News — Myth and Story


Runic Wisdom of the Day and Free Rune Reading!

RunesOne of the most popular sources of oracular wisdom, Ralph H. Blum’s The Book of Runes, is now available as an e-book, smartphone app and interactive web application. Runic wisdom can be found in surprising places -- from runes themselves to fortune cookies!  Today we offer two excerpts from Blum's book Little Book of Runic Wisdom.

When the heart of relationship is full,
nourishment is everywhere, even in
the smallest things, for God is always
found in the details.
-- an interpretation of Rune 13, Perserverance, from The Relationship Runes: A Compass for the Heart by Ralph H. Blum

The greatest remedy for anger is delay.
 -- Fortune Cookie, Soho, London,1968


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Excerpt 1 from Chogyam Trungpa's "Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior"

ChogyamTrungpa-Shambhala_Sacred_Path_of_the_Warrior-BL This fascinating excerpt from Chogyam Trungpa's seminal work Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior explores the possibility of the actual existence of the legendary Himalayan kingdon called Shambhala -- a place where prosperity, happiness and enlightenment reign. 

Available in digital format exclusively from BetterListen!

According to the legends, this was a place of peace and prosperity governed by wise and compassionate rulers. The citizens were equally kind and learned so that in general the kingdom was a model society. This place was called Shambhala. It is said that Buddhism played an important role in the development of the Shambhala society. The legends tell us that Shakyamuni Buddha gave advanced tantric teachings to the first king of Shambhala, Dawa Sangpo. These teachings, which are preserved as a Kalacakra tantra, are considered to be among the most profound wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism. After the king had received this instruction, the stories say that all of the people of Shambhala began to practice meditation and to follow the Buddhist path of loving kindness and concern for all beings. In this way, not just the rulers, but all of the subjects of the kingdom became highly developed people.
Among the Tibetan people, there is a popular belief that the kingdom of Shambhala can still be found hidden in a remote valley somewhere in the Himalayas. There are as well a number of Buddhists texts that give detailed but obscure directions for reaching Shambhala. But there are mixed opinions as to whether these should be taken literally or metaphorically.

There are also many texts that give us elaborate descriptions of the kingdom. For example, according to the great commentary on the Kalacakra by the renowned 19th century Buddhist teacher, Mipham, the land of Shambhala is north of the river Sita and the country is divided by eight mountain ranges. The palace of the Rigdens or the imperial Shambhala is built on top of a circular mountain in the center of the country. This mountain, Mipham tells us, is named Kailasa. The palace, which is called the palace of Kalapa, comprises many square miles. In front of it to the south is a beautiful park known as Malaya and in the middle of the park is a temple devoted to Kalacakra that was built by Dawa Sangpo.

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The Shambhala Audio Collection

Chogyam Trungpa on Wikipedia



Excerpt from "The King of Togo Togo and Other Stories"

LauraSimms-KingOfTogotogoCover-BL Laura Simms' recording of "The King of Togo Togo and Other Stories" is a collection of truly delightful stories that the whole family will enjoy.  The following transcribed excerpt of the story about the donkey and goose who were in love will give you a taste of what to expect.

There was once a donkey and a goose and they were in love. They lived on opposite sides of a road separated by two fences and all day they would stare at each other and sigh. They wished that they could speak each other’s language so that they could tell one another how much they loved each other. 

One evening there was a boy and a girl walking down the road holding hands, kissing, and talking about a wishing well at the end of the road. Everybody knows that animals can’t understand each other’s language but they can understand the language of human beings. So they understood and each one made a plan.
Late that night the donkey pushed open the gate with his head and went “clippity, cloppity, clippity, cloppity, clippity, cloppity” right down that road until he came to the wishing well, pulled himself up with his long legs, leaned over the edge and said, “Eeeehh Ohhhh, I am so in love. I wish I could be a goose.” And all of a sudden, the donkey shrunk down to the size of a goose, turned colors, his ears went in, his tail was gone, and he had webbed feet. Happily, the donkey who was now a goose hopped off the wishing well and waddled, waddled, waddled, waddled all the way back to his fence. He pushed in the door with his rear, shut it with his head, and waited.
Later that night the goose who was digging a hole beneath her fence pushed herself out onto the road and waddled, waddled, waddled, waddled all the way to the wishing well. Then she leaped up with great difficulty, balanced on the edge of the well and said into the water, “Honk, I am so in love. I wish I could be a donkey.” And low and behold, the goose became a donkey. Ears came out of her head. She grew long and brown with a big tail and long legs. The goose who was now a donkey leaped off the side of the wishing well and clippity, cloppity, clippity, cloppity, clippity, cloppity went back to her fence. She pushed in the door with her rear, shut it with her head, and waited. They could hardly wait for the sun to rise so that they could see one another. 

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Laura Simms Bio and Links

Excerpt from Robert Bly's "What Stories Do We Need"

Cover-Bly-WhatStoriesDoWeNeed The following is a transcribed excerpt from "What Stories Do We Need" -- a thought provoking and timeless recording by poet and men's movement pioneer Robert Bly.  "What Stories Do We Need" reminds us that we all carry a personal mythology, but the stories we tell ourselves may not be entirely true... Recorded live at The New York Open Center.

We’re talking about mythology today. And mythology moves towards the soul in the same way that philosophy moves towards the brain. In fact, I think Joe Campbell said the other day, all philosophy is a frozen form of mythology and if you really love a philosopher, then try to recognize the philosopher as being a kind of an ice over the water on which you could walk. And that’s nice, but try to go below and see what the water is doing down there. And in that case, he believes that every philosophical idea has a mythological image underneath it, including all those ones, Heraclitus, and all of that. They come out of centuries of wild mythological imaging.

So the first point I want to make is that mythology is connected to the soul. That doesn’t mean it is unconnected to the spirit, but that mythology in general asked you to go down before you go up. And we’ll have an example of that because I’ll do a story this morning. And the second thing you would say is that mythology is connected with inner figures. It can be said that when you are a monotheist psychologically, all mythology dies. Because monotheism implies that there is a center to the psyche and that all other parts of the psyche will obey them. That’s the hope of the pudens. If you decide that you’re not going to tell a lie, everyone inside will obey. Like hell. That’s why a New Year’s Eve resolution is only until about five minutes to twelve that night.
And when Jim Hillman came to the men’s workshop in California this last year, he told a wonderful story. He said: you see the problem is, if you’re a young male and telling a whole bunch of spiritual young males the problems is the word commitment, it sends shudders through your chest. And we know that and that’s quite right. There is something in the hue that’s aware of the danger of commitment and of course, that causes a lot of grief for everybody. But nevertheless he was also saying there is some truth in that. And he says I’ll give you an example. The young male decides that he is going to get married because he needs to get married. He’s 24 and decides to get married. But he forgets that there is a whole platoon in there. And there may be one or two in that platoon who will suck up to the sergeant, and so when the time is to do the task, they’ll be there. The rest of the platoon, he says, is off in the woods somewhere. And the next morning after the wedding they said, “Wait a minute, you didn’t ask me at all. I would’ve never agreed to this. And because you didn’t even ask me, I’m going to muck the whole thing up. I’m going off into the woods to get drunk. You and your sergeant can do what you want.” Do you understand that feeling? It’s a wonderful idea before you make a commitment, please talk to the rest of your platoon.
And with women, being no different whatsoever. Exactly the same. Even taking a job it is important to check the rest of the platoon. Some of them may not want this job at all. And if they don’t like it… you know, you’ll start dropping pencils and pretty soon you’re forgetting stuff and you get canned. I like this, don’t you? This whole idea of the platoon. You have to check with the platoon.

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Robert Bly Bio and Links