Saturday, 20 December 2014

My Movies...

Like Mr Toad said, the best stories aren't the true ones. They're the 'what-would-have-happened-if-I'd-thought-of-it-then-instead-of-ten-minutes-later' stories, because they are the ones which are truly our own. A movie about truth and falsehood, and why we prefer false.

Truth, it seems, is my thing. Michael Ende's strange tale brought to life in the German-American movie about how stories get into our minds and make their own truths there ...

Rachel Portman's magical music and Mr Caine's quirk bring to life this tale of medical ethics, telling how there are different truth-rules for different places

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Prayers for Everyone

'Prayer' originally just meant an entreaty, an earnest request or an appeal. It doesn't need to have any God or gods in it, but it ought to be sincere, and heartfelt. Like these;

The Scottish Grace is known in several versions, some from long before Robbie Burns famously used it at a gathering in Selkirk. This version could suit all people;
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae fae awthings be thankit. 
The old grace 
For that which we are about to receive,
May we be truly thankful
"An Atheist Benediction" by Adam Lee
As we come together to share this meal, let us first remember how it came to us and be thankful to the people who made it possible.
This food was born from the bounty of the Earth, in warm sunlight, rich earth and cool rain.
May it nourish us, in body and mind, and provide us with the things that are good for living.
We are grateful to those who cultivated it, those who harvested it, those who brought it to us and those who prepared it.
May its consumption bring about the pleasures of friendship, love and good company.
And as we partake of this food in each other’s company, as what was once separate from all of us becomes part of each of us, may we also remember what we have in common and what brings us all together.
May this sharing of food foster peace and understanding among us, may it bring us to the recognition that we depend on each other for all the good we can ever hope to receive, and that all the good we can hope to accomplish rests in helping others in turn.
May it remind us that as we reach out to others to brighten their lives, so are our lives brightened in turn.

By Ajahn Chah
"Do everything with a mind that lets go. Don’t accept praise or gain or anything else. If you let go a little you a will have a little peace; if you let go a lot you will have a lot of peace; if you let go completely you will have complete peace."
'For Luna' by Julia Butterfly Hill
May we love ever more.
May we motivate ourselves to committed love in Action.
May we motivate ourselves to live the life we wish to see in the world.
May we be the transformation we wish to see in the world.
From the inside out . . .
From the roots branching upwards . . .
From the heart
to thought
to word
to action.
Through life's trials and hardships
we can arise beautiful and free.
The Serenity Prayer of Karl Reinhold Niebuhr
Grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
From the Book of Ecclesiastes (3:1)
To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
By Matthew of Rievaulx (c1150)
The winter will lose its cold,
as the snow will be without whiteness,
The night without darkness,
the heavens without stars,
the day without light,
The flower will lose its beauty,
all fountains their water,
the sea its fish,
the tree its birds,
the forest its beasts,
the earth its harvest -
All these things will pass before
anyone breaks the bonds of our love,
And before I cease caring for you in my heart.
May your days be happy in number as flakes of snow,
May your nights be peaceful,
and may you be without troubles.
By the 'Old Teacher', Lao-Tze (5thCent BCE)
If there is to be peace in the world, There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations, There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities, There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors, There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home, There must be peace in the heart.

By Mahatma Gandhi
When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.  Think of it - always
From Jennifer Beahan:
We give thanks to Nature for all it has provided us.
For Family and Friends who walk with us throughout the years.
We give thanks for those who have touched our hearts and made us smile.
We give thanks to those who have alleviated suffering,
Who have championed a cause,
For those who have resisted unjust laws,
Who have fought against oppression and injustice, and have fought for the freedoms we enjoy.
We give thanks for those who have sacrificed their lives to make our world a better place to be.
We give thanks for those who have advanced our understanding of medicine and science.
Who have helped explain the workings of the Universe.
We give thanks to those who have applied paint to canvas in a way that stirs feelings deep within us,
Who have composed songs which make our spirits soar,
To all the people – past, present and future – who strive to better our world and make life worth living, to these people, we give our highest praise and our endless thanks.”
From The Conference of the Birds by Attar of Nishapur
All that you have uttered,
all that you have heard,
all that you knew,
and all that you have seen,
all of it from the very start
is just the beginning of the fairy tale.
Disappear. This ruin is not your abode.
What matters is the essence of truth . . .
When the True Sun shines eternal,
does it matter if here is an atom
or here, its shadow?