Monday, May 12, 2014

Remembering Angeles Arrien 1940-2014

Yesterday I picked up the May/June issue of Common Ground, an alternative magazine I sometimes read here in northern California, and turned to the final page, Last Words. I found a quote by one of my great teachers, Angeles Arrien, and below her name, two dates with a dash between them. It took my mind several seconds to process what this meant. NO! Angeles can't be gone; she was only 74. She was in the midst of a teaching schedule for her newest book, Living In Gratitude. She's a pillar of wisdom. And now, she is an ancestor.

While so many have transitioned already this year, including my own mother, Angeles' death hits me hard, because it's out of the blue. Judging by the events planned for later in 2014, I imagine it must have been sudden. But though I've scoured the web, so far I've only discovered the date, (April 24th) not cause. Not that it matters. She was obviously complete here.

What a gift this woman was, and what a gift she had: the extraordinary ability to meld anthropology, psychology and comparative religions to help those of us privileged to study with her learn how to live a practical spirituality, or as she referred to it, to "walk the mystical path with practical feet."

I took her Four-Fold Way Foundational Training at Esalen, on the ruggedly beautiful California coast, in January 1994. I'd read her book, The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary the previous summer, and the talk I attended then convinced me she had much wisdom to share. I enrolled in the weeklong training, though by the following winter I was deep into my awakening odyssey (disguised as serious illness), and could barely function on the physical plane. Nevertheless I made the 5-hour journey, and my emerging state of unreality probably enhanced my absorption of her teachings.

What I learned is how deeply Angeles embodied what she taught. The tenets of the Four-Fold Way are:

Warrior: Show up and choose to be present
: Pay attention to what has heart and meaning
: Tell the truth without blame or judgment
Be open to outcome, not attached to outcome.

I internalized these truths into a little sing-song: "Show up, pay attention, tell the truth and let it go!" It's a credo for living that serves us well throughout our lives.

What Angeles brilliantly modeled transcended the personal growth community. Her books and practices have found a place in corporate, academic and medical milieux, as well as the non-profit sector. When I think of her, some of the words that come to mind include authenticity, generosity of spirit, wholeheartedness. And joy.

Heaven has gained another angel, so aptly named. Thank you for shining your Light in my life, dear one. In boundless gratitude, blessings.


cintra ann harbach said...

Angie died from complications from walking pneumonia. It was unexpected thigh she had the WP for sometime ...take care.

Amara Rose said...

Dear Cintra Ann ~

Thank you so much for this information! Angeles was a treasure, and I'd planned to keep the notes from my training for the rest of my life. They were lost in one of many moves, but/and, her brilliant teachings are integrated into my life in so many ways. Synchronistically, I had planned to read Living in Gratitude when I found out she had transitioned, and am just starting it now. Her work will live on in us for generations to come.


Connie Nelson Ahlberg said...

Dear Amara Rose, Here it is 12/28/2015 & I am only just learning about the death of Angeles Arrein. / I may have close to every book she had written.

I first became introduced to her through her Troth tarot book which is so wise and has taught me so much!

I am so sad to hear she is no longer on the planet. But thankfully her work lives on. I, too, wondered how she died. Thank you for this tribute. I always wanted to take her wonderful workshops but I never did.

I am so grateful for her life! To me she was and is a giant!

Amara Rose said...

Dear Connie,

And thank you for taking the time to read and comment (which I'm just seeing now, as I don't blog nearly as often in the last few years). Angeles was one of the pivotal teachers on my awakening journey (along with Louise Hay), and her work is embedded in my very being, as it sounds like it is in yours. The great ones do live on in all those they touch.

Blessings and love,