Easter Thoughts on Mercy

station-cross-002-todayThis is the first Easter since it was announced that Mother Teresa will become a saint. It’s also the ninth Easter since Sri Chinmoy passed away. That makes it a tenth anniversary of sorts.

Easter means resurrection, but the joy of resurrection comes with a knowledge of crucifixion built in. So in Bach’s B Minor Mass, we are led through the slow agony of crucifixion to experience the overpowering joy of resurrection:

We may think of the B Minor Mass as a long work, yet the crucifixion and resurrection are compressed into a few minutes of music. We know that in the ancient world, the crucifixion of Jesus is said to have taken six hours, with the resurrection occurring two or three days later.

The future is a foreign country — they do things differently there. So in our modern world the crucifixion comes after someone has died. This is true of both Mother Teresa and Sri Chinmoy. While they both lived, they faced some opposition, true. But their living presence on earth made it difficult for detractors to eclipse their profound achievements. After they died, it became easier for critics to torture them with unimaginable lies. Why do they do it? Continue reading

Mary Murphy and WPIX-TV, Part 1

Why is Mary Murphy chasing an elderly woman down the street? The answer to that mystery next!

Forgive the tabloid TV come-on, but I assure you it’s entirely appropriate to the subject matter, which is muckraking journalism (not the good kind, which I respect). We’ll also be discussing cyberstalking, net kooks, apostate atrocity stories, and how these topics are related. We’ll take a look at a couple of well-known net kooks who engage in cyberstalking: Anne Carlton and Gary Falk. If you thought you knew all about cyberstalking, this article will cover an important angle often missed: the effect of cyberstalking on spiritual minorities. But let’s begin with a few quotes: Continue reading

More About Me

cambodian-boatman-by-michael-howardThis personal blog is happily not about me and my daily life, but about things that fascinate and inspire me — including music, poetry, art, and spirituality. It’s also about finding time to laugh out loud at Britcoms, and speak up for truth on subjects that surely demand truth.

Still, I hope the reader would learn something about me from the way I write about the artist Picasso, or Chinese female vocalist Chyi Yu, or the tragic attack on Charlie Hebdo.

When I first started this blog in September 2014, I wondered if anyone would even read it, and whether I’d find the words to express my thoughts and feelings on issues I’ve subsequently tackled. As I limbered up the writing apparatus, I also narrowed down the focus and zeroed in on issues that are personally important to me, such as religious freedom. Continue reading

Sundar Dalton: The Barber of Samadhi

Sundar Dalton is a barber by profession. That in itself is not remarkable. But Sundar Dalton is also a poet. How many barbers do you know who are poets? (Limericks don’t count.)

Speaking of Limerick, Sundar doesn’t hail from there. He comes rather from Northern Ireland — Belfast to be precise. He’s lived in New York over 30 years, but his poems speak of a richer history still:

Caledonia

Alone in Glasgow Central Station
On a cool day in July I went
Into a coffee-house and ordered cappuccino.

As I sat there waiting with time
On my hands how welcome and consoling
That happy mixture of warm milk –
The first taste of all – and strong coffee was.

Looking round the cheerful crowded room
My eye was caught by a bust,
Porphyry and cream,
Whose baroque curls and philosopher’s
Beard I recognized, from coffee table
Books on Rome, and the illustrations
In serious histories, to be those of
The Emperor Marcus.

And I thought how almost nineteen
Hundred years earlier he himself may
Have stood at this very dear green place
And watched the legionaries build
The Antonine wall from Forth to Clyde.

I remembered reading in a book, or a book review,
How for centuries after his death
The peasants on the great Antonine
Estate at Lanuvium celebrated his
Birthday still and lit lamps before
An ancestral Image such as this.

Born Annius Verus, nicknamed by Hadrian
Verissime, the most true, he was an index
There for me of Scotland’s happy return
To that great realm of wide humanity,
Brotherhood, Freedom and Equality
And all the schemes of English Oligarchs
Their bastard and unrightful kings undone.

– Sundar Dalton, from Panorama

Sundar is a student of meditation master Sri Chinmoy. I jokingly call him the Barber of Samadhi because Samadhi is an advanced state of meditation in which one is said to experience great bliss — almost like getting a really good haircut.

Sundar first met Sri Chinmoy in Dublin a long, long time ago, and is happy with the spiritual lifestyle that he chose. He swims and runs pretty much every day, meditates every morning, and tries to sing some spiritual songs.

Recently, reporters (not unlike English Oligarchs) barged into Sundar’s barber shop and demanded to know: “Where is the Barber of Samadhi? We want to interview him. It seems he is perhaps the wisest man on earth!” Sundar did grant them a short interview.

Limerick

There once was a barber named Sundar,
Who hadn’t a lolly or Dove Bar
He always ate healthily,
And as age crept on stealthily,
He found he could run like a racecar!

sundar-dalton-2

Sundar Dalton clasping the World Harmony Run torch, 2009

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