Archive for January, 2012

An interesting story came up today, so I thought write a quick post about it.

For more than eight centuries, legend has suggested that Glastonbury, England was the burial place of Arthur (and thus Avalon). The suggestion that Glastonbury’s monks created the myth to save their abbey has been around for quite some time. Now, literary archeologist Damian Bullen is claiming that evidence in an area known as the Scottish Borders – near the town of Selkirk specifically – helps to prove this point.

Reported in Deadline News in the UK, Bullen’s theory is that the Yarrow Stone, discovered four centuries ago in Scotland, is actually the grave marker for the legendary king. To see his argument, go here:

http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2012/01/05/scottish-stone-holds-key-to-holy-grail-of-arthurian-legend-claims-historian/

I’m afraid my Latin and knowledge of ancient and medieval British history is not strong enough to add commentary regarding the veracity of Bullen’s theory. But I do find it interesting that, once again, the legend of Arthur encourages people to look upon their history anew and to never settle for the pat answer.

Of course, Selkirk is one more addition to a list of locations that are purported to be the legendary Isle of Avalon, so it won’t get lonely anytime soon.

Bright blessings!

Thistle

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As mentioned a month or so ago, I consider healing the self to be the first step in a continuum of healing, followed by healing others and the land. The biblical quote from Matthew is to “first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the speck out of your brother’s eye.” And while I’m not big on quoting the Bible, this one clearly applies to just about anyone

But even this first step is a massive subject. Healing the self can mean healing yourself physically, mentally, or spiritually. Today, we’ll focus mainly on physical healing, though separating these is not very realistic.

In Western culture, healing tends to be uneven. Some people are good at staying physically fit, maintaining a healthy diet, and attending to physical ailments – but often ignore or react poorly to emotional or spiritual issues. Others excel at healing (or preventing) soul wounds or can sort out mental and emotional issues – but have allowed their bodies to become weak, unfortified, and/or addicted.

Our society seems to support a driven, all-or-nothing approach. Paid programs on television hawk diet plans and shoddy exercise equipment, rail-thin models and actors are everywhere we look, fast food restaurants litter every corner, and prepackaged and over processed foods are taking over the grocery store aisles. All together, these can cause a pendulum swing in physical health

And many of us who follow an alternative spirituality so often have to work very hard to find or create a spiritual path or home. Sometimes we can get so wound up in this search and work that we forget to take care of the more physical side of our existence. But this part is just as important.

My local group’s Hearth Mother is fond of paraphrasing Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s quote:

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

When you look at it, the biggest difference between the two is the human is contained within its physical body and must live off of its physical environment. We are here to experience this physical existence – and to care for it. Our body is our temple, as they say.

Healthful eating, exercise, and rest are as important as meditation, learning or teaching, and ritual or prayer. For one, having good physical health makes it easier to do the things you want to do in life – including helping heal others or the world. It helps you to focus beyond having one ailment after another and onto bigger and better things. And many keys to healthy living can also reduce stress. I don’t know about you, but I can always use to have less stress!

Of course, some of us are dealt a better hand in regard to physical health than others, and I’m well aware that some people simply cannot have the level of health as the majority of us. That being said, I have a friend with a serious and debilitating disease who can walk circles around many perfectly capable people. While I cannot speak for her, it’s as if having her physical body under attack makes her more determined to get the most out of it and to experience the world as fully as possible. She’s a fighter, and oftentimes thinking of her inspires me to get off my tush and do something. That, and my dogs staring at me with that “Walk now!” look in their eyes. Finding an inspiration can help keep you on a healthier track too – and it doesn’t matter if it’s your dog, fitting into an old favorite pair of jeans, or setting an example for your kids.

And the new year is upon us, so this is a time when folks often do try to be healthier. This month will see many people exercising almost daily, eating salads, and drinking lots of water and protein shakes. But many of those go-getters will peter out by March.

So instead, why not identify realistic things you can do to improve your health? If you never exercise, maybe add a short walk a few times a week? If you eat mostly takeout, try to cook a few times a week and pack yourself some healthy snacks (really, an apple a day isn’t a bad way to go – I’m not saying that just because I’m an Avalonian). Add more whole grains (it’s easier to do than ever) or gradually cut back on the amount of sugar you use. If your sleep suffers because of your schedule, try to chisel out an extra half hour to hour a night to rest your body and mind. Small but maintainable changes are probably going to do more for you in the long run than a couple months of extreme diet and exercise.

So here’s to our physical bodies! Let’s not forget to honor them – and our physical human experience – as much as we do our spirits.

Bright blessings,

Thistle

 

© 2012 PJ Graham

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