Dear Readers and Writers, Happy New Year!
A good place to start the year 2009 is with the sixty-third chapter of Tao-te Ching. (See under “Readings”) In this verse the sage Lao Tzu asks us to pay attention to the present moment, to the task at hand, and not worry about the next moment or the trillions of future moments that would follow it. It is only by doing little things that we can accomplish something great.
I have planned a wonderful year of “Readings” and “Writings” to share with you. In May this year, we will finish reading Tao-te Ching and start Dhammapada, a collection of vivid verses based on the teachings of the Buddha that were preserved by his students. The topics in this collection of harmonious poetry are human emotions and thoughts that point to a way that anyone can journey upon.
Under “Writings” I will continue to post about the Hindu goddess images as they emerged and gathered around them flotsams and jetsam’s of stories, signs and symbols; as they blossomed and jelled while adjusting to cultural, religious and social changes in Indian art history. We will try to understand what the gestures, postures and symbols of the popular North Indian goddesses mean. The goddesses include Sita, Parvati, Durga, Lakshmi, Radha, Sarasvati and Kali.
Under the “Home Page” I will continue to share with you the works of the authors I will read, the workshops I will offer and the writings that will be published. Currently I am writing the eighth story for a collection of short stories tentatively titled “The Marginalized.” The stories are about individuals who live on the fringes of families, communities and societies such as widows, brides, untouchables, immigrants, minorities, sages, loners and so on.
Writing for the website Spirituality-Sparks is enriching but equally inspiring is spending time in solitude. When I read, sleep or shower, solitude is right there. I used to be unaware of its presence. In fact, it was forgotten and forsaken by me. Then one day, in meditation, I came face to face with it. Becoming aware of its presence changed my life for the better. I highly recommend a daily date with solitude. It is the most faithful of friends. Nourish this secret friend. In time, when it envelops you in its secure embrace, you too will feel its comforting presence.
I would love to hear from you and would appreciate any comments and suggestions you may have about improving the website. Please keep reading and invite your family members and friends to read it too.
Madhu B. Wangu
My key thought for 2009 is “Fewer, better.” I think it fits with your reading of the sixty-third chapter. I look forward to your insights through the year!