Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Beauty Blessing | Remembering John O'Donohue

. indeed we are from the Eternal Landscape, and
to
that Landscape we return
to become part of .


John O'Donohue in Landscape{ John O'Donohue, 1956-2008, and continuing forever }

1.
One of the most gifted mystic, philosopher and poet of our time, John O'Donohue, beginning of this year in January has passed behind the curtain of Eternity, to the Eternal Landscape which he was so fond of in his peaceful sleep on January 3, 2008.

He has been rightly described as a man of the soul. His works will remain as scholarly meditation, synthesis of philosophy, soulful poetry and radiant source of spiritual wisdom for ages. The prestigious Review of Metaphysics commended him for "breaking new ground in our thinking about consciousness… (with) a richer and deeper notion of Personhood." John is beloved for his book Anam Cara - Gaelic for "soul friend" - and for his insistence on beauty as a human calling and a defining aspect of God. John O'Donohue had a very Celtic, lifelong fascination with what he called "the invisible world."

About him author and mystic Carl McColman in his blog Anamchara: Website of Unknowning wrote: "He was not only one of the most articulate voices of living Celtic Christianity and Celtic wisdom, but he also had a clear grasp of the beauty of Christian mysticism as well. He was a trained philosopher with a prodigious intellect. He was the only person I’ve ever met who could effortlessly and lyrically weave together allusions to Martin Heidegger, Meister Eckhart, and the Tuatha Dé Danann in a single sentence.

Rest in peace, John O’Donohue.
Walk gladly in the light of Tir na n’Og."

2.
When I started reading his book Anam Cara, a recognized spiritual classic of our time, the first few lines really struck me, how beautifully he expresses the mysteries of the Divine through language.

In the Prologue John says, "It is strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone. Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits. A world lives within you. No-one else can bring you news of this inner world.

... Humans are new here. Above us, the galaxies dance out towards infinity. Under our feet is ancient earth. We are beautifully moulded by clay. Yet the smallest stone is millions of years older than us. In your thoughts, the silent universe seeks echo. An unknown world aspires towards reflection. ..." and the mysterious weaving of his brilliance with words full of spirit continues.

3.
John O'Donohue
In London there will be a gathering in loving memory of John on the evening of the 16th April and my friend Cailean who gets the credit for introducing to me John's writings and book will be attending, God willing. In response to Cailean's request and remembering John's tender soul, here is a beautiful blessing poem by John.

A Beauty Blessing

As stillness in stone to silence is wed
May your heart be somewhere a God might dwell.

As a river flows in ideal sequence
May your soul discover time in presence.

As the moon absolves the dark of resistance
May thought-light console your mind with brightness.

As the breath of light awakens colour
May the dawn anoint your eyes with wonder.

As spring rain softens the earth with surprise
May your winter places be kissed by light.

As the ocean dreams to the joy of dance
May the grace of change bring you elegance.

As clay anchors a tree in light and wind
May your outer life grow from peace within.

As twilight fills night with bright horizons
May beauty await you at home beyond.

- John O'Donohue from his book Divine Beauty

4.
Some blessed souls are privileged to come back again and again after they are no longer in their physical body. John is one of such soul who will return to his friends, to his readers in their memories, consciousness through his beautiful legacy of writings. As I was listening last night to his wonderful interview with Krista Tippett in the program Speaking of Faith, I was immensely touched by John's depth of wisdom and profound beauty that he embodied.

A beautiful Interview // I surely would love to recommend you to listen to this audio (complete, unedited) interview of him, his last before his death in fact. Click HERE to listen to the mp3 audio (or you may right click to select Save As to save the mp3 file on your disk to listen from your computer). Its from John O'Donohue's interview on Speaking of Faith program.

also, John O'Donohue talking on death and leaving this plane (video)
. You can also listen to past interviews with John from NPR in 1999 and 2005.

5.
There is a memorial planned for May 3, 2008 in Santa Monica, California. Plans are still developing for services on the east coast of the US and in the UK. Click here to know about Memorial Services to remember John O'Donohue.


More Resources and Tribute:
. Unheard Cuts: John O'Donohue's Poems, his recitations
. Beannacht by John O'Donohue
. In sweet memoriam: John O'Donohue

. YouTube presentation dedicated to a soul friend
. John O’Donohue on Prayer
. Tributes / from David Whyte / Gareth Higgins

. Tribute to John by Shara Banisadr (youtube)
. John O'Donohue, 1956-2008, and continuing forever
. In Memory of John O'Donohue
. A Tribute to John O’Donohue on RTE
. John O'Donohue (1954-2008): Our New Friend on the Other Side
. In memory of John O'Donohue
. Obituary at Guardian
. Death of John
. John O'Donohue by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
The Presence of Compassion / an interview
. In Memoriam: John O'Donohue
. Books by John O'Donohue
. a blogspot for John / to share thoughts, memories and other blessings arising from the life and gifts of John O'Donohue
. Poems of John O'Donohue

"There is an unseen life that dreams us; it knows our true direction and destiny. We can trust ourselves more than we realize, and we need have no fear of change."

"The greatest friend of soul is the Unknown."

"If you live the life you love, you will receive shelter and blessings. Sometimes the great famine of blessings in and around us derives from the fact that we are not living the life we love; rather, we are living the life that is expected of us. We have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature." [>] more quotes by John O'Donohue.
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