Maitri Libellule

"We do not great things, we do
only small things with great love..."


~ Mother Teresa ~



Tiny, days old Quaker Parrot, sent to me to try to save...


We all imagine that we should strive to achieve great things, and many would have wondered why one would get up all night long, every two hours to hand-feed a tiny little parrot who had little hope of making it. Well, that is at the heart of my ministry, to love and heal the small and unwanted, those thought "lesser than" and not worth the while.

This tiny baby, after a few months of hand-feeding, grew into a healthy little parrot who, for some years, has been a loving companion to a young disabled man. They are inseparable. They know a love that few will ever know. It is one of God's greatest blessings to me to give me the gift to handraise and care for these tiny birds. Five of my six parrots here I hand-fed and raised, and only the cockatoo, a rescue that came here a year ago, and was several years old, came to me as an adult. And she came with her own challenges and special gifts, and today is a great love to me...




Blossom came to me terrified and plucking badly.
Here she had just begun to feather in. This is almost
an impossible task. Once a cockatoo begins to pluck
it is nearly impossible to get them to stop. It is
amazing what love can do...


But today she is fully feathered, happy, out all day long with me, and is a tremendous love and great joy. The people that she was rescued from had kept this beautiful bird in a small dog crate and fed her dog food. This is beyond unimaginable to me. No creature too small. No love too big...




Fully feathered and my loving companion...


Consider no person, no task, no creature too small to deserve your loving help and companionship. Mother Teresa was so right. While others are building ships to go to the moon, I will be here saving, sheltering, and loving the little ones who need me. Sometimes our God given gifts are not what we imagine. Sometimes nurturing a tiny creature that fits in the palm of your hand is a larger grace than we can imagine.

Look down, not up. Jesus said, "Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me." I have helped a wee little turtle cross the road, or moved a snail to a safer place. Walk gently on this earth. When you look down as you walk you see a whole miraculous microcosm you have missed before. The miracle of a tiny bright wildflower growing up through a crack in the cement in the sidewalk, wee little tadpoles who burst into being in a rain puddle. A small child who takes time when we walk with them so that we cannot hurry can teach us much about the natural world, seeing miraculous things like a ladybug, a dandelion that simply must be picked for a tiny little vase at home because to the child (and to me) it is one of the most beautiful flowers on earth. An acorn cap that makes a perfect hat for a tiny handmade doll. The earth is so full of riches, if we only take the time to look.

Take time to treasure the fragile little things in life, and then give them all the love you've got. They are treasures beyond measure...

With tender love,





Maitri Libellule

While I am connected to many religions and spiritual paths, hence starting an interfaith ministry that celebrates all, and seeks to find the similarities and not the differences, because through those things that are similar, we are tied together and have a base of understanding, no matter what path we follow. Below are but a few quotes, symbols, and ideas. I invite you to find similarities with your own spiritual path. Research it. Study it. Open your arms and your heart to all that is, and then love. Only love. Begin with beginner's mind...


ZEN BUDDHISM

"For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our 'original mind' includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self-sufficient state of mind. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few."

Shunryu Suzuki
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind


"Ensō
() is a Japanese word meaning "circle" and a concept strongly associated with Zen. Ensō is one of the most common subjects of Japanese calligraphy even though it is a symbol and not a character. It symbolizes enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and the void; it can also symbolize the Japanese aesthetic itself. As an "expression of the moment" it is often considered a form of expressionist art.

In Zen Buddhist painting, ensō symbolizes a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create. The brushed ink of the circle is usually done on silk or rice paper in one movement (but the great Bankei used two strokes sometimes) and there is no possibility of modification: it shows the expressive movement of the spirit at that time. Zen Buddhists "believe that the character of the artist is fully exposed in how she or he draws an ensō. Only a person who is mentally and spiritually complete can draw a true ensō. Some artists will practice drawing an ensō daily, as a kind of spiritual exercise."
Audrey Yoshiko; Loori, John Daido. Enso: Zen Circles of Enlightenment

NATIVE AMERICAN SPIRITUALITY
"Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop.


From Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life
Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux
As told through John G. Neihardt,
"Flaming Rainbow"



THE CELTIC CROSS

Associated with Christianity,

Catholicism, Pagan and

Wiccan faiths...

The Celtic cross is widely used as Christian symbol, but as we can tell from its name, the cross has a history stretching further back than Christianity. For example, its four arms are interpreted as the four elements (earth, air, fire, water), the four directions of the compass (north, south, east, west) or the four parts of man (mind, soul, heart, body), in various cultures and traditions.
The Celtic cross is said to have derived from the Chi Rho symbol, as popularised by the Roman emperor, Constantine. "Chi" and "Rho" are the first letters of the word "Christ" in the Greek alphabet, and when these letters are interlinked, they appear similar to the cross at the centre of a Celtic cross.
But where does the cross's distinctive circle come from? The truth is, no one is sure, but among ancient races, circles were used to represent the moon and a cross and circle conjoined symbolised the sun. So, it's likely that the Celtic cross was originally a Pagan sun or moon representation, later used by the Romans in order to try to convert the Pagans of Britain to Christianity. According to Irish legend, St Patrick created the cross by drawing a circle around a Latin cross to represent the Pagan moon goddess. But to Irish Catholics, the circle can represent Christ's halo, or as eternity and the endlessness of God's love.
More often than not, the pentagram is enclosed within a circle, although this is not always the case. Upright pentagrams are drawn in the air as part of the ritual practice within a Wiccan magickal circle. This is done precisely, and with will and purpose. The point at which one begins the drawing of the pentagram has meaning in correspondence to the elements, or to whether one is banishing or invoking." Source: The Celtic Cross
Found at: Nature of Spirit



Click symbol for source of image and
information on Sacred Geometry...

And when two circles join we have perhaps
the most powerful symbol of all...

THE VESICA PISCIS

(To read a fascinating, multifaceted explanation of
the many meanings of the Vesica Piscis, go to
this site.)


One of my favorite passages about the Vesica Piscis, from a book I cherish so much I quickly bought a second copy when I couldn't find my first, and now I have two, and I have reread this book countless times and am about to read it again. Every midlife woman should read this...

"Vesica Piscis means 'the vessel of the fish' in Latin. The basic design is made by overlapping the edges of two circles of equal size, the circumference of each of which passes through the center of the other, which creates an almond shape (a mandorla) or pointed oval between them.

When the two circle are one above the other, the shape between them becomes the outline of the body of a fish, which was a symbol of Christ, an easily drawn symbol that early Christians used to identify themselves to one another. It is said that using the fish as a Christian symbol was that the Greek symbol for fish, ichthys, can be an acronym for Jesus Christ, Son of God. However, before it became a Christian symbol, the vesica piscis was a universal symbol of the Mother Goddess, the almond shaped mandorla representing an outline of her vulva, through which all life came. To Barbara Walker in The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, this was unequivocally so."

Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.
Crossing to Avalon: A Woman's Midlife Pilgrimmage







As an interfaith minister, it is my duty, my obligation, and my deepest journey in this life to study religions and spiritual paths around the world, to look for the sameness, to celebrate the union between all faiths that, like the Vesica Piscis interlap each other. I come to this study with the open heart and mind of a child, with Beginner's Mind, and I see circles everywhere. I feel their impact and their grace. And I continue on, under the sun and the moon, those great circles in the sky, to continue my vision quest, my search for the Holy Grail, and in my case that is everything that people have found in their cultures to connect them to the holiest of the holy, and to each other. It is this kind of connection that we need more than ever today. In our diversity we should seek our connectedness. It is the most sacred ground we might tread upon to find our way back to each other...

On my knees I bow until my forehead touches the earth. In the Holy Earth I will find you...

Maitri Libellule

Saint Francis...

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

Maitri Libellule


Reverend Mother Maitri Libellule
on The Maitri Ministry (based on the Buddhist teaching of maitri...) I was ordained in the first days of January and am creating a worldwide interfaith ministry called “The Maitri Ministry.” I took the name, Maitri, legally almost 4 years ago, as a beacon, a light, to guide me on my path throughout life. The ministry is named, not after me, but after the teaching that I follow and hope to spread around the world. Below is a wonderful quote for those who are not familiar with the Buddhist teaching of maitri

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“The Buddhist understanding of the word maitri might be of help for us to become aware of the broad and the profound meaning of “interreligious dialogue.” Maitri (metta) in Buddhism means “loving kindness, aspiration for the well-being and happiness of all living beings, including friends and foes, those who are feeble or strong, tall, medium, or short, big or small, seen or unseen, those dwelling far or near, those who are born and those who are to be born. The thoughts of the boundless love should pervade the whole world, above, below, and across. There should be no place for hatred or for enmity. As a mother would protect her child at the risk of her life, one should cultivate a boundless loving heart for everybody. Identification of oneself with all living-beings is the culminating point of loving kindness” (Kala Acharya, Buddhanusmrti, Somaiya Public, 2002, p. 167).”

From Archbishop Felix Machado
on the Buddhist teaching of “maitri”
as used in an interfaith ministry.




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Maitri's Heart

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Maitri Libellule

This is where my 4 precious rescue pugs came from...

This is where my four rescue pugs came from, and animal rescue is part of my ministry. It's the Franciscan in me. These are the most precious little dogs in the world. I'm about to take a nap with a pug on my person right now...

Maitri Libellule

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."


~ Goethe ~