image courtesy of Ashley Shea

Meditation by Karen Roberts

Breathe in.
In your long walk
upon the earth
you see the truth
that is before us.
Each day’s lesson
is lodged deep
within your bones.
Compassion pours
from your fingertips
You teach us.
Breathe out.

Maria Tortilla - A Meditation

Every day like clockwork, Jesus comes by.
Cousins and aunts drop their tortillas. They make the sign of the cross, rush to her bedside,
stir death and flour into the air.
Her son and husband stand nearby clutching prayer cards,
While the women surround the bed, clucking and patting.
She reaches out to her Savior.
“Dios mio! Dos mio!” The rosaries click. “Go on, take his hand, hermana. It’s all right.”
Jesus walks away empty-handed every day.

The women become disgruntled with Jesus.
There is muttering, dissatisfaction.
He is beloved but he is just a son, like their sons.
It is the Virgin Mother that they trust.
To her they gossip, make their petitions, one mother to another.
But the Virgin cannot persuade her son to take the woman.
And so, like all mothers of obstinate sons, the Holy Mother suffers too.
She joins the aunts and cousins at the counter, elbow to elbow,
patting the tortillas into pleasing pale circles that call to mind
the moon, a pregnant belly.The fullness of life.

The women become bitter.
“Here comes the drive-by Jesus! Oh, there he goes…”
They jostle La Virgen a little more at the counter,
returning to the work of the living,
rolling and folding the tortillas, recipe the same as always
but fortified with prayers, enriched with blessings.
“Take her, Jesus, she has suffered enough. Talk to him, La Virgen!”
The moon fills her cup and drains away two times.
Tortillas fill the house, the freezer, the side tables.

Jesus comes by the next evening.
He is tired of the grumbling, as tired as the woman is of living.
He has had his fill of tortillas.
In the quiet of the empty room, he takes her hand.
They walk away.
The table is full: aunts, cousins, son, husband.
The eldest aunt passes a platter of tortillas;
the Virgin nudges her. The tortillas fall to the ground
and the plate shatters.
They run to her room. She is gone.
Her son and husband sob,
“Thank you, Jesus, thank you.”
The aunts and cousins make the sign of the cross and murmur,
“Maria, Maria.”

by Karen Roberts



Rose Meditation
by Heather Blakey

image courtesy of Leonie Bryant

Before commencing this meditation you might like to fill your space with the gentle perfume of Rose Oil.

“Take a deep breath and as you let it out imagine all the difficulties of the day going with it, now take the attention to the feet---" (work up the body relaxing—especially the back shoulders and neck)

“ Now focus on the breath---going in and out—gently and naturedly—imagine a swing door which moves slowly with the breath in and out—"(allow to continue for some moments)

Imagine that you are standing on the edge of the inner petals of this beautiful rose. The perfume of the rose surrounds you. Your senses are overwhelmed by the color

Beneath you is a deep cavern spiralling to the very centre of the rose. Droplets of water form pools nearby. Carefully you make your way into the interior of the rose. The light glows. Look around. Use all your senses to draw in details of your environment.

As you explore you hear footsteps coming. Someone is humming a song

the rose is a rose
is a rose is a rose
And a rose of a rose
of a rose
is a rose from a rose
from a rose
And a rose
in a rose in a rose
is a rose inside a rose
inside a rose
If a rose to a rose
to a rose
is any rose to any rose
is any rose.

In your visual journal record your experience inside the rose, making sure to include any dialogue with the whimsical musician.

Join le Enchanteur's Divination Tent and post any responses there. If you are not a member of this blog send a request to and you will be sent an invitation to join and work alongside the Silk Road Travellers.

The Rose of Taif - for Caravansai Pilgrims

In the early days, up to 200 years ago, Taif's rose petals were collected and sealed into sacks for transport by camel roughly 65 kilometer's down to the holy city of Makkah. There, Indian pharmacists distilled attar from them, using a process not unlike what is used today. These artisans became masters of one particularly fine type of attar that they produced by infusing rose distillate into sandalwood oil, resulting in a blend with refreshing floral and woody notes. Interestingly this blend can still be found in India, though it is now rare in the Saudi Arabian market.

About two centuries ago, the distillers bought their craft to Taif itself. Here, closer to the rose fields, the manufacture of rose oil was more efficient, because the volatile rose oils evaporate rapidly from the harvested petals. Soon after the establishment of these distilleries, Taif rose oil began to win acclaim in the Muslim world. Any pilgrim who could afford it bought at least one vial of the celebrated perfume as a souvenir of the Harjj. Pilgrims travelling overland from the east would often take the route through Taif, especially to purchase the oil.