WHERE IS THE HOUSE OF THE SOUL?

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Here in the holy city of Rishikesh, I wanted to try my open-heart meditation again. As soon as we woke up, after having a cup of coffee and eating some bananas, we meditated for fifteen minutes. My wife did her breathing meditation, while I watched my breathing for a few minutes and then tried my open-heart technique. While I was watching my heart, imagining that it was open to everybody, I recalled a statue of Jesus that I’d kept in my room since I was a baby. The statue is around one meter tall. Jesus is portrayed as a master with a white robe and a red tunic, and his heart sticks out of his chest.
Not only is the heart fundamental for Christians, but Buddhists also believe that the mind is located in the heart. They think that the mind is a mental continuum without beginning or end. The Buddhist “mind” may be considered the equivalent of what Christians call the soul. Obviously, when I say that the house of the mind or soul is in the heart, I don’t refer to the physical heart, which can even be implanted from one person to another, but to the spiritual heart, whose house lies close to the physical heart.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

 

THE OPEN-HEART MEDITATION

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One morning I was watching the ocean when I had the feeling that Jesus was suggesting a new kind of meditation to me. “Open your heart to everybody. That is the best meditation!” he seemed to say.
I tried this new meditation as the days passed, and I can say that it was very powerful. I sat silently on the beach and focused my attention on opening my heart to all living beings, both friends and those unknown to me. After a while, I felt my body and mind purifying. I talked with my wife about this discovery.
“Yes, I agree with you,” she said. “Focusing our attention on opening our heart to everybody makes us realize that God is within every person. It is no coincidence that the Indians use the word Namaste as a greeting, which means ‘the godliness inside me greets the godliness inside you.’”

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE FEAST OF THE MOST HOLY MARY OF VALVERDE IN ENNA (SICILY)

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On the last Sunday of August at seven o’clock in the morning, the citizens of Enna are  awoken by a 101-gun salute. It announces the beginning of the celebrations in honor of The Most Holy Mary of Valverde, who was the patron saint of Enna until 1412.

At that time, paganism still existed and there were also some Muslim families in Enna. So, a delegation was sent to Venice to buy a new statue that could symbolize the unity of creed of all the citizens of Enna. However, the old celebration in honor of The Most Holy Mary of Valverde didn’t fade away. Every year, three statues are carried in procession: Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Joseph, and Holy Mary with Baby Jesus.
According to some archaeologists, in the same spot where now stands the church of Valverde there was the temple of Demeter. It means the paganism didn’t disappear from the heart of the people of Enna. The name of the divinity has changed over the years, but the devotion to the Mother Goddess is still the same.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

WHAT I THOUGHT I HEARD FROM SAINT FRANCIS

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We went to the crypt and sat on a pew facing Saint Francis’s tomb. As soon as I sat down, I had the sensation that the same energy that had talked to me many years ago was now speaking again, suggesting the path I should follow to find out who really I was.
Purify your heart, mind, body, and actions, and then you’ll see God inside you!
What was Saint Francis telling me this time? I inferred that he meant that the real kingdom of God is inside every living being, but we cannot find it if our mind is contaminated by too many materialistic desires or our actions are not directed towards the wellbeing of our fellow creatures. I also inferred that prayer and meditation are a good way to purify the mind and get close to God, as long as my actions aim not only towards an egoistic goal, but to the love of all creatures.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE FEAST OF SAINT AGATA IN CATANIA (SICILY)

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February 5, 1939
Today, the celebrations in honor of Saint Agata, the patron saint of Catania, reached their peak. Townspeople wore white habits and ashen-black headdresses. For ten days, twelve gigantic candles on baroque-style litters were borne on the shoulders of guild members as they went along the streets. Today, the litters went ahead of the statue of Saint Agata to light up the street. The patron saint stood on a wagon dragged by hundreds of devotees.
People crowded round the statue and lit big wax candles, which they then handed a man on the wagon. There were so many candles that the wagon couldn’t hold them all. Every now and then, it was emptied of all the candles and they were tossed into a truck.
The wagon was dragged along the places where Saint Agata suffered martyrdom. According to history, the saint belonged to a noble family and wished to be a Christian, but the Roman governor wanted to possess her. She refused, and for that she was imprisoned and later executed.
I saw the procession from the sidewalk of Via Etnea. The streets were so crowded that it was impossible for me to get near the wagon. So I watched the bust of Saint Agata from a distance.
There were also many street vendors. I saw an unusual, beautiful red apple in one of the stalls. I asked the vendor what it was, and he told me it was an apple mixed with sugar, the traditional fruit of the Feast of Saint Agata. I couldn’t help purchasing and eating that apple before I headed for my lodging house.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

MY REVIEW OF THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS

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Every now and then, I purchase a book at random. By doing so, I broad my horizons and I am not confined to reading books that are within my sphere of interests.
A year ago, while I was walking on the high street of Southport, a city in the north of England, I entered a used bookstore. Using a special ladder provided by the owner, I picked two books from the upper shelf: one by Samuel Richardson and one by Henry Fielding; then before going out I closed my eyes and picked up at random a book among those lying on the table at the entrance. It was The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.
“I’ll give it to you for free! It is the most boring book in the world!” said the bookseller.
I kept The Pilgrim’s Progress for several months on my bookshelf and then I read it. To my surprise, the book was not boring at all; it is one of the most interesting books I have read so far; it is an allegory of life and a window to look into the amazing world of the Puritans.
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

TRADITIONAL SICILIAN PRAYERS


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My grandma taught me some traditional prayers, which I still say every night before sleeping, even now that I am old.
One of these prayers is this:
I sleep in this bed
There is Mary over my chest
I sleep and she watches over me
If something bad is going to happen she will wake me.
The second prayer is:

I am with Jesus, I stay with Jesus.
As long as I am with Jesus I have no fears.
I know that I am going to sleep
But I don’t know if I’ll awake.
My soul be always commended (to Jesus).

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo