Tag Archives: Mystical

Coming Soon–Prequel to the Ten Yen Series of Mystical Novels

Ten Yen 2 If you are interested in spirituality, miracles, and the supernatural, perhaps the Ten Yen books will interest you? Ten Yen True, the second book in the series, was the first one written. It came about because of a Ten Yen True from Arlomysterious coin that showed up somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean on my way to England. That is to say, after I got to England where I was staying with Amanda Armstrong, I discovered a strange coin beneath my undies in my suitcase.  Neither of us could figure out where it came from. So we began speculating and decided to collaborate on a novel. Thus, Ten Yen True was born.  If you want a print copy, you can purchase one directly from the publisher www.roguephoenixpress.com

Since there is a mysterious Buddhist monk in Ten Yen True, someone asked how did he become a monk. Thus, I wrote Ten Yen the prequel to the series: to be released on August 20, 2014.

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Peace be with you.

  buddha_gratitude

Coyote Spirit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote

There are no dogs in any of my stories–except in Ziggy, a Little Book of Healing which is memoir/spirituality/healing and is non-fiction.  Surprising, considering I am a big lover of dogs and until recently always had at least one dog living at my house.

Dogs are such loyal companions, such fierce, earthy creatures.

One dog I loved was called Buster.

He was half-coyote.  At least that’s what we surmised.  I’d gotten him as a pup from a friend. On the way home, he’d sat on the car seat next to me staring at me yipping like a coyote.  His mother was a German Shepherd who’d been kept on a chain.  No one knew who’d got her pregnant.  But it might well have been a coyote since they are known to breed with dogs.

Buster had many coyote characteristics.  He looked like one.  He was wily and never could be trained to be mannerly in the house.  The minute you’d leave, he’d climb on the tables.  He was a dog who could be in your sight in one second and somehow out of it in the next, taking off for long runs.  He always came back until his untimely death.  He was only about seven years old.  Just got sick, up and died in a hurry. It felt as if he’d catapulted out of my life.

A few years later, I swear I met him again reincarnated as a husky. 

Strange though it sounds, I looked into this dog’s eyes and I met the return gaze of Buster.

I was out on a solitary walk in the woods.  I happened to look behind me and there were three dogs ambling along behind me. The husky and I knew one another.  We just did!  I involuntarily said out loud, “Buster!”

 I was so happy to see him again.  He came rushing up to me. A white female who appeared to be his mate and their puppy followed.  The pup leaped joyfully as high as my shoulder.  They seemed to want me to follow them into the woods, but of course, I couldn’t.  So I watched them leave.

In my heart I felt so happy to think Buster was alive and well and had a pack he ran with.  So happy!

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If you’d like to buy Ziggy, a Little Book of Healing, you can find more information, including links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble at

http://christinastclair.com/ziggy_a_little_book_of_healing

Miracles of Healing: Blog 3 Early Beliefs

This is the Prendergast School today.  It was relocated into this amazing building after I’d moved to the United States.  The Eleven Plus exam has been abolished too.  The interview that changed my life was in the original building in Catford/Lewisham area.

Children cannot defend themselves.  There are so many good families and good people who are genuinely giving their best effort to raise their kids.  And the women who interviewed me were no doubt good people in many ways.  Alas, we all have fixed mindsets and are victims or our cultural/societal/familial systems. 

The interview I attended at the Prendergast School after I’d passed the eleven plus with flying colors should have been a shoe-in.  While I cannot remember the interview room, I do remember the sudden change in tone.  The headmistress and two other women were present.  My mother had to wait outside.  Intimidating for a ten-year-old?  You bet!  But all seemed well until I was asked what my father did for a living.  I was proud of my Daddy.  Immediately after I told them my daddy drove a lorry (truck), the atmosphere in that room became stifling.  What about your mother? I was asked.  “Mum works for Dolcis Shoes,” I responded, equally proudly.  “I see!” said the headmistress.  Eyes of the adults met in a knowing moment. I knew something was wrong, and even at that early age, I knew what.  My mum and dad were working class people.  It didn’t matter how well I’d done on the exam.  I was dismissed with the promise I’d soon hear from them. 

Perhaps even worse than the rejection was the fact they did not respond in a timely manner.  In fact, the letter came when it was too late for me to apply to any other schools.  Eventually I was forced to go to a substandard school many miles from my home where I was unwelcome. 

As a child, I had no way to heal myself.  Sadly, looking back, I now wonder if that was one of the reasons I left England while still a teenager. No adults could be trusted in my natal country. So I fled to a new country, the U.S.  Be that as it may. Opportunities for wholeness are always knocking on the doors of our psyche.  And though I’d long forgiven and put behind me my childhood trauma, an opportunity for a deeper healing arose when I was in my fifties.

Although I understood what had happened and I worked long and hard to overcome and integrate the mistrust I felt for authority, it was to take many years before an opportunity arose to fully sweep out the cobwebs deeply hidden yet continuing to clutter the passages of my life.  In my next blog, I will talk about this fruitful and painful time of personal growth that came about in another interview, and how my response was guided by a dream.

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Read Eleven Plus–a novel about Lesley who must struggle to gain acceptance. 

Lesley’s dad worked for Sainsbury’s, just as did mine.  Here is a photo of a lorry something like the one he drove.  I remember my dad in his khaki coveralls taking me for a ride in his lorry.  

The little girl on the book cover was painted by Edwina Pendarvis, taken from a photo of me when I was a schoolgirl.  Behind the little girl is a shoe shop called Dolcis.  My mother used to work in Dolcis in Forest Hill.

Price: $5.25

Available from Amazon Kindle:

Eleven Plus

Also available from Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/terrible-toes-christina-st-clair/1113731064?ean=2940014538039

Rumi–Secrets

Rumi was a thirteenth century mystical poet. He believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. He was a founder of whirling dervishes in the Sufi tradition.

Today I came across a Rumi quote that I love (Listen, A Seeker’s Resource for Spiritual Direction), July 2012, vol 6: issue 3).

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you; Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want: Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.”

The author, Pegge Erkeneff, of the article, Cultivate Spiritual Awareness, which contains this Rumi quote, suggests, “Stop everything you are doing, be still.  Ask yourself, and then ponder: What is it I truly desire in my life? Dare I believe in possiblity?”

To dare to believe in possibility is akin to believing in the Mystery, God; through faith, through awareness, through being still and listening, we are able to cross the barrier between the physical and spiritual, entering into union with life-giving wholeness.

What is a Mystic?

The All Seeing Eye, Aachen Cathedral Germany

Mystics are people who have a direct connection to God–but they aren’t different from anyone else; rather they are people who practice the religious tenets of love and compassion, trying to purify their hearts and do right by others and be respectful of all life, aware nothing is created by themselves, but all is grace. They are also steeped in the spiritual disciplines of prayer and meditation.

Such disciplines open up a communication to an inner realm where rational knowledge ceases, where human achievement is passé, and where a place of connection to the mystery of God is attained.

The practice of mysticism leads to deeper awareness of oneself and of the connectedness of all of humanity and nature. It leads to the understanding that we are all One and are all eternal, that we need not fear death but can trust the uprising of Spirit to guide us in ways that are for our good and the greater good of all life.

The unknowable, according to  Schopenhauer,[27] mystics arrive at a condition in which there is no knowing subject and known object:

… we see all religions at their highest point end in mysticism and mysteries, that is to say, in darkness and veiled obscurity. These really indicate merely a blank spot for knowledge, the point where all knowledge necessarily ceases. Hence for thought this can be expressed only by negations, but for sense-perception it is indicated by symbolical signs, in temples by dim light and silence, in Brahmanism even by the required suspension of all thought and perception for the purpose of entering into the deepest communion with one’s own self, by mentally uttering the mysterious Om. In the widest sense, mysticism is every guidance to the immediate awareness of what is not reached by either perception or conception, or generally by any knowledge. The mystic is opposed to the philosopher by the fact that he begins from within, whereas the philosopher begins from without. The mystic starts from his inner, positive, individual experience, in which he finds himself as the eternal and only being, and so on. But nothing of this is communicable except the assertions that we have to accept on his word; consequently he is unable to convince.

Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, Ch. XLVIII

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysticism

Aachen Cathedral
Aachen Cathedral, Germany

Quit your day job to become a writer?

This is an icon of Julian of Norwich. She was purported to be the first woman to write a book–back in the 1300s. It is a classic of mysticism. I don’t believe it ever earned her a penny, and even if it had, she wouldn’t have needed it since she became an anchoress (a hermit) who lived in a ten by ten cell attached to a little church.

Fortunately, we writers of today don’t need to live in such a small place, or do we!

Should you quit your day job? I did!

Over twenty years ago, I quit my job to become a writer. I wanted an authentic new way of life. People told me not to do it. My husband was angry that I gave up a $40,000/year job which back then was quite a lot of income. We later divorced–not entirely the outcome of my deciding to be a writer which was a symptom of wanting a more vital life.

Has becoming a writer been more meaningful than being a chemist, the job I chucked?

I have had a lot of freedom. I have never missed mixing chemicals. I got specialized training in ministry and spirituality which fascinate me, subjects I never would have had the energy or time to study before. I have never starved, but had I needed to provide for children, my choices would have been more difficult and different.

The plusses outweigh the negatives, but my income has been seriously low for a long time and I’ve had to live off the guy who is my second husband. I hate being dependent, but luckily my guy is also a writer, so he understands. He also worked as a professor, a job he enjoyed, which paid our bills.

I do not regret having left a job I never felt much passion for, and I have learned so much on this writer-journey. I have learned the first flow of writing is a wonderful high, but doesn’t last. Kindof like that guy or gal who is so perfect. You must have him or her. But then…

Creative moments need to be honed, shaped, and rewritten from an analytical rather than subjective point of view. That first flush of words seems marvelous, but upon a deeper look, those words are in need of serious revision. In relationships, you gotta hang out with the other, get to know him or her, give selflessly to him or her, forget about yourself, learn new things, be open to fresh possibilities. It’s the same with writing novels.  You make a commitment to do the work, try to forget your presuppositions and dig deeper for something worthwhile, something others might enjoy or find useful.

An editor/publisher suggested to me long ago I ought to take a class in how to write. I was not deeply offended, but I didn’t get it. I thought I could write. Sure, I had down grammar and sentence structure, which aspiring writers had better understand, but I hadn’t yet opened a creative artery. It took me years to develop the skills necessary to write creatively. It’s true of relationships and of writing–if it’s to be worthwhile, don’t give up, work on it…

Hopefully, in the twenty years or so I’ve been struggling to write meaningful prose, I have become a fairly decent writer.

You decide.

Buy my books!

 

Pure Land Christian Ideas?

In Christian tradition, the doctrine of the Trinity–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–is sometimes explained as God being one but capable of taking three forms: solid (ice), liquid (water), gaseous (moisture/clouds).

When I read this doctrine and consider the teachings of Christ, I view the Trinity as a metaphor for the interconnectedness of creation in God. God is the substratum of all existence, the ground of being. Christ is the child of God with whom Christians are united. Through the power of the Holy Spirit members of churches form the Body of Christ.

 All people are influenced by others, and the way we treat the earth impacts all of us too. It is so important to fellowship with people who are trying their best to live out the teachings of Christ–forgiveness, compassion, love, truth, awareness…It also brings into consideration that what we take in will influence us–take in a steady dose of violence, how might that impact us and others?  Burn tires and plastics in the back yard–how does that effect your neighbor who has asthma?

In Pure Land Buddhism, Amida Buddha is the one to whom followers reach out for compassion and salvation. Yet Amida Buddha is not the historical Buddha who taught in India in the sixth century BCE.  Rather, there are two Buddhas who share the same essence.

Buddha contains three properties:  

1. The Dharma Body which is non-form in which the Buddha is united with Suchness (Christians might call this God).

2. The Bliss Body which is an ethereal body said to be a reward for helping other beings end their suffering. This is not equivalent to the Holy Spirit, and yet it is akin to the idea of spiritual empowerment.

3. The Manifest Body which is the physical form of the Buddha in the world.  Jesus is a physical manifestation of God in the world.

We try hard in all of our religious traditions to make sense of existence and to define faith, but in both Pure Land and Christian thinking, salvation is not only a matter of accepting and incorporating the teachings of the Masters, but is also something that is given freely out of love from the Suchness, from God.

The Jesus Icon: Image of the Saviour Not Made by Hand: a traditional Orthodox iconography in the interpretation of Simon Ushakov  (Russian)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ushakov_Nerukotvorniy.jpg

Amida Buddha: Amitabha Buddha pictured in the Ushiku Daibutsu in Japanhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amida_Buddha

Ten Yen True

 

Ten Yen True: of Monks and Mystery

Years ago a friend told me that any time you find a penny it means an angel is nearby to help. At the time, we were stuck a hundred miles away from home in the pouring rain at a gas station. Our borrowed van would not start and we had no idea what to do. There were just the two of us and we had no money to spare. The penny we found had been run over by numerous tires and was flattened and dirty. 

But an angel showed up. A real live young man who proceeded to replace the starter for us for free. He was a true Godsend. I will never forget his kindness.

Such a lovely idea of pennies being from a nearby angel has stayed with me. Now I always pick up copper coins and I am always grateful to feel there is a protective force, my guardian angel perhaps, looking out for me.

When I got to England last Spring and stayed with my niece, Mandy, since it was only for a few days, I did not unpack my suitcase but left it open on the floor of her daughter’s playroom–the room Mandy had given me as my bedroom.

I loved that room so full of stuffed animals, games, and toys. It seemed a place chockfull of innocence, play, and love.

Rummaging in my suitcase, I came across a coin. It was clearly oriental but I had no idea where it had come from or who had put it there. It seemed mysterious, but I suspected Mandy was playing a joke since I’d recently published a book with a colleague in China.

“Very funny,” I later told her, holding up this coin to show her in the lounge. 

She looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. It turned out she had not put this coin in my case and when she asked her daughter if she might have put it there, the little girl shook her head.

Flabbergasted, we began to speculate how a foreign coin got in my suitcase somewhere in transit from Kentucky to London. We also wanted to know just what country this coin came from and wondered if it might not be an Olympic Village coin or perhaps a Chinese one, but our speculations were incorrect.

Mandy’s husband found a photo on the Internet. The coin turned out to be a Japanese ten yen piece.

It was the beginning of a novel Mandy and I co-authored. The title Ten Yen True came to Mandy in a moment of inspiration.

The whole process of writing this novel seemed inspired: it proceeded rapidly and was full of energy, fun, and humor. We could say it was as if we were helped by angels. Or maybe it was the Japanese monk who showed up to help us…

We are currently looking for a publisher. Are there any angels out there?

To read the prologue, go to http://www.christinastclair.com/ten_yen_true

Moon

A picture showing the legend of PAH taken from our Native American mythology archives. Illustration by Chas Saunders. Read the story below or search the index for more Native American Gods, Native American Goddesses, heroes, demons and monsters!

moon image: http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/native_american-mythology.php?deity=PAH

In the creation story of the Pawnee people four major stars were said to represent gods. Pah was a Pawnee lunar deity and was male. His consort was Shakaru, a sun goddess. Together they produced a son, but the first human being in Pawnee mythology was a girl, the child borne of the Morning Star and the Evening Star.

This might sound like good news for women, but one sect of the Pawnee, the Skidi, practiced child sacrifice, specifically of captive girls, in the “Morning Star ritual”. They continued this practice regularly through the 1810s and possibly after 1838, the last reported sacrifice. They believed the longstanding rite ensured the fertility of the soil and success of the crops, as well as renewal of all life in spring. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawnee_people

Archeologists and anthropologists have determined the Pawnee had a sophisticated understanding of the movement of stars. They noted the nonconforming movements of both Venus (Evening Star) and Mars (Morning Star). The Pawnee centered all aspects of daily life on this celestial observation, including the important cultivation cycle for sacred corn.

They built earthwork lodges to accommodate the sedentary nature of Pawnee culture; each lodge “was at the same time the universe and also the womb of a woman, and the household activities represented her reproductive powers.”[2] The lodge also represented the universe in a more practical way. The physical construction of the house required setting up four posts to represent the four cardinal directions, “aligned almost exactly with the north-south, east-west axis.[3]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pawnee_lodge.jpg

Give a book for Christmas, maybe one of mine?

Unexpected Journey (www.roguephoenixpress.com): historical coming of age novel about a shaman, a rich girl and a street girl who end up in colonial Philadelphia.

Kindle edition: $5.99

Available in HTML, PDF, and Mobipocket directly from the publisher:

http://shop.roguephoenixpress.ieasysite.com/productinfo.aspx?productid=UNEXPECTEDJOURNEY

  

Emily’s Shadow (www.bloodmoonpublishing.com): supernatural fantasy set in Cornwall, where Merlin made magic.

  Kindle edition:   $4.79

FREE: Misty, the London Pony,  is based on a true story. An illustrated children’s story is available as a free PDF download.

 

Champion, the Dream Horse, about Mara Sue, who lives in Kentucky, is poor, but determined to own the horse of her dreams.

Kindle edition: $2.99 

Fish Reveal Fate of the Lovesick

The Town of Newborough in the Isle of Anglesey, Wales

For many Welsh people, a most sacred place is the ruined 16th century church found on the southwest tip of the island, across from the little town of Newborough. Here, on a little promontory jutting out from a vast expanse of sands and forest that makes up a nature reserve called Ynys Llanddwyn (Uniss Thlan thooin) is the spot where Dwynwen, patron saint of Welsh lovers, chose to make her retreat.

St. Dynwen’s Day is celebrated on January 25th. For the Welsh-speaking, it replaces St. Valentine’s Day, as the day to send flowers and greetings to loved ones (a point not unnoticed by today’s publishers of Welsh greeting cards). A lovely legend is the story of Dwynwen’s rejection of the sexual advances of her swain Maelon.

Though in love with Maelon (My Lon), Dwynwen’s wish to remain chaste led her to dream that God offered her a sweet drink that would turn her suitor to ice and free her from her bonds to him. She was then granted three wishes. The first wish was to revive Maelon; second, to become the patron saint of lovers and third, never to marry. What happened to the poor love-struck Maelon we will never know, but a miraculous spring, Ffynnon Dwynwen, appeared at the spot where Dwynwen had her dream. In the spring, located in what is now a very difficult to locate spot on the muddy, tidal beach, fish are said to reveal the fate of the love sick.

http://www.britannia.com/celtic/wales/sacred/anglesey.html

Buy my Books:

Unexpected Journey (www.roguephoenixpress.com): historical coming of age novel about a shaman, a rich girl and a street girl who end up in colonial Philadelphia.

Kindle edition: $5.99

Available in HTML, PDF, and Mobipocket directly from the publisher:

http://shop.roguephoenixpress.ieasysite.com/productinfo.aspx?productid=UNEXPECTEDJOURNEY

  

Emily’s Shadow (www.bloodmoonpublishing.com): supernatural fantasy set in Cornwall, where Merlin made magic.

  Kindle edition:   $4.79

FREE: Misty, the London Pony,  is based on a true story. An illustrated children’s story is available as a free PDF download.

 

Champion, the Dream Horse, about Mara Sue, who lives in Kentucky, is poor, but determined to own the horse of her dreams.

Kindle edition: $2.99