Where to find truth
in this world gone mad?
Where to find refuge
from the crushing of the wheel?
Where to find peace
in this whirlpool of frenzied activity?
Where to find happiness
in this place of beckoning phantom forms?
It is in the Silence
amidst the relentless screams.
It is in the center
of the spinning wheel.
It is in the eye
of the raging hurricane.
It is in the I
of the Eternal Self.
Hello friends, family and associates,
While much of America begins preparing for Christmas and the holidays by waiting in lines on Black Friday and surfing the web on Cyber Monday, there is another way of making ready to receive the darkest part of the year. And it is Nature herself that gently calls for us to follow her. As the leaves continue to fall and reveal the skeletons of trees, and the garden plants withdraw back into the soil, the bare foundations of the Earth is revealed. It is her way of disrobing to allow us to glimpse her naked glory, her contours, her foundations.
Yet we are not separate from her. She is our self calling for us to do the same. While the shouts of the world want us to wrap ourselves up in the throes of shopping, pushing through the crowds of garish malls, to drive around the blocks in quest of parking spaces (taxing our parking angels to their limit), she calls us to the silence and hush of snow-clad fields. And to gaze into the long-growing crystalline nights and see the celestial images looking down. No matter what faith one has, or doesn’t have, there is a magic at this time when one goes into this inevitable darkness, willingly, to come to that virgin silence that awaits everyone. When one touches that Silence one changes, because the ever-birthing Consciousness, the I AM, can look out of one’s eyes, and with blossoming heart, look out onto the world.
Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a great story of the descent into the darkness, descending past his fearful habits of his separated ego, and emerging from his heart and finding his true place on the earth, realizing that his happiness lies in the whole and not by constricting his actions to only himself.
May everyone have a joyful holiday, however you spend it, and give yourself a few precious moments to find the Infinite Child within you.
As Tiny Tim says: God bless us, everyone.
A couple of weeks ago and old friend from the Bodhi Tree days and storyteller, Michael McCarty, came up to Santa Rosa to tell tales at the a Tellebration event. It was great to hear his stories and to meet the storytelling community up here. There is a storytelling swap the first Tuesday of the month where the public is invited to attend and tell a tale (see my website for details). There you will find me. I just landed a storytelling gig and will be telling "Tales from Around the World" at the Santa Rosa Central Library on March 12. I am on the lookout for more storytelling venues--birthdays, spiritual gatherings, libraries, etc. My storytelling repertoire and resume can be seen here.
I have started A Course in Miracles study group that will meet the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. For those of you who do not know this amazing work, it is a non-dualistic course about forgiveness and remembering your eternal divine nature. The meat of the course is a workbook of 365 lessons to help one change one's perception of reality: from that of individual bodies that are born, age and eventually rot, to seeing that all of creation is moving upon the unified foundation of Love. Over 20 years ago I began this course and I experienced the Grace that was promised, and still do. It is a very practical curriculum. The group is open, so if you would like to learn more about it let me know.
More artwork has been posted at my Janaka's Art Studio at http://www.janakasart.artfire.com/. I would love to hear your input about my work. And remember that I have found a good source for making affordable good-quality prints, for those who cannot afford the originals. Remember the holidays and support the arts. With every original painting you get one of my books of your choice.
Attached are images of the three most-viewed works of my studio. Thanks to my brother I have a new camera for which to shoot my finished current work, soon to be posted when I get some sunny days to shoot the pieces. This past month I have done some portraits, one of which is one of Johnny Cash. I saw a great photo of him and had to do my impression of it. His music is a family favorite here, especially Aiden's (my 5-year-old boy). I actually let him add some color to the work as he is becoming very deliberate in his artistic endeavors.
If you would like to see some of my writings visit my blog, Triliving: Celebrating Truth, Beauty and Goodness (http://www.janakastagnaro.blogspot.com/). And if you do visit, do leave a comment please. While I can see that people are viewing it from all over the world, very few people take the time to leave a comment. At this point I would almost welcome the inane commentary that one typically sees posted under Yahoo articles...well, maybe not. I have a lot of great videos posted on it, many are thanks to sharings by Facebook friends. Also, if anyone would like to read my manuscript of The Teachings of Yama: A Conversation with Death I would love your opinion. I want to get that book published; it has been in cyber gestation for too long. If you are interested I will send an attachment.
Please give me your feedback on this newsletter. Anything else you would you like me to cover? And if you want off the list just press Reply and message No Thanks. And if you like this newsletter and my work, please pass this on. Your support is invaluable.
Offering to the Community:
Fine Art; Tarot Readings, Meditation and Spiritual Guidance; Inspirational Books; Storytelling