Archive for August, 2009

Its Been A Year!

I just realized that it has been a year and 12 days since I started this web journal – aka Blog.  Where did the time go?  So let me look at some of the statistics.  IN that time, I have made 41 posts and received 44 comments, not so great.  I was spammed 5247 times, thanks Akisment for catching all those.  The journal as 58 subscribers – cool! and has been visited over 4500 times.  I had a nice counter plugin/widget that was working that suddenly gave up last week for whatever reason, so I have a new stats plugin, Counterize II, working but it does not have a nice sidebar widget to report it. Those 44 posts have been categorized 16 times as Announcements, 9 times as Images, 8 times as Inspirations, 4 times as Moonsighting, 23 times as Reflections and 2 times as Workshops.  Now of course if add all those up its more than 44 posts, so obviously some were marked under multiple categories.

So all in all, as seen from the post stats, the journal has lived up to its subtitle - “The Journal of Insights Through Reflections on Nature”, – for the most part anyway.  Have I “panned” across all that is photographic, probably not, but give me some time.  In my first “Real Post”, Calm Down, I wondered if the time I spent writing and updating the journal with new content was going to be worth it.  For the most part I feel that it has been a worthwhile endeavor.  I was hoping to see more feedback and discussion take place, but the feedback that I did receive has been positive and hopefully the articles I have written have been of benefit.  I guess the real proof has to come from the readers.

So I want to hear back from all the readers of this journal, have the posts I have made been of benefit?  Is there anything that you would want me to write on that I have not?  What about the journal itself:  Is it easy to read?  Do you like the format? Are the links to other blogs and websites relevant?  Do you have a blog or website that you would consider having a reciprocal link to?  Would you like to seem me change the journal and in which ways?

So lets hear it.  I hope the next year will be as good as what has past, but I really hope it will be much better.

Peace.

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Reflections

Reflections abound in our world. No matter where we look we see reflections. The light that that reaches our eyes is merely a reflection, in and of itself, of objects that exist in the world. In fact light, pure light, is invisible to our eyes. There is light streaming between you and the monitor right now as you read this that you cannot see. Light only becomes visible to our eyes after it has interacted with creation. In pure light we are blind and in the absence of light we are blind as well. That reflected light is really nothing more than shade – a mixture of pure light and darkness, and it is only in the shade that we can see. It is in these reflections that we can see all the various shades of color and luminosity. It is in the shade that we can start to understand the world we live in.

Reflections on Pebble Beach

Reflections on Pebble Beach

 

The sage Muhammad Ibn Al-Habib in his Diwan (a litany of poems sung to melodies) has a couplet in one of the poems that has a meaning translated as “Truly created things are meanings established as images.  Whoever understands this is among the people of discernment.”   For years I struggled with understanding why I would train my camera on a certain scene, why I found a particular arrangement of objects appealing, why sometimes things looked better than normal.  After coming across this couplet, I froze.  I finally understood that the images I captured had meaning in them, and I now had to reflect on those very ‘reflections’ to find out what they meant to me, and possibly what they might mean to anyone else who looked at them.  And while I am not sure yet as to what the photograph that graces this post means yet, I do know that the moments that occurred that evening when this photograph was made followed  a downpour that followed a clap of thunder that followed a brisk cold wind on a gray and dreary day.  And afterwards it was as calm as can be.  I have more reflecting to do.

Peace.

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A Time to Reflect

Reflection of trees in the Big Sur river
Reflection of trees in the Big Sur river

 

Four nights ago we entered into a special month, the month of Ramadan.  For close to 1/4 of the world’s population, this is a month of worship, a month of struggle and a month of reflection.  Prayer and devotional recitation of the Quran increase throughout the day but especially at night, and sometimes well into the wee hours of darkness while the world sleeps.  For the entire month, Muslims abstain from eating any food or drinking anything as well as abstaining from any marital relations with spouses during daylight hours, – these being the outward acts of fasting.

But fasting has an internal aspect as well, one that requires a person to reflect on one’s own condition.  Reflection and introspection are an important part for anyone who is on a path of self-improvement.  We suffer greatly as a species when we fail to reflect upon our actions as a whole.  If we stop and just realize what it is we are doing day to day I think we would be shocked.  If we are not making head way to higher states of existence then we are falling back.  There is no standing still.  For most people, they never act in any manner that is higher than any other animal that populates the Earth.  We wake, defecate, urinate, ingest food, copulate and fall asleep again.  Now that seems harsh on my part to say such a thing of my fellow humans, but in essence I do just the same, in fact we all – animals included – all fall back to this very basic common thread of existence.  However I don’t think that that is all life has to offer us.  I don’ think that this is all we are supposed to do in this life.  It most definitely is not the state that I want to exist at. Continue Reading »

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Ramadan 1430 Begins

Ramadan Mubarak to all!  This evening August 21st, 2009 at 8:06 pm PDT the new crescent moon of Ramadan 1430, was sighted by a group of over 30 men and women, not counting the numerous children as well at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, just west of Palo Alto, CA in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  We had clear skies with some dark thick marine layer atmospherics close to the horizon.  It was a fine crescent that was about 3.5 degrees in altitude above the horizon and at a true azimuth of 265 degrees.

The group of sighters started out at about 20 people and over the next 15 minutes it grew to well over 35 people.  As the evening progressed everyone became quite joyful that the Blessed Month of Ramadan was upon us.  As the moon approached the horizon, we packed up and headed off into the night with the intention of commencing our Fast for the next 29 or 30 days, until we see the next new moon.  So Congratulations to all for having another opportunity to benefit from Ramadan.  May all your prayers and fasting be accepted this month.

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