Chimney Smoke

Chimney smoke rising up into the cold air
Still warm and careless as young love
Expanding with the first touch of morning wind
Like an Englishman’s old white powdered wig
Prancing along the roof tops without cloths
Caressing the ridge & sloping hips as it goes
With every twirly curl it gradually comes undone
Fading under the eagle’s wings of a rising sun
Yet how we forget the spark that first ignited
While the kindle lay in the ash of a wood stove
As pure potential before its heavenward rove
Our need for warmth a yearning to be united.

By Jason Youngman
November 2018

My photo above is of the Narrows leading into the Harbour of St. John’s, Newfoundland. The village on the left is The Battery and the development on the other side of the narrows is called Fort Amherst. It’s a very scenic place for hiking and taking lovely photos.

 

 

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Beautiful Moments – My Home & Native Land

Fell in love with St. John’s, Newfoundland back in the early 90’s. One of the most inspiring aspects of the locale is its beautiful trails in and around the capital. See my video above for a few sights that may take your breath away. Hopefully my guitar arrangement will enhance your experience and give you a feel for the invigoration that so often springs forth for those who visit this place.

Love & light,

JY

 

 

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Self Affirmations – Weaving the Fabric of Love

Here are a few of my newly created self-affirmations but before we get into them allow me to explain the general idea behind this concept. Ideally, affirmations help to fortify any number of characteristics unique to the human being. There are occasions when we may want to pick out attributes that need to be reinforced in our lives. So for instance, if Tracey finds herself overly angry and quarrelsome, it may be to her advantage to reflect on qualities that go contrary to her disposition, hence affirmations based on loving kindness & forgiveness may help her to override or soften her irritableness and in turn foster conditions by which to better relate with others and attain more peace of mind.

Another important feature of developing a positive self-affirmation is that it enables us to create our own lives. Rather than blindly accept the scripts imposed upon us through family, friends and media, affirmations are a means to establish and strengthen the values we actively choose to live by. Repetition being a sensible way to condition ourselves, it is helpful to repeat self-affirmations again and again. The more colourful the affirmation is articulated, so as to engage all our senses and the more vivid they appear in our imagination, the more substance the mind has to work with to manifest. Without further ado, here are four of my recent creations in the form of a couplet:

How delightful it is for me to mindfully eat nutritious food,
And as a result improve my equanimity & daily mood.

My moderate diet enhances my concentration & focus,
Enabling good choices to stem from my inner locus.

There is much joy in learning through empathic listening,
A loyal means of building trust, to keep our heart a glistening.

What deep abiding gratitude grows in my heart each day,
While contemplating beauty, goodness & truth in its vast array.

Let’s address the first affirmation in order to explain the reasoning process of phrasing it as is. Right from the get go we have a positive emotion associated with the desired behaviour to be enacted. Then we have the active agent by which to acquire the desired result, namely mindfulness coupled with healthy eating habits. In the end we have the objective to be attained, that is equanimity and better moods, qualities that aid one in alleviating suffering or enhancing well-being, which incidentally reveals a significant aspect of my value system.

So now that we have taken a basic look at the ins and outs of my analytical approach to crafting affirmations, it would be my pleasure to read your favorite self-affirmation. Why not string one together and exercise it for a month. At the very least it will serve as a reminder to keep your values in the forefront of your day.

Love & light

JY

 

 

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Synchronicity – The Kiss of Life

“Contrary to the kiss of death, which implies failure and doom, synchronicity
is the kiss of life, for it is the mark of a fortuitous moment that pervades the
soul with a sense of interconnected belonging and cosmic purpose.”

Synchronicity can be defined as the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear meaningful and/or significantly related but have no causal connection as such. Just about all of us have experienced it at one time or another. They often leave us with a feeling that things are as they ought to be. That there is a greater intelligence at play in the universe in which we are part and parcel with. Even though our critical side may play the phenomena down to mere chance, some of these encounters are too significant to rationally explain away. Conversely, the associated video helps to make very good sense of the concept. In fact it provides an eloquent rendition of synchronicity, paired with images that seem to warmly light up the way for a more lush and colourful apprehension of its nature.

Love & light,

JY

 

 

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The first hour of the day sets the tone & directs the way

What we do during the first hour of the day often sets the tone for what follows. Whether we are living successful lives or not, that which retains our condition in life, for the most part comes down to our quality of habits & rituals. Allow me to demonstrate:

Could you foresee yourself waking up every morning on the dot, getting fully dressed, drinking a large glass of water and then going for a walk? During your stroll around the neighbourhood you repeat positive affirmations in your mind, and then ponder the various things for which you are grateful, followed with envisioning yourself participating in the most essential items of the day.

What do you suppose would happen if you continued with this ritual for 40 days? For starters it would probably be difficult to break from the new habit. Permeating your days with clarity, focus and energy is not something most people would likely want to wish away. Now imagine how you would feel if you continued with this practice for a year? From this perspective it is easy to see how the fabric of healthy habits is the means to fortify strong character and sustain well-being.

Aligning our rituals or patterns of living with a realistic standard, one in which is conducive to the common good, is a balancing act of sorts; living a life of integrity is a rewarding one, yet it requires daily deposits and effort to maintain such congruency. The first hour of the day can truly be the means to direct your way.

Image above was taken in my neighbourhood. Click here to view in high definition.

 

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On the Emergence into Life

On the descent of the soul into body, the Philosopher Plotinus explains the reason for our emergence into life. He holds to the notion that the universe is filled with souls in order to make it complete. It is here in the sense-realm that the soul is to manifest its powers, ‘which if they had remained dormant in the spiritual world would have been of no use because they would never have come into actuality.’

So while we reside in this world our mission is to participate in a work fitting to our nature; that is our enlightened nature which remains unscathed and unperturbed. But how do we know if this is true? Plotinus boldly expresses his opinion by stating that in some way our souls remain connected with its source. According to him ‘our soul does not altogether come down, but there is always something of it’ that remains in ‘the spiritual world’.

But take a good look around? Why are there so many people opposed to this kind of relational orientation? Plotinus gives an intelligent answer to this question: When the part of the soul which remains ‘in the world of sense-perception gets control and is therefore thrown into confusion, it prevents us from perceiving the things which the upper part of the soul contemplates.’ In other words the disorientation comes about like an Actor who becomes strongly fixated on his theatrical role and forgets his former self. Simply put we lose ourselves in the drama.

So the question we may have to ask ourselves is whether or not some aspect of our psyche is able to commune with a higher power. What needs to take place for us to accept such a notion? Either way, what does our upper soul do? According to Plotinus it ‘maintains the beauty and order of the whole in effortless transcendence…’

So in that spirit here is my natural and spontaneous interpretation of such art. Click on the image above to access my video On the Emergence into Life.

Love & light,

JY

 

 

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Ovid’s Metamorphoses – The Creation of the World

There are a number of creation myths in circulation but none quite elegant as that presented in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In his rendition we are taken up in the spirit as though present to the god like forces that brought the cosmos into existence. A vision not possible through ordinary consciousness but made accessible through the medium of poetry. May my recitation in the video above give spark to your imagination, so as to open your inner eye to the truth contained in ancient myth…

Love & light,

JY

“Love is the force that leaves you colourless” ― Ovid, Metamorphoses

 

 

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Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare sets the tone for that time of year when the leaves turn colour and fall away. Indeed it is one of his most significant poems, a harbinger for what is to follow man in time, and a reminder to keep first things first. There is nothing under the stars quite so delightful than to experience the budding of his ideas in a will-less and receptive soul. Each word placed exactly where it ought to be, as though the Poet himself is mirroring eternity. That we might keep such a fire lit in the heart of humanity, here is my part & rendition with song & originality.

Love & light,

JY

 

 

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Oh Noble Sound – An Appeal to Euterpe

This weeks poem is dedicated to Euterpe, the Muse of music and lyric poetry, who is known to grant musicians/poets their deepest desire. It has been imbued with the oh so delicate & graceful sound of a harp, by none other than the amazingly wonderful & extraordinary Bonnie Hodge, in whom you would do well to come under her musical spell, for in her the spirit doth lodge.

It would be outright defiant to say that the Muses have not enriched my life immensely. Even though we commonly refer to them as a metaphor of sorts, they are much more than mere words, and deserve to be cherished and honoured in whatever age we find ourselves in. By circumstance much of my personality has been coloured through the waves of popular opinion and the currents of cultural change, yet a part of me seems to remain anchored in truth, goodness and beauty. So my appeal to Euterpe is this:

How do we live with integrity while tossed and blown about in a sea of conflicting multiplicity, in what way can my bodily vessel be used to channel your splendour and to whom your gentle word shall we render…

Click here to access or on the image above, to hear the poet transform his words into love.

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Oh Noble Sound, I bend low upon my knee
In awe of your great majesty
That you might lift me from this travesty
With musical notes that dignify.

How good of you to approach my throne said she
To maintain honour in a world of noisy absurdity
Please sit here and tell me what your eyes doth see
Without the mirrored reflection of vast diversity.

From here my eyes behold your sweet beauty
That emanates out upon the wings of duty
A subtle gravity that preserves one in everything
The chord by which all souls rejoice and sing.

My good & faithful servant has answered well
Now for my secret which you must never tell
For I am the drumstick that beats the division bell
Temporal vibrations holding you under my spell.

Therefore music sublime appeases the heart
Enabling the mind to let go and conceive
Allowing the cloud of confusion to part
Opening the blinds we may fully perceive.

A poem by Jason Youngman
September 2018

 

 

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Only the Wind Remained

This particular piece pulls on the imagination, keeping it nimble & energized. Indeed I’ve attempted to format this week’s poem –presented in the video above– within the parameters of modern poetry, thus it has been stripped of measure & rhyme, which ain’t all that bad really. In a way it prods one to write with gusto; a dancer who suspends their technique is compelled to be all that more spontaneous while dancing. Before you watch the video do consider this for a moment: What is the energy that goes into being spontaneous? Really think hard about it if you will. You may notice how it flows ever so dynamically. As electricity can manifest at any given moment in space, so does this spontaneous nature exist in our minds. Surely we are all geniuses just waiting to happen. What my muse is trying to convey in the video above is that our neural networks need not be limited to our biosphere. We are free to make mental connections with that which goes beyond locality and this very moment in time. What a beautiful image to behold but to contemplate the very force & principle that animates and sustains this cosmic entity in which we find ourselves as codependent & transient agents. How this primal energy embodies the most rigid elements of matter, allowing for appearance & will, while simultaneously possessing the potential to implode into its own universe in the twinkling of an eye. Such is the beauty that is snuffed out if we keep to the impulse to give measure to everything; i.e. if we reduce phenomena into neat little categories that keep us playing ‘I spy with my little eye’. Therefore my muse encourages us to imagine a bomb fire of transcendent light, so large that the wind itself cannot help but give it sustenance. That is the vision which awaits you in my video production if you but sever the chains that bind and interrupt the neural networks that cement you into complacency.

Love & light,

JY

 

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