Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fomenting Fear: Boston As Red Herring

Here we go again. Humanity's on a roll, awakening at the speed of love, co-creating ingenious solutions for local, regional and international challenges in ever more magnanimous ways. We might even be moving towards global unity.

The faster and stronger our rise in Light, the greater the resistance from forces that fear losing control. Whether we perceive these dark energies as originating from beyond the country or beyond the planet, one certainty is this: the best way to prevent questioning, growth, and union is by generating fear. Keep the people cowed and obedient, quaking within at the potential threat everywhere, and separation is assured.

After all, who can you trust when something as apple-pie American as the Boston Marathon, an institution more than a century old that attracts runners from all over the world, is tainted forever by a bombing at the finish line? How safe can we be in our backyards if something like this could happen in the midst of half a million people and all that security?

This is precisely what the instigators want. Do not trip the trap. Grieve for those injured or killed, yes. Make every effort to bring the terrorists to "justice", if such an action is possible. But don't crawl meekly back into the old skin. It's shed. It is time to arise as One and light the way to the higher truth of our intrinsic unity.

Rumi says it best:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don't go back to sleep.

** If you'd like to read the message I sent out after 9-1-1, please email me.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Reimagining Death: The Elephant in the Room

Woody Allen famously said that he didn't want to achieve immortality through his work; he wanted to achieve it through not dying. While we celebrate birth, its corollary, exiting the Earth plane, is feared only slightly less than public speaking — at least, in the Western mind.

As someone with a gerontology (study of aging) background and an abiding love of elders, I've been exploring positive aging and death-related subject matter for years. I'm currently reading two complementary books with mirrored titled: From Age-ing to Sage-ing by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and Sage-ing While Age-ing by Shirley MacLaine. MacLaine's book has been eye opening, not least because she articulates much that I've discovered/remembered on my own awakening journey, but also because she ratchets up my knowledge to the next level. In Chapter 11 (number of Aquarius), she focuses on soul development and references the work of regression therapist Michael Newton, PhD.

Suddenly I read, "All regressed souls speak of how much easier death is than birth. With death there is a release into the light. With birth there is an entrance into density." Of course! It's easier to expand than to contract.

And this awareness dovetails beautifully with another stunning book I read last year, Deathing: An Intelligent Alternative for the Final Moments of Life by Anya Foos-Graber.

Deathing is the real deal on conscious departure. We're not meant to die alone and afraid, maintains Foos-Graber. This definitive guide — the first of its kind I've seen, and it was published in 1989 — spells out clearly how each person can prepare for an informed death. Since most of us avoid any discussion of the subject, the very concept of a 'how-to' manual may sound frightening. Yet like MacLaine, Foos-Graber maintains that death can be a light-filled, spiritual experience.

We have a lot of help entering the world: we emerge from the body of our mother with attendants such as doctors, nurses, midwives, spouses and friends at the ready to welcome us and tend to the birthing mother. But there is no corresponding death ritual to support us in exiting the body we've inhabited as we return to the Great Mother of All.

Through two teaching stories, Foos-Graber shows us what both a typical, unconscious dying and a planned 'deathing' experience look like. The second half of the book provides step-by-step instructions and simple exercises such as breathing, visualization and remembering the Love that you are, to assist you in releasing the body and making a conscious, even joyful, departure from this life — and to support others in doing so.

Plus, we can rehearse while alive! Foos-Graber writes, "By practicing ahead of time with an eye toward this spiritual life insurance, you can increasingly live in an atmosphere free from fear and ignorance. A correct grasp of how to die necessarily produces an expanded philosophy of how to live more abundantly, however long or short your time of physical life."

As I was reading this book, a friend of mine's husband surrendered to cancer. Here's how she described his conscious death: "He squeezed my hand and left his breath here to begin to inhale the ethers of elsewhere. A gentle wave of joyful contentment spread out in ripples of sparkling delight. He was free again and slowly twirling in the softly glowing wonder of it all. This ethereal mist of farewell whispered through our home for an hour or so and then was gone."

So let us bow to that elephant and embrace its wisdom, rather than indulge in what MacLaine refers to as "amphysteria" ~ a condition of forgotten fear, usually of a place. We have no reason to fear expansion into the Light of All. And the elephant-headed Hindu deity Ganesh is revered as the "Remover of Obstacles". We can ride the elephant of awareness right on into the next adventure.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Crow-Magnon Woman: On Being a Birdbrain

"Birdbrain" is not a compliment. Yet cross-culturally, indigenous peoples have depicted bird-headed people to signify a connection with the spirit realm. I have a particular affinity for crows, which became my familiar the summer I had pneumonia. I was living in a highly altered state of consciousness, and when I heard them cawing on the telephone wire outside my apartment, I began to count the caws to divine what the number might mean in my life at that time. Birds are augurs. I also began responding to the cawing crow, and we conversed. Enraptured, I penned the poem/chant that appears at the end of this post.

Crows and I forged this connection 20 years ago. Just a few weeks ago, I was captivated by the novel Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger. His central character is a college professor whose expertise is corvids (crows) — and she harbors a secret about her health and impending early demise. For someone who's long been fascinated by positive aging and reimagining how we perceive death, this was an irresistible combination. I recommend the book highly for its impeccable storyline and the author's courage to illumine a difficult subject with fresh eyes.

And then, synchronistically, I spied The Gift of the Crows: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans in my local bookstore, in which real-life college professor John Marzluff deems crows incredibly intelligent as well as playful, describing how one crow would entice neighborhood dogs away from their owners and hold "class" with the canines on the campus lawn!

So I am delighted to be a "Crow-Magnon" Woman. May my poem speak to you, and to your own special relationship with the winged familiars in your life.

Talking to Crows
© Amara Rose 7/30/93

Black-winged wisdom on a wire
Cawing collect,
Caws and effect
A coded conversation
In guttural cries
Opens my eyes
And lifts me higher.