Gentle Blessings

Today’s post is inspired by ‘The Zen of Taking Photos,’ from Michael Lai’s blog, ‘Retireediary,’ (https://retireediary.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/the-zen-of-taking-photos/).

Michael reflects on years spent behind the lens – and I, like Michael, feel that my best photos were taken when I was younger. Back then I had plenty mobility, plus time, and a heartfelt desire to take great pics. All around the world, in our private collections, we keep our personal favourites: those old photographs that flood our hearts with fondest feelings, and gentle blessings conveyed in memories reopened of good times gone by.

But never mind. After reading The Zen of Photography, I felt it was time for me to post my humble handful, starting with the above pic – a personal favourite. It was taken back in September 1981, from the balcony of my hotel room during a spectacular thunderstorm one night in Torquay, England. If memory serves, I used a 60 second exposure, with Kodachrome 25/ASA, while covering the lens intermittently to avoid over exposure.

Click on Pic for expanded view.

When I was a schoolboy, and from then all the way up to the digital age, I used SLR cameras to take transparencies, (or slides if you prefer.) Very sadly, I haven’t been able to digitalise more than a small handful from the thousands of slides that survive. And even sadder, the quality doesn’t hold up a torch to the colour, and depth of the originals. Nevertheless, I will be posting the best of the remaining handful of digitalised slides every now and then.

It was during the deceptive calm before that fast approaching storm that the next pic was taken. What the picture doesn’t show you, is the storm damage that was to be visited that night upon all the boats in the harbour seen here. Unfortunately, none of my pics of the aftermath have been digitalised.

With that, and my sincerest thanks to Michael at Retireediary, https://retireediary.wordpress.com, I will wind this post up, and wish for you and everyone, happiness, and peace at all times. Amras out.

It has no fabric, only understanding.

It has no membership, save those who know they belong.

It has no rivals, because it is non-competitive.

It has no ambition for it seeks only to serve.

It knows no boundaries for nationalism’s are unloving.

It is not of itself because it seeks to enrich all groups and religions.

It acknowledges all great Teachers of all the ages who have shown the truth of Love.

Those who participate, practise the Truth of Love in all their beings.

There is no walk of life or nationality that is a barrier. Those who are, know.

It seeks not to teach but to be, and by being, enrich.

It recognises that the way we are may be the way of those around us because we are that way.

It recognises the whole planet as a Being of which we are a part.

It recognises that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemical act of conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole.

It does not proclaim itself with a loud voice but in the subtle realms of loving.

It salutes all those in the past who have blazoned the path but have paid the price.

It admits no hierarchy or structure, for no one is greater than another.

Each one will dedicate their life to the silent loving of their neighbour and environment and the planet, whilst carrying out their task however exalted or humble.

Its members shall know each other by their deeds, and being, and by their eyes, and by no other outward sign save the fraternal embrace.

It recognises the supremacy of the great idea which may only be accomplished if the human race practises the supremacy of Love.

It has no reward to offer either here or in the hereafter save that of the ineffable joy of being and loving.

Each shall seek to advance the cause of understanding, doing good by stealth and teaching only by example.

They shall heal their neighbour, their community and our Planet.

They shall know no fear and feel no shame and their witness shall prevail over all odds.

It has no secret, no arcanum, no initiation save that of true understanding of the power of Love and that, if we want it to be so, the world will change – but only if we change ourselves first.

All those who belong, belong.  They belong to the church of Love.

[THE CATHAR PROPHECY OF 1244 AD concerning the RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INNER CHURCH OF LOVE].

Photography ©Francis Moloney.

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Artificial Habitat

Greetings, and best ever Christmas wishes to you. These pics were taken recently at a nearby Public Aquarium.

I feel that from the point of view of these marvellous and beautiful creatures, their world is a sort of prison. We have built a prison for them, even as we build prisons for ourselves. Encouragingly enough though, these particular captives don’t seem to suffer from any shortage of stimulation in this well-kept artificial habitat of theirs. How lovely it is too, to see the faces of visiting children light up in wonder at their first ever glimpse of these living marvels.

I wish that all captive creatures* were treated so well; and I hope that one day soon, we will agree to honour them all, and nature, in deep and wiser ways. 

With that, may I wish you strength, and peace, to carry you into what promises to be a very stimulating New Year.

Be undivided in your affectionate kindness for all life. Keep your mind flexible.

*Including mermaids.

Photography ©Amanda Moloney.

Green, Red, and Gold

Greetings. Autumn’s finest, as viewed in various corners of our garden throughout October. With leaves so red beneath a sky so rarely this blue of late, what a blessing it is indeed to enjoy the garden on a sunny day. And although it’s becoming bitterly cold at times, well, there’s always Christmas to look forward to.

When the sun still shines in our hearts, on even the darkest of days, then we can always see the road ahead. The sun never shines in anger, or in judgement. It never shines for one, and not the other. It harms none but those who aren’t prepared.

The poet Charles Causely wrote “I am the great sun, but you do not see me”. May we never be so blind – because the sun is an example of the ways of heaven.

I will just insert a note here, to say that I am having technical difficulties when attempting to like some of my favourite blogs. I find great value in all of your works, and always wish to show my appreciation by liking. So please accept my apologies.

Having said that, I hope you enjoyed the pics – and now it’s Namaste, and peace from me.

 

  In my Soul there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church
where I kneel.

Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist.

Is there not a region of Love, where the Sovereignty is illuminated nothing,

Where ecstasy gets poured into itself and becomes lost,

Where the wing is fully alive but has no mind or body?

In my Soul there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church
that dissolves, that dissolves in God.

Rabia of Basra (c.717-801)

 

 

Photography ©Francis Moloney.

The Face of The Facade

Art

Greetings, ten months in, and so soon the year is almost done. This pic was taken by Amanda, serendipitously, on a street close to the city centre. I believe it may be on the side of a popular bar.

A quick search to find the artist, (which I hope was successful) came up with the name of Rebecca Wright.

I truly appreciate the scale of the challenge the artist must have faced. A long time ago, I spent a very brief period painting landscapes, and abstract scenes, on living room walls, for a handful of art loving clients. That was me below, sporting a beret. I never received an opportunity to attempt anything of the above proportions, but thinking about it now, I would have loved having a go.

With thanks to all our readers, and welcome to our newest followers. Your good company is deeply appreciated. We are a most talented, and creative crew, each and every one of us here on WordPress. I hope to return with more great photographs very soon. Until then, namaste, and very best wishes for all the good you do. (Written during Diwali).

Beret

If the eyes and ears are open, the leaves of the trees become as pages of the Bible. If the heart is alive, the whole life becomes one single vision of His sublime beauty, speaking to us at every moment. ~ Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan.

 

Photography ©Amanda Moloney.

Nocturne

That night

Greetings, I hope you are keeping well. The artwork above was inspired by a photograph taken over a decade ago. What I have done is process it to resemble an oil painting, using software that employs a remote pad and stylus to imitate canvas and brushes. It makes for a very pleasing effect I think.

The night the pic was taken, I was visiting a local lake, supported by Luke, a strapping teenager at the time. When we got there, there was mud underfoot, the surrounding trees stood black against the sky, and glowing faintly, just above the lake, hung a tiny will-o’-the-wisp.

The quote below the title is from one of my martial arts teachers, and feels right for this post.

I want to thank all you kind readers who support this blog, with your uplifting comments, your likes, and your own highly inspiring blogs; so well worth every visit. Simply, thank you.

I hope to return soon. Until then, may the rain fall gently on your fields.

Peace from Amras.

“Finally, may we indeed, keep in our hearts, that our humble blogs are the spirits that keep the World Wide Web humane. Let us use this gift to flourish as people! Let us cherish one another! And be thankful for one another, because at some point, we touch our respective lives.”  ~ Aina Balagtas https://poemsmelodiesandme.wordpress.com

Photo Art © Francis Moloney.