A Grain Of Sand
If starry space no limit knows
And sun succeeds to sun,
There is no reason to suppose
Our earth the only one.
‘Mid countless constellations cast
A million worlds may be,
With each a God to bless or blast
And steer to destiny.
Just think! A million gods or so
To guide each vital stream,
With over all to boss the show
A Deity supreme.
Such magnitudes oppress my mind;
From cosmic space it swings;
So ultimately glad to find
Relief in little things.
For look! Within my hollow hand,
While round the earth careens,
I hold a single grain of sand
And wonder what it means.
Ah! If I had the eyes to see,
And brain to understand,
I think Life’s mystery might be
Solved in this grain of sand.
Just as there is nothing ordinary about life, there certainly is nothing ordinary about sand. In fact, as the images below reveal, there is more astonishing beauty going on in the world around us than meets our human sight. I challenge you to see beyond the limitations of human sight. I propose each grain of sand is a galaxy amid a galaxy of galaxies. The more you question, the more you know that you don’t know. That is what makes life exhilarating … for me.
“The total number of stars in the Universe is larger than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the planet Earth.” ~ Carl Sagan’s, Cosmos Episode 8, “Journeys in Space and Time.”
Sand grains magnified 110-250 times reveal each grain is unique.
The tip of a spiral shell has broken off and become a grain of sand. After being repeatedly tumbled by action of the surf this spiral sand grain has become opalescent in character. It is surrounded by bits of coral, a pink shell fragment, a foram (a type of protozoa) and volcanic material.
A handful of sand grains selected from a beach in Maui and arranged on a black background.
Magnified 250 times. Every grain of sand in the world is unique when viewed through a microscope.
Sand Magnified 4 X.
The glacially deposited sands around Lake Winnibigoshish, Minnesota, contain abundant sediments from the igneous and metamorphic minerals of the Lake Superior basin. A sample includes pink garnets, green epidote, iron-rich red agates, black magnetite, and hematite.
Puffy Stars — Star-Shaped Sand Grains from Okinawa. These tiny foram, a type of protozoa, secrete beautiful star-shaped, calcium carbonate shells, or tests.
A small grain of copper impacted into a larger grain of copper. These grains precipitated downwind of a smoke-belching copper smelter. (Magnification 110x)
Many grains of sand are tiny crystals (shiny, flat sided solids). Sand from Zushi Beach, Japan, contains what looks like a sapphire crystal. The crystal is larger than the surrounding grains and has survived eroding because of its hardness and quality.
Fragments of baby sea urchin shells. Biogenic sand, which forms from the remains of marine life, is the major ingredient of many tropical beaches. (Magnification 100x)
A magnified view of the tropical beach sand from the Caribbean island of St. John (U.S. Virgin Islands). The grains include porous fragments of brightly-colored corals, minute foraminiferan shells, fragments of sea shells and shiny, star-shaped sponge spicules.
A Grain of Sand – Nature’s Secret Wonder
The Amazing Microphotography of Dr. Gary Greenberg
Every grain of sand is a jewel waiting to be discovered. That’s what Dr. Gary Greenberg found when he first turned his microscope on beach sand. Gemlike minerals, colorful coral fragments, and delicate microscopic shells reveal that sand comprises much more than tiny beige rocks.
Author and photographer Dr. Gary Greenberg is a visual artist who creatively combines art with science. He has a Ph.D. in biomedical research from University College London and holds 17 patents for high-definition 3-D light microscopes. Dr. Greenberg lives in Haiku, Hawaii.
Carl Sagan famously remarked “the total number of stars in the universe is greater than all the grains of sand on all the beaches on the planet Earth.” It is estimated that the total number of ‘all’ grains of sand on the whole planet could be approximately 2000 billion billion. Scientists still believe there are more stars in the Universe. (hassers.blogspot.com)
And as to planets:
If a grain of sand represented an entire galaxy; so each grain of sand, or galaxy, contains 100’s of billions of stars, you would need to fill six rooms full of sand to contain all the galaxies in the known universe. If you drilled a tiny whole in one of the grains of sand, ‘our Milky Way universe,’ that would be the area that we have been capable of searching for planets so far. 534 planets have been discovered so far. (directedplay.com)
Buy the Images: www.sandgrains.com
Buy the Book: A Grain of Sand: Nature’s Secret Wonder by Dr Gary Greenberg
When you attain, when you are aware, increasingly you will not be bothered about labels like “awake” or “asleep.” One of my difficulties here is to arouse your curiosity but not your spiritual greed. Let’s come awake, it’s going to be wonderful. After a while, it doesn’t matter; one is aware, because one lives. The unaware life is not worth living. And you will leave pain to take care of itself. ~Anthony De Mello
|This is the story of the first meeting between two brothers, their last meeting, and of family events that took place in the interval.
THE FIRST MEETING
On the afternoon of the 29th of July 1944, a 13-year-old boy ran from his home to visit his mother in a maternity hospital in Bombay, India. His thoughts ran faster than his legs, for the hour of destiny had arrived. The boy’s future would be golden as he planned—if the newborn sibling were male. But the boy’s future would be of iron—the iron of an apprenticeship in the railways—if the sibling were female. The 13-year-old boy was Tony deMello, and I was the newborn infant. When Tony saw me, he said with joy: “… So now I can become a Jesuit priest!”
THE LAST MEETING
He was in the United States to conduct seminars on spirituality via a satellite linkup with 600 colleges in the US and Canada, and I was in Manhattan, sent by my Australian employers to work on a particularly interesting global project. In a telephone conversation earlier that day Tony had assured me that he had recovered from jet lag after the long flight from India.
But as the evening progressed Tony complained of stomach unease. This should have rung warning bells in me…Tony NEVER complained…he was always at peace with whatever fate dealt him.
After dinner we sat in a room to chat, and he left me briefly to take some medication. It did not help. What was planned as a few precious hours spent together was cut short by his increasing discomfort. He said he was tired and wished to retire early.
© Copyright Bill deMello
Before parting, we agreed to meet later in the year at his Retreat House in India. Our last minute was spent in a big hug and we farewelled each other with choked emotion.
The next morning Tony was found dead on the floor of his room.
A day later Tony’s body was laid out in the chapel of Fordham University. He looked so vibrantly alive that I could neither believe nor accept that he was dead. I broke down and sobbed … we had much unfinished spiritual business left unresolved. I went through the usual feelings of anger …
Why did he have to die? Of sadness … I will never see him again. Of pain and guilt … I should have guessed he was going in for a heart attack and done something about it. Mostly of shock and disbelief … How could a seemingly healthy man, who had been given a clean bill of health by an eminent US heart specialist only months earlier, die of a heart attack? Should we call it fate, destiny, or God’s will? Those questions will remain unanswered till we brothers meet again; who knows where, who knows when.
Until his sudden death on June 2, 1987, Fr. Tony de Mello was the director of the Sadhana Institute of Pastoral Counseling near Poona, India. Author of five best selling books, renowned worldwide for his workshops, retreats, and prayer courses, he aimed simply to teach people how to pray, how to wake up and live.
Most people, he maintained, are asleep. They need to wake up, open up their eyes, see what is real, both inside and outside of themselves. The greatest human gift is to be aware, to be in touch with oneself, one’s body, mind, feelings, thoughts, sensations.
For more information on the Anthony De Mello and his teachings, please visit www.demellospirituality.com. The site contains spiritual themes and exercises that can enrich and transform your life.
As Everlast sings
♫ … I’ve been up
And I’ve been down
And I’ve been fast
And I’ve been slow
And I’ve been square
And I’ve been round
And I’ve been high
And I’ve been low
And I’ve been cool
And I’ve been calm
And I’ve been kind
And I’ve been crass … ♫
♫… My life changes,
My life evolves,
A masterpiece continuum …♫
Art Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com.)
|Synonyms:||anchor – essence – pillar – root – substance|
Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness. ~Sigmund Freud
LIFE OUTSIDE MY COMPUTER
(by Michelle Maynard-Koenig)
Life outside my computer
is different, you see,
providing an opportunity
to inhale fresh air and breathe.
To engage in conversation,
face to face, side by side,
with people coming and going
and even passerbys.
Pay a visit to Mother Nature,
admire the beauty she radiates;
brushstrokes of trees, animals, flowers,
moon, stars, sky, and sun rays.
Life passes too quickly
for me to not take part,
to witness all I can
before it’s my time to depart.
Life outside my computer
is different, you see,
it’s the cornerstone of living
amid a universal masterpiece.
A human being, am I
amid this Earth and Sky.
I am not perfect with all the answers,
as you, I am fallible and diverse.
But when I open to you in truth and honesty,
it may be the moment we find similarity.
The same goes for me, when I am in need
for direction, compassion, or validity.
Some charge for sharing with others
life lessons learned, loving or averse.
Incredulous as it may seem,
being a mentor or friend, one charges a fee.
Is there one right way
to live each and every day?
Or is it a dance,
you and I, by chance.
Live the best we can;
uplift each other, across all lands.
We are of love and light,
given to us freely with life.
All answers are within,
sometimes seen more clear by human reflection.
A mentor I may be,
to each person in need.
As what I give to the Universe
comes back to me to re-disperse.
To be quite honest, you don’t need me,
to tell you that you have the freedom to be.
I honor the place within you where the entire Universe resides;
I honor the place within you of love, of truth and light.
I am a Human, a Soul, a Friend at large,
completely free of charge.
All of my life, Society told me that Peace is impossible, that it doesn’t exist and never will.
So I gave up my ammunition of fear. I put down my guns of hatred. And I tore up my flag of intolerance and said, “No.”
I said that Society is wrong. I broke free of my chains and flew! I became the dreamer, I became the beacon of hope; the embodiment of light and compassion that I know I was put here to be, just as we all are.
I made the conscious decision to love, and love alone. I now renounce bigotry. The hateful mentality of “Ego” has no place in my life any longer. I embrace you, your friends, your family; I embrace all of my brothers and sisters. We are ONE tribe. I’m here to say, never feel you are unloved. I love you! Even though I may not know you, I can say that because it’s what I feel in my heart.
On this day, New Years for some, New Years Eve for others, I say to you, Peace does exist! Peace CAN BE! It is inside of you and inside of me! When we know peace within ourselves, it WILL exist in the world and it will blossom! A light is shining through the darkness and LOVE will always prevail!
So let this year, 2012, be the year it was meant to be! Let it be a year of PEACE, of COMPASSION AND UNITY! Approach the new year with a new mentality of hope, not negativity! Now is the time for change! Let go of the past and the negative feelings holding you back and cross the divide into the light.
Today, I wish you a beautiful, prosperous, healthy 2012! May its many coming changes renew you and may you emerge transformed; transformed into the beautiful beings of compassion and light we are all meant to be!
(written beautifully by Garrett HappyHippie Piersa)
The Gift of a Smile brings …
- Art of Balance
Bliss from Learning
Compassion amid Courage
Ego behind Faith
Freedom among Friendship
Good News concerning Gratitude
Happiness within Harmony
Heart with Honesty
Humanity considering Hope
Inspiration on Journey
Joy around Kindness
Life amid Love
Mankind at Meditation
Music underneath Namaste
Peace inside Photography
Poetry alongside Growth
Respect toward Serenity
Soul beyond Spirituality
Spunk in Strength
- the Trust
- the Truth
- the Universe.
appreciate – experience – feel – know – partake – revel
If you breathe in and are aware that you are alive—that you can touch the miracle of being alive—then that is a kind of enlightenment. …Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive. (Thich Nhat Hanh)
Consider. In our world today, success seems to be determined by how much wealth we have or how many luxurious possessions we own. Can excess of abundance decrease simple enjoyment in life? Always running here, there and everywhere in search of? to gain? Yet, unable to SAVOR the now, this miraculous moment of life. How would you complete the following sentences if you were told this would be the only day of life you have to live?
- I will simplify ____________ in the miraculous life I have been given today.
- I will consume less ________ in the miraculous life I have been given today.
- I will do less _____________ in the miraculous life I have been given today.
- I will be mindful of ________in the miraculous life I have been given today.
- I will SAVOR ___________ in the miraculous life I have been given today.
Now that you are aware, what is stopping you from living a miraculous life today?
The same upside down as right side up.
meditate – ponder – contemplate – ruminate – think
A MUSE can be a mirror: a reflection of the artist’s desires, anxieties, dreams and needs.(Vince Aletti)