The immense fulfillment of the friendships between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality almost impossible to describe.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


           Madame Butterfly Poster 2

Estimated Reading Time: 2¼ minutes! 

4 August 2011

Dear Friends,

Today this is my poem of choice, one which begs careful consideration given that I hold the act of attention to be a form of prayer.

The Summer Day

Mary Oliver

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean -

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

The following links come via friends at Youtube who heeded the prayer of a certain Mme Butterfly and made contact in support of the spread of lessons in mindfulness in American schools:


1.  Mindful Schools Banquet Highlights (Adults)

These are some of the adults who spoke at a Mindful Schools banquet.  They describe how mindfulness has helped them in their work in community schools in America, something that might work well in this country, too. 

2.   Mindful Schools In-Class Instruction

This video, shows the Mindful Schools in-class instruction program in action. As of June 2010, Mindful Schools has taught over 8,000 children in 34 Bay Area schools, 74% of which serve low-income children. 

For more information, please click on a website where all is made known,  I did.


It is said that great teachers are eternal students. What greater gift than to pass on knowledge - at an enlightened level of being - on how to live in the present moment through the practice of Mindfulness?  

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the French philosopher quoted earlier, was obviously 'on the case' when he spoke about the evolution of consciousness and also of the 'almost sensual longing for communion with others who have a larger vision'.  


In connection with this 'larger vision', here's a quotation describing the role of the artist [the creative] in evoking symbols and motifs that connect us to our deeper selves and which can help us along the heroic journey of our own lives.

"The artist is meant to put the objects of this world together in such a way that through them you will experience that light, that radiance which is the light of our consciousness and which all things both hide and, when properly looked upon, reveal.  The hero journey is one of the universal patterns through which that radiance shows brightly.  

"What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another.  Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons.  Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfilment or the fiasco.  Just as there is the possibility of a fiasco, so there is also the possibility of bliss." JOSEPH CAMPBELL.

I love this blast from the past re the hero's journey and also for its implications right now for all who go in the search for the good life.  We belong to a time when people of all ages are being called to spread their wings and fly - to soar beyond their fears and to love themselves and others unconditionally.


I'll be on my way now with another poem by Mary Oliver.  It's in keeping with her heartfelt belief that the preferred place of reverence and prayer lies in the natural world.  Is this, then, the key to the gate of wisdom? 


Mary Oliver
It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which

another voice may speak.

In relation to praying, what matters most is to pay attention and keep your prayer as simple as the stones and weeds themselves.  The prayer's purpose is to draw you towards a felt gratitude.  This in turn leads to the silence in which you feel that the prayer is praying you, not the other way around.

As for the poets, it is said that when you don't know what to say you cry out, and those cries are the beginning of poetry.  For me, creativity - of whatever kind - opens the Gate of Wisdom.

What better place to gain access to the creative mind than through the practice of Mindfulness whether you are young, old, or in between.  It's open to anyone.  Ask Madam Butterfly.  She knows.

Next week, I'll be on rapping gently on another gate, the Gate of Power and thence to more on Mindfulness from the experts.  

Best Wishes 

Marian @ Krysan 

Your prayers are sought for the people of the Horn of Africa who are starving. 

Thank you.

WHO'S WHO (from Wikipedia)

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, (1881 – 1955) was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of both Piltdown Man and Peking Man. Teilhard's primary book, The Phenomenon of Man, set forth a sweeping account of the unfolding of the cosmos.

Joseph John Campbell, (1904 – 1987) was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: "Follow your bliss." 

Mary Oliver, (b. 1935) is an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Times described her as "far and away, this country's [America's] best-selling poet".

Giacomo Puccini, (1858 – 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas, including La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Some of his arias have become part of popular culture.


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