Tag Archives: Prayer

A Christmas Message from Paramahansa Yogananda (for the first Sunday of Advent)

Paramahansa Yogananda at Niagara Falls

 

A Christmas Vow

“I will prepare for the coming of the Omnipresent baby Christ by cleaning the cradle of my consciousness and sense attachments; and by polishing it with deep, daily, divine meditation, introspection, and discrimination. I will remodel the cradle with the dazzling soul-qualities of brotherly love, humbleness, faith, desire for God, will power, self-control, renunciation and unselfishness, that I may fittingly celebrate the birth of the Divine Child.”

A Christmas Message from Paramahansa Yogananda (for the first Sunday of Advent)

Paramahansa Yogananda at Niagara Falls 

A Christmas Vow 
“I will prepare for the coming of the Omnipresent baby Christ by cleaning the cradle of my consciousness and sense attachments; and by polishing it with deep, daily, divine meditation, introspection, and discrimination. I will remodel the cradle with the dazzling soul-qualities of brotherly love, humbleness, faith, desire for God, will power, self-control, renunciation and unselfishness, that I may fittingly celebrate the birth of the Divine Child.

(MetaphysicalMeditations) by Paramahansa Yogananda

Urban Simplicity.

A simple but powerful prayer…

This is a prayer I carry with me in my wallet, I have for a couple years now. It’s so simple but at the same time so powerful…a prayer of transformation and service. It helps center me and remind me what is real and important. You’d think by now I’d have it memorized, but I don’t. Thus every now and again I take it out and read it. And sometimes it’s just what is needed…

Urban Simplicity.

A simple but powerful prayer…

This is a prayer I carry with me in my wallet, I have for a couple years now. It’s so simple but at the same time so powerful…a prayer of transformation and service. It helps center me and remind me what is real and important. You’d think by now I’d have it memorized, but I don’t. Thus every now and again I take it out and read it. And sometimes it’s just what is needed…

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#612), some studs, and a couple other things…

So first of all before I say anything about the snow I have to say that my heart and prayers go out to those who may be still stranded, and especially to the families that have lost loved ones in this storm.

Though I have moved away a few times I have always found my way back to my hometown of Buffalo and have weathered many storms in my 53 years, including the Blizzard of ’77 when I was a teenager. But this storm was different. The path it cut was more like a tornado snow storm, this is why people are referring to it as the “knife.” It’s path was somewhat narrow and direct. And the thunder and lightening it produced was really eerie. The media keeps saying that Buffalo is buried in snow but truth be told only one area of the city is actually buried (South Buffalo). From what I can tell most of the brunt of the storm hit south and east of the city. The most that we (most of the city) received was 10″ or less. In some places it was just a dusting. But a few miles away the snow was and is life threatening (to date ten people have perished). Two of my sisters live east of the city where there is more than five feet of snow…not drifting because of the wind but just simply five feet deep of snow! (and I rarely use exclamation points.) There is no way to push it out of the way–because of it’s mass–in the traditional snow plow way, it has to be scooped into trucks and hauled away.

My heart and prayers go out to those still stranded. And what is even more worrisome is that the temperatures are supposed to rise, which will cause flooding. And the weight of wet snow is also a concern for roofs collapsing (some have already collapsed, including that of a nursing home which resulted in two deaths) .

Pictured above is my bike as I went grocery shopping last evening; I had just put on the steel studded snow tires. But it seems too trite to even talk about this with the devastation happening just a few miles from where I type these words. If you believe in prayer I ask you to pray for the people south and east of this city, and if you don’t please just send kind and healing thoughts (which of course is a type of prayer in itself).

Peace, and thank you.

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#612), some studs, and a couple other things…

So first of all before I say anything about the snow I have to say that my heart and prayers go out to those who may be still stranded, and especially to the families that have lost loved ones in this storm.

Though I have moved away a few times I have always found my way back to my hometown of Buffalo and have weathered many storms in my 53 years, including the Blizzard of ’77 when I was a teenager. But this storm was different. The path it cut was more like a tornado snow storm, this is why people are referring to it as the “knife.” It’s path was somewhat narrow and direct. And the thunder and lightening it produced was really eerie. The media keeps saying that Buffalo is buried in snow but truth be told only one area of the city is actually buried (South Buffalo). From what I can tell most of the brunt of the storm hit south and east of the city. The most that we (most of the city) received was 10″ or less. In some places it was just a dusting. But a few miles away the snow was and is life threatening (to date ten people have perished). Two of my sisters live east of the city where there is more than five feet of snow…not drifting because of the wind but just simply five feet deep of snow! (and I rarely use exclamation points.) There is no way to push it out of the way–because of it’s mass–in the traditional snow plow way, it has to be scooped into trucks and hauled away.

My heart and prayers go out to those still stranded. And what is even more worrisome is that the temperatures are supposed to rise, which will cause flooding. And the weight of wet snow is also a concern for roofs collapsing (some have already collapsed, including that of a nursing home which resulted in two deaths) .

Pictured above is my bike as I went grocery shopping last evening; I had just put on the steel studded snow tires. But it seems too trite to even talk about this with the devastation happening just a few miles from where I type these words. If you believe in prayer I ask you to pray for the people south and east of this city, and if you don’t please just send kind and healing thoughts (which of course is a type of prayer in itself).

Peace, and thank you.

Urban Simplicity.

Stalking Lucille…

Okay. So first a couple of things. Lucille is not a person, it is this bird…a great blue heron. I posted about her somewhat recently here. And to be honest I am not sure if Lucille is even a female bird, I just named her that because she (it) looks so incredibly graceful. She nests somewhere on Bird Island Pier (click here to see a map). I first got a glimpse of her last year when I was out taking these photos of the Peace Bridge at night. I was riding my bike back up the breakwall and as I passed her she flew in front of me and I almost fell of my bike (its a bit creepy being out there by yourself at night). Anyhow, I went out there again today in search of her…and yes she was there. And she toyed with me (I really believe this). She would let me get about (I’m guessing) 50 feet from her, close enough to snap her photo, then fly off and land down the wall. And then the same scenario would take place. To get a clearer picture of this breakwall (if you haven’t been here), there is about a two mile “public” section that is somewhat maintained that runs parallel with the Niagara River and the Black Rock Channel and it juts out into Lake Erie. But where the public area ends it keeps going for another mile or so. And this is where it gets really interesting…sort of feral. I ride my bike to the end of the public area, lock it to a railing, and walk the rest of the way out. It’s un-maintained, crumbling, and full of birds (hence it’s name). It is narrow for most of the way (as seen in some of the photos), and you have to descend and ascend broken areas, but it widens out at the end (as pictured in the first image below). The photo below is taken at the very end of the pier looking back. Even though it is only about 1/4 mile off shore it is quite literally another world; it is quite breathtaking. I was so overwhelmed at its beauty all I could do was sit down and pray, mediate, and give thanks. When I opened my eyes after meditation I half-expected Lucille to be sitting next to me, but she remained elusive. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Urban Simplicity.

Stalking Lucille…

Okay. So first a couple of things. Lucille is not a person, it is this bird…a great blue heron. I posted about her somewhat recently here. And to be honest I am not sure if Lucille is even a female bird, I just named her that because she (it) looks so incredibly graceful. She nests somewhere on Bird Island Pier (click here to see a map). I first got a glimpse of her last year when I was out taking these photos of the Peace Bridge at night. I was riding my bike back up the breakwall and as I passed her she flew in front of me and I almost fell of my bike (its a bit creepy being out there by yourself at night). Anyhow, I went out there again today in search of her…and yes she was there. And she toyed with me (I really believe this). She would let me get about (I’m guessing) 50 feet from her, close enough to snap her photo, then fly off and land down the wall. And then the same scenario would take place. To get a clearer picture of this breakwall (if you haven’t been here), there is about a two mile “public” section that is somewhat maintained that runs parallel with the Niagara River and the Black Rock Channel and it juts out into Lake Erie. But where the public area ends it keeps going for another mile or so. And this is where it gets really interesting…sort of feral. I ride my bike to the end of the public area, lock it to a railing, and walk the rest of the way out. It’s un-maintained, crumbling, and full of birds (hence it’s name). It is narrow for most of the way (as seen in some of the photos), and you have to descend and ascend broken areas, but it widens out at the end (as pictured in the first image below). The photo below is taken at the very end of the pier looking back. Even though it is only about 1/4 mile off shore it is quite literally another world; it is quite breathtaking. I was so overwhelmed at its beauty all I could do was sit down and pray, mediate, and give thanks. When I opened my eyes after meditation I half-expected Lucille to be sitting next to me, but she remained elusive. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Urban Simplicity.

Let Me Walk in Beauty (a Native American Prayer)

 Image found here

Let Me Walk in Beauty

O Great Spirit,

whose voice I hear in the winds

and whose breath gives life to all the world,

hear me.

I am small and weak.

I need your strength and wisdom.

 

Let me walk in beauty

and let my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things you have made

and my ears grow sharp to hear your voice.

 

Make me wise so that I may understand the things

you have taught my people.

Let me learn the lessons you have hidden

in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength not to be greater than my brother or sister

but to fight my greatest enemy, myself.

Make me always ready

to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes

So when life fades as the fading sunset

my spirit may come to you without shame.

 

Great Spirit of love, come to me with the power of the North.

Make me courageous when the cold winds of life fall upon me.

 

Give me strength and endurance for everything

that is harsh, everything that hurts,

everything that makes me squint.

Make me move through life ready to take what comes from the North.

 

Spirit who comes out of the East,

come to me with the power of the rising sun.

Let there be light in my word.

Let there be light on the path that I walk.

Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day.

Never let me be burdened with sorrow by not

starting over.

 

Great Spirit of creation,

send me the warm and soothing winds from the South.

Comfort me and caress me when I am tired and cold.

Enfold me as your gentle breezes enfold your leaves on the trees.

And as you give to all the earth your warm, moving wind,

Give to me so that I may grow close to you in warmth.

 

Great life-giving Spirit,

I face the West,

the direction of the sundown.

Let me remember every day that the moment will come

when my sun will go down.

Never let me forget that I must fade into you.

Give me beautiful color.

Give me a great sky for setting,

and when it is time to meet you,

I come with glory.

 

And Giver of all life, I pray to you from the earth,

help me to remember as I touch the earth

that I am little and need your pity.

Help me to be thankful for the gift of the earth

and never to walk hurtfully on the world.

Bless to love what comes from mother earth

and teach me how to love your gifts.

 

Great Spirit of the heavens,

lift me up to you

that my heart may worship you

and come to you in glory.

Hold in my memory that you are my Creator,

greater than I,

eager for my good life.

Let everything that is in the world

lift my mind,

and my heart,

and my life to you

so that we may come always to you

in truth and in heart.

Urban Simplicity.

Let Me Walk in Beauty (a Native American Prayer)

 Image found here

Let Me Walk in Beauty

O Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me.
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty
and let my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears grow sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength not to be greater than my brother or sister
but to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me always ready
to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes
So when life fades as the fading sunset
my spirit may come to you without shame.

Great Spirit of love, come to me with the power of the North.
Make me courageous when the cold winds of life fall upon me.

Give me strength and endurance for everything
that is harsh, everything that hurts,
everything that makes me squint.
Make me move through life ready to take what comes from the North.

Spirit who comes out of the East,
come to me with the power of the rising sun.
Let there be light in my word.
Let there be light on the path that I walk.
Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day.
Never let me be burdened with sorrow by not
starting over.

Great Spirit of creation,
send me the warm and soothing winds from the South.
Comfort me and caress me when I am tired and cold.
Enfold me as your gentle breezes enfold your leaves on the trees.
And as you give to all the earth your warm, moving wind,
Give to me so that I may grow close to you in warmth.

Great life-giving Spirit,
I face the West,
the direction of the sundown.
Let me remember every day that the moment will come
when my sun will go down.
Never let me forget that I must fade into you.
Give me beautiful color.
Give me a great sky for setting,
and when it is time to meet you,
I come with glory.

And Giver of all life, I pray to you from the earth,
help me to remember as I touch the earth
that I am little and need your pity.
Help me to be thankful for the gift of the earth
and never to walk hurtfully on the world.
Bless to love what comes from mother earth
and teach me how to love your gifts.

Great Spirit of the heavens,
lift me up to you
that my heart may worship you
and come to you in glory.
Hold in my memory that you are my Creator,
greater than I,
eager for my good life.
Let everything that is in the world
lift my mind,
and my heart,
and my life to you
so that we may come always to you
in truth and in heart.

Urban Simplicity.

Christmas…

I’ve posted this Christmas prayer/mediation by Paramahansa Yogananda for the past few Christmases. I find it so beautiful that I thought I would post it again. But the difficult part, the nearly impossible part (at least for me), is living up to it…but it’s good, I think, to have something to aspire to. Merry Christmas. Peace. 
 
A Christmas Vow

I will prepare for the coming of the Omnipresent baby Christ by cleaning the cradle of my consciousness, now rusty with selfishness, indifference, and sense attachments; and by polishing it with deep, daily, divine meditation, introspection and discrimination. I will re model the cradle with the dazzling soul qualities of brotherly love, humbleness, faith, desire for God-realization, will power, self-control, renunciation, and unselfishness, that I may fittingly celebrate the birth of the Divine Child.”
–Paramahansa Yogananda

Urban Simplicity.

A Pin, a Quote, and a Prayer…a few thoughts on peace

The above image is of a pin that was given to me yesterday by a friend (thanks Jane!). It’s a miniature version of a sign that I’ve had in the front garden for the past years. Actually the sign in front of my house is the second sign…the first was stolen (how’s that for irony). It’s an image/slogan that began with Sister Karen Klimczak. Anyhow, I was going to write a long post on how much I enjoy having the sign in front of my house (though I don’t always believe I do what it says), how much it means to me, and how powerful and beautiful I think the below quote and prayer are…and also how much inner work I feel I need to do to be able to actually embody some of the things I share on this blog. But I don’t know where to begin. The image, I believe, and the below words, speak for themselves.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

The Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

A Few Things I Saw Today

I’ve used this comparison before but have to mention it again…you see a lot more when on a bike than in a car but you see ten times that when you walk. Because, like a car, when you ride a bike you have to stay in control–or at  least keep the bike in control lest you fall. But when walking, especially in a neighborhood that is familiar to you, you can walk somewhat aimlessly and take it all in…and that’s just what I did today. I have a couple things laying heavy on me–concerns and decisions to make–and one of the best things to help level my thoughts (besides prayer and meditation) is a good contemplative walk. I really believe that there is art and beauty all around us–even in the middle of a city–and that all one has to do is look. Anyhow, these are just a few of the things I saw today on my short walk (a mile each way) to the health club.
I saw the above squirrel–rather, he saw me first–as I approached it at the corner of  Delaware and Summer Street. It darted from in front of me, forgetting the chestnut it was chewing, then came back–looking at me the entire time–to retrieve it before scurrying onto the fence to finish it’s consumption. He was, I’m guessing 30ft/9m from me–truly taxing the zoom on my little point-and-shoot camera–but I’m sure he was watching me out of the corner of his eye. I watched him for a moment and wondered if he ever worried about money or paying bills or about anything for that  matter. Likely not. His concerns are honed to where his next chestnut is, how secure his shelter, or if there are any predators about.
The photo directly below is the shadow of a fence very near where the squirrel was sitting; the light seemed just right at the moment I was standing there.
The next photo below, and in the middle, is of a flower I’m sure I saw while in full bloom (I walk/ride this route often). In the height of season it was I’m sure, white, fluffy, and full of life. But now, brown and withered, it still stood defiant of it’s decay. T
And the most bottom photo (and this is my favorite) is a little hidden gem in the city. I’ve photographed this path before and in all seasons though not this close up (meaning I walked down it a bit). It’s a private path (a rear entrance to someone’s home) but to me it looks like it could be somewhere in rural Europe. What’s interesting is that it is located on Summer Street in the city of Buffalo.
Walking is good for your physical health but also good for your mental/emotional health, at least for me it is. So the next time you feel anxious or need to work something out internally, go for a walk, you’ll be amazed at what you see in your own neighborhood…but don’t forget to bring a camera.

Urban Simplicity.