'One Little Prayer' - for the Earth

 Each 'one little prayer' comes with a story card.

Salaam - Shalom - Peace Be Upon You

Peace Be Upon You

For thousands of years people have met one another with this lovely greeting,
“May peace be upon you!”

Shalom Aleichem , is the greeting in Hebrew, translating "peace be upon you".
The appropriate response "Aleichem shalom" translates "upon you be peace".

Assalamu Alaykum is the Arabic greeting, generally accompanied
with the gesture of putting your hand on your heart.

Today often you will hear the simple    “Peace” - “Shalom” - “Salaam”,
when one meets or leaves another person.

I have included nesting doves in this Greeting, as the family suggests to me
the essence of peace, where often there is disagreement,
different positions and opinions, but the deeper love and respect
within the family allows communication and in some ways a resolution.

One of the doves is descending representing to me grace,
hope and love over fear, descending on the shoulders
of the person you are meeting.

“Be still and luminous gifts will descend upon you”

"We have to live in harmony and peace...
this is not a dream, this is a necessity." HH the Dalai Lama

 

One Little Prayer
Bamboo

The Bamboo design

Each little silk flag is double sided with 'Touch the Earth' in Japanese on one side and in English on the other side. The first two kanji or characters of the Japanese calligraphy refer to the soil and the planet earth; the following kanji refer to connecting in your heart with all sentient beings of our earth. I always see the simple elegance of bamboo as a metaphor for the strength of our inner spirit. The fine art calligraphy called 'SHODO' was created by Kyoko Hunt, my good friend who lives in Kyoto, Japan.

One Little Prayer
Lotus

The Lotus design

The lotus, considered a sacred lily, was a part of the art of the Egyptian and Buddhist philosophy. Traditionally the lotus represents the sacred center of the universe, the core of our souls; by contacting this pure center within ourselves, and discovering our most joyous dreams and acting on them, we create the environment to manifest our dreams. The Lotus is also called a 'mudflower'; with roots in the pond soil, yet in beauty the plant floats and blossoms on the surface.

The Om/Lotus design


This design, using the ancient symbol OM, celebrates all life, which is dependent on the gift from the cosmos of air or breath. Air chooses no one, but vibrates through all fauna and flora and folks.
We are all one as we breathe!
OM, the primordial sound of the universe, is a Sanskrit expression of solemn affirmation, an auspicious salutation, "hail!", also representing everything. Each particle of existence is impregnated with energy and consciousness.
The breath!
“We have to live in harmony and peace…this is not a dream,
this is a necessity.”   The Dalai Lama

One Little Prayer
Tree

The Tree design

Through the magic of the Internet I found myself in conversation with a friend that I 'met' at the Taoist Forum, Graeme Askew.
Over the years we enjoyed exchanging original little Zen poems often comparing the seasons, as he lived in Melbourne, Australia and I on a ranch in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. He died very suddenly in Nov., 2000 leaving us with this lovely verse.

"The cycles of time
wind around each other
and the leaves tumble down
and burst again
from the old wood."

When Graeme sent me this poem his world was awakening to spring while simultaneously my world was moving into autumn.

The Mountains are calling

This "One Little Prayer" is about 5 inches square, and hangs off a little cane of bamboo with a little brass bell. They can be used anywhere in the home or garden. If hung outdoors in a tree the silk will age or become "earthtiqued", but the image and message will stay clear.

This is an original design that was inspired by the great love of the earth and mountains and all they hold by the Scottish-American preservationist John Muir. He wrote wonderful stories of the Northwest and founded the Sierra Club, an environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892, in San Francisco, California, by Muir who became its first president.

The mountains I used in my design are based on The Three Sisters, with Douglas Firs in the foreground (the Oregon State Tree); a part of the Cascade Mountains, John Muir spent time climbing in them and writing tales about his adventures.

In my graphic arts studio, which looks into our pond with a bamboo contemplative garden, I created this original design, hand printing it for your quiet,
meditative space, and offer it in the spirit of FENG SHUI, the ancient Chinese Art of harmonious placement; maximizing the positive flow of ch'i or life force

TOUCH THE EARTH™ Graphic Art Studio
Handcrafted in Veneta, Oregon by ‘very old hippies’
1% of all profits go to peace, environment and human rights groups.

Robin

live love laugh & be happy

This raw silk (aka "peace silk") flag is about 5inches square and hangs off a 6 inch piece of bamboo with a little brass bell.


"When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)"

This little song has been a popular over many decades,
And was written by songwriter Harry M. Woods in 1926.

“When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin' along, along
There'll be no more sobbin' when he starts throbbin' his old sweet song
Wake up, wake up you sleepy head
Get up, get out of your bed
Cheer up, cheer up the sun is red
Live, love, laugh and be happy”

Louis Armstrong – is one of many artists who recorded this song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjgkBqmLjg0

This song’s chorus line replicates the song of the robin!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4SMJrSqDnY&feature=watch_response

As a child many mornings I would lie in bed and sing this song in my head telling myself to...get up, get out
of bed.......a friend said she remembered her mother singing this song to her as a child.....sweet!


Pete Hamill, prominent American journalist, columnist, novelist,
and short story writer wrote this lovely little poem:

“I don’t ask for the meaning of the song of a bird
or the rising of the sun on a misty morning.

There they are and they are beautiful.”


Cathleen Coulson-Keegan, owner of Touch the Earth,
created this original design, hand printing it for your quiet,
meditative space, and offers it in the spirit of FENG SHUI,
the ancient Chinese Art of harmonious placement;
maximizing the positive flow of ch'i or life force


TOUCH THE EARTH™ Graphic Art Studio
Handcrafted in Veneta, Oregon by ‘old hippies’
1% of all profits go to peace, environment and human rights groups.

Unique Bunny

This "One Little Prayer" is about 5 inches square, and hangs off a little cane of bamboo with a little brass bell. They can be used anywhere in the home or garden. If hung outdoors in a tree the silk will age or become "earthtiqued", but the image and message will stay clear.

This is an original design that was inspired by Swami Beyondananda (wakeuplaughing.com) who spoke at the opening ceremony of the Oregon Country Fair in 2016, and said, "Each of us is totally unique, just like everyone else!" I laughed and said to myself, "How true!" and knew that I wanted to create a prayer flag to share in celebration this message.

Since bunny rabbits are ubiquitous on our lovely living planet, I created this little bunny, who is surprised to learn that she is just like everyone else, and that is unique! How amazing! How fun! What an opportunity!

Each prayer flag design is packaged with a card that tells this story.

In his autobiography Charlie Chaplin stated,"Like everyone else I am what I am: an individual, unique and different, with a lineal history of ancestral promptings and urgings: a history of dreams, desires, and of special experiences, all of which I am the sum total."

In my graphic arts studio, which looks out into our pond and our a bamboo contemplative garden, I created this original design, hand printing it for your quiet, meditative space, and offer it in the spirit of FENG SHUI, the ancient Chinese Art of harmonious placement; maximizing the positive flow of ch'i or life force

TOUCH THE EARTH™ Graphic Art Studio
Handcrafted in Veneta, Oregon by ‘very old hippies’
1% of all profits go to peace, environment and human rights groups.

One Little Prayer
Prairie Dog

The Prairie Dog design

Recently I reconnected, through this amazing human web of life, with Sisters Ann and Susan who now reside in a Carmelite Monaster; they were childhood neighbors and schoolmates. Their monastery is supported by the nuns who design and produce greeting cards: www.carmelofreno.com, Through their work I was introduced to this lovely message by Sister Marie Celeste that became my 'namaste prayer':

"When I see it raining in your heart
although I don't have an umbrella,
let me walk in the rain with you"

namaste

 

Namaste, is not only a salutation but is also a mudra or gesture, a bow with hands pressed together, which traditionally means 'I honor the Light in you, which is also in me.'

The little prairie dogs, gregarious members of the squirrel world, live in our American grasslands. Tery Tempest Williams (Finding Beauty in a Broken World) studied these charming little beings and calls them 'prayer dogs' as they often witness, standing quietly facing East, the sun rise, and West, the sun set, paws pressed together. Perhaps they are meditating on the connection between all of life, and blessing this connection with a 'namaste' mudra. Isn't it wonderful that they are out there witnessing this daily show?!

Here is my favoite meditation of the 'miracle of experiencing life on theis earth, by Carl Saga called The Pale Blue Dot.

The Grizzly Bear

The wisdom and poetic writings of John Muir inspired this original design of a bear cub, scooting down a tree,
temporarily stuck, and looking at you and perhaps wondering what you are looking at!

“Bears are made of the same dust as we, and breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters.
A bear's days are warmed by the same sun,
his dwellings are overdomed by the same blue sky......” -John Muir

 

"And we therefore yield to our neighbors, even our animal neighbors,
the same right as ourselves, to inhabit the land"
- Sitting Bull

"When a pine needle falls in the forest, the eagle sees it;
the deer hears it, and the bear smells it."
- an old First Nations saying

 

The grizzly bear was once common on the Great Plains,
but human encroachment has forced remaining populations
to move to rugged mountains and remote forests.

 

The Tiger

“tiger tiger
burning bright
In the forests
of the night”

wrote William Blake, a mystical poet, painter and printmaker, in the early 19th century.

In this year of the Tiger, the www.worldwildlife.org is dedicating the next 12 years to creating tiger awareness as, these largest of all Asian big cats, are one of the most culturally important and beautiful animals on this planet.
However, they are also among the most vulnerable and threatened species on Earth.

In the early19th century, there were as many as 100,000 tigers in India. By the year 1972, when they were put on the endangered species list, there were only about 1,800. Through an attempt to conserve the existence of the tiger,
there are currently about 3,200 wild tigers remaining on this earth.


For over a million years, the “King of the Jungle” lorded over a territory stretching from eastern Turkey to the Russian Far East, with its home extending northward to Siberia and southward into Bali. But by the end of the last century, the Bali, Javan and Caspian tigers were extinct. Tragically, the remaining six subspecies risk the same fate as the Javan and Caspian tigers
because of illegal wildlife trade, poaching, and conflict with people.


If we do not respond to the plight of wild tigers and the needs of the communities that share their home with tigers—most of which is outside protected wildlife areas – we will witness the loss of one of the world’s most irreplaceable natural wonders of our lifetime.

 

The Green Sea Turtle

Bubbles rising.......
..... breaking through
the sea’s vast surface.

Old turtle breathes in.....
......again......

.....and sinks.....
..........again.


My son Casey called me on a satellite phone from the US Coast Guard Cutter Farallon, anchored in the Caribbean, to let me know how he was and what was going on, when he was startled by a sound and saw bubbles rising, followed by a sea turtle emerging beside his anchored ship. As he watched the turtle took a breath and then sank again into the ocean.

"Universe-toting turtles" .....there are Native American stories about a turtle who carries a pile of earth on its back out of which grows the world. In some stories the turtle is swimming in a vast ocean, which is an especially beautiful analogy.

"It's turtles all the way down"! There is an apocryphal story about a scientist, maybe Bertrand Russell, who gave a public lecture on astronomy and how the earth is part of a solar system of planets orbiting a star. After the lecture a woman told the scientist the orbiting planet theory was nonsense. The world was a flat plate balanced on the back of a giant turtle, she said. "So what is the turtle standing on?" asked the scientist, thinking he would stump her. "You're very clever, young man," the woman said, "but it's turtles all the way down."


I once heard this story from a Buddhist teacher, Chagdud Gonpa Rinpoche, who compared the possibility of life to a wooden cattle-yoke floating on the waves of the sea, tossed this way and that by the winds and currents. The likelihood of a blind turtle, rising from the depths of the ocean to the surface once in a hundred years, putting its head through the hole in the yoke,
taking a breath, is considered greater than that of achieving birth as a human.

Let us celebrate turtles and life!
Let us dance now!
Let us not wait for the world to be better,
Let us help to make it better!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJWjzRxEk9k&feature=player_embedded#!

 

The Cattails

Rattle of reeds.....wind shaped......yet the return to stillness....silence.

I created this little Zen poem with a dedication to the unexpected forces that sometimes arrive to reshape our environment.....our lives.... and within these moments we can observe our foundation...structure...our most personal center.
Cutting some cattails from our nearby wetlands, I brought them into my studio as inspiration for this design and arranged them in a tall vase. A day went by, and, in the early afternoon, with the sun pouring through a wall of windows, Bill and I were working when suddenly the cattails silently exploded ...... and the room was filled with shimmering light. I thought, oh my, this will take a lot of work to clean up ......but I was never able to find any 'cattail dust' ..... we were left with only a very magical memory!
The I Ching (Translated: The Book of Change) is an ancient treasure of insight and wisdom, an organic guide to the way things change. There are 64 hexagrams that form the principles of the I Ching.
The character or kanji that I drew for this design is the 24th hexagram, called Return, and is described as a welcome return, one that is natural and without force, from times of disorder.


The Calligraphy of Geese design

"Calligraphy of geese"
against the sky.
The moon seals it!"

This haiku was written by the famous
18th century painter and poet, Buson,
and led me to this design.

Happy as a Bird design

As a small child I came upon the Pennsylvanian Dutch saying 'Happy as a Bird in the Morning'
and realized that listening to birds singing made me happy!

When I wake to the sweet song of small birds I often look, in my mind, down from space, from just the distance where I can see this round earth, partly in darkness, and watch the sunlight moving ever forward to the 'west', and then I 'hear' this joyful sound, at the edge of the darkness, greeting the promise of warmth and light, once again

I hope sharing this dear little message will make you happy.

One Little Prayer
Blossom

BLOSSOMS design

"All things upon this earth are developing into new things...for a moment these things are ours....then they are ours......forever..." wrote poet Gwen Frostic

For our life, or the life of the planet, the momentary beauty of blossoms, the ancient Chinese poem, "One Time...One Chance" expresses the need to be conscious of every passing moment...to really live it.....for each moment will be in our hearts always.......it's always that way. The fine art Japanese calligraphy called 'Shodo' says

"One Moment......One Chance ....Always"

and was created by the artist Kyoko Hunt, my wonderful friend who lives in Kyoto, Japan. I offer this silk hanging in the spirit of FENG SHUI, the ancient Chinese Art of harmonious placement; maximizing the positive flow of ch'i or life force.

Each 'one little prayer' flag comes with a 'story card'.

One Little Prayer
Owl

The Owl design

Midnight.
Cloud shadows conceal the moon.

'Whooooo?'
calls the messenger.

One of the essential members of the avian world, the elegant and elusive nocturnal owl
is classified as a raptor. While we sleep the balance of nature continues to unfold.

Each 'one little prayer' flag comes with a 'story card'.

One Little Prayer
Dove

Peace Doves design

'Be The Peace You Wish To See In This World'
a little Gandhi'ish idea.

Gandhi also said,: "Make the world your friend"

I created this design with nesting doves to represent the family. Within one's personal family, or the world family, there is not only love and joy, but conflict and disagreement.

Peace....a quiet little word embraces, for me, a great challenge.

The Dalai Lama believes it is through our relationship with those with whom we are in conflict that the opportunity is offered to really know who we are and what we really believe in.

Each 'one little prayer' flag comes with a 'story card'.

One Little Prayer
Crane

The crane rises.....

leaving only the dream

This ancient Zen folk poem was the inspiration for this design. Awareness that 'Each moment' is carried forever in our hearts, is often the theme in my work.

Each prayer flag comes with a 'story card'.

The Buddha design

In this design I have represented the meditating figure of the Buddha (inspired by the Dalai Lama,
who considers himself just a humble monk, and who gets up daily at 4 AM to meditate with compassion on the goodness of all living beings) surrounded by birds, representing curiosity and joy, and frogs, who, like spring showers, represent awakening and spiritual healing.

Above and below this Buddha (the ‘Master or Teacher’), is the ancient mantra

Om Mani Padme Hum

Within your heart is a jewel
shining….shimmering
every precious moment.

It is helpful and healing to chant and meditate upon this lovely mantra,

Om Mani Padme Hum

All suffering and confusion will endwhen we can truly understand and accept
we are one – one family – one soul.

Buddhism continues to this day to express aspirations for the well being of all!

Each prayer flag comes with a 'story card'.

 

One Little Prayer
Kuan Yin

The Kuan-yin design

I created this poem:

Within the sigh of the wind,
the songs of nature,
you will find her presence;
watching, listening,
she forgives you before you ask.

and dedicated this original design to the Divine Mother who appears as the Chinese Kuan-yin, the Japanese Kannon; also as Gaia, Isis, Sati, Tara and Our Lady of Guadalupe. We come from this great ocean of love and will return to it, yet live now, in this small moment of 'experience', to use as we will.

"For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I, too, abide to dispel the misery of the world." said the Dalai Lama.

Each prayer flag comes with a 'story card'.

Aung Sung Suu Kyi
A Woman of Hope

One of the most lovely and courageous women alive, Aung San Suu Kyi, (pronounced Aung Sawn Sue Chee) winner of the 1991 Noble Peace Prize and the US Medal of Freedom, has challenged one of the world’s most repressive military regimes. Founding the National League for Democracy in 1988, the political party that won an overwhelming victory in 1990 to govern Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest and has remained so for most of the passing years.
Usually maintaining a neutral position the International Committee of the Red Cross strongly condemns this regime.

In September, 2007, thousands of peace loving Burmese Buddhist monks, dedicated to living with compassion and kindness, began demonstrations in support of the suppressed people of this nation and were beaten and arrested.

Aung San Suu Kyi has called on people around the world to join the struggle for freedom in Burma,
saying "Please use your liberty to promote ours."
In her original song  ‘Women of Hope’ jazz musician and singer Morley, quotes Aung San Suu Kyi:

If you’re feeling helpless
help someone

Cathleen Coulson-Keegan, owner of Touch the Earth, created this original design, hand printing it from her heart, and directing all profits to the uscampaignforburma.org

Each prayer flag comes with a 'story card'.

One Little Prayer
Wheat

The Wheat design

This silk hanging depicts a circular wheat motif in growth, fruition and harvest.
The Japanese calligraphy, called 'Shodo', was created for this design by my good friend Kyoko Hunt, who lives in Kyoto, Japan.

It translates,

"The seeds you toss on the ground will grow,
and this will be your personal harvest."
Or,
'You Reap What You Sow'.

Each prayer flag comes with a 'story card'.

One Little Prayer
Mermaid

Mermaid and Dolphin design

"Awake my love, awake!
For my spirit hails you
from beyond the sea
and offers you her wings
above the raging waves."

from THOUGHTS AND MEDITATIONS by Khalil Gibran

In one of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau TV programs he opened with the statement,
"I am the sea...and the sea is me"
With conscious awareness Cousteau emphasized that what we do to the earth affects us personally.

Each prayer flag comes with a 'story card'.

The Millennium Dragon


Dancing and shouting.
“Good Fortune!”


This Chinese dragon, which represents the ‘life force’, Reaching down from the sky and stepping into the sea, (a Tai Chi step called ‘Brush Knee Twist’) leads us into the new millennium
( A hoped-for a period of joy, serenity, prosperity, and justice.).

This is a most auspicious sign for the new century!

One Little Prayer
Panda

The Panda design

Sitting.....Master Panda contemplates the wisdom of bamboo; providing us with food, shelter, music and art, yet affected by seasons and care.

The I Ching (Translated: The Book of Change) is an ancient treasure of insight and wisdom, an organic guide to the way things change. There are 64 hexagrams that form the principles of the I Ching.

One may understand what the future holds by CONTEMPLATING (the 20th hexagram in the I Ching) the effect of your life upon others. If your influence and example are kind, helpful and useful, then you are without blame. This, you will find, is its own reward.

Each prayer flag comes with a 'story card'.

One Little Prayer
Polar Bear

Love is All design

This design was inspired by some graffiti I read in the bathroom
at the 2006 Oregon Country Fair.

"Love is all - baby"

I laughed and said to myself.....so true! Then I thought it might just give someone else a chuckle - I will spread the word.

We are born in the light of love and die in the light of love and, if we are lucky, connect throughout our lives to this energy of love that keeps this sweet little planet breathing.

Mama Polar Bear pours out her love to her little cubs, just as the Dalai Lama pours his love out to us: "For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I, too, abide to dispel the misery of the world."

One Little Prayer
Wave

The Wave design

In one of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau TV programs he opened with the statement,

"I am the Sea...and the sea is me"

With conscious awareness Cousteau emphasized that what we do to the earth affects us personally.

As John Muir once said, " We are all hitched together."

"The fine art calligraphy called 'Shodo' says "I am the Sea and the Sea is me" and was created by the artist Kyoko Hunt, my good friend who lives in Kyoto, Japan."

One Little Prayer
Earth

Peace on Earth - Goodwill to all design


This message sung by celestial beings inspired me to trust the directive that through goodwill the possibility of 'Peace' will evolve.

As John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, once stated, "We are all hitched together".

The kanji for 'Peace' can be translated 'level' and to 'speak harmoniously'. The kanji for 'Goodwill' uses the Japanese words 'good' and 'heart'.

The kanji used in this design was created by my dear friend Yumiko Ozawa Freeman.