The Dialogue, Peace Between Us

PEACE BETWEEN US

OPEN HOUSE Good Bye party in Cieneguita. was a success,

“THE DIALOGUE” has been cleaned and dusted, ready to be packaged but before we ship it to Houston, we had  a sort of farewell party.

All were invited to, sign  their name on the back as a global resident as someone committed to the idea of peace begins everywhere. We already had people who signed from around the world; from New Zealand, Holland, Canada, India, Australia, England, Ireland, Argentina and more. Adding more names to our book of visitors. Lighting a candle for peace, or tossing a tiny signature of angers or prejudices from the past years right into the bonfire. The event proved to be a unique gathering and a memorable closure for our long journey in making it and finally sending it into the world in peace.

GOING AWAY PARTY WAS  January 4th

The new destination is the Interfaith Dialogue Institute in Houston. The group is run by the Raindrop Turkish Center. If you do not get the message from the name this organization is founded and administrated by a large Turkish/Muslim community settled in the USA. They are a delightful group of “immigrants”, many of whom have fled from their own country. They have a new vision for a peace garden, it began construction and was halted by lack of funds. One day it will begin construction again and be completed, we need these kinds of gardens in every city around the world.  As I know like many of us, sometimes we must wait.

Fatih Ozcan is the founder and coordinator, when I met him I was immediately taken by his smile and obvious comfort in who he is and what he believes, I think he is a warrior like myself, he does not shy from stepping into the arena of controversy, NOT for the purpose of knocking down but rather to build, to listen, to learn and to understand. He and I both believe humanity can have peace.  Now we begin one heart at a time.

Connections are interesting these days in case you have not noticed. In my case it was one client by the name of Kathlynn Curtis who crossed herself before a meal in blessing. The architect beside her noticed and inquired about her faith. She informed him she was looking for support about placing the art Installation called The Dialogue, made in Mexico but her desire was to move it to Houston. He himself is Muslim and said he knew  Fatih Ozcan, well schooled in religions and spiritual debate, a scholar of Islam studies and always willing to listen to new ideas. With that she contacted him and then me and now we are all looking forward to new beginnings, new events and new insights.

YOU TUBE  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob1Ux-zW0ow

We hope to see you in Peace, Valentin and Mary Jane

OUR WEBSITE

PEACE  BE STILL

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ADVENT

For too many seasons our focus on Advent  or “coming into place, arrival” is a season of expectation and a sense of reviewing our past to go forward. Christmas is the season after the completion of Advent, when “the divine energy of man is sent”. Advent and Christmas  are not physical locations, rather they are mystical perceptions which happen in a variety of ways within the human experience. These two words or moments present themselves for valuable reflection every year. One place to begin this year is on Thursdays at St Paul’s Anglican, focused contemplative prayer  and silence.

What is spiritual life and how does it manifest in the world? Centering prayer, contemplative prayer and the prayer of quiet are helpful ways to explore your interior as the season unfolds. We can actively try to open ourselves to listening to spirit arriving in our soul and remember whose we are, why we are here.

Advent is a time for unexpected fulfillment

and Christmas potentially sends us in a new direction.

Christmas is a brilliant idea, a divine baby born, a human like us, walking with us! Why would spirit do such a thing? Because we humans need an image to show us the way, for love to grow in us. In Christ we have a reference point for discovering life in the spirit, an example of what divine spiritual life looks like, to reflect on in ways that are true, good and lasting.

Come and prepare a place within yourself.

Advent is the Christian celebration of what other religions might call enlightenment. St John in revelations waited for Christ, the woman who was about to be stoned waited as well. Enlightenment is the inward realization and unveiled consciousness of being, identified with who we really are. We are individual expressions or manifestations of God, we wait, we seek, we are a wave of energy, light and purpose which is flowing through us and we see the same  perfectly in the man Jesus Christ who arrived on Christmas day and now walks among us.

All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not. When our ego and agenda  get little enough and naked enough and poor enough, we find that the little place inside where we really are. Ironically it is small but more abundant, real, precious and more than enough. At that place, we will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect. We will be fully alive one breath at a time.

Offering every Thursday 9:15 in ADVENT. Learning and sharing on Texts for lectio through December. St Paul’s Anglican San Miguel Allende.

 

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Christian Feminism

Many women are restless and dissatisfied with the Churches refusal to dignify women. They find no benefit from their long devoted silence. No matter how much female devotion and dedication to the teachings, the Church institution continues to limit the service of women. Most women active in today’s church have come into contact with those in control who refuse to re frame the outdated “ancient” teachings institutionalized by men. Women and tired of always getting permission form a man. Bias changes too slowly.

In 1960 the Roman Catholic Church changed celebrating mass in Latin to each countries native language, before that it was Latin everywhere. It was a necessary alteration in the mass. People had changed and many no longer studied or spoke any Latin anywhere. In addition for centuries Catholics were encouraged not to read the bible independently for fear of false or misleading interpretations. The church had to change a long tradition to suite the times. This was a magnificent change opening communication and debate and thinking. How the church treats Women is a similar landscape which also needs change. Imagine men went to the moon in 1964 but after 2,000 years only a few nations are beginning to ponder the position of women in today’s church or society.

TRUTH Galatians: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”.

Catholic Theological Society of America,“Tradition and the Ordination of Women”

Some biblical text defend the absence of Women’s voices. It began with Adam and Eve but remember they both got thrown out!  Words fuel theological debates but without reflection and new perspectives we are victims of living in a sate of ignorance about our contemporary world. Centuries ago women were accepted as inferior to men and considered unworthy, poor things were easily led astray. In the 2nd century Tertullian, said of woman: “You are the devil’s gateway”; in the 3rd century Origen wrote: “What is seen with the eyes of the creator is masculine, and not feminine, for God does not stoop to look upon what is feminine; in the 4th century Epiphanius said: “The devil seeks to vomit out his disorder through women.”

YUP outrageous, Harsh words indeed!

The early Gnostic influences must have really threatened the mainline developing church institution during the first two centuries. The teachings were decidedly unacceptable, too radical, too inclusive, too mystical to teach and therefore rejected, ridiculed and squashed. Many of the texts highlighted commonality and common spirit within all of creation. Yet, the church chose to shape the cultural prejudice against women making them inferior to men by nature and by law. A male dominated church rose and kept the control. As late as St Thomas Aquinas 1250, we have a well developed attitude: “… the individual nature, a woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power….”. Theology like this altered the agenda of the day.

Ladies, if you have ever wondered where the teachings came from, the framework for our continual debasement, the doctrines which have been hailed as word of God, these kinds of text held to be truth are it. If the men are so enlightened and want to teach the word of God, those in power will have to recognize the error and make amends, for too long we have failed to see accurately the God given blessed commonality within the male/female relationship. Those in power have the power to omit the words and teaching which do not serve but only hinder and separate women. The passed has passed and we are fast coming into a new age of awareness. We are waking up to a new world. The sky and the mountains and the oceans have always witnessed truth, only humanity has failed to see clearly how balanced creation is and how it fits together as a whole.

We Can Allow Change.

It is not heretical to think there is equality with difference between the sexes. We are by no means finished learning to be one body in Christ, we have yet to fully develop and honor the feminine side. Our leaders must condemn sexual discrimination in their congregations on every level and work to put an end to the subordination of women in every community and societies around the world

ICONS

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Coloring Books

Time to order Coloring Books with

beautiful images to share

 

This is great resource for your church or school is this book filled with spiritual imagery offering contemporary ideas with an old world feel for the divine. The 26 historical images are bold, and fun to color, while the journal space beside each image is for jotting down reflections and insights.

Ancient Image, Sacred Lines is an ideal option for members from the christian community who want to work on a commemorative project; for a love one who is about to move from the congregation; or a wonderful memorial gift for any one of your parishioners. If you’re a painter or like to color, the artist in you can pick the image you’d like to work with or for those who like to write in journals, take notes or just write down thoughts, Ancient Image, Sacred lines is also perfect combination.

For children and adults alike.

Each of these 26 historical images can be used for meditation or as a template for those who have been painting icons and are looking for new ideas to experiment with.

Coloring Books today are increasingly popular. Write a book of your own, where you color the illustrations as well as write the text. Experiment with markers, watercolors, crayons, pencils or pastels to create your own iconographic art.

Each image has a tiny message and an empty page to fill with text, encouraging you to write out your own insights and thoughts about the image. With time you will have a wonderful visual journal filled with memorable insights and memories.

A collection of images, ideal for those reflective moments in life; whether at home or in the hospital, this is something you can use during those WAITING moments in life. Ancient Image, Sacred lines is designed to offer caring spiritual support during difficult moments in life.     Ancient Image, Sacred Lines  CLICK

Mary Jane Miller has 20 years experience as a master iconographer and today she is offering a creative idea, a way to slow down and concentrate on the beauty happening within

Buy One, or order several for school or the hospital gift show

http://sanmiguelicons.com/

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Iconography Workshop Scheduled

Jubilee House Retreat & Conference Center

July 16 to 20, 2018

In Southwest Virginia, the historical town of  Abingdon there is  a delightful retreat center filled with light and good energy to host an iconography workshop. We will have long mornings and afternoons to meditate, paint and enjoy the atmosphere. Great conversation and exchanges always arise at these workshops, the subject and tradition make for a fascinating mix of ancient technique and contemporary revival of eternal wisdom. Do not miss this opportunity to take time out from your busy life, to accept some instruction and meditate on what an amazing thing it is to be alive and here now.

This is an ancient language handed down from Byzantium times, 1,500 years ago. The practice reveals itself through the image and patient application, one brush stroke at a time.  Each  movement, breath, emotion or insight is left on the surface as a small history recorded as a witness to who you are.

The idea of moving small particles of sand around with a brush to create a divine image is exhilarating, it is contemplative.

Details on our website, Sacred Icon Retreat

Some say, “It is a surprise to be here, or I know nothing about this kind of painting  or this is amazing”. It is a wonderful time out; there is no place to get to, only a chance to gaze into icon images with silent satisfaction. Keeping the mind still and focused as seeing and listening “is” prayer. It could be someones first encounter with an icon and could be their last but one thing I am certain of, the experience and meaning are unforgettable. I am a rebel icon painter, self taught and un-orthodox but not without tremendous love of icons, its theology and an honest desire to share what creating them has taught me.

For info contact  and cost  Karen & Bob Vaughan  http://jubileeretreat.org/

Or write to Mary Jane Miller millericons@gmail.com

The facilities mountain atmosphere, good food and labyrinth circle make for a perfect retreat center. All ages welcome as well as all levels, no experience necessary.

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Given Love to Give Love

Icons Speak: Beginning with Mary

In Mary, I found inspiration for my book called In Light of Women. After copying hundreds of images of icon images of the mother of God, I discovered not only the deep mystical Mary message held by tradition, but at least one valuable lesson waiting to be learned in our time. The definition for “Who is Mary?” has changed to suit various theological questions in the church. She was the simple Mother of God who became the Virgin Mother and then the Immaculate Conception. She is continually hailed as the queen of contemplation and her obedience to God is inspiring through her supreme act of selflessness. She is so “Holy” her very being is unattainable for any human being, yet I still imagine her as a women and mother like myself.

The image of Mary has changed along with her relevance, the church needed to continually transform her identity to fit with its desired image of women. For 2,000 years woman have been encouraged to be seen and not heard, to be bodies of perfect motherhood and endless committed service.

As Mary changed in history, I changed as I painted her image.

In my heart, I explored the grieving and weeping Mary of the Renaissance, I painted the best I could the mystical distant gaze of Mary in ancient iconography, and finally I came to understand that Mary is the container for the divine to be known. She became for me the church. She became the womb, the door of the church through which I enter, to learn to learn how to grace the world with my contribution of love. If Christ is love walking among us I go to the church to learn to become that which she birthed, I too am born in His image through her.

I find it ironic that Christian mystics, mostly men, have spoken and expanded the spiritual understanding of God for nearly two thousand years and, in doing so, have controlled and shaped our society without the help of women. Mary has used the spoken word, making our understanding of her elusive. Mary is a woman who, by her human act, gave birth to the most transcendent truth which is love.

Love is by far the very thing the world needs for its Healing.

This triptych of three icons illustrates what I discovered in Mary and her many images: Receive, Nurture, and Release. These three stages in the life of Mary teach us a new attitude towards creation: First, like Mary we are given divinity within, we create with what we have received, then we love and nurture what we have created. The first two are a challenge but nothing like the final image. Ultimately we are called to release and give away to the world our valuable creation. The metaphor speaks to our ego, loving what we think we own, what we think we created and our want to protect and keep it for ourselves. Mary’s journey is a replica of what we are called to, to fully love and nurture as she did and finally give it to the world, with no agenda or restriction. This is not easy but becomes absolute trust in God. Love is given for us to give Love in the world.

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Art and Image in Iconography

Ancient Image, Sacred Lines                  By Mary Jane Miller

NEW WEBSITE DESIGN

These are great resource for your church or school, books filled with spiritual imagery offering contemporary ideas with an old world feel for the divine. The images are bold, historical and fun to color, while the journal space beside each image is for jotting down reflections and insights. Purchase a collection for your congregations and support the arts in church

Ancient Image, Sacred Lines is an ideal option for members from the community who want to work on a commemorative project; for a love one who is about to move away; or a wonderful memorial gift for any one of your parishioners. If you’re a painter or like to color, the artist in you can pick the image you’d like to work with. Ancient Image, Sacred lines is also perfect for those who like to write in journals, take notes or just write down thoughts.

For children and adults alike.

This wonderful book of Ancient Image, Sacred Lines will prove to be a fun and interesting journey. Each of these 26 historical images can be used for meditation or as a template for those who have painted icons before and are looking for new ideas to experiment with. Enjoy!

Write a book of your own, where you color the illustrations as well as write the text. Experiment with markers, watercolors, crayons, pencils or pastels to create your own iconographic art.

Each image has a tiny message and an empty page to fill with text, encouraging you to write out your own insights and thoughts about the image. With time you will have a wonderful visual journal filled with memories.

A collection of images, ideal for those reflective moments in life; whether at home or in the hospital, this is something you can use during those WAITING moments in life. Ancient Image, Sacred lines is designed to offer caring spiritual support during difficult moments in life.

Mary Jane Miller is offering a creative idea, a way to slow down and concentrate on the beauty happening in your own inner journey to places unknown.

Icon Painting Technique, a meditation and guide to egg tempera explains the subtle relationship between the process of icon painting and how it reflects and enriches ones spiritual life. Mary Jane Miller discusses her technique, the history and meaning of icon painting.

The Mary Collection   This collection of Mary icons captures the great mysteries of the Madonna, drawing attention to the relationship between Mary and Christ, and the viewer. A wide range of imagination and potential is explored this tiny book.

 Search for author Mary Jane Miller on LULU.com or AMAZON,  The E books available too.

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