As I write this, the light is waning on a cold, gray, rainy Seattle afternoon. It’s no wonder that so many of the world’s wisdom traditions celebrate light, both literal and metaphoric, this time of year. I hope this month’s musings shine a little light into your life, and may you be blessed with joy in this holiday season.
In this email:
· Food for Thought—quote from Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook
· Reflections—“Keeping It All Together”
· Web Site of the Month—Parabola: Myth, Tradition, & the Search for Meaning.
· Special Holiday CD Offer
· Astrology Gift Certificates
FOOD FOR THOUGHT—QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“Many lights must shine in the nation: the lights of Truth, of prophecy, of wisdom, of justice, courage, joy, kindness, love, and so forth. But before the supreme objective of life is recognized, we perceive all of these lights as distinctive...However, as each person strives to strengthen the positive aspect toward which he [she] is naturally inclined, the collective is built up and improvements multiply. Yet the distinctions will not last forever. When disagreements exist, holiness cannot be established in the world. The most important blessing is the blessing of peace. Peace will prevail in the future when it is clearly recognized that all of the different, individual lights are in fact one single light.” (Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Olat Re'iyah l, p. 435)
“KEEPING IT ALL TOGETHER”
The rabbi’s reflections bring to mind one of my favorite words—“integration.” If you want to “establish holiness in the world,” pay attention to how you drive during the rush-hour commute. If you’d like “peace to prevail,” contemplate your last contact with a garden, a stranger, a small child. Recognizing that “all of the different, individual lights are in fact one light” can feel difficult during these times that are literally and figuratively dark. But it is into that very darkness that the light of the holidays shines. May we all know this light throughout the year.
[Thanks to my friend and colleague Karen Bonnell for sharing this month’s quote with me. Karen is the author of several books, including Stepping Stones To Jewish Spiritual Living: Walking the Path Morning, Noon, and Night].
WEB SITE OF THE MONTH
This month’s featured web site is www.parabola.org. Parabola magazine has been published since 1976. I’ve been a subscriber for years, and often find in it’s pages some bit of wisdom, challenge, or solace. I’ll let the web site’s own words entice you: “Parabola is a quarterly journal, one of the pioneering publications on the subject of myth and tradition. Every issue explores one facet of human existence from the point of view of as many of the world's religious and spiritual traditions as possible, through the prism of story and symbol, myth, ritual, and sacred teachings. We offer contemporary essays and images as well as excerpts of wisdom from the great masters of years past. Past and present come together in the retellings of traditional religious, folk, and fairy tales from cultures both familiar and obscure. For us, the questions are as fascinating and thought-provoking as the answers, and we seek to open and sustain discussion of the oldest questions of all.” Some of the “facets of human existence” that have been explored by Parabola include: The Hero, Marriage, Money, The Fool, Ecstasy, and Clothing. Parabola’s web site also features information on their free newsletter, thoughtful books, audio & video productions, a film festival, a reader’s forum, and more.
SPECIAL HOLIDAY CD OFFER
My own CD, “All Along,” costs only $8 and makes a thoughtful holiday gift—perfect for your office’s “Secret Santa” party, or as a “stocking-stuffer,” or simply as a gift for the music-lovers in your life. The CD features my original compositions—contemplative compositions in the singer-songwriter tradition, rendered with understated acoustic guitar, warm vocals, rich harmonies, and subtle backup work by some very talented musician-friends of mine. As my gift to you for the holidays, shipping and handling is free—a savings of $2. To order, send a check for $8 (payable to “Dan Keusal”), along with your name, mailing address, and email or phone number (just in case I encounter a problem with the order—like not being able to read your writing!) to Dan Keusal, 155 NE 100th St #220, Seattle WA 98125. This offer is good through December 31st. The music page of my web site, www.dankeusal.com has sound samples, lyrics, performance notes, and other information about the songs on the CD.
ASTROLOGY GIFT CERTIFICATE
Astrology offers valuable guidance for key areas of life like relationships, career, spirituality, creativity, community, and more. Astrology doesn’t “tell you who you are” or “predict the future,” it helps you gain a deeper understanding of your soul’s purpose, shines light on the opportunities and challenges of your unique journey through life, and empowers you to respond with creativity, vitality, and hope. I offer colorful, custom-made gift certificates for astrology sessions. Give someone a gift that truly keeps on giving. For more info, call me at 206-363-1366 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info on Astrology’s benefits, visit the “Astrology” page of my web site: www.dankeusal.com.
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Until next month…
Web Site: www.dankeusal.com