On Thurs 7 Aug 08 @9PM I had a deeply moving and spiritual experience when I lit candles and deeyas for Tibet. This was in unison with everyone in my time zone and done globally. I'd like to explore this and share my experiences with you and hear yours as we participate in universal collective prayer events together. I hope to work together with all the universe's beings as we move toward the ideal of Universal Collective Prayer.

Come join me in Universal Collective Prayer!

May God Bless Us All!

UCP-Universal Collective Prayer is produced by Meady's Musings Production . Copyright 2006-2011

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Advent Calendar:7th Day of Christmas and Old Year's Day-Reflections!

Meady’s Musings Production apologizes for not keeping up with the calendar and the twelve days of Christmas from the 4th to 6th days of Christmas. However she (Meady herself), the Purple Elephant and even the little mouse have all caught some great big colds! The Purple Elephant believes we got it from Rudolph’s red, runny nose as we were nursing sick reindeer while Santa used our donkey with cart instead this year!

However with a whole house full of sick it’s hard to figure out who should nurse who? And so we were all very unclear as to what to do! Also in an attempt to keep bread on the table for all at the house Meady still had to go out to her full time job so it was near impossible to put up gifts of blog posts. Most of the house guests will be gone by the end of today as the 7th Day of Christmas and Old Year’s Day is here…and all are excited to usher in the New Year!

So, on the today calendar we have made it here, to give you a gift of a blog post olé! As we present…Reflections!

Here is how it will be presented on all three blogs our Reflections on 2009:

-On Meady’s Musings: Our favourite blog posts we shared with you or things we did!

-On UCP: Some of our most profoundly divine and moving moments in UCP!

-On Books and Films Corner: We recall some of the movies we enjoyed this year!


Of all the very deeply and deliciously divine things I did this year as I explored this thing I call Universal Collective Prayer! I'd have to say these three stand out...just like the Catholic Holy Trinity and the Hindu-Bramha, Vishnu aur Mahesh (Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer!)

-My Pilgrimage to Mount St. Benedict to commemorate the Holy Week!

-Actually putting UCP into practice by saying prayers at my company's Diwali function and there was Light!

And the most profound of them all!...

-My Pilgrimage in the Month of Kartik

I was also deeply touched to continue to have Bro Greg Kirk come and say his prayers here on the blog for me and to find an Islamic point of light this Eid-Ul-Adha 2009!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Advent Calendar:27 Dec 09-The Third Day of Christmas: These are Some of My Favourite Things!

Most of the animals and people are now dispersing from Meady's Musings Production house catching their respective flights, donkey backs or simply on foot like the monkeys heading back to the streets...hopefully reformed especially after witnessing miracles! The purple elephant and little mouse have helped them secure jobs in some tea shops and other places...One of them learnt to be a barber while in the house (trained by a bear). And one decided to go off with the shepherds to help them herd their sheep! So the house is getting quieter and quieter...the baby that was born is still with us but word has come through the shepherds that they too should be on the move soon since people are looking for them!

So things are winding down here on the calendar but we are still celebrating the twelve days of Christmas as promised! So on today the third day of Christmas I share with you three of my favourite things that I've discovered this year relevant to each blog...

-On Meady's Musings:Three things to eat!
-On UCP:Three of my favourite carols/bhajans/chants!
-On Books and Films Corner:Two Books and a Movie!


I may have known some of these before but not in the particular version or sung by the particular singer and I've probably played them on the calendar before in fact one of them just yesterday! But these are some of the tunes I've felt a close connection to in a UCP kinda way that I either found out about or connected/re-connected to this year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Advent Calendar:26 Dec 09-My Birthday and the 2nd Day of Christmas!

So it's my birthday! What I adore about the Purple Elephant and the little mouse is although they were so busy with all the Christmas celebs and preps and our umpteen house guests of all shapes, sizes and species they found the time to bake me a cake and get me an additional separate birthday gift other than my Christmas one! :) They are such caring animals and friends...a girl can wish for none better than those two! :)

Today is also the 2nd day of Christmas according to the old Twelve Days of Christmas traditions and we will be keeping it up on the Advent calendar. So we won't close until the Epiphany on Wed 6 Jan 2010 when we will celebrate with the Magi for the last time this Advent season! :) And it's been a busy one for me so I've not been able to dance with them as much as I'd have liked this year but I will try at least on that day!

However seeing as it is my birthday and I'm at that landmark that I personally consider to be middle of the road (since average life expectancy is 70)...tethering at the top of the hill...trying for it to not to go all down hill too fast at 35! Aah that thing call time...but it's fictional anyway just ask my metaphysics mentioning friends! :)

But the Purple elephant and the little mouse insisted that I relax today...so I'm going to try...but if I had left my calendar bare...they shan't have existed today you see...since they are imaginary...Oh dear! So I had to blog even today so you could see them appear! :)

So today on the calendar I'm not going to be as presumptuous as on last year's calendar and assume you want the gift of me on my birthday! Although to me that is what it is when you mark your birthday and friends cheer...it is that they are celebrating your entry into existence on the earthly plane and so like on that day you are the gift to them...no?

But instead this year I will just with you share some of the things that define me or are important to me...since I should be relaxing I might mostly reference blogs I've written in the past but with a new slant...so here is how we'll have it!:)

-On Meady's Musings: I will recall my primary and sub-primary theme songs! :)
-On UCP: I will recall my relationship with Shiv and pinch my cute Ishq Devata-Ganesh!
-On Books and Films Corner: I will list my top ten fav books ever and show some clips of some of fav films too! :)

So here it is Happy Happy to me! :)

Thankful to Shiv and Happy with Ganesh!

Today on my birthday on the prayers I'd like to thank and salute Shiv the Super one and my Supreme guru for the great lessons learnt sitting at his feet all year long! A guru like no other and what lessons I've learnt! So dear Shiv Baba I salute you in prayer here! I wrote this in Feb of this year for the festival of Maha Shivratri:

For some on my island the carnival begins
For others with Shiv we will sit and pray
Shiv is for me the supreme yogi
And also the dancer
And we the dance
He is also an animal protector
A real hippy master
Of him I now blog on my Universal Collective Prayer!

And then not keeping with Vedic traditions of mentioning you first but in this case second...only because you see my lovely Ganapati you are my Ishq you see...and because you are my cute baby like friend I can switch it with you and this once salute you second as I celebrate my birthday with you by singing that fav aarti of mines about you...the Ganesh Aarti.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Advent Calendar:Christmas Day!-The Gift of the Christ Child!

Christmas Bread copyright Meady's Musings Production 2009

Well you can just imagine the chaos at Meady's Musings Production house last night! I can say though that all my animals pitched in and it was the most loveliest thing all the same! My donkey (now magical) and his cart went off with Santa and a few of the smaller bears to do the gift giving. My purple elephant and little mouse were busy running a virtual hospital. A lady showed up saying she was the wife of Santa Claus...Mrs Claus if you'll have it...but she was the loveliest thing and she baked us the most delicious bread and other treats for dinner and to have today on Christmas Day!

For Christmas dinner we had invited Deacon Greg Kirk to give the prayers and bring Christmas greetings and that he did and even left us something to say today here on the calendar to ring in Christmas day! We also had some unexpected guests in you guessed it the three 'wise' men! They said they were following a star that had settled just above our tree grove where the animals had set up a carrat (leaf) shed. However my purple elephant had the spare porta camps so they had a place to stay but they kept being agitated about the star and what was to come...

Then just around midnight...we got word that a cousin of our very own donkey of Santa gift giving fame had a cousin in town...some of the monkeys and a few bears (to police them in case they got out of hand again) went out to find him! And that they did but he wasn't alone! He had with him a lady with child and her husband was leading the donkey (our very own donkey's cousin!) They also said they were following the star...and when they got to our house all the animals and people welcomed them and insisted they stay in our tree grove that seemed auspicious in some way! It had this presence about it with the brightest star up above! And we some how felt it so fitting that the lady with child stay at the roots of the great tree...so we made it very comfy as could be! And they really liked the space! Then just after midnight the baby was born...delivered in the loving care of my nurses...the Purple Elephant and little mouse...

All the animals came to see...the three shepherds...the three 'wise' men...all of them...

So today on Meady's Musings Production's Advent calendar we celebrate Christmas Day with just the one big blog post...same on all three blogs...I give you the great prayer by my Brother in UCP Deacon Greg Kirk, Christmas Bread baked by my mom in reality (but Mrs Claus virtually) and Joy to the World! The Lord is come...

Christmas Bread copyright Meady's Musings Production 2009


The Season of Light

Christmas is Light, the darkness has been overcome by one who came to love. Christmas is more than decorating trees, exchanging gifts and gathering with loved ones. Christmas is an opportunity to embrace the Light - to open to the power, bliss and peace the Light brings.

Jesus of Nazareth desired to know the Light and live within its embrace so deeply, he became one with the Light. He left a path, a way, for you and I to share in this bliss. "Love God with all your being and love your neighbor as you love yourself." Jesus assured us that we are loved completely, unconditionally. He encouraged us to root our lives in the hope and promise of this Love.

My prayer this Christmas is for people everywhere to experience the Light and Love within them, to know more deeply of their beauty and dignity, to experience the Essence or True Self within and to find the freedom to be the people they were created to be.

Darkness abounds in our world, in many circumstances and ways. Embracing the Light -being open to every person's truth, daring to love others, especially the vulnerable and marginalized, causes the darkness to recede and the Light to shine more brilliantly.

Dare to be Light, dare to be Love. Dare to be one with the One who is Light and Love as Jesus did. You will find new possibilities and power. You will find yourself. And you will find yourself within the heart of God.

Love, Greg

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Advent Calendar:24 Dec 09-The Gift that is Santa Claus!

Today the bears went out to the market on their own. They are my house guests and I would not have let them go shopping for food...which I consider myself obliged to supply but they sneaked out! A grizzly kept watch while a Canadian black bear and Polar bear took me to see some supposedly newly installed gadgetry in each of the tricked out mangers where the three shepherds and their lambs sleep. While I was on my way there...a Winnie the Pooh like bear, an Indian sloth bear (supposedly descended straight from the line of Jambhavan the bear king) and two other polar bears left in a donkey cart for the market! I was minorly irritated by the incident but then reconciled with myself that they were after all bears and so ate as such! They were all nice and apologetic about it when they returned and so I accepted the bouquet of sunflowers (two bouquets now) and their apologetic words!

But their whole sneakiness also seemed minor compared to the rest of the story! You see the Purple elephant and the little mouse saw when the bears left and knowing I'd not like it decided to follow them. When the bears realised it they agreed to all shop together in the market...and while they were having fun they heard big screams! They all ran to the spot where the screams came from to find a batch of ladies in tears complaining about a batch of monkeys of varying size, origin and nationality attacking them and taking their bags!

This really got the purple elephant and little mouse mad and the elephant used his towering size and big strides to quickly comb and survey the areas and dispatched the bears to find the monkeys. They were all found and the Indian sloth bear was asked to judge over them. He was chosen based on his royal lineage and the fact that some of the monkeys were also descended from Indian monkeys who were related to Lord Hanuman and other monkeys who worked on the Setu bridge alongside bears! So some of the monkeys felt him a fair choice. In the end all monkeys were found guilty but in tears agreed before all the animals and the ladies to reform their ways! They agreed to return all their stolen goods by going to homes all day long and to come back to the house tonight Christmas eve and to stay with the other animals for Christmas! The animals agreed to build a few tree houses so that they could be accommodated. So there you have it Meady's Musings Production house will now be housing monkeys of every shape and kind as well! :)

So my bears and others have been working on those tree houses since they came back from the market. While they were all busy I decided to take a break under one of the marvelous Samaans that reside in my yard. When at the edge of a nearby pond I heard and saw an old man sobbing! I went up to him to ask him what was wrong and it was then he explained to me that he was indeed (as I had suspected in my magical land this could happen)Santa Claus! But he was sobbing because all of his reindeer including Rudolph were sick...he suspected it could be swine flu but he really didn't know what to do!

Now I was really strained for accommodations at this point and I couldn't put my bears on more projects so the purple elephant agreed to go out and buy a few Porta Camps! In there we agreed to isolate and nurse the ailing reindeer and guess what!?

Santa Claus and I conceived that we could use his magic dust to make my donkey magical and able to fly! And so all the gifts to kids world over this Christmas Eve night are going to be delivered by my donkey! And will be stored in his donkey cart you see! :)

When the Purple Elephant came home with the porta camps an hour ago he said he had spotted the three big camels with the transformed men sitting on them (from yesterday's sighting)and he decided to buy an extra porta camp as he had a strong sense of Elephantitis that they were headed to our house! Hmmm...

By now you must realise Santa Claus is here! And also the Magi are possibly heading our way...so to celebrate the great saint and on the whole the loveliness of gift giving here is how we will give our salutes!:

-On Meady's Musings: I reminisce on the Santa poll that we ran last year on the UCP blog and ask you again to comment or vote in this year if you like.
-On UCP: We re-publish the post we did last year on the great saint...Saint Nicholas...
-On Books and Films Corner: We link to Youtube clips from our all time favourite Santa flicks! :)

As published last year on UCP 6 Dec 2008 on St. Nicholas Day!
"In some parts of the world (mainly Europe)today 6 Dec is celebrated as St. Nicholas Day. I don't know much about it personally but on the web I stumbled on a site that seems to be very complete into all things Saint Nicholas...St Nicholas Center.

Here is some info summarized from the site:

'The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.'

'Widely celebrated in Europe, St. Nicholas' feast day, December 6th, kept alive the stories of his goodness and generosity. In Germany and Poland, boys dressed as bishops begged alms for the poor—and sometimes for themselves! In the Netherlands and Belgium, St. Nicholas arrived on a steamship from Spain to ride a white horse on his gift-giving rounds. December 6th is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much of Europe. For example, in the Netherlands St. Nicholas is celebrated on the 5th, the eve of the day, by sharing candies (thrown in the door), chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles. Dutch children leave carrots and hay in their shoes for the saint's horse, hoping St. Nicholas will exchange them for small gifts. Simple gift-giving in early Advent helps preserve a Christmas Day focus on the Christ Child.'

In Trinidad the idea of Santa Claus is more celebrated than Saint Nicholas and is mainly influenced by the North American traditions of Santa Claus. So little children are told that this 'mythical character' is real and then told later on or when they figure it out that really the gifts given are by their parents and not Santa Claus. Parents put gifts under the Christmas tree at night when kids are thought to be asleep. Some dads will even dress up as Santa Claus...perhaps the inspiration for the song "I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus".

But do you believe in Santa Claus? Another website called The North Pole talks about the origins of the American Santa Claus image as follows:

'American Origins: (As sent to me by Brian Dodd)
Quote from ENCARTA 95

The American version of the Santa Claus figure received its inspiration and its name from the Dutch legend of Sinter Klaas, brought by settlers to New York in the 17th century.

As early as 1773 the name appeared in the American press as "St. A Claus," but it was the popular author Washington Irving who gave Americans their first detailed information about the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas. In his History of New York, published in 1809 under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, Irving described the arrival of the saint on horseback (unaccompanied by Black Peter) each Eve of Saint Nicholas.

This Dutch-American Saint Nick achieved his fully Americanized form in 1823 in the poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas more commonly known as The Night Before Christmas by writer Clement Clarke Moore. Moore included such details as the names of the reindeer; Santa Claus's laughs, winks, and nods; and the method by which Saint Nicholas, referred to as an elf, returns up the chimney. (Moore's phrase "lays his finger aside of his nose" was drawn directly from Irving's 1809 description.)

The American image of Santa Claus was further elaborated by illustrator Thomas Nast, who depicted a rotund Santa for Christmas issues of Harper's magazine from the 1860s to the 1880s. Nast added such details as Santa's workshop at the North Pole and Santa's list of the good and bad children of the world. A human-sized version of Santa Claus, rather than the elf of Moore's poem, was depicted in a series of illustrations for Coca-Cola advertisements introduced in 1931. In modern versions of the Santa Claus legend, only his toy-shop workers are elves. Rudolph, the ninth reindeer, with a red and shiny nose, was invented in 1939 by an advertising writer for the Montgomery Ward Company.'

There's the history but here I ask a personal question again - DO YOU BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS?

Well yes I do believe in Santa Claus...:) And why not? I know this is not a linear world and there are so many unknowns so just cause I don't have proof doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If we believe in the spirit world, the supernatural and the existence of God or something more that the material world we see before us, well...Of Course there can be a Santa Claus!

Perhaps he may not fit the image we have in our mind that we were fed by our traditions...which if you read about it above was more defined in the US by the writers and poets but then churned out in masses by the businessmen. Perhaps American commercialism has sullied the good old Saint's name but I think he does exist. Perhaps he is just that force or spirit of giving or perhaps he works in mysterious ways and puts gifts when they would not have been given. Can any of us wholeheartedly say we've not experience things we can't explain or don't wonder if there is something more?

So I agree with the editor of the New York Sun who in 1897 wrote...'Yes Virginia There is a Santa Claus'
And maybe it's not that when we become adults our parents tell us the truth but that when we become adults we lose our childlike innocence. Think about it would our parents really be that good at make believe or fooling us normally? So it's not that they told us so and we believed but cause we knew something then that as we grew into this world we forgot. As Jesus says if we make our hearts like children only then can we enter the kingdom of heaven/God/The Father.

Perhaps when we see kids lost in their own world when <5 they are seeing something we don't...like in the film Polar Express...we stop hearing the bell...no discussion without Santa Claus would be complete I think without reference to the film Miracle on 34th Street and tonight I wish you all a good night and leave you with that clip where they explain about the sound of the bell and how adults can't hear it in the film Polar Express and a clip from Miracle on 34th Street. Believe...


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Advent Calendar: 23 Dec 09-The Gift of the Magi

Byzantine art usually depicts the Magi in Persian clothing which includes breeches, capes, and Phrygian caps. Mosaic, ca. 565.
Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy - restored above in 18th century. as taken from Wikimedia Commons.

The purple elephant and the little mouse had gone off to the market to stock up on food for all the many house guests that Meady's Musings Production House has been accumulating over the last few weeks when the most funniest thing happened! So funny the purple elephant is rolling on the floor in laughter appearing as if he is in some circus stunt (God forbid he should ever be entrapped in one of those!) as he retells the story with the little mouse...

Apparently the little mouse sat on his shoulder as they went through the market and hid behind his ears every time they noticed a passerby that wouldn't understand that they could be 'clean' mouses in markets. They always do this...and the little mouse advises the purple elephant by whispering into his ear what looks good and what does not...what is too pricey...what is a deal!

So using that tried and tested approach they had already procured honey for the bears (we have since had to buy honey outside our contract after the bee colony strikes earlier on especially to prevent any further Winnie the Pooh impersonations!), bread for the shepherds and even a bouquet of sunflowers for me! :) When that most funniest thing happened!

They saw three men arguing in the middle of the market square! They all had come out of their SUV-sports utility vehicle...each with a smart phone in their hand...arguing that the tallest one who was the driver and the owner of the SUV did not know where he was going as each of their phones gave different directions and that for sure he must have mis-programmed his SUV's GPS! What made it so funny for the purple elephant and the little mouse was the whole scene and antics! The SUV had grinded to a halt right in the middle of the market square kicking up a considerable amount of dust and screeching! And the three men immediately exited from it popping out like if they were compressed hot air inside of there! And all three congregated in a circle pointing at smart phones and then the sky and each trying to out voice the other! But that was not all...

As they argued three large camels seem to appear from no where and used their long necks to scoop a man each up into the air and onto their backs! The expression on each of the men's faces as they all of a sudden grew beards and donned long silky robes is what still has the purple elephant rolling on the floor and I have to tell you my floor tiles are not faring well!

As you might have guessed from that little story the Three Wisemen or the Three Magi or the Three Kings whatever you like to call them are in town! :) And here on the calendar we wish to salute them! :) We had a lot of fun all of last year's Advent calendar long with them and must now again bow to them! And shall do it in this format:

-On Meady's Musings: Who were the Magi? as described on the New Advent (Catholic encyclopedia)and that lovely song with Hugh! ;)
-On UCP: The Time and Circumstances of Their Visit again as described on the New Advent (Catholic encyclopedia).
-On Books and Films Corner: A glimpse of them in the 2006 film The Nativity Story.

So here we go!:

The Time and Circumstances of The Visit of the Magi

As taken from the New Advent

"Time and circumstances of their visit

The visit of the Magi took place after the Presentation of the Child in the Temple (Luke 2:38). No sooner were the Magi departed than the angel bade Joseph take the Child and its Mother into Egypt (Matthew 2:13). Once Herod was wroth at the failure of the Magi to return, it was out of all question that the presentation should take place. Now a new difficulty occurs: after the presentation, the Holy Family returned into Galilee (Luke 2:39). Some think that this return was not immediate. Luke omits the incidents of the Magi, flight into Egypt, massacre of the Innocents, and return from Egypt, and takes up the story with the return of the Holy Family into Galilee. We prefer to interpret Luke's words as indicating a return to Galilee immediately after the presentation. The stay at Nazareth was very brief. Thereafter the Holy Family probably returned to abide in Bethlehem. Then the Magi came. It was "in the days of King Herod" (Matthew 2:1), i.e. before the year 4 B.C. (A.U.C. 750), the probable date of Herod's death at Jericho. For we know that Archelaus, Herod's son, succeeded as ethnarch to a part of his father's realm, and was deposed either in his ninth (Josephus, Bel. Jud., II, vii, 3) or tenth (Josephus, Antiq., XVII, xviii, 2) year of office during the consulship ofLepidus and Arruntius (Dion Cassis, lv, 27), i.e., A.D. 6. Moreover, the Magi came while King Herod was in Jerusalem (vv. 3, 7), not in Jericho, i.e., either the beginning of 4 B.C. or the end of 5 B.C. Lastly, it was probably a year, or a little more than a year, after the birth ofChrist. Herod had found out from the Magi the time of the star's appearance. Taking this for the time of the Child's birth, he slew the male children of two years old and under in Bethlehem and its borders (v. 16). Some of the Fathers conclude from this ruthless slaughter that the Magi reached Jerusalem two years after the Nativity (St. Epiphanius, "Haer.", LI, 9; Juvencus, "Hist. Evang.", I, 259). Their conclusion has some degree of probability; yet the slaying of children two years old may possibly have been due to some other reason — for instance, a fear on Herod's part that the Magi had deceived him in the matter of the star's appearance or that the Magi had been deceived as to the conjunction of that appearance with the birth of the Child. Art and archæology favour our view. Only one early monument represents the Child in the crib while the Magi adore; in others Jesus rests upon Mary's knees and is at times fairly well grown (see Cornely, "Introd. Special. in N.T.", p. 203).

From Persia, whence the Magi are supposed to have come, to Jerusalem was a journey of between 1000 and 1200 miles. Such a distance may have taken any time between three and twelve months by camel. Besides the time of travel, there were probably many weeks of preparation. The Magi could scarcely have reached Jerusalem till a year or more had elapsed from the time of the apperance of the star. St. Augustine (De Consensu Evang., II, v, 17) thought the date of the Epiphany, the sixth of January, proved that the Magi reached Bethlehem thirteen days after the Nativity, i.e., after the twenty-fifth of December. His argument from liturgical dates was incorrect. Neither liturgical date is certainly the historical date. (For an explanation of the chronological difficulties, see Chronology, Biblical, Date of the Nativity of Jesus Christ.) In the fourth century the Churches of the Orient celebrated the sixth of January as the feast of Christ's Birth, the Adoration by the Magi, and Christ's Baptism, whereas, in the Occident, the Birth of Chirst was celebrated on the twenty-fifth of December. This latter date of the Nativity was introduced into the Church of Antioch during St. Chrysostom's time (P.G., XLIX, 351), and still later into the Churches of Jerusalem and Alexandria.

That the Magi thought a star led them on, is clear from the words (eidomen gar autou ton astera) which Matthew uses in 2:2. Was it really a star? Rationalists and rationalistic Protestants, in their efforts to escape the supernatural, have elaborated a number of hypotheses:

* The word aster may mean a comet; the star of the Magi was a comet. But we have no record of any such comet.
* The star may have been a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (7 B.C.), or of Jupiter and Venus (6 B.C.).
* The Magi may have seen a stella nova, a star which suddenly increases in magnitude and brilliancy and then fades away.

These theories all fail to explain how "the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was" (Matthew 2:9). The position of a fixed star in the heavens varies at most one degree each day. No fixed star could have so moved before the Magi as to lead them to Bethlehem; neither fixed star nor comet could have disappeared, and reappeared, and stood still. Only a miraculous phenomenon could have been the Star of Bethlehem. it was like the miraculous pillar of fire which stood in the camp by night during Israel's Exodus (Exodus 13:21), or to the "brightness of God" which shone round about the shepherds (Luke 2:9), or to "the light from heaven" which shone around about the stricken Saul (Acts 9:3).

The philosophy of the Magi, erroneous though it was, led them to the journey by which they were to find Christ. Magian astrology postulated a heavenly counterpart to complement man's earthly self and make up the complete human personality. His "double" (the fravashi of the Parsi) developed together with every good man until death united the two. The sudden appearance of a new and brilliant star suggested to the Magi the birth of an important person. They came to adore him — i.e., to acknowledge the Divinity of this newborn King (vv. 2, 8, 11). Some of the Fathers (St. Irenaeus, "Adv. Haer.", III, ix, 2; Progem. "in Num.", homil. xiii, 7) think the Magi saw in "his star" a fulfilment of the prophesy of Balaam: "A star shall rise out of Jacob and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel" (Numbers 24:17). But from the parallelism of the prophesy, the "Star" of Balaam is a great prince, not a heavenly body; it is not likely that, in virtue of this Messianic prophesy, the Magi would look forward to a very special star of the firmament as a sign of the Messias. It is likely, however, that the Magi were familiar with the great Messianic prophesies. Many Jews did not return from exile with Nehemias. When Christ was born, there was undoubtedly a Hebrew population in Babylon, and probably one in Persia. At any rate, the Hebrew tradition survived in Persia. Moreover, Virgil, Horace, Tacitus (Hist., V, xiii), and Suetonius (Vespas., iv) bear witness that, at the time of the birth of Christ, there was throughout the Roman Empire a general unrest and expectation of a Golden Age and a great deliverer. We may readily admit that theMagi were led by such hebraistic and gentile influences to look forward to a Messias who should soon come. But there must have been some special Divine revelation whereby they knew that "his star" meant the birth of a king, that this new-born king was very God, and that they should be led by "his star" to the place of the God-King's birth (St. Leo, Serm. xxxiv, "In Epiphan." IV, 3).

The advent of the Magi caused a great stir in Jerusalem; everybody, even King Herod, heard their quest (v. 3). Herod and his priests should have been gladdened at the news; they were saddened. It is a striking fact that the priests showed the Magi the way, but would not go that way themselves. The Magi now followed the star some six miles southward to Bethlehem, "and entering into the house [eis ten oikian], they found the child" (v. 11). There is no reason to suppose, with some of the Fathers (St. Aug., Serm. cc, "In Epiphan.", I, 2), that the Child was still in the stable. The Magi adored (prosekynesan) the Child as God, and offered Him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The giving of gifts was in keeping with Oriental custom. The purpose of the gold is clear; the Child was poor. We do not know the purpose of the other gifts. The Magi probably meant no symbolism. The Fathers have found manifold and multiform symbolic meanings in the three gifts; it is not clear that any of these meanings are inspired (cf. Knabenbauer, "in Matth.", 1892).

We are certain that the Magi were told in sleep not to return to Herod and that "they went back another way into their country" (v. 12). This other way may have been a way to the Jordan such as to avoid Jerusalem and Jericho; or a roundabout way south through Beersheba, then east to the great highway (now the Mecca route) in the land of Moab and beyond the Dead Sea. It is said that after their return home, the Magi were baptized by St. Thomas and wrought much for the spread of the Faith in Christ. The story is traceable to an Arian writer of not earlier than the sixth century, whose work is printed, as "Opus imperfectum in Matthæum" among the writings of St. Chrysostom (P.G., LVI, 644). This author admits that he is drawing upon the apocryphal Book of Seth, and writes much about the Magi that is clearly legendary. The cathedral of Cologne contains what are claimed to be the remains of the Magi; these, it is said, were discovered in Persia, brought to Constantinople by St. Helena, transferred to Milan in the fifth century and to Cologne in 1163 (Acta SS., I, 323)."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Advent Calendar: 22 Dec 09-The Gift of Grace!

Well it's a Tuesday here on the Advent calendar and the animals and I decided to go visit old Mother Goose and according to her Tuesday's child is full of grace...so it led myself, all the animals and the three shepherds to discussing this thing call Grace!

Here is how we organised our talks:

-Meady's Musings: some of the everyday use and meanings of the word 'Grace'
-UCP:Divine Grace
-Books and Films Corner: The 2006 film Amazing Grace!

Divine Grace

As defined by the catholic encyclopedia New Advent

"Grace (gratia, Charis), in general, is a supernatural gift of God to intellectual creatures (men, angels) for their eternal salvation, whether the latter be furthered and attained through salutary acts or a state of holiness. Eternal salvation itself consists in heavenly bliss resulting from the intuitive knowledge of the Triune God, who to the one not endowed with grace "inhabiteth light inaccessible" (1 Timothy 6:16). Christian grace is a fundamental idea of the Christian religion, the pillar on which, by a special ordination of God, the majestic edifice of Christianity rests in its entirety. Among the three fundamental ideas — sin, redemption, and grace — grace plays the part of the means, indispensable and Divinely ordained, to effect the redemption from sin through Christ and to lead men to their eternal destiny in heaven."

As defined in Judaism...taken from the World Religions Index

"Salvation and the Afterlife

One's eternal existence in the hereafter is determined by moral behavior and attitudes. Although there is no Christian notion of saving grace in Judaism, it is taught that God always offers even the most evil men the possibility of repentance (teshuva, "turning"). After such repentance one can atone for one's rebellion against God's ways by positive action.

But the notion of individual salvation and heavenly existence is not prominent in Judaism. In fact many Jews criticize Christianity for being a "selfish" religion, too concerned with personal eternal rewards.

The notion of an afterlife is not well developed in the Old Testament. Later writers speculated unsystematically about a final day of judgment.

Jews still hope for the coming of the Messiah, who will hand out eternal judgment and reward to all. This hope is largely communal; the entire Jewish race and the whole of creation is in view more than individual men.

In the end the moral life of man here on earth is considered the most proper concern of man; final judgments are best left to God."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Advent Calendar: 21 Dec 09-The Gift of Avatar!

Well as mentioned on last Saturday's blog post I did indeed head off to see 'Avatar' the movie this weekend. When I was about to leave Meady's Musings Production house for the cinema...the little mouse came up to me courtesied and asked for permission to climb up to my shoulder. This I allowed and that he did and then proceeded to whisper into my ear a request to join me to see the film! Now the little mouse has accompanied me to the movie theatre halls already you see...so he is accustomed to this treatment and has developed quite a fine taste for film I might add. He is one of the few animals I house who can do this as he can fit into my purse and then when the lights are lowered and the film rolls he peeks out of my purse to view the film...usually unnoticed!

However on this occasion I didn't like the idea as he had so many mice relatives and friends over I thought it rude of him to leave them and be off to the movies. In the end I allowed it though after much pleading on his end and after I was convinced that all his mice relatives were to be well taken care of in our absence. The Purple Elephant was a key helper in all of it as he volunteered to fill in as a main host so that the little mouse could get to go...aah as I always tell you they are such good friends those two always looking out for each other! A couple bears also agreed to take care of the shepherds in my absence...they even made them three bowls of porridge to help them recover from their long journey. So off it was for the little mouse and me to see the movie 'Avatar'.

And today on the Advent calendar I present the gift of avatar in three special ways...you see 'Avatar' is the name of this particular film and in recent decades the name has been adapted for use in terms of the virtual (computer) world but the concept of avatar has existed since the time of the ancestors of the purple elephant and the little mouse back in India. In fact it is only when already seated in the theatre hall and 20 mins into the film that the little mouse confessed to me that he so wanted to see the film because he thought he was going to see an avatar of Vishnu in the film. The little mouse also said that some in the mice community had believed he (Vishnu) was going to incarnate in the form of a mouse in this film...but...well...that was clearly not what this 'Avatar' movie was about! Much to the disappointment of the little mouse but as the film progressed he took a fancy to the female lead...the Na'vi named Neytiri and all was well in mouseland again!

So today as my gift on the calendar I analysed avatar in three ways:

-On Meady's Musings:The metaphysics behind avatar as it is seen in Hinduism and how it has been continually re-used and re-adapted since in various concepts of the modern world.

-On UCP:We will meet Vishnu himself as he speaks of his various avatars! :)

-On Books and Films Corner-We will talk about the film 'Avatar' ..what I and the little mouse thought of it! I can say we did enjoy it more or less! :)

But read on to learn more...


"yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham
paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge

Translation from 'Bhagavad Gita As It is':
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself. In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Advent Calendar: 19 and 20 Dec-Simply More Christmas Fun! :)

Have some more fun at Meady's Musings Production House this weekend by viewing the lovely album created by the grand D.K. Matai and his ACTA Open group something he calls the E8 Album as part of his Holistic Quantum Relativity (HQR) Initiative! Now D.K. is too smart for the little mouse and even the large brained purple elephant but for sure we gather enough to know that he believes many of the same things as our blogs here echo...on Meady's Musings and UCP-Universal Collective Prayer for sure! My understanding of him is he believes in the one in the all and the all in the one! And even if some of the concepts are too grand to grasp the pics are awesome so check them! :) And enjoy! By clicking on this link:


According to ATCA Open "The E8 Album images are visual intersections of Spirituality, Science, Art and Sustainability!"

So for sure sounds a lot like things explored on these here blogs! :)

Also as you know the Meady's Musings Production House is filled with guests...some of the most rambunctious guests you will ever find especially them bears...so we just had to share this most heart warming moment two of our grizzly bear cubs had courtesy of Nat Geo! :)

And well on the whole this weekend we are simply having a Wonderful Christmas time!

Should be seeing the movie 'Avatar' and will come back here and review it perhaps on the Books and Films Corner blog ...or perhaps mix it up with one of the 'Avatars' over on the UCP blog! :)

But for now let's dance with Paul Mc Cartney!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Advent Calendar: 17 and 18 Dec 2009-The gift of EFT-Emotional Freedom Techiques and The Infinite Divine!

Excuses...excuses...no gift on Thurs now...because...because...but...blah...blah...blah...!

But as much as I know you won't believe this...guess what happened yesterday???

I was in the kitchen having my breakfast...happy to be on a break from my vegan diet until the new year and so I had made quite the bowl of porridge...lots of milk and sweetened condensed one too...a bit too sweet and a bit too milky but at least I hadn't burnt the oats and so it was just right for me! Then as I was about to put another spoonful into my mouth...there was a knock at the door...not just once but three sharp knocks quickly in a row!...

Tap! Tap! Tap!

When I opened it...I didn't believe it either but three shepherds! All with flocks of sheep! Now my house is already filled with mice, some elephants graze nearby to my house as well as they can't fit in it...as I only have one specially sized room for my Purple Elephant of course! So where would all of them fit?...And there were already three bears to each of my spare rooms! Shepherds would not stay with bears would they? Could they?

So I asked them...but in the end...the bears agreed that they would be all part of the Christmas cheer! So they helped construct a manger! All in the course of one day!

So I was there supervising the sheep...it was where I was busy all of Thurs you see! :) In the end the three shepherds agreed it was the most comfy tricked out manager they have ever seen! (they even had computers to follow this blog!) And some of the baby sheep...lambs really...are sleeping in it with them as we speak! (time differences so they are catching up on some sleep)The rest of the flock are making friends with the elephants...dunno??? Well at least I hope so!

So was busy as any bee in my bee colony yesterday and so again did not post! But today I will be doing some big making up as the host! As I am pleased to present a blog written by my beautiful Irish friend-Noreen Barron! :) as she outlines the gift of EFT-Emotional Freedom Techniques.

But before I post Noreen's blog...here is a little bit about my additional gift for today to make up for yesterday...my explanation about what I call 'The Infinite Divine'


Every time I look at large bodies of water all stretched out before me as far as my eyes can see...I feel the awesomeness of 'The Infinite Divine'! Some must feel it when they look at the sky...but for me it's the sea! Perhaps it is because I live on an island or I pass by a creek every day to and from work ...I don't know...but it just occurred to me that...well to my eyes this water appears infinite...and at the same time the fact that it can over power me but at the same time I can't live without it...it is a basic human need...and I'm 80% made up or it...yet I can also drown in it...well just a few days ago the words 'The Infinite Divine' came to me as an explanation for it! And I thought I'd shared that with you today...dunno...I've blogged about water before...twice already to close off the Hindu calendar year with the festival of Kartik Snan, Snaan or Nahan...either way an ode to water. So here it is again the links to those two blogs so that perhaps you might again reflect on this in terms of 'The Infinite Divine'!

-A pilgrimage in the month of Kartik

-Kartik Snan, Kartik Snaan or Karik Nahan? Either Way an Ode to the Great Element Water!

And now onto Noreen Barron's blog about EFT-Emotional Freedom Techniques for which she no doubt taps into the 'The Infinite Divine' to perfect!


Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease ~ Hippocrates

Throughout the ages, the energy or force that animates all life has been referred to as Prana, Qi (Chi), Ki, Ka, Pneuma, Ashe, Ha, Life Force and Spirit. Ancient healing systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have studied and documented the effects of how this energy influences and directs the body and mind. Today we are building on this solid foundation with the developing fields of mindbody medicine, energy medicine, energy psychology and energy healing. Holistic psychiatrist Dr John Diamond refers to this animating life force as Life Energy. Life Energy is “the innate healing power of the body, and it is intimately connected with health in that whatever the symptoms of any particular illness, underneath we will always find a diminution of Life Energy. It is the Healing Power within us, the restorative powers of our own body, and the only true healing comes by raising the Life Energy.”

Some day the medical profession will wake up and realize that unresolved emotional issues are the main cause of 85% of all illnesses. When they do, EFT will be one of their primary healing tools ... as it is for me ~ Eric Robins, MD

Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT, simply stated, is emotional or psychological acupressure. Acupressure is the act of applying manual pressure, or tapping, usually with the fingertips, on various meridians located on the surface of the body, the same meridians used in acupuncture. Meridians are the channels through which energy flows, much the same as veins and capillaries are the channels through which blood flows. Energy needs to flow freely and unimpeded through these channels, otherwise it stagnates and becomes blocked, this congested and clogged energy can eventually become so dense that it results in emotional and physical dis-ease. EFT helps to dissolve and release the energetic blocks and restores the natural flow to our Life Energy. As Dr John Diamond states “Holistic Healing always starts with the actuation of the Life Energy, the Spirit—the Healing Power Within. Only then can there be the full appreciation and joyful acceptance of the beauty and wonder of life. This and nothing less than this is True Health.”

The visible world is the invisible organisation of energy ~ Heinz Pagels, Physicist

EFT is a very elegant technique, it can be used on issues such as headaches, pain, fear of public speaking, dyslexia and it may also be employed to treat more complex, serious and chronic issues such as Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer. Very often, in treating an emotional issue successfully with EFT, a related physical ailment will disappear or diminish and the same is true when working on a physical issue, related emotional issues melt away. We all know the effect emotions can have on our physiology, when we're afraid or nervous for example, our stomachs may tense up and become knotted, our hearts may beat faster, we start to sweat and our breathing becomes shallow and fast as we take shorter breaths. As the founder of EFT, Gary Craig, states in the discovery statement of EFT “All negative emotions are caused by a disruption in the body's energy system.” EFT works on this simple, but profound, truth.

The latest discoveries in physics and cell research are forging new links between the worlds of Science and Spirit. The latest science leads us to a worldview not unlike that held by the earliest civilizations, in which every material object in Nature was thought to possess a spirit. This is the world of quantum physics, in which matter and energy are completely entangled ~ Bruce Lipton, Ph.D author of Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles

Much research has shown us that the mind and body are inextricably linked, if not one and the same. Dr Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotion, Why you Feel the Way you Feel, states that the body is the “outward manifestation of the mind”, and what influences and directs the mind more than the beliefs we hold about our self, others and life? These beliefs create the filter through which we view, perceive and live life. As Bruce Lipton states in Biology of Belief, "When cells band together in creating multicellular communities, they follow the 'collective voice' of the organism, even if that voice dictates self-destructive behaviour. Our physiology and behaviour patterns conform to the 'truths' of the central voice, be they constructive or destructive beliefs." Skilled use of Emotional Freedom Techniques unveils core beliefs, which can then be tapped on to help dissolve and release them. Just like poet William Blake wrote “When the doors of perception are cleansed, everything will appear to man as it is, infinite”. When we dissolve beliefs that do not serve our highest good, we too will see that we are infinite and therefore have infinite potential, possibility and power.

From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other - above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labours of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received ~ Albert Einstein

The phenomenon in which EFT often works best when we tap with others rather than alone, is evidence to many of us that we are all energetically connected. We shift more blocked energy, we perceive things differently, we don't feel so alone, we feel connected, what’s really happening in my opinion is that we are HEALING our spirits. I believe this energetic or spiritual connection is also why distance healing and surrogate EFT works. I think this quote sums it up beautifully "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The founder of EFT, Gary Craig, has always held the vision of Emotional Freedom Techniques bringing us closer to who we truly are: spiritual beings having a human experience, not the other way around. He is also a minister for A Course in Miracles and its philosophy is embedded in the very spirit of EFT: to love and accept ourselves unconditionally EVEN THOUGH we have issues. As mentioned previously, energy is also known as spirit, so, it is in raising our Life Energy, our Spirit, with the help of EFT that we will realise what Gary Craig wrote in his recent blog announcing his retirement “the exquisite beauty that is our birthright”. Thank you Gary for your beautiful gift of spirit and peace to the world.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Advent Calendar: 15 and 16 Dec 09-The Gift of The Christmas Spirit!

We apologize for faltering on placing a gift yesterday on the Advent calendar. The bears are still with us and we had to deal with a protest from one of our bee colonies. They have been making more than twice the quota outlined in their agreement for no extra pay! So I said to them but where is the Christmas cheer?

That was before the attack of the killer bees! That one was a real disaster as one of my visiting bears decided to steal their honey…when I asked him what was with that…after all wasn’t I as host providing enough? He said to me he forgot he was just a normal Canadian Black Bear and for a second had a vision that he was a modern day Winnie the Pooh….he quickly got over that notion when the actual Winnie the Pooh showed up and said…

“Oh bother…I think I have an impersonator out here!”

It’s how it is when you have a menagerie of animals as your house guests! But hey it’s all in keeping with the Christmas spirit.

So to make up for it hopefully today’s installation with be in double dose and cover well both days of the calendar! Today’s post will be as sometimes is… identical on all three blogs as this blog post in its entirety seems to cover aspects of life normally explored on each of them. So today I speak to cover both Tue 15 and Wed 16 Dec when I present the gift of:

The Christmas Spirit!

And explain what it is for me and how I feel connected to it in song through …The Cherry Tree Carol!

Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol or thing that connects you to the Christmas Spirit?

The purple elephant would like to know. Check the little Christmas poll we’ve launched to find out by looking to the top left side bar of the Meady’s Musings blog.

Now here’s what Meady’s Musings Production considers to be the Christmas spirit…

Now there is comfort…there is joy…and love…the sense of warmth…the sense of familiarity…the need to feel accepted and loved…and on and on and on…it goes! All of these are things most people feel from time to time a need for…or either feel all fulfilled because they have it if only momentarily. And when they don’t have it they have hope to one day find it and some then well they pray for it…

Some people look for it in its pure and natural state while others look for it cloaked as something else...food…sex…toys…money…cars…house…the next big thrill…an adrenaline rush…fame…who knows really…
For many ‘Christmas’ and ‘The Christmas Spirit’ is about searching and focusing a little bit more excitedly and steadfastly on fulfilling these needs…but these are needs we have not only all year through but all life through! However ‘Christmas’ for some is like a great big magnifying glass! So people go about buying, fixing, organizing, inviting…doing all the things they do on a mini scale all year long on a much grander scale to fulfill these needful longings whatever they may be…or as Stephen King once phrased it in a title of a book…we try to acquire the “Needful Things”.

So for us here at Meady’s Musings Production house (overflowing with our animal muses as we are) really ‘The Christmas Spirit’ if analyzed boils down to the need to find this something out there…ourselves…the One…the Universe…our connection…our life purpose even? Perhaps everything in life in the end can be boiled down to the need to find out a few key things:

Who are we?

How did we come to exist?

Do we ever cease to exist?

What are we here for?

Most of us however give up asking those questions when we realize the truth is we don’t know for sure…and either (or in some combination of it depending on our mood) give in to a search for pleasure or surrender to prayer…or lose ourselves in seva (the Hindu term for service to mankind) or this or that…no matter how good or bad any of it sounds…it’s no different in the sense that all of us are clueless in the end if we admit it to each other!

After all we are just this stream of energy flowing forward (or expanding perhaps) and we don’t even know where…but I feel most people eventually come to the realization we are ourselves just spirit and so indeed we are ‘The Christmas Spirit’ too! It flows through us…it is light…or perhaps love and its pure, clear light!

So every year I feel connected to ‘The Christmas Spirit’ or ‘Self’ based on my just explained definition by some Christmas carol or the other. This year I was reminded of ‘The Christmas Spirit’ by this carol the most…the Cherry Tree carol. Here is why…

-One of the centers of focus in the song is a Cherry Tree
Trees…they ground me…I always feel centered in the Universe to be under the shade of their love…and just looking at their great, steady buttresses…well who wouldn’t feel centered? I also feel further centered when I walk under their shade with my feet touching the soil…toes digging into it…

-A pregnant woman (with child in womb)
I think most will agree that we often wish we could return to the womb…the comfort and warmth of it and the love that many are filled with from the mother while in it. And on the whole after birth…the mother-child love bond…

-A universal spirit connection
From the womb a baby’s spirit reaches out and connects with that of a tree based on the request of another spirit…its mother…and lo and behold the great and mighty tree bends and into the hand of the mother she has cherries by command! WOW! Doesn’t get anymore profound than that…and in that moment as the cherries touch the mother’s hand…three great spirits connect! WOW! Awesome!

“Oh! Look thou Joseph...I have cherries by command!”

Now let’s listen to it sung by Joan Baez who just adds to ‘The Christmas Sprit’ of it for me as she sings it straight from her spirit to mines!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Advent Calendar:Mon 14 Dec-The Gift that are Bears!

The bears have finally arrived here on Meadys' Musings Production's Advent calendar. The purple elephant and little mouse did finish the house keeping on time but then fell asleep not awaking in time to pick the bears up from the airport! The host of bears were so diverse in their nature and temperaments it made for quite an array of tricks and treats at the airport. Unfortunately while some were 'with little brain' there were others who felt they were 'smarter than the average bear' and ended up re-boarding outbound flights etc. However we are pleased to say at the end of this very long day all the bears are finally with us! And hopefully here to stay for the holidays! With the purple elephant and the little mouse! OLE!

Now on to exploring their gifts...

-On Meady's Musings we will talk a bit about their nature as studied in science! And also talk about some close encounters with bears of amazing kind!

-On UCP we will explore the famous bear of Hindu fame...Jambavan-The King of Bears of the Ramayan! And take a look at the entire bear army along with one of monkeys and other animals and fish as they build the Ram Setu...Ram's Bridge.

-On Books and Films Corner it was so tough to choose one bear over another as so many fine bears have populated books and films...filling the imagination of children as they clutch their teddy bears looking on...but we hope you enjoy some of our fav bear moments!

Bears in Scripture-Jambhavan the King of Bears

Oh Great Bear King Jambhavan !

Many an ode have been written about your monkey counterpart Hanuman
But not many have sat and penned about your name
Yet many argue you should be of similar fame
I know you are more a bear of action
Not one to complain or ask for such acclaim and affirmation
However you’ve worked alongside three great kings of Hinduism
Indra, Ram and Krishna
You are a chiranjivin
Immortal just like Hanuman Baba
You chose to stay on earth although you could have attained liberation
Thank you for this consideration
A student Emmanuel Torres by name
He saw the need to salute your skills of leadership
Oh great bear I’d have to say during the Ramayan battle your skills were indeed fantastic!
I recall with delight how you steered your bear subjects
Who alongside many a monkey and other animals, birds and fish
Helped fulfil Shri Rama’s wish
To build the setu...oh that great trans-oceanic bridge
And indeed it was a task well accomplished!
Live long in our hearts oh great bear king!
Your love for Shri Ram will forever be remembered by us
As we love him too!
Jai Shri Ram!

Copyright Meady's Musings Production 2009.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Advent Calendar:Sat 12 and Sun 13 Dec-Christmas Fun and Games with a bit of Housekeeping!

It's another weekend on the Advent calendar but yep the Purple Elephant and the little mouse are hard at work helping the carpenter get the roof ready and on the whole cleaning up after all the mice and elephants that visited the house for the gift of Friendship last Mon. They are determined to have the house ready for the bears on this coming Monday morning! They are even putting up a Nativity scene!

However in between they are still running off to have some Christmas fun and games and have also cued some tunes to keep them merry while they are at work!:) So here is the fun they have compiled with some help from the carpenter even! :)

Alvin and the Chipmunks

How to Make a Nativity Scene

Free online games with Christmas themes...the Purple elephant likes to play the Arctic Antics one where penguins help Santas into a pool of water by use of a trampoline but you might have your own favourite...check the site out here!

Christmas Like a Lullaby by John Denver

Friday, December 11, 2009

ADVENT CALENDAR: THURS 10 and FRI 11 DEC-The Gift of Hope

Meady’s Musings Production apologizes for this late entry to the calendar for Thurs 10 Dec and it covers Fri too. The thing is the house still has not recovered from the mice and elephants that showed up for the friendship blog on Mon and the carpenter has definitely declared that we can’t have the bears over until the full repairs are completed. Something about the structure of the roof and works were delayed due to rains.

So in the interim for this retroactive installation for Thurs 10 Dec (and Fri 11 Dec) we are going down memory lane and retrieve from the archives of last year’s Advent calendar the gift of hope that we had given on all three blogs as well back then. And start the weekend Christmas fun early on Fri! The Purple elephant and little mouse are so apologetic about the damage that this weekend I'm getting the treatment while they help with the repairs. They have compiled a selection of Youtube music vids that we will put up shortly for your enjoyment all weekend long! We will return fully on Mon with the Bears and more exciting gifts!

Hope you enjoy it!

On Meady’s Musings-The Gift of Hope in Words and Song!

On UCP-The Gift of Hope Through Prayer!

On Books and Films Corner-The Gift of Hope in Film!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advent Calendar:Wed 9 Dec-The Gift of Miracles!

Now it's a bit presumptious of our calendar to think we can give such a gift...the gift of miracles that is...because of course miracles are really gifts from the Universe or God or outer worldy beings or celestial beings or metaphysical ones or angels! So just see us as the channel or the messenger on the internet tonight!

As customary the calendar is going to celebrate this gift from the perspective of the three different Meady's Musings Production's blogs:

*On Meady's Musings-Miracles: Science Vs. Faith?
*On UCP- Miracles as defined in Catholicism
*On Books and Films Corner- Miracles on Film!

And the Bears are coming soon! However the carpenter advised that I should reinforce the roof of my house and do some other finishing touches to re-cover from the fall out of Mon night's blog on my house first! You know...like replace a few wooden beams here or window pane there...it's not easy when a few hundred mice were watching Youtube in your living room...who knows what they could have been gnawing on...Oh dear!


Taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia- New Advent

"The gift of miracles is one of those mentioned by St. Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians (12:9-10), among the extraordinary graces of the Holy Ghost. These have to be distinguished from the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost enumerated by the Prophet Isaias (11:2 sq.) and from the fruits of the Spirit given by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians (5:22). The seven gifts and the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost are always infused with sanctifying grace into the souls of the just. They belong to ordinary sanctity and are within the reach of every Christian. The gifts mentioned in the Epistle to the Corinthians are not necessarily connected with sanctity of life. They are special and extraordinary powers vouchsafed by God only to a few, and primarily for the spiritual good of others rather than of the recipient. In Greek they are called charismata, which name has been adopted by Latin authors- they are also designated in theological technical language as gratiae gratis datae (graces gratuitously given) to distinguish them from gratiae gratum facientes, which means sanctifying grace or any actual grace granted for the salvation of the recipient.

The gift of miracles, as one of these charismata, was expressly promised by Christ to His disciples (John 14:12; Mark 16:17-18), and St. Paul mentions it as abiding in the Church. "To another [is given] the grace of healing . . . To another, the working of miracles "- (1 Corinthians 12:9-10). Christ imparts this gift to chosen servants as He did to the Apostles and disciples, that His doctrine may become credible and that Christians may be confirmed in their faith, and this the Vatican Council has declared in chapter iii "De Fide". This gift is not given to any created being as a permanent habit or quality of the soul. The power of effecting supernatural works such as miracles is the Divine Omnipotence, which cannot be communicated to either men or angels. The greatest thaumaturgus that ever appeared in this world could not work miracles at will, neither had he any permanent gift of the kind abiding in his soul. The Apostles once asked concerning a cure of demoniacal possession: "Why could we not cast him out? Christ replied, this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:18 sqq.). Eliseus could not raise to life the son of the Sunamitess with his staff.

The grace of miracles is therefore only a transient gift by which God moves a person to do something which issues in a wonderful work. Sometimes God makes use instrumentally of contact with the relics of the saints, or visits to sacred shrines for this purpose. The miraculous work is always the effect of Omnipotence, nevertheless, men and angels may be said to work miracles in a threefold way

* by their prayers invoking a miraculous effect;
* by disposing or accommodating the materials, as it is said of the angels that they will in the resurrection collect the dust of the dead bodies that these may be re-animated by the Divine power,
* by performing some other act in co-operation with the Divine agency, as in the case of the application of relics, or of visits to holy places which God has marked out for special and extraordinary favours of this kind.

To Christ even as man, or to His humanity, was granted a perpetual and constant power of miracles. He was able of His free will to work them as often as He judged it expedient For this He had the ever-ready concurrence of His Divinity, although there was in His Humanity no permanent quality which could be the physical cause of miracles.

Benedict XIV tells us sufficient with regard to miracles in their relation to sanctity of life when explaining their estimate in the cause of the beatification and canonization of the saints. He says: It is the common opinion of theologians that the grace of miracles is a grace gratis data, and therefore that it is given, not only to the just but also to sinners (though only rarely). Christ says that He knows not those who have done evil, though they may have prophesied in His name, cast out devils in His name, and done many wonderful works. And the Apostle said that without charity he was nothing, though he might have faith to remove mountains. On this passage of the Apostle, Estius remarks:

For as it offers no contradiction to the Apostle that a man should have the gift of tongues or prophecy, or knowledge of mysteries, and excel in knowledge, which are first spoken of; or be liberal to the poor, or give his body to be burned for the name of Christ, which are afterwards spoken of and yet not have charity, so also there is no contradiction in a man having faith to remove mountains, and being without charity (Treatise on Heroic Virtue, III, 130).

These graces manifest themselves in two ways. One way as dwelling in the Church, teaching and sanctifying her, as, for example, when even a sinner in whom the Holy Ghost does not abide works miracles to show that the faith of the Church which he preaches is true. Hence the Apostle writes: God also bearing them witness by signs, and wonders, and divers miracles, and distributions of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will (Hebrews 2:4). In another way, the manifestation is made by the graces of the Holy Ghost as belonging to him who performs the works. Hence in Acts it is said that St. Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people (Acts 6:8). Here we have a distinction clearly drawn out as to the manner in which gratiae gratis datae may be to the advantage of the person receiving them as well as to the utility of others, and how it is that by these graces persons without sanctifying grace may perform signs and wonders for the good of others. But these are rare and exceptional cases and real miracles can never be performed by a sinner in proof of his own personal sanctity or in proof of error, because that would be a deception and derogatory to the sanctity of God Who alone can perform miracles."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Advent Calendar: Tue 8 Dec-The Gift of Christmas Cheer!

I have to tell ya...Meady's Musings Production's House was a real riot after the Friendship blog yesterday...the mouse invited all his family...and they all wanted to see the cartoon kahani (story) about their ancestral mice and the elephants. So I had a whole room of mice watching Youtube on one end of the house. And on the other end...well the purple elephant kept apologising to me and trying to ward off elephants from north, east, west and south...just all about! You see they too came...running up to one another in delight but the vibration it caused almost cracked the foundation of the house! I know it was all meant with friendship and love though...but the Purple Elephant I've never seen him so filled with glee but yet apologetic you see! :)Eventually trumpets died down and they all got the message that yes indeed they were loved but they simply couldn't converge on one small human house! LOL!

So this author is all tired out...knackered if you like! And she was preparing the customary three part blog...a main blog with a bit of different perspectives for each of her three blogs...and it was to be to talk about the gift that are bears! BUT...BUT...

The thought of the likes of Goldilocks and the Three Bears rummaging through her house...and perhaps Pooh tinkering in her kitchen looking for honey and heavens forbid getting stuck in a window or door after stuffing himself with fluff! OR OR...a grizzly at her door!??? Or other real liFe bears on her already shaken roof...well...it was enough for one day...so...that story was shelved for another day...more than likely tomorrow if all my readers promise...promise...NOT TO FEED THE BEARS! :)

So to fill my calendar with cheer today as I refuse to leave it bear...oops I mean bare! :) I salute Sesame Street as this is the year of its 40th anniversary and I've always loved their muppet cousins as well...and indeed you readers might know that John Denver and the Muppets singing together is some of my favourite Christmas music each year! And well no news to the whole blogosphere but we also lost MJ this year...gone too soon some say...say say! :) So he also forms part of the gift of cheer!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Advent Calendar: Mon 7 Dec 09- The Gift of Friendship

Today on the Advent calendar we will be celebrating the gift of Friendship! The same blog post on all three blogs today since like the Ghost of Christmases Past, Present and Future I believe on this particular posting all three of my blogs swirl into ONE!

I was inspired to give this gift here on the calendar because I’ve been touched by many great acts of friendship in the blogosphere this year. And I count myself lucky enough to have been on the receiving end so many a time! To be honest I’ve been giving too but to recall the cliché here… “Self praise is no praise”. So I won’t be recalling what I’ve done but what has been done for me! But of course all great friendships aren’t about keeping score anyway. All the same I have to single out some people who have been making my blog posts all the more decorative or more inspirational all year long! And also my followers (I don’t have the application up and I don’t keep score) but I know I have a handful of people. Those who if not always at least from time to time read my posts and even comment if not on the actual blogs, perhaps on Intent where I re-post or on Facebook where I might even get a thumbs up!

But first a drum roll please for these two who have contributed directly to the creativity and or spirituality of this blog this year! Ladies and Gentlemen…Elephants and Mice! :
A big round of applause for…ADRIANA OCHOA and Brother/Deacon GREG KIRK!

Adriana is the seamstress…Oh yes! Oh yes! She is the one who has clothed my animals if you didn’t notice they now have their Santa hats…we decided to let the animals remain more au naturel after all we are not trying to be the new Disney here! And the amount of cloth it was taking to cover the Purple Elephant we decided to use some for other draping which you will see about the sites and then give the rest of the cloth to that wonderful man from India the calendar celebrated last year when we learnt about him from the Global Oneness Project …you can reminded of his lovely work here! (NOTE: This donation is only in spirit for now but if I or you are ever in India or have a way to get cloth to this lovely drive…I would do so in the material world and perhaps you should consider doing so too…)

But back to the seamstress…she is more than that…she is the one who based on my ideas for these blogs and Meady’s Musings Production breathed new life into my old Meady’s Musings Production logo and also designed my UCP-Universal Collective Prayer banner. And yes all free of charge only paid for in friendship. This given that she is a professional at her job as you can perhaps see from the great work she does displayed here. She also did the poster for my Holi blog earlier this year. If you need to reach her to create something for you email us admin@meadysmusings.com

So in a sense she is the co-mother of the Purple Elephant and his little mouse friend. Although again the Purple Elephant and the little mouse well really they have a long line of ancestral friendship you know…you can check out this story to understand a bit more about their bond…but they have also daily been working together on their personal bond…and let this be said they would lay their lives down for each other as well as either one of their mothers! :

Now speaking of cloth we come to a man of the cloth…my brother in UCP-Universal Collective Prayer…Deacon Greg Kirk! Sometimes when I speak of him or communicate with him tears comes to my eyes…and I’m not ashamed to say this…after all we are both UCPers and so unashamedly surrender onto the divine in all! However I was so excited to work on this Advent calendar with both him and my soul sister Adriana that I was in excitement and Universe inspired tears daily! If you thought the Purple Elephant was excited well you can’t imagine how it was for his mother!
So over this weekend as both animals got their clothes and thanked the seamstress and the prayers by Bro Greg had already been said…I really felt moved to sing this song of friendship…when my nieces and nephew (as we listened to it) explained to me about it…it is from the 2009 Hindi film New York…Hai Junoon! The Youtube vid comes with translations and I hope you enjoy it!

I also dedicate it to all my friends from Intent…many of whom are now part of my experimental virtual book writing café on Facebook-The Deliciously Divine Café. Also some other friends who avidly read me like Maria and Neerupa and just all my other friends who have been there for me always even if they hate to read or won’t read my blog! And for those who come and read here and in your own way forge a bond with me by reading my words, thoughts and of my deeds without making our bond known…and others who for several reasons won’t be mentioned here but are dear to the Mother of the Purple Elephant’s heart.

OK so now I’m sounding like if I’m getting an Academy Award or something…(do I need to put the little copyright symbol when I write that?) LOL! But really I should also name some others dear to me…I know how it goes you name some and leave out others and then….TROUBLE even if your readership is not that large at all! But you know I love you all…after all one of these here blogs is UCP-Universal Collective Prayer so it encompasses the one in the all and the all in the one! But before I cue Hai Junoon! I must bow and then shout out too to some other marvelous Intenters and Deliciously Divine Café goers…

Ruch- You always seem like a partner in crime…perhaps we might be the real life purple elephant and mouse!

Grandpa Ed- Enough said…I mean you are my new Grandpa now since all my blood related grandparents are out of the material plane. Your wit and metaphysical talks…your walks in the English countryside…I hope you one day meet Winnie the Pooh!

Noreen- Your Irish accent so breath taking…you are a quiet listener…always the supporter…a deliciously divine tea drinker indeed!

Garima and Shweta- Like new found sisters…

Tim- The ever present and eternal supporter…thumbs up to you too my friend!

So many more…Yogi Rajesh, Vashi, Brother Dom, Mr. Phillip Zeuner, Danes and Raj Aurora. Glad to make your acquaintance Sirs!

- not an Intenter nor in the virtual café but we have exchanged many a thought and gift and I’m delighted that in this international mix of Delicious Divinity there is at least one other Trini face! Of course I’m sure there are more to be found…but for sure you would have been one of those faces that made me see that also a Trini can blog like this you see! And thank you for the Freedom speech at the local candle4tibet event last year which as you will know was one of the events that led to the creation of the blog UCP!

And My Fairy Godmother was Sara now Kara we all so miss you!

And just like those Academy Award winning speeches I’m sure I’ve left out many…and of course as I said there are some that I’ve not mentioned here on purpose but the connection and thankfulness is understood…after all just like the three ghosts swirl into one…sometimes when one is so close they are not distinct from you when giving praise as to give praise to them would be the same as that tricky self praise business…so I’m sure you guys know who you are! ;)

Luckily unlike the Academy Awards I can cue my music whenever I like but let me cue it now…Ladies, Gentlemen, Elephants and Mice…Beings on the Material plane and those in the Spirit world too…here it is my Friendship song to you…Hai Junoon!

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