The Interfaith Contact Group
The Brighton & Hove Interfaith Contact Group

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A Stroll Through Comforting and Calming Words

We are receiving some wonderful readings and ideas to help us through the strangeness of self-isolation. This time we have two beautiful Buddhist readings, a wonderful nature prayer, a poem by Nicola Lytle, a Hindu Children’s Prayer and a Baha’i Prayer.

In addition to this I would very much like to draw your attention to an inspirational website created by the great Carol Ann Duffy and the Manchester Writing School. In her own words “We need the voice of poetry in times of change and world-grief. A poem only seeks to add to the world and now seems the time to give.” The variety of poetry is astonishing, and worth exploring.

I would also like to draw your attention to the wonderful work of Judith Silver, natural voice leader and singer who has worked closely with the IFCG.

We hope you enjoy our latest offerings. Please stay in touch and keep on sending us your wonderful contributions and ideas:

 

TWO BUDDHIST READINGS
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Do not encumber your mind with useless thoughts,
What good is it to brood over the past and fret about the future?
Dwell in the simplicity of the present moment,
Live in harmony with the dharma,
Make it the heart of your experience,
Be the master of your own destiny.

Commit not a single unwholesome action
Cultivate a wealth of virtue
Tame this mind of ours
These are the words of the Buddha

 

COMPANIONSHIP IN NATURE
African American mystic, Howard Thurman, writes in his autobiography of a tree near his home:

‘Eventually I discovered that the oak tree and I had a unique relationship. I could sit, my back against its trunk, and feel the same peace that would come to me in my bed at night. I could reach down into the quiet places of my spirit, take out my bruises and joys, unfold them and talk about them. I could talk aloud to the oak tree and know that I was understood. It too, was part of my reality, like the woods . . . giving me space.’

Let us give thanks for the space of sea and downs that helps us cope with isolation. May all people everywhere find peaceful space in relationship with some aspect of the natural world, however small: in the song of a bird, the scent and softness of grass, the movement of a cloud or branch. Amen.

 

SPRING BIRDS HAVEN’T HEARD
Nicola Lytle

Restrictions in the shops,
Constrictions in our daily orbits,
Fear and dread our daily bread.

Spring birds haven’t heard –
Nor have our beating hearts;

They both beat
To the tune
Of love,

Radiating around us
And in every cell
Of these our human bodies –

Truer,
Realer,
And more eternal

Than these fleeting
Covid 19 days.’

 

HINDU CHILDREN’S PRAYER
Submitted by Aswin Soni

Oh iswar bhajiy tane
(Oh Lord we pray to you)

Goon tara neet gayiye
(We praise you Oh Lord)

Thai Amari Kaam
(To accomplish all our work)

Het Lavi Hasav tu
(You bring love and laughter)

Sada rakh dil saaf
(We remain sincere)

Bhool kadi kariye ame
(For our mistakes)

Tau prabhu karjo maaf
(Forgive us Oh Lord)

 

BAHA’I READING
Abdu’l-Bahá

Never lose thy trust in God. Be thou ever hopeful, for the bounties of God never cease to flow upon man. If viewed from one perspective they seem to decrease, but from another they are full and complete. Man is under all conditions immersed in a sea of God’s blessings. Therefore, be thou not hopeless under any circumstances, but rather be firm in thy hope.