Archive for the ‘Offerings’ Category

The Pilgrim Who Thanks the Earth – James K. Papp Photography Exhibit

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

 

 

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The Pilgrim Who Thanks the Earth
~James K. Papp Photography Exhibit

Whether backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail, traveling in Latin America or hiking beautiful Whatcom County trails, James Papp loves expressing the peaceful and healing qualities of nature in his photographs, poems, and prose.  The special exhibit presented at the Lucia Douglas Gallery in Fairhaven starts at 5:00 p.m., with a reading at 6:30. Photographs will be available for purchase.

We’re nuts about planting trees!  One seedling donated via plantit2020.org for each person who joins us on the 30th.
Light Refreshments Served.

Hope to see you there!

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Picture Lake, Mt Shuksan, North Cascades, photo by James K. Papp

 

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Blessings on the Equinox

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Altar of Perfect Balance - Autumnal EquinoxAt September Equinox we held a ceremony at home with friends to honor this special time and to use its special power for prayer, for ourselves and for the planet.

Each of us laid out two similar personal power objects on the indoor altar which we named “The Altar of Perfect Balance.”  With a beautiful symmetry, the colorful altar radiated warmth and energy.  Our intention was re-balance, re-calibration, re-harmonization, re-juvenation – the re-attaining of a state that is our natural birthright as cosmic beings.

Between two burning candles a round china saucer was filled with water  and then each of us selected a small floating candle, into which we placed our personal prayer for whatever we are harvesting at this time.  It could be a physical project, an emotional state, a relationship, a new way of being, or something else.  In turn each of us lit our candle and placed it into the ocean of life where they floated together in community.  Our prayers were sent on their voyage with great gratitude.  We appreciated the balancing of fire and water energies.

Altar of the Earth - Autumnal EquinoxOn the outdoor altar, which we named “The Altar of the Earth,” we each placed two flowers with a prayer for our dear Mother Earth.  She bears us, sustains us, and ultimately receives our bodies, unconditionally, which is certainly a definition of unconditional love.  We prayed for her well-being and for her balance, including a balance of elements at a time where fire energy is predominant in some places with forest fires and rising global temperatures.

We declared “All at this very moment is in balance.”

Blessings of Balance and Harmony to You ~

Jim and Lisa

Love Story Of Our Times

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

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Up, up, up the winding mountain road to enter the gates to sacred space and swallows flitting across the charged azure blue sky. She meditates on a grassy terrace.  He does Tai Chi.  She does Qigong.  He writes of how Spirit brought them together, even years before their wedding, and how Spirit has kept them together and brought them to this amazing panoramic power spot – marking their commitment to each other and to Spirit.

Quietly together they wander through this stepped city of ancient stone, wings flying high over the deep verdant valleys below. Stairs are climbed. Portals are passed through and a grassy place to sit upon is found, out of the flow of the masses that courses through the main paths. A retreat in the midst of Machu Picchu is gladly accepted by her, in her pink, and him, in his gray.

She colors the scene with her pencils and he writes. They reveal their sacred stones that accompany them on this pilgrimage, some to be left as offerings. She brought rose quartz angels. He brought a star rose quartz. Nothing needs to be spoken between hearts that speak without words. She shows him her rose quartz sphere and their stones touch in a moment of communion.

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Sacred space is opened and they sit with their mesa stones on high, overlooking a plaza of green, framed by gray rock that has a story to tell. She and he are in “their” spot, a spot that was waiting patiently for them, where their souls and the soul of this place touch, where the work and the travel and the daily tasks of living have fallen away. She and he and their stones and this place are their world.

She rolls the rose quartz sphere far into a crack at the base of the ancient wall they sit next to. He sends his rose quartz in after hers where, together, they will continue the communion of this great life, like the soul mates who left them there.

(Written 22 June 2014 at Machu Picchu, Peru, on the 30th wedding anniversary of Lisa Evonne and James Kenneth Papp. Photo of the happy couple by Eugenio Ferrero, other photos by JP.)

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Books to Prisoners encourages knowledge and self-improvement.

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Books To Prisoners (BTP) is a Seattle-based, all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that sends books to prisoners in the United States.  BTP believes that books are tools for learning and opening minds to new ideas and possibilities. By sending books to prisoners, BTP hopes to foster a love of reading and encourage the pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement.

Founded in the early 1970s and sponsored by Left Bank Books, BTP receives 1,200 to 1,300 requests for books each month. Volunteers work two evenings a week opening letters, finding books in the BTP collection that correspond to the request, and wrapping and mailing parcels.  Because of continuing backlog of requests, prisoners sometimes wait up to six months to receive their books.

Prisoners request a variety of books.  Most prisons accept paperback books only.  The most popular requests are dictionaries, thesauruses, African American history and fiction, Native American studies, legal material, GED materials, and languages (particularly Spanish.)  Other common requests include fiction, vocational-technical manuals, politics, anthropology, art and drawing, psychology, and health and fitness.

BTP has three associate organizations – Portland Books To Prisoners, Books To Prisoners Olympia, and Bellingham Books To Prisoners. These sister groups assist in answering letters, mailing packages, and soliciting book donations.

As one of the largest prison book projects in the country, BTP works in conjunction with other agencies that support prisoner literacy and promote social justice.

Last year, Seattle BTP, along with chapters in Portland, Olympia, and Bellingham answered a combined 14,900 letters.  Bellingham BTP sent out over 10,000 books.

We are pleased to donate copies of Inquire Within – A Guide to Living in Spirit to Bellingham BTP. A young friend once asked why we donate our books to prisoners. We answered that many prisoners will one day be released from prison and it would be nice to know that they had been working to improve themselves. We know that we have helped at least one person. Jim has had regular written correspondence from a man who received a copy of Inquire Within while he was in prison. He appreciated our book’s gentle guidance and resource section listing many other spiritual and self-help books. He has since been released from prison and is doing very well with his family and in his community.

If you are in the Seattle, Portland, Olympia, or Bellingham areas, and would like to donate new or used books, particularly paperbacks, BTP would be happy to accept your donations. You can also choose to volunteer your time wrapping packages or make a cash donation to cover postage. Learn more here:  Books to Prisoners.

Letter from a prisoner to BTP:

I became aware of your organization and its vital work recently when a fellow prisoner let me use his big, beautiful dictionary.  When I complimented him on having such an obviously fine, advanced book, he told me about his own quest in which you sent him his Random House/Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary more than a year ago.  It is his most prized possession here where such a wonderful reference work is rare, indeed.  I am a reformed black man earning his GED and trying to improve himself, his life, and his prospects after prison.  If you will consider sending me a dictionary, I will use it often and well.  And with your blessings, I will tell other inmates about your company and its compassionate work.  Thank you very much.

 

A Day of Introspection

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Some days are good days to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of our busy, worldy routines and stay at home.  Taking this time out from the social side of life gives us time to catch our breath, to find stillness and reflect.

It is useful to review the consequences of our actions – whether intentional or unintentional.  As we work to create harmony in life it helps to be aware of what we are doing.  Realizing the consequences of our actions we can forgive ourselves for things we have said or done which have caused stress or hurt to others.

A day of introspection gives us space to courageously, gently, lovingly peer into ourselves.  We can view and appreciate the good we have done and acknowledge and forgive ourselves for any words or actions which do not honor us.    We can light a candle, make an offering, ask for forgiveness, receive forgiveness.

Viewing the consequences of our actions through the lens of forgiveness dissipates discord, giving our natural state of harmony opportunity to reappear.  Our thoughts and intentions (good, bad, and indifferent) emanate into the world around us; what we send to ourselves and others is real and has a real affect.  Taking periodic quiet time to review helps us better serve our lives and the lives of those around us.