkerton, an American naval officer, and marries him in Japan. A real marriage for her and a sham for him. 

When Butterfly relinquishes her own culture for the American one of her husband, the razor sharp rejection of her own people slashes across her. Despite all odds, she stands firm in her love and devotion. 

Pinkerton departs before learning that Butterfly is pregnant with his son. She hears nothing more from him, but believes with all her heart that he will return for her. Hadn't he said so? While she waits, her initial innocence changes to the wise depths of a woman matured beyond her years. 

Credit: Seattle Opera Company

Butterfly's Sorrow

Three years later, Pinkerton finally returns to Japan... with his new American wife in tow. They've already been married for one year.

When Pinkerton and his wife learn of the boy, they want to take him with them to America. Butterfly understands her son will never have a chance in Japan with her alone.

Making the ultimate sacrifice of her love, Butterfly agrees to let Pinkerton take their child from her. From inside her crystalized anguish, she bids goodbye to her son.

Bereft of her culture and family, Butterfly's world, and by extension, that of her ancestors, can only be filled with dishonor now. She believes that to die with honor, rather than live with dishonor, is her only option.

Lianna Haroutounian – Lyric-Spinto Soprano

The Seattle Opera shared the title role of Butterfly with two sopranos and I had the good fortune to hear Lianna Haroutounian. Right from the start, her voice sailed effortlessly over the orchestra. In the audience, we relaxed, knowing we could drink in the rich tones without any strain to hear her. 

Haroutounian's voice is smooth and powerful on the high notes and her low register is strong and well-balanced. She has a wide range of vocal expression.

Her smile as well as her tears light up the stage. Her sheer exuberance carries to the balconies as she swings her son high in the air when she learns Pinkerton's ship is in the harbor. Her entire body melts with dignified sorrow after a long night of waiting for a Pinkerton who never comes.

It's a demanding role with parts of it sung on her knees and she's on stage for nearly the entire opera.

Haroutounian gives a stellar performance. It's well worth attending more than once. 

Opera And Light

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®): attending the opera is a perfect example of when you can sit back, relax and apply TRT® hands-on while listening to a performance. You can alternate between one hand on the heart and one on the abdomen or both hands crossed at the waist, or other comfortable positions.

For students of The Second Degree of The Radiance Technique®, it's possible to direct radiant energy to yourself while watching the show as well as the performers, members of the orchestra and fellow opera attendees. 

Accessing real light, we can deepen our awareness and appreciation of the story and performance.