AN TUAGH: SONG OF AMERGIN
Contemplative Inquiry Blog
by contemplativeinquiry
1w ago
The Song of Amergin, here sung in Old Irish Gaelic, is the oldest known extant song in the Atlantic Archipelago*. The performers here are An Tuagh, whose core focus is the Gaelic-Norse traditions of northern Scotland. They have a YouTube channel, a Facebook page and an Instagram presence. The Song of Amergin is featured in their album Bard and Skald, as is a Beith-Luis-Nun Ogham chant. If you subscribe to the An Tuagh YouTube channel, there are commentaries on both pieces. The one for the Song of Amergin includes both Irish and English texts. However versions vary widely and An Tuagh have cop ..read more
Visit website
IMAGES FROM A TOWN GARDEN
Contemplative Inquiry Blog
by contemplativeinquiry
1w ago
Tumbledown gatehouse Unbothered to impress: You draw my eyes. A single bloom Among spiky grasses Insists on beauty. Six hundred years In the life of this carving: How much has changed? Across the road, Restrained elegance. Here, a bursting life. The lushness of spring: Who can resist Its fleeting appearance? NOTE: At the beginning of April I discovered Hillfield Gardens – a little outside the centre of Gloucester, yet still in easy walking distance (or an easy bus ride) from where I live. Originally the gardens of a large house, Hillfield Gardens are about 1.6 hectares in extent. They are ..read more
Visit website
GREEN RESURRECTION
Contemplative Inquiry Blog
by contemplativeinquiry
3w ago
I am walking among trees, feeling refreshed and renewed after a long winter. This feeling is anchored by the return of leaves. I am present in, and to, the presence of new green. It comes every year, at slightly different times. I’m noticing the beginning of a beautiful verdant period. It’s re-appeared a little early this year and I experience this as a great blessing. Where I live, the early spring has been wet and windy, often with dull skies. Nature has been alive and active throughout this period, but I have remained wintry in important respects. This weekend has changed me. I am aware o ..read more
Visit website
MENTAL HEALTH UNDER SIEGE
Contemplative Inquiry Blog
by contemplativeinquiry
1M ago
“In Gaza, there is no ‘post’ [traumatic] because the trauma is repetitive and ongoing and continuous.” Samah Habr is Head of Mental Health Unit, Palestine Ministry of Health. She wrote these words in 2021, after the 11 day Israeli day air assault carried out in May of that year. It was the fourth war since the beginning of the blockade of Gaza in 2007. Recently I attended a Zoom event, predominantly for Amnesty International volunteers (1). Dr. Habr gave a presentation about mental health in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, with a focus on Gaza from 2007-2021, where t ..read more
Visit website
MARCH 2024: WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Contemplative Inquiry Blog
by contemplativeinquiry
1M ago
I’m walking in my local park. It’s a dull day in the first half of March. There have been many such days, and I could do with more sun. I certainly feel lifted when it comes. At the same time the days are longer and Mother Nature is busy with the work of spring: an abundance of willow catkins is testament to this. I get my strongest impression of the strength and fecundity of willow when close up. The individual catkins are clearer, more prominent. The colours are stronger. There’s the sense of a rich and vibrant ecosystem, powerfully alive. Still images don’t provide movement and sound, or ..read more
Visit website
BOOK REVIEW: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DU FU
Contemplative Inquiry Blog
by contemplativeinquiry
1M ago
Highly recommended to anyone interested in Chinese traditional poetry and culture, and the way it is received in China today. I looked at an aspect of Michael Wood’s In the Footsteps of Du Fu: China’s Greatest Poet (1) in my last post (2). This is a full book review. The back cover provides an accurate basic summary of its contents: “For a thousand years Du Fu (712-70 CE) has been China’s most loved poet. Born into the golden age of the Tang Dynasty, he saw his world collapse in famine, war and chaos. The poet and his family became impoverished refugees, but his profound vision and his empath ..read more
Visit website
POEM: WELCOME RAIN, SPRING NIGHT
Contemplative Inquiry Blog
by contemplativeinquiry
1M ago
“The good rain knows its season. When spring arrives it brings life. It follows the wind secretly into the night And moistens all things softly, soundlessly. On the country road the clouds are all black, On a river boat a single fire bright. At dawn you see this place red and wet: The flowers are heavy in Brocade City.” (Brocade City = Chengdu, in southwestern China) Michael Wood In The Footsteps of Du Fu: China’s Greatest Poet London: Simon and Schuster, 2023 This poem welcomes spring and also celebrates arrival at a place of safety. For a brief period in the early 760s the Chinese poet Du Fu ..read more
Visit website
ESSENTIAL RUMI
Contemplative Inquiry Blog
by contemplativeinquiry
2M ago
I have long been an admirer of Rumi’s poetry and have recently been dipping into my copy of Coleman Barks’ accessible English translations in his The Essential Rumi (1). This is a substantial volume of poetry and teaching – with the two aspects not really distinguishable. It is not a new book. My edition is from 2004, and still in print. Coleman Barks provides good information about Rumi in the context of his life and spiritual path as a Sufi Dervish (2), which I have condensed into a note at the end of this post. I think that Barks’ translation works well for people on a spiritual journey, n ..read more
Visit website
‘SACRED AGNOSTICISM’
Contemplative Inquiry Blog
by contemplativeinquiry
2M ago
In the later stages of a post mostly about the spiritual benefits of ‘deep adaptation’ (1), Jem Bendell discusses “sacred agnosticism, where the mystery of consciousness is surrendered”. I wish that I had come up with ‘sacred agnosticism’ myself, and the use of ‘surrendered’ in that context. I see it as a highly skilful use of language, that tricky medium, and resonant in the present stage of my own life and practice. Describing his journey to this position, Bendall says: “for many years, I’d ditched religious stories of a soul that exists, like my current consciousness, in an afterlife. I’d a ..read more
Visit website
HOW WE INTERPRET PAIN
Contemplative Inquiry Blog
by contemplativeinquiry
3M ago
Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters at the End (1) is about life when independent living is no longer an option, and also about the end-game. I intend to review the book fully in a later post. Here, I have extracted a passage about how we evaluate the experience of pain and suffering, and how they vary according the the stories we tell about ourselves and our lives. The author draws on his experience as a physician, a teacher and a family member. “The brain gives us two ways to evaluate experiences like suffering – there is how we apprehend such experiences in the ..read more
Visit website

Follow Contemplative Inquiry Blog on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR