Brother David Steindle-Rast reminds us that the Chinese word for “busy” is composed of two characters: “heart” and “killing.” When we make ourselves so busy that we are always rushing around trying to get this or that “done,” or “over with,” we kill something vital in ourselves, and we smother the quiet wisdom of our heart. When we invest our work with judgment and impatience, always striving for speed and efficiency, we lose the capacity to appreciate the million quiet moment that may bring us peace, beauty, or joy. As we seek salvation through our frantic productivity and accomplishments, we squander the teaching that may be present in this very moment, in the richness of this particular breath.
Well, friends. It’s been a busy, blessed, amazing summer of beauty and connection! I’ve had wonderful time with my children, family, and friends. My new project as of this year, Lake Erie Institute, has started to take off over the past few months. I feel overcome with gratitude that this dream is coming to fruition beyond my wildest expectations. I jumped off of the cliff, and the Divine Spirit of the Universe is giving me wings. For this post, I want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU: to my many friends in this and other realms, and to Great Spirit, for my many, many blessings. In a time of challenges, pain, and upheaval on the planet, I am grateful to work with and know so many people that are coming together to create a new world of healing, justice, and love.
Lately, I am blessed with many chances to share ceremonial, earth-honoring circles with many beautiful souls. Last night, through Lake Erie Institute, I had another chance to heal and grow through the kind of deep community that comes about in sacred circles.
There is so much in my heart right now that it’s hard to put it into words. At last night’s Sacred Earth Circle, Christopher Reynolds (urrealist.com) led a sacred fire circle honoring our pain in community, giving it to the fire and the Earth. Continue reading
For decades, I’ve wondered how to create a sustainable world. Before sustainability was a well-known word, I dedicated my life to environmental activism during my college years. I protested, partook in civil disobedience, and fought for environmental legislation. As a graduate student, and a teacher of environmental thought, I sought the ideas and practices that would show us the way to live in balance with the earth. In recent years, I find myself focusing more and more on hope, and less and less on tragedy. The explosion in global sustainability projects over the past decade help a lot. I try to focus my thoughts on the many actions taking place around the globe for social justice and for the earth.
Yesterday, Bill Pfeiffer (Sky Otter), led an amazing Earthdharma retreat at Holden Arboretum: the first big event for Lake Erie Institute. I am still glowing from this incredible and amazing day! Thank you, Sky Otter, for facilitating a day of earth-loving, deep connection, and spiritual awakening. Thank you, Ohio souls, for bringing your profound wisdom and open hearts. I felt in awe of the collective wisdom of our circle. I was reminded that we already carry the vision that we require to heal our lives and our world. We need only come together to bring it forth from our hearts.
First official Lake Erie Institute event last night! Here’s the truth mandala (a Joanna Macy exercise) that we created together, for our Grief Ritual and Healing Meditation. Thanks to all the participants for showing up with open hearts!
I realized yesterday that the events of the past week are breaking my heart (while also giving me many important reminders of the strength of the human spirit). Once I decided to let myself feel my broken heart, to grieve, I remembered Joanna Macy’s words: “A heart that splits open can contain the entire universe.” Remembering that my heart is the seat of my spiritual wisdom mind, I decided to listen to my broken heart for signals of how to be and act in the face of heart wrenching events. Continue reading
I was playing at a recent music jam when a young man, probably around 20, played Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’. I registered surprise and delight that he even knew that song. I felt touched that the song could still resonate with young hearts. The times are changing; many people I know are feeling it. Continue reading
As the Earth rotates us into a new season, re-aligning our relationship to the sun, I thought I would honor Earth by reflecting on an important name of our planetary home: Gaia. Many people refer to Earth as Gaia for a variety of reasons, including spiritual, archetypal, and scientific, to name a few. In Greek mythology, Gaia is Earth personified in the form of a goddess, the ancestral mother of all life on the planet. James Lovelock, in his now famous Gaia Hypothesis, argues that the biosphere is a self-regulating organism that organizes and perpetuates all planetary systems. Continue reading