Readings

The following list contains some of the readings past couples have chosen to set the scene or tone of their wedding ceremony. This list is compiled for your convenience and consideration. The choice for your ceremony may include anything from here or indeed from elsewhere. You may also consider an original work! (The table of contents are hyperlinked.)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Speak to us of Love --- Kahil Gibran

Responsive Readers --- Various

Celbrate Life --- Collin McCarty

Quotes on Commitment/Marriage --- Carl Rodgers & Scott Peck

Speak to us of Marriage --- Kahil Gibran

Three Readings --- Rainer Maria Rilke & Micheal Leunig

Marriage --- Hari Dass

Relationships ---Marianne Williamson

Commemoration of the rings --- Alex Arpino

Words on Marriage --- Baba Muktananda

Dust --- Lafcadio Hearn

Brevity of Life --- Unknown

Readings from Illusions --- Richard Bach

Extracts from a "Recipe for dreaming" --- Bryce Courtenay

                       Cloud Drift  & A Recipe to Dream.

What is a Friend --- C Raymond Beran

The Five Khanda's (aggregates) --- The Buddha

Para Nibbana Sutta --- From Jataka stories from Edward Conze Buddhist texts.

Shakyamuni's Meeting with Dipankara. --- Mahayana text

Ouotes from Joseph Campbell --- Joseph Campbell

Things (ideas) to talk about --- Oral History

                      (Using Water)   (Husbands and Wives)  (Elephant Story)   (Fire Analogy)

Marriage --- Author Unknown

Marriage Lines --- Gloria Matthew

Love --- Author Unknown

Interesting Research on Marriage Day Character --- Taoist flavour

From Song of Songs --- Bible

A birthday --- Author Unknown

Love Is The Reason --- Author Unknown

From Romance --- Robert Louis Stevenson

The Good Morrow --- John Donne

To a Marriage --- Brian Zouch

Loves Philosophy --- Percy Bysshe Shelley

From Corinthians 13 --- Bible

Now We Are One --- Kate Fisher

Ruth (Chapter 2 Verses 16 & 17) --- Bible

Your Name --- Val Dwyer

The Best & Most Important --- Bertrand Russell

Possible reading for "Giving Away" Ceremony --- Author Unknown

Marriage --- Author Unknown

A Prayer --- Author Unknown

On Your Wedding Day --- Author Unknown

Apache Blessing --- Author Unknown

To Love is Not to Possess --- James Kavanaugh

 

 

 

 

SPEAK TO US OF LOVE --- by Kahlil Gibran

People of Orphalese, of what can I speak save of that which is even now moving within your souls?

Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love.

And he raised his head and looked upon the people; and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:

When love beckons to you, follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him,

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you to free you from your husks.

He grinds you to whiteness.

He kneads you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's pleasure,

Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,

Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say "God is in my heart", but rather, "I am in the heart of God."

And think not that you can direct the course of love, for love,if it finds you worthy, directs you course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody into the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate loves ecstasy;

To return home at the eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

 

 

RESPONSIVE READERS

This is an imaginative way of involving others and saying what you want to say. It can of course be changed and arranged to suit the couple. Readers bounced their questions and responses to appear spontaneous

 1.         Reader 1: Explains the often asked question to bride & Groom "Why get Married". Bride & Grooms response arose "Because it is the next s

             Formally Reader 1 asks "Why get Married.

2.         Reader 2 responds: "We need a path not to go from here to there, but to go from here to here!   (Jakusho Kwong.)

3.         Reader 3: For are human beings to love one another. That is perhaps the most difficult task of all, the work for which all other work is but pre-practice. It is a high inducement to the individual to ripen ... great exacting claim upon us, something that chooses us out and calls us to vast things.                                                   (R. M. Rilkie.)

 4.         Reader 4: Be patient to all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms or books that are written in a foreign tongue. The point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually without noticing it, live your way, some distant day into the answers.                    (R.M. Rilkie.)

 5.         Reader 5: If we were men, if we were women, our individualities would be lone and a bit mysterious, like tarns, and fed with power, male and female power, from underneath, invisibly. And from us the streams of desire would flow out in the eternal glimmering adventure.                                         (D.H. LAWRENCE.)

 6.         Reader 6: The relation of a man to woman is wide as all life. It consists in infinite flows between the two beings, different, even apparently contrary. Chastity is part of the flow between man and woman, as is physical passion. and beyond these, an infinite range of subtle communication which we know nothing about ...  the relation of man to woman is the flowing of two rivers side by side, sometimes even mingling, then separating again, and travelling on. The relationship is a life long change and a life long travelling.

 

CELEBRATE LIFE! ---- by Collin McCarty.

There is a wonderful life waiting to be lived.

Celebrate it today; life is too short to put off living until tomorrow.

Live it fully.

Love its changes and choices.

Let it surprise you.

Let it show you new ways of doing things.

Let it help you explore and discover.

Let it introduce you to people you have never known; to dreams you have never dreamed.

 Let life take away your worries and caress your woes.

Let it help you wonder laugh and love.

Let it show you how to rise with the sun and aim for the stars.

Let it reveal how to reach out and become all that you are.

Let life challenge and encourage you.

Let it embrace and enfold you.

Let it show you the majesty of a simple, peaceful morning.

Let it show you the miracle of your complexity.

Let it help you find your way.

Let it amaze you with possibilities.

Let life help you realise that it is what you make of it, and that it can be everything you want it to be.

Have a wonderful day ....today and every day.

 

QUOTES ON COMMITMENT/MARRIAGE.

A marriage which is constantly being transformed by the development of each spouse is without doubt one of the greatest sources of security a man or woman can know. From it he can venture into daring, challenging behaviour, can work freely to change his world, can take risks because he can return to his secure relationship.

 Even this security is change and process, not in something static. But a core of this continually blossoming security is to me, marriage at its best.                 (CARL RODGERS.)

I have defined love as the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing ones own or anothers spiritual growth. Genuine love is volitional rather than emotional. The person who truly loves does so because of a decision to love. This person has made a commitment to be loving, whether or not the loving feeling is present.

If it is so, so much the better; but if it isn't the  commitment to love the will to love still stands and is present          (SCOTT PECK)

The principle form that the work of love takes is attention. When we love one another we give him or her attention, we attend to their growth.              (SCOTT PECK)

Love is not simply giving; It is judicious giving and judicious with holding as well. It is judicious praising and judicious criticising. It is judicious confronting, urging, pushing and pulling in addition to comforting. The word judicious means requiring judgement and judgement requires more than instinct, it requires thoughtful decision making                      (SCOTT PECK)

 

SPEAK TO US OF MARRIAGE! --- Kahlil Gibran

Then Almitra spoke again and said,

And what of Marriage, Master?

And he answered saying:

You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness.

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

The same wind moves us, but not in the same way

The same earth holds us, but not in the same place

The same sun feeds us, and we share each other's lives

Holding each other's shadow.

 

THREE READINGS

The first reading is by Rainer Maria Rilke from his "Letters to a Young Poet".

Reading One:

"For one human being to love one another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

The second reading is by Michael Leunig from his "Prayer Book.

Reading Two:

We pray for the fragile ecology of the heart and the mind.  The sense of meaning.  So finely assembled and balanced and so easily overturned.  The careful, ongoing construction of love.  As painful and exhausting as the struggle for truth and as easily abandoned.

Hard fought and won are the shifting sands of this sacred ground, this ecology.  Easy to desecrate and difficult to defend, this vulnerable joy, this exposed faith, this precious order.  This sanity.

We shall be careful.  With others and with ourselves.                  Amen.

The Third Reading is also a work by Rilke extracted from a book called "The Ring of Love"

Reading Three:

We must assume our existence as broadly as we in any way can: every-thing, even the unheard-of must be possible in it.  That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter.  That mankind has in this sense been cowardly has done life endless harm; the experiences that are called "visions", the whole so-called "spirit-world", death, all those things that are so closely akin to us, have by daily parrying been so crowded out of life that the senses with which we could have grasped them are atrophied.  But fear of the inexplicable has not alone impoverished the existence of the individual; the relation between one human being and another has also been cramped by it..... only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical, will live the relation to another as something alive and will himself draw exhaustively from his own existence.

 

Marriage by Hari Dass

Husbands and wives are like the two equal parts of a seed.

If the two parts are under the earth separately, they will not grow.

The seed will grow only when the parts are covered by the skin.

Marriage is the skin which covers each of them and makes them one.

 

Relationships by Marianne Williamson

Relationships are part of a vast plan for our enlightenment, the Holy Spirit's blueprint by which each individual soul is led to greater awareness and expanded love.

Relationships are the Holy Spirit's laboratories in which he brings together people who have the maximal opportunity for mutual growth.

COMMEMORATION OF THE RINGS  --- Alex Arpino

A circle is the symbol of the sun, the earth & the universe.

It is a symbol of holiness & of perfection & peace, it is also the symbol of the eternity of spiritual truth, in this moment, couples name choose for it to also be a symbol of unity, but not of possession, of joining but not of restricting, of encirclement, but not of entrapment, for love cannot be possessed, nor can it be restricted.

And the soul can never be entrapped.

WORDS ON MARRIAGE BY BABA MUKTANANDA.

Explain : 

SHAKTI --- is like creative energy of form. ---- SHIVA --- analogous to void or unconditioned -- Universe

Baba has said that marriage is a great institution. "After marriage, the two people set out on a divine life in the world and accomplish this journey together".

Shaivism says that Shakti manifests itself as a woman and Shiva as man. Marriage reunites these as one. Each should give themselves so completely to the other that they become as one. Once that love is given it should never be taken back. Through love and respect and seeing that divinity in each other they come closer to God.

"When this divine power enters a man in the form of grace, he is completely transformed. As he becomes fully aware of the pervasiveness of his own inner Shakti, he develops a deep love for his wife and a selfless relationship with her The knowledge arises within him that she is not a woman but the divine Kundalini. As Chiti reveals Herself within a wife, complete faith in her husband and boundless love for him arise in her, along with the desire to serve. Through the influence of this power there dawns within her the perfect understanding that her husband is not just a man, but the embodiment of God. As the power of the Guru's grace penetrates a mother, her whole life is suffused with joy. As the Shakti saturates her, she gains knowledge of her childrens true nature. She acquires the ability to perfect them in wisdom, courtesy and the fullest expression of their talents. The moment the grace of the supreme Kundalini is bestowed on her in the form of Shaktipat, she is given the capacity to lead her children along the highest path".                     (BABA.) 

 

For one couple this poem DUST expresses the mystical nature of their search and the depth in which they are willing to penetrate this life.  (Lafcadio Hearn was an Englishman who went to the East and ended up living in Japan.)

DUST. by Lafcadio Hearn

Is there aught visible, tangible, measurable, that has never been mixed with sentiency? - atom that has never vibrated to pleasure or to pain? - air that has never been cry or speech? - drop that has never been a tear?  Assuredly this dust has felt.  It has been everything we know; also much that we cannot know.  It has been nebula and star, planet and moon, times unspeakable.  Deity also it has been, - the Sun-Gods of worlds that circled and worshipped in other aeons.  "Remember, Man, thou art but dust" - a saying profound only as materialism, which stops short at surfaces.  For what is dust? "Remember, Dust, thou hast been Sun, and Sun thou shalt become again!.....  Thou hast been Light, Life, Love, - and into all these, by ceaseless cosmic magic, thou shalt many times be turned again!".

I an individual, - an individual soul.  Nay, I am a population, - a population unthinkable for multitude, even by groups of a thousand millions.  Generations of Generations I am, aeons of aeons!  Countless times the concourse now making me has been scattered, and mixed with other scatterings.  Of what concern, then, the next disintegration?  Perhaps, after trillions of ages of burning in different dynasties of suns, the very best of me may come together again.

 

BREVITY OF LIFE

 "Short, indeed, is this life of men, limited, fleeting, full of woe and torment; it is just like a dew-drop that vanishes as soon as the sun rises; like a water-bubble; like a furrow drawn in the water; like a torrent dragging everything along and never standing still, like cattle for slaughter that every moment look death in the face".

 

READINGS FROM ILLUSIONS. --- Richard Bach

11.        The Master answered and said, "Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river.

12.        The current of the river swept silently over them all - young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going to its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

13.        Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.

14.        But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging.  Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going.  I shall let it go, and let it take me where it will.  Clinging, I shall die of boredom."

 15.        The other creature laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!"

 16.        But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

 17.        Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

 18.        And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See a miracle!  A creature like ourselves, yet he flies!  See the Messiah, come to save us all!"

 19.        And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more Messiah than you.  The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go.  Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."

 

 Extracts from "A RECIPE FOR DREAMING" --- by Bryce Courtenay

 CLOUD DRIFT.

Can you remember when you were a kid, and you would lie in the grass on your back and watch the clouds scud above you and dream of what you were going to be when you grow up?

 Dare your genius to walk the wildest unknown way.

Go where you've never been before. Dream up a destination, a path to follow, the wildest unknown way, over rocks and scrag, across high hills where the winds bite cold with malice, through deep mysterious valleys where the wild things roar and echo and rumble and stamp and hiss great clouds of steam from their terrible huffing ways.

Dream the impossible dream and start walking towards it.

On the way you'll be beaten up, chewed, spat out, mauled, ripped apart, given up for lost. Quite soon you'll learn what it feels like to be beaten up, chewed, spat out, mauled, ripped apart and given up for lost.

This is called "experience" and it's very, very valuable in life, because what you mostly learn from it is that you were more afraid of what might happen than what did happen. Most successful outcomes are achieved by calling a series of conventional bluffs.

One bright sunny morning you will discover that the wild and unknown way you took is carpeted with moss and strewn with tiny flowers. It has become a familiar path, and a well trodden direction which has put you miles ahead of anyone else and much closer to achieving your once impossible dream.

 A RECIPE TO DREAM.

Take one dream. Dream it in detail. Put it into your own hands. See its final outcome clearly in your mind. Mix it with a little effort and add a generous portion of self discipline. Flavour it with a wholesome pinch of ambition. Stir briskly with confidence until the mixture becomes clear, the doubt separated from the resolution. Bake at an even temperature in a moderate mind until the dream rises and is firm to the touch. Decorate with individuality. Cut into generous portions and serve with justifiable pride. Approached in this manner life is a piece of cake.    Good luck.

Good Luck is what is almost always comes to those who use the "recipe for dreaming" and having dreamed their dream, never, never, give up until they have it. 

 

Piece by C. RAYMOND BERAN, called "WHAT IS A FRIEND".

"WHAT IS A FRIEND".

What is a friend?  I will tell you.

It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.

Your soul can be naked with him.

He seems to ask of you to put on nothing, only to be what you are.

He does not want you to be better or worse.

When you are with him, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent.

You do not have to be on your guard.

You can say which you think, so long as it is genuinely you.

He understands those contradictions in your nature that lead others to misjudge you.

With him you breathe freely.

You can avow your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your mean-nesses and absurdities and, in opening them up to him, they are lost, dissolved on the white ocean of his loyalty.

He understands.

You do not have to be care.

You can abuse him, neglect him, tolerate him.

Best of all, you can keep still with him.

It makes no matter.

He likes you - he is like fire that purges to the bone.

He understands. He understands.

You can weep with him, sing with him, laugh with him, pray with him.

Through it all - and underneath - he sees, knows and loves you.

A friend.

What is a friend?  Just one, I repeat, with whom you dare to be yourself.

 

THE 5 KHANDAS(aggregates)

In this reflection the Buddhist understanding of the 5 groups of aggregates are compared, respectively to a lump of froth, a bubble, a mirage, a coreless plantain stem, and a conjuring trick.

In detail (that is individually) matter should be regarded as a lump of froth, because it will stand no squeezing, feeling as a bubble on water because it can only be enjoyed for an instant, perception as a mirage because it causes illusion, formations as a plantain trunk because it has no core, and consciousness as a conjuring trick because it deceives.  

 

PARA NIBBANA SUTTA 

Therefore, Ananda, you should live as islands unto yourselves, being your own refuge, with no one else as your refuge, with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as your refuge, with no other refuge. And how does a Monk live as an island unto himself...with no other refuge? Here, Ananda, a monk abides contemplating the body as body, earnestly, clearly aware, mindful and having put away all hankering and fretting for the world, and likewise with regard to feelings, mind and mind objects. "That, Ananda, is how a monk lives as an island unto himself....with no other refuge.  And those who now in my time or afterwards live thus, they will become the highest, if they are desirous of learning.                               From Jataka stories from Edward Conze Buddhist texts.

 

 SHAKYAMUNI'S MEETING WITH DIPANKARA.

 Dipankara was the Buddha 24 world systems ago,      -----     Megha is the current Buddha (Shakyamuni) 

Once upon a time there lived a certain learned man who was well versed in brahminic lore, and who taught it to 500 young Brahmins.  One of his pupils was Megha, a young Brahmin who was learned, wise, judicious, and of keen intelligence.

Before long he had learned all the mantras by heart.  After completing his study of the Vedas, he left the Himalayas and went down into the country below, in order to find the fee due to his teacher.  With his staff, water-pot, sunshade, sandals, and mantle he entered many villages, cities, and towns, and the confines of each became free of affliction and calamity through Megha's spiritual power.  On the way he begged for money, and someone gave him 500 coins.

He then decided to go to the royal city Dipavati, in order to see the city of a universal monarch, made of the seven precious things, and delightful to behold.  When he entered the city, he saw that it was in festive array.  He wondered to himself, "What holiday do we have here today, or what dramatic performance, or what festival?  Perhaps King Arcimat has heard that the young Brahmin Megha, on completing his study of the Vedas, has come down from the Himalayas and is on his way to the royal city of Dipavati!  Hence this gay adornment of the city!"  And as he went on he looked for someone he could question.

Just then a young Brahmin girl came along, attractive, good-looking, reliable, gentle, and modest.  She held a water jug and seven lotus flowers in her hands.  Megha asked her, "Is there a festival in the city today and she replied, that there was a Festival in honour of the fully enlightened Buddha Dipankara.

Megha asked her: "How much did you pay for those seven lotus flowers?" She replied:"Five of them I bought for 500 coins; two were given to me by a friend." Megha said to her: "I will give you 500 coins.  You then give me those five lotuses, and with them I shall worship Dipankara, the Lord.  You can honour him with the remaining two." She replied:

"You can have those five lotuses, but only on condition that for all future time you take me for your wife.  Wherever you may be reborn. there I shall be your wife, and you my husband." Megha replied: "My heart is set on supreme enlightenment. How can I think of marriage?" She answered" "No need to desist from your quest! I shall not hinder you!"  So Megha consented, and said, "In exchange for those lotuses, I take you for my wife.  I will be able to worship Dipankara, the Lord, and continue to strive for supreme enlightenment." He gave her the 500 coins, and took the five lotus flowers.  A sublime joy and exaltation had taken hold of his body when he had heard the maiden speak of the Buddha.

 

QUOTES FROM JOSEPH CAMPBELL.

"People do not realise what marriage is. They think it is a long love affair and it is not. Marriage is an ordeal. It has nothing to do with being happy. It has to do with being transformed"  

On Marriage from "The Power of Myth"

Marriage is a relationship, when you make the sacrifice in marriage, your sacrificing not to each other, but to unity in a relationship.

 

THINGS TO TALK ABOUT:

USING WATER

Water a symbol of purity.

Represents coolness --- balm for tension, heat, anger --- symbol of enlightenment

Binding agent --- eg cake cement.

HUSBANDS & WIVES

He should do what she wants --- She should do what he wants Recipe for harmony.

Listening and understanding what he/she is saying --- Not listening to self "When is she going to Finish"

ELEPHANT STORY

Marriage is combining two legs of each individual into 4 legs like an elephant

Important that all legs go in the same direction or elephant falls over.--- Very heavy hard to get up again.

Story usually goes that man is in front and women in behind --- but in Asia the elephant walks backwards.

FIRE ANALOGY

Paper --- kindling --- logs for fire.

First love like paper at start flames up hot bright and strong but is very short and goes out quickly.

Need to use the paper to get kindling on and going to extend fire as foundation for a long term fire (relationship). Care needed with kindling to get the logs on and going. When logs are on and are combusting potential for a long term fire with plenty of warmth is good.

Care needed when logs are going because they can go out and need more paper and kindling (courting and care of each other)

 

MARRIAGE Author Unknown

In marriage, the little things are the big things

It is never being too old to hold hands

It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives

It is standing together facing the world

And it is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding, and a sense of humour

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow

It is not only marrying the right partner

It is being the right partner.

 

MARRIAGE LINES  Author: Gloria Matthew

In a marriage where love lives

There's realism and Truth,

There's pleasure in giving of time

Closeness and security

Freedom and individuality

No need to possess or confine

 

In a marriage where one lives

True friendship is present

With respect for each point of view

Through disappointment sharing

Comes deeper caring

Happiness deeper for two.

 

In a marriage where love lives

There's no need for rules

There's understanding when harsh words are spoken

Apologies are accepted

Trust is effected

The true bond of love is never broken.

 

LOVE Author unknown.

Love is SILENCE when your words would hurt

Love is PATIENCE when your neighbour is curt

Love is deafness when scandal flows,

Love is thoughtfulness for another's woes,

Love is promptness when stern duty calls,

Love is courage when misfortune falls.

 

This couple researched this rather interesting piece for their wedding. I guess all days would carry a character that could be researched.

According to a book on Taoism, our day of 31-01-2004 carries an ancient character call Abundance.   (On our wedding invitation this character was used on the back of the lotus flower to hold the petals together when they were closed and opened. Our wedding invitation was in a shape of the lotus flower with a hexagonal center where the invite words were typed in)

Abundance; Sun in heaven.

Abundance in great measure. 

Supreme success

In the midst of impermanence.

The midday sun in summer is the hottest and brightest of all. It symbolizes a zenith, a fulfillment, a period of great brightness.

In the affairs of people, it stands for the combining of strength and clarity, which yields brilliance.

When the times are in accord, abundance cannot be opposed.

The period of abundance is a time for vigorous action.

Bright light shines not only on the good but on the bad as well.

Therefore, when evil is revealed, all good people must oppose it. Pluck it out by the roots and energetically promote the good.

Abundance is a cause for celebration, but followers of Tao also remember to be cautious. No zenith can be preserved forever.

In fact, the time of abundance just precedes an inevitable path of decline.

Nothing in life is permanent.

Therefore, the wise person enjoys and is gladdened by abundance.

But while they take advantage of the time, they also prepare for what will follow.

 

FROM THE SONG OF SONGS.

Set me a seal upon your arm

As a seal upon your heart

For love is as strong as death

Many waters cannot quench it

No flood can sweep it away.

 

A BIRTHDAY.

My heart is singing like a bird

Whose nest is in a watered shoot;

My heart is like an apple tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickest fruit;

My heart is like a rainbow shell

That paddles in a halcyon sea;

My heart is gladder than all of these

Because my love has come to me.

 

Raise me in a dais of silk and down;

Hang it with vair and purple dyes;

Carve it in doves and pomegranates;

And peacocks with a hundred eyes;

Work it in gold and silver grapes;

In leaves and silver fluers-de-lys;

Because the birthday of my life

Is come, my love is come to me.

 

LOVE IS THE REASON.

Love is the reason why this day

Was chosen by you both

To begin your lives together

And love is the reason why you both

Will give with all your hearts

For the good of each other.

 

Love is the reason

That together you will become one

One in hope,

One in believing in life and

One in sharing the coming years.

 

FROM ROMANCE.  (Robert Louis Stevenson)

I will make you brooches and toys from your delight

Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night.

I will make a palace fit for you and me,

Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.

 

And this shall be for music when no one else is near

The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!

That only I remember, that only you admire,

Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.

 

THE GOOD MORROW.  (John Donne)

I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I

Did, till we lov'd?  Were we not wean'd till then?

But suck'd on country pleasures, childishly?

Or snorted we in the seven sleepers den?

T'was so: But this, all pleasures fancies be.

If ever any beauty I did see

Which I desir'd, and got, t/was but a dreame of thee.

Oh, bid me love, and I will give

A loving heart to thee.

A heart as soft, a heart as kind,

A heart as sound and free,

As in the whole world thou canst find,

That heart I'll give to thee.

 

TO A MARRIAGE.  (Brian Zouch) 

In your hands you hold the key to life

The key to open up the door of love

The strength to face together joy or strife

And all of human frailties rise above.

 

You take a vow this day to be as one

In all you do - in all that you aspire

And let there be no one beneath the sun

Who'd seek to put asunder your desire.

 

And let us wish this knot we tie this day

Be firm and strong against the test of time

And let our children's children say

That all was good and right and fine.

 

And so in all humility and in this place

We cast your love into the hands of fate

For it is written true that all you face

If faced with love, you'll triumph and be great.

 

For greatness lies within the soul of lovers

There is no power can tear it from your grasp

It bonds your hearts as one, to one another's

As Alpha and Omega - first and last

 

So go you forward from this place this day

And as you journey along the road of life

Know that you stand together, come what may

For true love comes just once, not twice, not thrice.

 

LOVE'S PHILOSOPHY.  (Percy Bysshe Shelley).

The fountains mingle with the river,

And the rivers with the ocean,

The winds of heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion.

 

Nothing in this world is single;

All things by a law divine

In one another's being mingle

Why not I with thine?

 

See the mountains kiss high heaven,

And waves clasp one another;

No sister flower would be forgiven

If it disdained its brother.

 

And the sunlight clasps the earth,

And the moonbeams kiss the sea,

What are all these kissings worth,

If thou kiss not me?

 

FROM CORINTHIANS 13.

Love is always patient and kind;

It is never jealous;

Love is never boastful or conceited;

It is never rude or selfish;

It does not take offence,

And it is not resentful.

 

Love takes no pleasure

In other people's faults

But delights in the truth;

It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope.

It is always ready to endure whatever comes.

Finally, true love does not come to an end.

 

NOW WE ARE ONE  (Kate Fisher).

When thoughts take wing

A wedding ring

Encircles all our dreams

And love abounds

Above, around

Enriching all our schemes.

 

We plan together

All our life

To make our dreams come true

When love is there

A smile, a prayer,

A hug, a kiss will do.

 

And then together

Hand in hand

We go with love we've won

And you will see

That you and me

That once were two - are one.

 

RUTH.  Chapter 2; 16 and 17

Entreat me to not leave you or return from following you;

For where you go I will go

And where you lodge I will lodge;

Your people shall be my people,

And your God my God;

Where you die I will die,

and there will I be buried.

May the Lord do so to me

And more also

If even death

Parts me from you.

 

YOUR NAME  (Val Dwyer)

Your name is like a love song

It fills my mind with joy

Quietly, I go my way

My heart, my soul, they whisper say

Your name is like a love song

The best is yet to be

Intertwined my love and me

As we grow old take me along

And sing to me our own love song.

 

THE BEST AND MOST IMPORTANT (Bertrand Russell)

"It is therefore possible for a civilised man and woman to be happy in marriage, although, if this is to be the case a number of conditions must be fulfilled.  There must be a feeling of complete equality on both sides; there must be no interference with mutual freedom; there must be the most complete physical and mental intimacy; and there must be a certain similarity in regard to standards of values....

 Given all these conditions, I believe marriage to be the best and most important relationship that can exist between two human beings."

 

GIVING AWAY

This piece may be chosen to be said if the Bride is to be "Given Away"

In ancient times it was the custom for a young woman to be under the authority of and protection of the man who was the head of the household  --- usually her father or elder brother. When she married, the responsibility and authority passed to her husband. This was the origin of the "Giving Away Ceremony".

Times have changed and so indeed have woman, but we still remember this as an ancient custom. Nowadays however, we like to make it the occasion when the families and friends of the bride show their approval of the marriage.

Since you are all here, we may take it that this is token enough and invite Mary Brown's father John  to speak on behalf of all present.

Who then, on behalf of all of us, presents this woman to be married to this man?

Person giving away replies: --- "I do".

 

MARRIAGE Author Unknown

For a marriage to last, a couple must go through great travails and hardships. It is like a process of forging steel links together. The iron must be heated to a high degree and then plunged into cold water.

A marriage alternates between the heat of passion and love and the chilling times of tragedy, conflict, and adversity. An enduring marriage becomes like tempered steel.

It is difficult to go through life alone. We all need support and the sense of belonging that comes from working toward goals shared with another.

For such a relationship to work, there must be a basic compatibility of values, outlook, and purpose. It is an inadequate cliché that husband and wife must be friends as well as lovers.

Two mates can know a loyalty found in no other type of relationship. Yet even in the face of such strength, there is the need for moderation.

Ultimately, all relationships are temporary. False attachment to another can become an addiction, a voluntary bondage detrimental to clear perception.

We should not bind another to ourselves, should not define ourselves by our marriage, should not force another to stay with us.

But if chance allows us to walk together, who is anyone to challenge our choice of walking companions? When it is time to part, then it is time to part. There should be no regrets.

The beauty of marriage is like the fleeting perfection of a snowflake

 

A PRAYER

We pray for the fragile ecology of the heart and the mind. The sense of meaning.

So finely assembled and balanced and so easily overturned.

The careful, ongoing construction of love. As painful and exhausting as the struggle for truth and as easily abandoned.

Hard fought and won are the shifting sands of this sacred ground, this ecology.

Easy to desecrate and difficult to defend, this vulnerable joy, this exposed faith, this precious order.

This sanity.

We shall be careful. With others and with ourselves.    -----   Amen.

 

ON YOUR WEDDING DAY  ---- Author Unknown

Today is a day you will always remember

The greatest in anyone's life

You'll start off the day just two people in love

And end it as Husband and Wife.

 

It's a brand new beginning, the start of a journey

With moments to cherish and treasure

And although there'll be times when you both disagree

These will surely be outweighed by pleasure.

 

You'll have heard many words of advice in the past

When the secrets of marriage were spoken

But you know that the answers lie hidden inside

Where the bond of true love lies unbroken

 

So live happy for ever as lovers and friends

It's the dawn of a new life for you

As your stand there together with the love in your eyes

From the moment you whisper 'I do'

 

And with luck, all your hopes, and your dreams can be real

May success find its way to your hearts

Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys

But today is the day it all starts

 

APACHE BLESSING

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years. May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.

 

TO LOVE IS NOT TO POSSESS    ---- by James Kavanaugh 

To love is not to possess,

To own or imprison,

Nor to lose one's self in another.

Love is to join and separate,

To walk alone and together,

To find a laughing freedom

That lonely isolation does not permit.

It is finally to be able

To be who we really are

No longer clinging in childish dependency

Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,

It is to be perfectly one's self

And perfectly joined in permanent commitment

To another--and to one's inner self.

Love only endures when it moves like waves,

Receding and returning gently or passionately,

Or moving lovingly like the tide

In the moon's own predictable harmony,

Because finally, despite a child's scars

Or an adult's deepest wounds,

They are openly free to be

Who they really are--and always secretly were,

In the very core of their being

Where true and lasting love can alone abide

 

LATEST NEWS/BLOGS

12 May 2017 : “Why is Stillness Healing so Powerful?”

This is Part 2 of the previous blog “Consciousness is Us”The one who delights in mindfulness (and) who regards unmindfulness with fear is not liable to regression. He is in the presence of Nirvana. --- Dhammapada verse 32.As the verses from ...

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11 May 2017 : “Consciousness is Us”

I started this blog in an effort to explain why I believe the “Stillness Healing” I offer in my Hypnotherapy practice is just so powerful as a healing modality.Click here to go to Dennis Sheppard Hypnosis:But then I realised I did need to ...

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30 Apr 2017 : Euthanasia

Euthanasia is a topical conversation at present with many Governments looking to find acceptable ways of legalising a person’s right to create their own death. This is seen in the context of their life becoming too cruel or painful to keep going, ...

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NEW ADDITIONS & FEEDBACK

05 Jun 2017 : New Poem "Perceptions & the Switch"

This new poem has been gestating for some time, and following a recent discussion with our Monday night Meditation group at the Cambodian Buddhist Society, (CBSWA) the time had come for it to be written.I think this poem is an important poem for ...

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09 Oct 2016 : New Poetry with a theme

There is a new poem called Fearing the Moment which is now listed in the cascade above. It is poem highlighting the depth into truth that our minds can see along with the joy of practice, but is also pointing to the subtle fear ...

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06 May 2015 : Hypnosis and Past Life Workshop

"Hypnosis and Past Life Workshop" added under "Public Talks" drop down.

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10 Apr 2014 : You Tube Poetry

I have added a new section to the cascade area to highlight some of my poetry that I have read and performed on You Tube. Doing this has enabled me to speak directly about the poems context. The first two poems are new. I hope you like them.

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04 Dec 2013 : 2 New Poems. Death the theme.

Two poems added.Death and the Brightening MindMeditation on Death

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29 Nov 2013 : 3 NEW POEMS Stillness the theme

Three new poems addedThe Subtlest EnergyThe Right Side of StillnessThe Burden of Stillness

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