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Sunday, May 31 2015

Wilderness Wisdom



       I’m just back from a wonderful, five-day wilderness retreat in the Boundary Waters with my good friend, Rich.  We spent much of the time in silence, soaking in the beauty around us – sights and sounds – waters rushing, waves lapping on the shore, the lush greens of cedars and pines, dramatic sunsets and moon sets, including one spectacular descending sun haloed in double-rainbow light.  For me it was a much-needed time to rest and recover from depletion, to listen in stillness, to re-connect with life, to re-balance and re-focus.


       We camped on a peninsula with a path – maybe a couple hundred yards long - connecting the lakeside where we pitched our tents and the riverside where the roar of the rapids immediately hushed my inner chatter.


       On the second day, that short hike between lake and river slowed to a walking meditation.  With each inhalation, I invited earth’s loving energy into my soles and up through my body to the top of my head.  With each exhalation, I sent the energy back down through my body and back into the earth.  My intention was to be as open and transparent as possible to the healing flow of love.


       At some point it struck me:  I was making love with Mother Earth – and being made love to.  I felt a pure connection with the Divine Feminine – and an ancient, familiar hunger for deep communion with the Feminine.    


       As I stayed with the experience, I remembered, once again, the spiritual nature of this hunger, the wisdom of approaching this hunger as a yearning for the Divine Within, and the goofiness that accompanies my efforts to satisfy this spiritual hunger in the realm of flesh and blood relationship. 

Posted by: AT 09:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, May 10 2015

Nourishing Psyche and Soul


       As I review the teachings of Richard Moss, I’m struck by how deeply he attends to the fullness of our humanity - how he invites growth in realms physical, psychological and spiritual.


       We humans - embodied, self-reflective and spiritual beings -live with a complexity, not experienced elsewhere in creation, as far as we know.  Angels and animals, I imagine, operate much more simply.  For us, the body, the psyche and the soul need nurture in a balanced way.  Neglect or over-emphasis of any one aspect harms the whole. 


       Here are a couple of nourishing exercises I’ve been enjoying lately.  Both involve the breath.  One is for psyche.  One is for soul.


       Embracing Vulnerability.  I’m vulnerable.  When cut, I bleed.  When rejected, I hurt.  When a friend dies, I grieve.  I’m vulnerable to fear and anxiety, to anger and resentment, to shame and regret.  I’m vulnerable to the thoughts and stories I create.  I’m vulnerable to the prospect of death.  I’m vulnerable to the temporary nature of joy.


       Instead of battling vulnerability and working so hard to perfect my inner life, I can soften in mindful and compassionate awareness.  Rather than controlling me, I can companion me. 


       So, in this first exercise, I begin by noticing and acknowledging whatever I’m experiencing.  I sense it in my body. Then, gently, I breathe into the bodily sensation and let its energy move through me as I exhale.


       I become less resistant and more transparent to my humanity.  I flow.



       Breathing Love.  Love is the first expression of God and the essence of our spiritual nature.  Love is the energy that feeds the spirit, connects us in oneness and, at a fundamental level, defines us. 


       In this exercise, as I inhale, I bring universal love (sometimes imaged as light) into my heart.  With each exhalation, I release the love, imagining it radiating outward/everywhere.


       By consciously breathing love, we enter the flow of an expanding universe of love.  We soften.  Our hearts naturally melt into the One Heart. 


       We become more transparent to our divinity.



       Two nourishing exercises – both inviting us to soften and simplify – both gently guiding us toward ever deepening wholeness and ever deeper transparency with life itself.










Posted by: AT 09:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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