Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior

Though I rarely go to the movies these days, the growing Spiritual Cinema genre excites me: we're finally beginning to use media to reach the masses in a positive way.

Peaceful Warrior, based on the best-selling autobiographical novel, "Way of the Peaceful Warrior," by Dan Millman, is a modern Hero's Journey in which a talented young gymnast who has it all (including a supersized ego) discovers his true self via an enigmatic wise man he calls Socrates--after a serious accident threatens to destroy Dan's Olympic dreams.

While a little derivative, it makes up in emotional impact what it lacks in originality (possibly because there is only one story in the world, and redundancy can be highly instructive!)

For instance, instead of sitting under a Bodhi tree (not the bookstore, for those of you based in L.A.) until he attains enlightenment, Socrates makes Dan sit on the hood of a jalopy, "Until you have something worthwhile to tell me." After innumerable false (though humorous) attempts, Dan stands before his teacher and repeats his own words back to him, with a sense of awareness for the first time: "There's always something happening. There are no ordinary moments."

And in lieu of the allegorical Zen teacher holding the eager student's head beneath water until he's nearly drowned, saying, "When you want enlightenment as much as you wanted air, you will be ready to learn," Socrates responds to Dan's request to "make it quick" by throwing him off a bridge into a stream on the UC Berkeley campus.

Yet there are a number of "ah-ha" moments that riveted me in recognition, such as when Dan struggles on the ledge of a tower with a hooded adversary--and discovers he's struggling with himself. He sees his egoic self and says tearfully, "Oh, you're the one I have to let go of!"

['Way back in 1989, when I was initially cleansing my body, I wrote in my journal that the toxic relationship I most needed to get out of was the one I was in with myself! About what awaited on the far side of this release, I wrote, "I am poised on the brink of an unknown, terrifying descent into chaos. All this attention to order does not appear to be the answer. Letting go, letting life happen, would be--if I can but gather the courage to plunge into the depths, trusting that I will not drown or die, but maybe, begin at last to live.

"This opens the floodgates, which says to me that I am on the right track. I've touched on a nerve, a rawness, and rather than analyze it, I should just let it see the light. And shine..."]

In the film, when Dan sarcastically tests Socrates by saying, "This is what you do? You work at a gas station?", Socrates replies with equanimity, "It's a service station. Service, Dan. There is no higher calling." And I remembered a challenging moment during my initial journey year in New York State, when the wisest person I'd ever met was making sandwiches in a tiny health food store.

The reminder that galvanized me most was when Socrates advises Dan to resume his gymnastic training. Stunned, Dan turns to him and shouts, "I have a steel rod in my leg!" And Socrates responds, "A warrior does not give up what he loves--he finds a way to love what he does."

[In 1997, deep into my healing journey, I published a series of articles that wove my personal evolution on the loom of the Mayan Calendar, an ideal vehicle for me at that time. In piece #6, penned just prior to my 40th birthday, I wrote, "I spent my first thirty-two years suffused with a nameless, lingering sadness, consumed by rituals of my own design. In despair over a lifestyle which felt like a sickness, I entered the tunnel.

"My surrender came in stages. And I began to experience a joy beyond anything I'd thought possible, as the crusty layers of doubt and fear and judgment slowly peeled away, revealing the vibrant being beneath. I made a conscious decision then to live through an open heart forever. I'm by no means perfect in holding to this resolve, yet I choose to return to this place of radiance again and again.

"There are only two ways to live your life, Einstein said. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. I'm dancing within the rainbow hoop, here in the Heart of Heaven."]

I discuss the film as it relates to the theme of our individual and global quest for happiness in the July issue of my e-newsletter, What Shines.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Spirit in Disguise, or Blessed by the Dress!

It's been a Solstice week of little miracles and amazing synchronicities that affirm the ever-present Power within and around us, regardless of how life appears to be going at the moment.

Several weeks ago, while housesitting in Marin County, I saw a woman in Whole Foods wearing a beautiful sleeveless summer dress, sprinkled with stars, in all my favorite colors. I spontaneously went up to her and said, "I love your dress!" Whereupon, to my astonishment, she promptly offered to mail it to me if I gave her my address.

I demurred, "Oh, no, I was just admiring it!" This is something my grandmother used to do (offer to give me whatever I said I liked). But the woman, a petite, elegant, older Asian lady, insisted I needed to receive this gift. I said I didn't even know if it would fit me, and she replied that if it didn't, I could pass it along to a friend. I almost wept from her kindness, then began spilling stress in terms of searching for appropriate housing, fatigue, etc. The next thing I knew, she had pulled me aside and was saying a prayer for me, right there in the middle of Whole Foods! It was all quite uplifting and incredible. I gave her my card, and then promptly forgot about it.

Today when I went to pick up my mail in Sebastopol, there was a package with no return address. I was puzzled, and when I opened it--voila, the dress! And Jean purposely sent it with no way for me to return it--or to thank her. She enclosed a "Thinking of You" card reminding me to trust God (and entrust my cares to God), and that was all. I only know her first name.

Excited, I dashed over to the Whole Foods here to try it on in the restroom. Alas, the armholes were too tight, so the dress didn't fit properly. She was tiny compared with me. So, I decided to put it back in the car to give to someone else. But first, since it was 100 degrees outside, I wanted a succulent slice of watermelon!

A woman perusing the watermelons asked me how to discern which slices were organic, and since I had just asked that question yesterday, I had the answer. I found myself telling her about the dress I was holding; then I offered it to her. To my amazement, her eyes grew bright with tears, and she said, "Oh, you can't imagine what this means. My husband died four years ago..." She went on to describe how challenging life has been for her as an unexpected single mom, trying to make ends meet.

We talked for the next ten minutes about our lives, and how Spirit moves through them. I told her the dress isn't really a dress; it's Spirit in disguise! And as she also said a blessing for me and left, clutching the dress like a treasure, I felt a circle complete, and a renewed sense of JOY at how simple it can be to care for one another. Before I gave Kathy the dress, I blessed it and thanked Jean for the gift she gave me. Then I passed it on. And we are all the richer for giving and receiving selflessly. Kathy said in wonder, "But you don't even know me!" and I responded, "She didn't know me!" And yet, on another level, we did know one another quite well. We are all sisters under the skin.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Solstice Soul Attunement

Intuitive astrolger Allison Rae serves up a galactic Solstice feast of relevant information. She says this moment is a flashpoint, a portal energetically similar to the combined energies of "the Grand Fixed Cross Solar Eclipse of August 11, 1999, and the Harmonic Concordance of November 8-9, 2003--two pivotal moments in the transformation of consciousness leading to and through 2012. Both accompanied mass spiritual awakenings."

It's well worth reading her entire offering. What spoke most dearly to my heart was her news about the shifting Saturn-Chiron dynamic. Since I was born with Chiron conjunct my Sun, I embody the energy and emotional make-up of this intriguing heavenly body, known to astrologers as the archetypal "wounded healer" and also as the teacher of Aesclepius, the Greek God of medicine and healing. Allison says,

"Saturn represents father, karma, control, responsibility, law, structure, the status quo. Chiron, his son, chose a different path. He is the holistic practitioner, the metaphysician, the visionary, artist and wounded healer.

They have been locked in opposition for the past 19 years, and we've been dealing with issues of authority, conditioning, limitation, personal and cultural wounding throughout this time. We're facing up to our choices, paying off karmic debt, healing the wounds of childhood.

That pattern is about to change.

This is the final direct opposition in this cycle. After the Solstice, Saturn and Chiron will go their separate ways. If we're willing to take responsibility for our choices, freedom from the past is imminent in this release.

On the collective level, the Saturn-Chiron cycle helps raise human consciousness from the level of personal, self-interest to a state of broader, social action infused by an awareness of the indwelling spirit of all creation.

The current cycle began in 1966 and lasts until 2028. Think of the changes in social awareness that happened throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and you'll get a picture of the potential in this passage. Saturn-Chiron deals with important changes in the mentality of the individual in relation to the collective. Social movements arise. Often these shifts are not easy, and occur only after a series of dramatic changes."

I am SO ready for the world to embrace what has always seemed obvious to me! We are all one being, and the healing is to yinify: a word I coined several years ago that means, to enlarge the lens of the feminine in our lives, to turn up the feminine frequency of receptivity, allowing, drawing in. I just had the image of a world hug!

Much love and expansiveness to you this Solstice evening, as the Sun enters Cancer, the most vulnerable, hearth-centered sign of the zodiacal wheel.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fire and Rain

Sedona is under fire; Houston is under water! Mother Earth is in the midst of a gigantic cleanse, as She (like all of her inhabitants) sheds the old skin in preparation for morphing into a higher level of consciousness.

This is a bit challenging, to say the least, for her various inhabitants. Humans generally appear to have greater difficulty with these transitions than most other life forms—perhaps because we're less mobile, except in an emergency. After the Asian 'quake and tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the other earthquakes, floods and fires that have swept the planet these past few years, we're becoming a lot more adept!

So let us invite Sedona and Houston to exchange energies: the former needs rain, the latter, sunny, dry weather (but not actual fire!) With all of our focused intention (especially tomorrow, on the Solstice, when the Sun stands still and the veils between worlds are thin), we can LOVE these affected areas of our Mother's body back into balance.

Blessed Be!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Soul Retrieval at Solstice

Summer Solstice is this coming Wednesday, June 21, as the Sun enters the water sign of Cancer (Winter Solstice, for our allies in the Southern Hemisphere). There are many ways to celebrate and honor the turning of the Wheel of the Year as it ushers in the season of fire. One that resonates cross-culturally is World Soul Retrieval Day.

This "global expression of shamanic practice and healing" was birthed three summers ago by Frank MacEowen and Timothy O'Donoghue. Tim was shown a vision of the worldwide shamanic community coming together to address our collective state of soul loss. Because the "holes" in our collective soul have been filled by the energy of fear, it's led to ever-greater tears in the human fabric, in the form of wars, ethnic "cleansing", decimation of indigenous lands, and the rise of dis-ease.

Frank, in turn, saw the altars of various shamans, medicine people, and shamanic practitioners all over the world, being activated and "linked up" on a common day to create a "world altar." This world altar, made up of many altars anchored simultaneously in the deep energies and light of primal earth, serve to focus us on not only transforming grief, but also calling toward us a powerful spiritual reality, a shared dream of the future, that he calls "the future Earth-Spirit culture."

So let us cultivate a sense of the sacred deep within ourselves as we re-weave the world, dancing our dream of wholeness and holiness awake. For further suggestions about ways to commemorate this stillpoint, see the article Summer Solstice: An Opportunity to Become More Whole. One of the earliest postings to Healing, it's been read by more than 500 people in the past year.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Well-Deserved Rest

An article I had planned to write years ago, before I understood the Journey with a capital J, was, "Learning to Love the Lull." It was about enjoying the "rests" in our daily music, the pauses between activities. At the time, I was thinking only of how I longed for a respite from the 90-miles-an-hour lifestyle I'd created—and then, of course, I received the ultimate time-out, several years' worth and then some. I refer to my personal awakening journey in various places on my website; specifically in Learning to Live My Light.

These days, with the Earth and each of her rays (us) moving into the fifth dimension, we may feel tired, wired, and ready for a healing oasis on a regular basis! I know I certainly do. And The Reconnections say it is most assuredly right that we honor ourselves and our process by taking this time to rejuvenate as we "phase shift" from being fully human to being fully divine.

So be in the Now and allow...and when all else fails (or when nothing seems to be working in your life), yield to the STOP sign from the Multiverse, and wait for new information to pour in.

Blessings on your travels...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

One Source, One Symbol

When I lived in a remote mountain cabin in the national forest north of Santa Fe, NM, years ago, sound reverberated delightfully among the majestic trees. I remember how I began singing, "I am One with the All!" while bouncing on my rebounder, feeling my connection to the Universe resonate in my cells.

Now there's a tangible symbol to help us all feel and remember this. I just discovered the Universal Flag site, which dovetails nicely with the World Invocation.

Aligned with our inner vibrations and outer manifestations, it represents the interdependence of all life. It is yours, mine, ours. We are One.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

World Invocation Day: June 11, 2006

Every year since 1952, people around the globe have celebrated World Invocation Day, joining in the affirmation of the Oneness of humanity and in the recognition of our collective responsibility for the working out of the Divine Plan on earth. The date of World Invocation Day is determined by the lunar calendar, on which most of the festivals of the major world religions are based. It occurs two months after the Christian Festival of Easter, and one month following the Buddhist Fesitval of Wesak.

Here is a summary of World Invocation Day, according to Lucis Trust:

"World Invocation Day is a world day of prayer and meditation when men and women of every spiritual path join in a universal appeal to divinity and use the Great Invocation. Together they focus the invocative demand of humanity for the light, the love and the spiritual direction needed to build a world of justice, unity and peace.

As we begin the new millennium, we face the fact that materialistic values have led humanity to a state of profound crisis. Our very survival is threatened, not only by militarism, but by our lack of wisdom and will to feed the hungry, to share our plentiful resources, and to solve the many other critical problems that confront the human family.

Yet the solution exists. One of the greatest insights of our time is that of the interdependence and interrelatedness of all life. Today millions of people share the conviction of an inner spiritual unity within humanity which transcends any outer differences of race, nation and creed. As men and women of goodwill the world over give expression to this conviction in their lives, a process of planetary transformation is taking place. A new civilization is emerging which embraces all peoples and is founded upon the recognition of our common humanity and right human relations.

The world’s problems are of humanity’s making and they are for humanity to solve. But the essence of the spiritual life lies in knowing that we are not alone. The energies of divinity are abundantly available and, on World Invocation Day, an appeal is made for the release of the energies that will enable humanity to create the new civilization.

To use the Great Invocation is world service for it speaks directly to world need today. We need light to illumine the way ahead and reveal the vision of a new civilisation; we need love to govern the relationships between people and bring to an end the reign of hatred and separatism; we need the power of the will-to-good to direct human choice and decision-making. The universal use of the Great Invocation on World Invocation Day charges this day with deep spiritual significance, for it builds a channel through which light, love and power can reach and irradiate the hearts and minds of people everywhere."


From the point of Light within the mind of God
Let light stream forth into human minds
Let Light descend on Earth.

From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into human hearts
May the Coming One return to Earth.

From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide all little human wills
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.

From the center which we call the human race
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.

Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.

* In accordance with the changing conciousness and language of humanity as we enter into the Aquarian Age, this “adapted” wording for the Great Invocation is offered in the hope that it will encourage wider distribution of this world prayer.