The Whales are Dying and We're All Getting Sick
Posted on March 24, 2020 1 Comment
I’ve been dreaming about swimming with whales a lot in the last few weeks. Really vivid almost lucid dreams where I can feel the warmth and fluidity of the water. The whales vary by species, sometimes humpback, sometimes orca or others. They communicate with me although not in any kind of verbal language, but we understand each other. They are teaching me how to swim. They are telling me that they are dying but there is no despair or fear in them, penetrating full body grief yes but also wild joy. We are swimming because it is ecstatic, for them it is like dancing, this is not utility swimming to get from place to place but movement through water for the exquisite bliss of it. They tell me this is the only thing to do, that this is the way they are choosing to meet their end. It’s extraordinary, I feel honored and blessed by these visitations and I wonder what they mean for me as an individual human and for us as a species and then the pandemic started…….
There are many brilliant healers out there freely and publicly offering their wisdom on how to work with this virus in the body, so I am not going to go into great length here about that but here are some links:
I’m interested in the whales, their joy in the face of certain doom, their grief that feels so deep and so wholesome because it is felt, and reality is recognized and honored for what it is. The whales are dying, many great and beautiful creatures are dying, forever transforming their Earthly body into something else. And it is terribly sad, no question about that, but it is also terribly real and how we choose to face/embrace it will greatly affect how much we suffer from it.
In TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine) the lungs are an organ associated with grief. When grief is not tended appropriately and suppressed the lungs become susceptible to disease. We can not breath, we are dying in the thousands a day because we can not breathe, our lungs are filling up and our hearts are failing.
What is it that we are not grieving properly?
Martin Prechtel (a Mayan medicine person) speaks of the massive public grief rituals that took place in the village he lived in as being fundamental (and frequent) to societies function. The whole village would come out for massive wailing, crying and grieving when someone died. People drank and cried and laughed and honored the dead with boisterous days long events.
In our culture we pathologize all but the most sterile forms of public displays of grief and we diagnose and treat those acting differently with dangerous psychiatric medications and procedures, including forced psychiatric hospitalizations and forced medication. Many become deeply addicted to opiates or alcohol to stave off their grief and get by as a “normal” person.
It would seem that before this whole things is over many of us will die [and that will be terribly sad] and we are being presented with the opportunity to re-imagine how we grieve together [and apart]. It is a rich time to examine our belief systems around loss and explore how we personally could grieve more fully the things we have already lost and the things we will surely be losing in the coming days.
What is it that we are not grieving properly?
I have plenty of ideas and opinions about places one could start looking for answers to that. The mass extinctions occurring, our own perceived disconnection from the natural world, our perceived disconnection from each other, our inability to be with grief and loss in a healthy way. [Note the use of the word perceived, we are not and never have been disconnected from each other or nature, we have just lost our awareness of that connection. It is murky and certainly in need of tending but it is not lost.]
Remembering our connection to the natural and imaginal realms and allowing ourselves to feel and honor the deep sorrow accompanying this current planetary shift (I believe) will have powerful ramifications on how (or if) we manage to survive the current pandemic. [ Even if we hack it through this one, there will be another, and another and another. The planet is a self-organized ecosystem that will move towards homeostasis with or without us.] We are not at war with the corona virus, we are not under attack or besieged by some malevolent force. We are being spoken too in a language that is difficult to hear and remember how to speak. It is ancient and highly intelligent.
Another opportunity to re imagine our stories that I just can’t go without mentioning is the symbolism of the snake and it’s involvement in this whole story. [Yes I realize it came from bats originally and then jumped to snake and then to humans.] Isn’t there some famous patriarchal story about a snake ruining everything for humanity? The exile from Eden was not a fall from grace but an opportunity to differentiate from God and experience infinite love & complexity. The snake as the bringer of sacred self-knowledge that allows us to evolve and start a new phase.
What parts of this new story are being falsely interpreted as falls from grace or attacks on humanity?
Meditate on the snake, meditate on the neutrality of information, meditate on ecstasy and grief.
Gaia is speaking. Sit down, shut up and listen to your Mother.
Doing The Work
Posted on February 19, 2020 1 Comment
All the small muscles in my body seem to relax as if for the first time ever, a warm, soft feeling of peace permeates my entire being. I can see, really visually see, myself as in a high definition movie, I am so beautiful. Light pours from my eyes and heart and I am surrounded by flowering vines and animals. I sit in the lotus position with impeccable posture growing a new perfect life in my womb, my husband sits beside me no less perfect and beautifully decorated with the accessories of health and life. We see our lives stretched out in front and behind us, a palpable feeling of forgiveness for our past choices that might have caused harm and a crystal clear understanding that moving forward we have the indisputable ability to make all the “right” choices to live a full and present life in harmonious co-creation with the universe. We will care with tenderness and strength to our bodies, to our children, to the Earth and those around us. It will not be hard or complicated to do and it will be full of grace and light and mistakes as well but instead of wailing and screaming against those mistakes in a fugue of self pity we will graciously accept them and honor what we learn. It will be a perfect life and we will be perfect in it. We will heal ourselves as well as our planet and I can see exactly how, there is no ambivalence, the answer is right there in my hands.
Pretty nice vision eh? I’ve actually had quite a few like this with the help of visionary plant medicines. They are very soothing and full of good information about how I should change my life in order to live the beautiful vision.
And then I go home from the ceremony, and there’s dirty dishes in the sink and I’m tired cus I’ve been up all night and I have half a dozen abusive e-mails from my ex husband and the car needs to go to the shop and I’m not sure if I can get rent paid on time. But I still feel so good from the vision so I set to work on the chores, the daily living that is the true ceremony. Things probably go pretty well for awhile and I lean on the good feeling from my vision to keep me going through the rough bits. I manage for awhile and make some solid changes and progress towards that goal but then I get tired because I’m human. I start to forget what my lessons were, what I was told to change, whether it was to smoke less cigarettes or call my dad more often or eat a few more vegetables. So I smoke to many smokes cus I have a long day and am to tired to not, I don’t call my dad cus there’s to much of a time difference and I eat meat and sour cream dumplings for breakfast and lunch because they’re right next door to where I work all day and I wanted to sleep in instead of packing myself a lunch or eating breakfast.
My vision of perfection gets faded and I get grumpier and more tired and my husband and I get in a nasty fight and say and do hurtful things. Things get pretty messy and I start to feel pretty bad and like my vision was more of a delusion.
This is not a one time sort of event, this series of happenings has occurred many times in my life and will probably continue to.
One of the things that happens with the psychedelic medicines is that they have a tendency to show us something that is kind of an ideal or pinnacle of how we might live. It doesn’t mean that when we come down and head home from the retreat center that we are magically changed and can suddenly live that vision. We still have to do the work, we are still wounded humans with triggers and the deeply ingrained programs of a sadistic patriarchal society.
The beautiful visions and deep self learning that can come with the psychedelic experience are not the work of actual change, they may be the catalyst and they may give us the strength and resolve to make the changes we need to but we must remember that the real work comes between the ceremonies.
It is the practice of becoming mindful of all the little ways in which we harm ourselves and learning to get as much joy and pleasure from washing the dishes as we do a long walk in the woods, sure a different kind of pleasure but the point is that the things we must do to live are sacred and as wonderful as the peak experiences of life might be, the majority of it is really the day to day cooking and cleaning. It cannot be said enough that these things make up the majority of our time in 3D reality so learning to find peace in the moment to moment is where we will become free of suffering.
The thing that most people won’t tell you about “the Path” that they are advertising is that you don’t pick up a practice, do it for a few years and then find peace and enlightenment. If the practice is really worth it’s salt the chances are high that you will have moments of incredible clarity and peace (or at least a felt sense that you are doing the right thing) followed by tremendous suffering and hardship. This is ok, it’s just the shit getting worked out. The hotter the fire the faster the purification, the flames never stop but at some point the burning does.
You will make mistakes, probably a lot of them, your first mistake is likely thinking that you won’t make very many. You’ll also make the same mistakes more than a few times. The psychedelic path will point out, with surgical precision, what your mistakes are. The next mistake is to take that information and feel shame and regret. This is not the point of being shown your flaws. Yes acknowledge them, yes pay attention and honor them and try to do better next time but there will always be a next time. Guilt and shame are interesting emotions, shame comes up when we have done something against our own personal moral compass. Guilt comes up when we have done something against societies or our groups moral compass but not necessarily against our own. Both can be useful in that way, for teasing out what our beliefs are or the beliefs of the groups we think we belong to (or don’t even realize we belong to).
Keep walking. You don’t fall off the the path and then get back on it, it’s the constant oscillations of falling and getting up that are the “path”.
Softness & Donald Trump
Posted on March 13, 2017 Leave a Comment
Political Disclaimer: I do not support the Trump administration, I do not support any government organization for that matter, I do not support violence towards other beings or the planet, I do not support an “us & them” mindset & staying soft is not an excuse for bad behavior. Exercise discernment and practice personal accountability, if your actions cause harm you might want to take a look at that and see if you can change them.
I was listening to a podcast recently of a talk by the late Stuart Wilde. If you don’t know who he is you should spend a little time checking him out, very interesting fellow, metaphysical author and ayahuasca proponent. Anyway he was was confirming something that I have suspected for a long time now. That when we stay soft and present in our hearts we will be free from harm. When the world starts to fall apart and we feel surrounded by brutality and evil men if we stay within that place of softness we will be invisible to those wishing ill upon us. This is meant metaphysically and literally, when the death squads come around if you stay soft and present they will likely drive right past you. Another way to think about it is “intuition”, if you are soft & present in a dangerous situation you will know what the right thing to do is.
This concept is really poignant for the world right now, especially considering the state of American politics. Many people are being terribly harmed by a capitalist fascist regime that runs our global economy. People are rioting and protesting and demanding change and fighting “taking it to the streets” calling their representatives. The language is all about fighting and resistance and wars on this that and the other thing. But the thing is, the more divergent the two sides get from each other, the more fascist our government becomes and the more all inclusive the liberals become, the more the two sides sound exactly the same. If you take the language out of context and just look at the words, both sides are saying the same thing, the people are roiling in fear. When faced with unspeakable fear look it in the eyes, say “do your worst” and stay soft. Another snippet from Stuart Wilde “if you encounter a snake and it wants to eat you, let it”.
Surrender into the soft space of your heart.
Fighting it isn’t going to work. I don’t know how many facebook posts it’s gonna take for people to actually understand the meaning of the Einstein quote that problems cannot be solved with the same kind of thinking that created them. I see that shit run across my feed almost every day followed by a “call your representative” “go to your local city hall meeting and demand blah blah blah” “put your pussy on your head and go get a parade permit”. So you’re telling me to stop using the thought processes that created the system that gave rise to the system that is killing people all over the world, while at the same time calling to let them know I believe in their authority and their power to change things because if they don’t I’m gonna vote for some other rich asshole whose only authority comes from the fact I give it to him. WTF, seriously?! This is the sociopathic authorities dream scenario, gas lighting of massive and elegant proportions.
Surrender into the softness of your heart.
The institutions that are harming people and passing laws and travel bans and all that crap only have power if we give it to them. Power & authority are not something one goes out and acquires, it is granted by other human beings giving up their power. It’s imaginary, it does not exist as such and yet we allow it to control and organize almost every aspect of our lives.
So lets imagine something else.
We must utilize a different way if we want a different world.
The way of softness, the way of presence, the way of unconditional love. Beam love at people. Give away your last meal, give away your warm winter coat, your last $20. Stop voting, stop calling your damn congress person, stop protesting and stop resisting. Believe in softness and love as the way through the darkness.
Yes there are people who wish harm on others, brutal unspeakable harm, but if you remain soft and inside your heart chances are that you will make decisions that remove you from harms way. This is often called intuition. Our heart has access to immense amounts of information, when we are still and listen to it, it will guide us to make the choices that keep us from harms way. The rub is that we have to learn to listen, learn to discern when the messages are coming from the heart and when they are coming through the fear matrix of our lizard or monkey mind.
Surrender, surrender, surrender. Let it all happen without attachment. Become soft and pliable. Meditate on water sealed in a crystal ball, when the ball is shook up the water get’s roiled around and changes shape and moves according to the path of least resistance and when the ball is laid to rest it becomes still and placid again, totally unharmed. Become water, soft buoyant and flexible. Which force has the power here? The shaker or the water that regained it’s form free of damage?
This is a process and I am not there yet but I am practicing and practicing and it is getting easier and the world is more beautiful every day because of it. One of the great things about this is we don’t have to do it all the time, we can’t, we’re still learning how, but we can try and if we’re all trying all the time then when one of us fails there will be someone else giving, someone else being soft. This is the beautiful nature of community, we do not all need to be at 100% all of the time, we can fall off the wagon because the wagon is part of a wagon train that is a circle the size of all of humanity so someone will be along shortly to pick us up and if most people are trying to be soft and unconditionally loving most of the time we might not even break any bones when we fall off.
Surrender to the softness of your heart space.
Some things that can facilitate this way of being:
Stillness helps, silence helps, being in nature helps. Psychedelic plant medicines most certainly help. Cultivate non attachment, cultivate mindfulness. Spend one minute, one measly 60 seconds, every day breathing softly and feeling gratitude or appreciation for something in your life, something that quickens your heart, that spreads a warm feeling across your chest. Be kind to an animal or plant. Try saying thank you to Donald Trump, say thank you to your moms cancer, say thank you to the cop who shot your son. You have to mean it for it to work but just try it. Lets do it together: “thank you Donald, I love you unconditionally as my fellow human being, thank you for showing me where there is a wound in my great big human family, without seeing it I would not be able to heal it. I recognize the divinity that is in you & I see that it is the same as the divinity in me. Peace be with you.” If it’s hard start with something easier like the dog shit you stepped in or the asshole who cut you off in traffic.
Remember Rumi: “the wound is where the light enters”
The world is far stranger & older & wiser than we can possibly understand with our limited physical capacities but we are not helpless or hopeless. Our hope comes from the beauty & complexity of the natural world. Our help comes in the form of a multi dimensional organ located in our chest cavity commonly referred to as the heart. What we currently perceive as great tragedy and catastrophe may serve a higher good that we cannot yet see. I understand, in my limited way, the draw of the darkness, the power & pureness of righteous anger, the poetic beauty of deep sadness. Anger is a form of deep compassion & grief is a form of deep joy, they are there to show us how much we care about things, not to control our actions. Feel everything, honor and acknowledge your despair & rage, but please, stay soft, become aware of your heart and take your actions from that place.
I’ll close this one with one of my favorite poems from Wendell Berry
Initiatory Offering on Recognition
Posted on February 17, 2017 Leave a Comment
The meaning of recognition has been on my mind and in my field with a certain frequency these past months that cannot be ignored. What it means to be recognized and what we desire to be recognized for has deeply personal resonance for me right now as I begin to put myself out into a more public world as a being whose offerings are of service and healing. I welcome respectful discussion so please leave your thoughts and feelings on recognition in the comments.
Namaste (I recognize your divinity)
All privileges granted through false recognition are the human rights of all of us. We deserve them all for doing nothing more than being born.