Tim Boyd on the Present Need (SFTS Lodge, March 2015)

The Theosophical Society of San Francisco feels very fortunate that Tim Boyd is at the helm of both the Theosophical Society in America and the International Theosophical Society, and we were honored to host this wonderful talk on his recent visit to the Bay Area.

Enjoy!

Our Present Need (Part One)

Our Present Need (Part Two)

Joe and Guin Miller’s Songs to Live By Continue to Inspire Seekers

David Thompson, W. W Blake Derby and Radhe Diana Baz (January 16, 2015)

David Thompson, W. W Blake Derby and Radhe Diana Baz (January 16, 2015)

Joe and Guin Miller’s “Songs to Live By” are a great resource for all who journey on the mystical path, and they are one of the treasures that the San Francisco Theosophical Society is dedicated to preserving and offering up freely to the ever-flowing future … On the occasion of what would have been Joe Miller’s 111th birthday (homage to Bilbo Baggins), the Lodge held a beautiful event featured both a powerful talk by David Thompson and a marvelous concert of selected “Songs to Live” By from Radhe Diana Baz and W. Blake Derby.

To add to our treasure trove, here are three audio recordings of Radhe and Blake’s performance …

Set 1 –

Set 2 –

Set 3 –

The wisdom of love has no end, it is relentless and inexhaustible. “Ours is not a caravan of despair.”

See Also

Audio Files of Concert Performance of Songs to Live By
Joe & Guin Miller & Julianne Performing Songs To Live By at Noor Mahal 12/19/78
Lyrics and Sheet Music for Songs to Live By

Anna Lee Schneider (1923-2015) – A Life of Unconditional Love

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Our beloved friend, Anna Lee Schneider, has gone on to her next adventure. She departed this life peacefully, in her sleep, at the age of 91. Annalee was a shining star and ever-faithful companion on Joe Miller’s Thursday Morning Walks in Golden Gate Park, and at the San Francisco Theosophical Society. She led a life of unconditional love. She was a joy bringer! We will tenderly remember her, we will dearly miss her, and we will meet her again in our next journey on the wheel of life.

Anna Lee’s beloved family will be holding memorial services on Saturday, June 21st, 2015, from one to three p.m. at the Rossmoor Creekside Clubhouse, Club Room, 1010 Stanley Dollar Dr., Rossmoor. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Tuleyome at www.tuleyome.org or Not In Our School at notinourschool.org.

“Never the Spirit is born, the Spirit shall cease to be never. Never is time, it is not. End and Beginning are dreams.” — Bhagavad Gita

Dharma Message for 2015-2016: “THE BEST YOU CAN SAY IS NOT-TWO”

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Our Dharma Message for 2015 is in honor of our beloved friend and SFTS Lodge comrade Chris Black, who transitioned from this plane of existence in 2014, after a three year struggle with cancer. In his many years of service and sharing at the SFTS Lodge, “Blackie” led numerous “Conversations in Theosophy” based on his favorite Dharma teaching, the Hsing Hsing Ming.

Here is the text of his preferred translation:

THE MIND OF ABSOLUTE TRUST…

THE GREAT WAY ISN’T DIFFICULT FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNATTACHED TO THEIR PREFERENCE LET GO OF LONGING AND AVERSION AND EVERYTHING WILL BE PERFECTLY CLEAR WHEN YOU CLING TO A HAIRSBREADTH OF DISTINCTION HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE SET APART IF YOU WANT TO REALIZE THE TRUTH DON’T BE FOR OR AGAINST THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL IS THE PRIMAL DISEASE OF THE MIND NOT GRASPING THE DEEPER MEANING YOU JUST TROUBLE YOUR MINDS SERENITY AS VAST AS INFINITE SPACE IT IS PERFECT AND LACKS NOTHING BUT BECAUSE YOU SELECT AND REJECT YOU CAN’T PERCEIVE ITS TRUE NATURE DON’T GET ENTANGLED IN THE WORLD DON’T LOSE YOURSELF IN EMPTINESS BE AT PEACE IN THE ONENESS OF THINGS AND ALL ERRORS WILL DISAPPEAR BY THEMSELVES IF YOU DON’T LIVE THE TAO YOU FALL INTO ASSERTION OR DENIAL ASSERTING THAT THE WORLD IS REAL YOU ARE BLIND TO ITS DEEPER REALITY DENYING THAT THE WORLD IS REAL YOU ARE BLIND TO THE SELFLESSNESS OF ALL THINGS THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT THESE MATTERS THE FARTHER YOU ARE FROM THE TRUTH STEP ASIDE FROM ALL THINKING AND THERE IS NOWHERE YOU CAN’T GO RETURNING TO THE ROOT YOU FIND THE MEANING CHASING APPEARANCES YOU LOSE THEIR SOURCE AT THE MOMENT OF PROFOUND INSIGHT YOU TRANSCEND BOTH APPEARANCE AND EMPTINESS DON’T KEEP SEARCHING FOR THE TRUTH JUST LET GO OF YOUR OPINIONS FOR THE MIND IN HARMONY WITH THE TAO ALL SELFISHNESS DISAPPEARS WITH NOT EVEN A TRACE OF SELF-DOUBT YOU CAN TRUST THE UNIVERSE COMPLETELY ALL AT ONCE YOU ARE FREE WITH NOTHING LEFT TO HOLD ON TO ALL IS EMPTY BRILLIANT PERFECT IN ITS OWN BEING IN THE WORLD OF THINGS AS THEY ARE THERE IS NO SELF NO NON SELF IF YOU WANT TO DESCRIBE ITS ESSENCE THE BEST YOU CAN SAY IS NOT-TWO

IN THIS NOT-TWO NOTHING IS SEPARATE AND NOTHING IN THE WORLD IS EXCLUDED THE ENLIGHTENED OF ALL TIMES AND PLACES HAVE ENTERED INTO THIS TRUTH IN IT THERE IS NO GAIN OR LOSS ONE INSTANT IS TEN THOUSAND YEARS THERE IS NO HERE NO THERE INFINITY IS RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES THE TINY IS AS LARGE AS THE VAST WHEN OBJECTIVE BOUNDARIES HAVE VANISHED THE VAST IS AS SMALL AS THE TINY WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE EXTERNAL LIMITS BEING IS AN ASPECT OF NON-BEING NON-BEING IS NO DIFFERENT FROM BEING UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND THIS TRUTH YOU WON’T SEE ANYTHING CLEARLY ONE IS ALL ALL ARE ONE WHEN YOU REALIZE THIS WHAT REASON FOR HOLINESS OR WISDOM THE MIND OF ABSOLUTE TRUST IS BEYOND ALL THOUGHT ALL STRIVING IS PERFECTLY AT PEACE FOR IN IT THERE IS NO YESTERDAY NO TODAY NO TOMORROW

In Celebration of Light – Honoring the Life and Work of Light Devoy Edwin Harris – Video Archive

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Light Devoy Edwin Harris in a San Francisco Opera production of Aida (circa 1980s).

On 12/22/14 at 11:13 p.m., our beloved friend of many years, Light Devoy Edwin Harris passed on from the physical plane, at the age of 81. Light was a great alchemist (in the technical sense of that term) as well as a great maestro and scholar of African-American spirituals. Over the decades of his friendship and support for the Theosophical Society San Francisco Lodge, Light delivered many erudite lectures on the occult sciences and led many amazing performances by his choir, the Jubilee Singers.

Light was a dear friend and ally of Joe and Guin Miller, and after their passing he was a dear friend and ally of those of us who kept that circle of light alive.

A celebration of Light’s life and work was held at the SFTS Lodge in early 2015.

The SFTS Lodge sponsored a video recording of this extraordinary wonderful event.

Here is a You Tube playlist of recordings from this magical night of LIGHT, SOUND and MOVEMENT —

[NOTE: The seventeen video clips in the playlist include both excerpts from the formal program, and personal messages from some of Light’s friends and students recorded after the end of the formal program, as well as a pre-recorded message from afar.]

 

Here is Phil Deal’s Elegy for Light —

[NOTE: A recording of this original composition was played a continuous loop in the lead up to the evening’s main program.]

“Thank You for Your Divine Presence!” – In Celebration of the Life and Work of Light Devoy Edwin Harris

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On 12/22/14 at 11:13 p.m., Light Devoy Edwin Harris passed on from the physical plane, at the age of 81.

Light was a great alchemist (in the technical sense of that term) as well as a great maestro and scholar of African-American spirituals. Over the decades of his friendship and support for the Theosophical Society San Francisco Lodge, Light delivered many erudite lectures on the occult sciences and led many amazing performances by his choir, the Jubilee Singers. Light was a dear friend and ally of Joe and Guin Miller, and after their passing he was a dear friend and ally of those of us who kept that circle of light alive.

His home on Gough Street became known as “the University of Light.” There, he taught alchemy on weeknights and African-American spirituals on weekends. In the course of casual conversation, Light would inevitably weave in some profound mystical teaching and then turn to you and say, with utter sincerity, “You taught me that.” In greeting you or bidding you goodbye, he would typically say, with deep conviction, “Thank you for your divine presence.”

For Light, all of creation was vibration. He taught it and he lived it. He would open his talks and performances with a signature song: “Everything I see is me. Everything I see is me. Everything I see is me. Everything I hear is me. Everything I hear is me. Everything I hear is me. L.I.G.H.T. Light! S.O.U.N.D. Sound! Light and sound! Sound and light! Light and sound! Sound and light! L.I.G.H.T. Light! S.O.U.N.D. Sound!”

Light’s presence was powerful and joyful, and one would invariably leave deeply touched.

This photo was taken during his participation in a San Francisco Opera production of Aida (circa 1980s).

A celebration of Light’s life and work will be held at the SFTS Lodge in early 2015.

Dharma Message 2014

Yeshe_Tsogyal_Sky-Dancer_RPower

“My mind is co-extensive with space, My compassion is more radiant than the Sun, My blessings are more extensive than an immense cloud, and My siddhi falls faster than gentle rain, so you of the future with faith, pray! And reading the language of synchronicity, you possess the answer to your ultimate prayer.” — Secret Life and Teachings of the Lady Tsogyel, trans. Keith Dowman, Arkana, 1989

Dharma Message 2013

Blavatsky

Everything lives and perishes through magnetism; one thing affects another one, even at great distances, and its “congenitals” may be influenced to health and disease by the power of this sympathy, at any time, and notwithstanding the intervening space. (Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, Chapter VII)

What is imagination? Psychologists tell us that it is the plastic or creative power of the soul; but materialists confound it with fancy. The radical difference between the two, was however, so thoroughly indicated by Wordsworth, in the preface to his Lyrical Ballads, that it is no longer excusable to interchange the words. Imagination, Pythagoras maintained to be the remembrance of precedent spiritual, mental, and physical states, while fancy is the disorderly production of the material brain. (Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, Chapter IX)

When science shall have effectually demonstrated to us the origin of matter, and proved the fallacy of the occultists and old philosophers who held (as their descendants now hold) that matter is but one of the correlations of spirit, then will the world of skeptics have a right to reject the old Wisdom, or throw the charge of obscenity in the teeth of the old religions. (Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, Chapter XV)

Dharma Message – 2013

Saint Hildegard of Bingen – Cultivating the Cosmic Tree, Plate 7, Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen

In her hymn, O ignis Spiritus Paracliti, the great Saint Hildegard of Bingen exclaimed:

Oh fire of the Holy Spirit,

life of the life of every creature,

holy are you in giving life to forms…

Oh boldest path,

penetrating into all places,

in the heights, on earth,

and in every abyss,

you bring and bind all together

From you clouds flow, air flies,

Rocks have their humours,

Rivers spring forth from the waters

And earth wears her green vigour

NOTE: For more on Hildegard’s vision of Viriditis (“Greeness”), the “very expression of Divine power on Earth,” which she saw as “penetrating every aspect of life,” read Stephanie Roth’s Cosmic Vision of Hildegard of Bingen in The Ecologist, Vol. 30, No. 1, January-February 2000.

 

Dharma Message for 4Q12

Pema Chodron (Omega Institute, 2007)

Pema Chodron (Omega Institute, 2007)

“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers …”

[NOTE: This is a retelling of a classic Zen teaching tale, but it is a delightful one, and Pema Chodron powerfully articulates the story’s subtlest nuance and deepest meaning. She “owns” the story now. — R. Power, SFTS Lodge]

“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.”


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