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Archive for January, 2013

I remember when Cat Stevens sang, “another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody”.  A nice tune, but was he was tapping into the Moon-Dog of his soul when he penned the lyrics?  At the end of the day, it is our marriage to the Divine Light of our own souls that light our way.  Wolf’s spirited teachings guide us into the inner dens of our souls so that we will get to know ourselves on a deeper level.  Wolf offers us guidance regarding effectively using our instincts, intelligence and knowing when to be alone and when to be with family and community.  Given a Full Moon this Saturday night, it is a good time to meditate and journey with Wolf.  In this frigid cold front we are experiencing in Maine, it is difficult to imagine that the darkness is waning, while trotting toward the Chinese-Lunar New Year and Groundhog Day in February and the Spring Equinox in March.

During these shifting tides in our lives, we are asked to endure many hardships.  Right now, there is talk of yet another US war in Mali and a desire to expand the drone war without the consent of Congress or the American public.  Killer whales in the Pacific Northwest need more protection from the Endangered Species Act, not less.  Congress failed to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act, while the Pentagon agreed to expand the use of women in the military.  In the Middle East, there is a non-violent Palestinian movement to put a cease-fire on land being taken by the Israeli Netanyahu government.  Even in a relatively free society like America, if a bank wants to take away your home or the government wants to put a highway in the middle of your town (that predictably dislocates your community and creates a ghetto), then they will.  Similarly, when my mom took her life 18 years ago, she pulled the rug out from under all of us who loved her.  In spite of all the traumatic exposure, the deep soul work is yielding a place of celebration, but without being as invested, regarding my relationship with her death.  I feel her spirit with me and keep her close to my heart every day.  There is an old picture of her in my sacred meditation space that I now look upon with a gentle gaze.  But arriving at this place has not been easy.  In fact, there has been much pain and suffering.  What is the difference?  Pain is an inevitable experience in life, while suffering is a choice.  We suffer when we attach dramatic stories to our pain.  And there is ego in that.  We begin to let go of suffering, when we start accepting our pain, while loosening the grip that our egos have on our Being.  This is somewhat akin to getting sick.  We have a choice to resist our illness or we can choose to accept and perhaps even embrace our illness as part of our holistic experience.  Yes, a part of me died when my mom left this plane, I crashed and burned on the inside and I still miss her today.  But as we have discussed, even in death there is re-birth.  Even physical death is merely a transition and what matters is how we navigate the Climate Change that we face. 

We are consciousness, rather than what consciousness has identified with.  Whatever labels we attach to ourselves is really the ego trying to strengthen itself and perpetuate its fragile existence.  But it is never enough, as the ego has an insatiable hunger.  Do you feel that your relationship would be just fine if your partner would just change?  Do you feel like you would be happy if certain things had gone differently in the past, or that the current situation was somehow different from how it is right now, or if you were relaxing in some future paradise?  Even folks in the spiritual community often fall prey to clever tricks played by the ego, by perceiving oneself as on a spiritual path, while constantly striving toward “getting it” or seeking Enlightenment.  In my own humility, I can related to that.  But digging deeper into the den teaches that it is in the waking up process that understands that in the surrender, letting go and embracing the unknowing, there is a form of security and protection in that.  During our awakening, we are clearing space for what lies ahead in our journey–our current lives, next incarnation and beyond.  We are capable of releasing spirit’s entanglement with form while we are still breathing.  May the energy of Wolf help guide your path and be a faithful, loyal and protective guardian.

See you further on down the trails,

Ari

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Here is a meditation I did recently out in a boarder-edge area in the backyard.
  • Light candle/incense of choice.
  • Visualize a Turkey Vulture effortlessly riding the thermals, while gleaming the skies.
  • Hold snow (or ice-cube) in fist while breathing in and focusing on fiery dark emotions while gazing onto flame of candle, picturing a rainbow and waterfall.  Reiki folks can picture symbols too.
  • Exhale the darkness within to release as compost.  If you have a beverage, take a sip and spray out like a whale/dolphin.

When I finished this meditation, I noticed the snow ball melted quite fast.  In fact, I felt like I thawed out too and noticed a lift after the experience.  Turkey Vulture helps us see the colorful energy fields in Life.  Isn’t that the kind of energy we want to bring into our World?  As above, so below.  So within, as without.  I would welcome your experiences with this meditation or other meditations like it.

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Do you remember heeding the cadence that calls for us pass on judging a book by its cover?  If we look beyond a cursory first glance, Turkey Vulture personifies this metaphor.  Have you ever got a rise while watching these birds effortlessly riding thermals by using Earth’s energy centers with minimal effort? Their message to us is that when we effectively integrate spirit into our Being, we can transcend matter.  Rather than focusing on our limitations, we levitate our consciousness toward perceiving infinite possibilities.  Instead of looking for forecasts that call for doom and gloom, we make a conscious choice to see the silver lining and make only positive interpretations.  On the spiritual path, we become the change we want to see in the world by doing the inner work necessary to actualize those changes we want to see.  We cannot co-create sustainable energetic changes in ourselves and our world, unless we choose to do the inner work.  Otherwise, the changes in climate are merely external and cosmetic.  Winter is a powerful time to stoke the embers within, as is meditation on Turkey Vulture waking us up to that.  Turkey Vulture helps guide spirit into our Being with its medicine of purification, death and rebirth and new vision.  Collectively, we need all the help we can get with that right now. 

On the surface, many storms are brewing and Climate Change is the new normal.  We are giving birth to a New Earth, but not without the accompanying labor pains. Some folks describe this transition as moving from a Pisces age to an Aquarian age.  It’s kind of like when your old self dies.  During the dying process, a new identity is emerging as a rebirth.  It takes time before the dust settles.  Rome wasn’t built, nor destroyed in a day.  Last week, we watched a US campaign to end the occupation by holding Israel accountable to US and International law.  Wal-Marts in Ohio and Texas continued breaking their company promise to keep assault rifles off its shelves.  Whether its BPA’s in foods or PED’s in humans, capitalist doctrine, based on primarily maximum economic profit tries to convince us that we should augment ourselves.  But there is a deep place of self-esteem that reminds us that we are OK just the way we are.  In sports news, linebacker Manti Te’o admitted to having a fantastic relationship that appears to have been a figment of his imagination.  Haven’t we all done that?  While fantasy and alternate realities are real on some level, we have to learn how to stay grounded in this reality.  Meditation is a healthy strategy for us to become the change we want to see in the world, but it can also become a skillful avoidance tactic.  At the end of the day, we all have to act.  Martin Luther Kind, Jr. didn’t just sit around and dream.  He took it to the edge and realized that his dream was bigger than his physical life.  MLK wasn’t just spinning dreams of who we might be.  He lived it.  Going to jail and risking his life to do the right thing was horribly uncomfortable, while staying on the pulpit and receiving liberal doses of applause was ego-gratifying for sure. 

We are living in hard times.  There is much pain and suffering on our Planet.  But what an opportunity for us to wake up.  If you find yourself having a sense of entitlement that you should have a better life, then take the action steps to change yourself on the inside first.  There is a sense of Armageddon here.  But you do not have to get stuck in that place, nor do you have to overindulge in it.  With Turkey Vulture as a spirited guide, we use whatever natural resources are available to us to nourish ourselves and continue onward’.  If only our friends in Congress, World leaders and everyone else on the Planet would make this internal shift.  It is going to take hard work to shift our consciousness and tip the scale.  Believe it is possible and take action.  Even if it is gut wrenching to watch a predator eat an innocent prey, take a closer look and examine why Great Spirit revealed this moment for you to notice.  What message(s) does the predator and prey have for you to apply to your life?  Pay attention to your feelings and dreams and take notes.  It requires taking inventory on yourself, rather than getting preoccupied with the distractions and giving away your power to those distractions.  This is not about being ego-centered.  This is about getting to know yourself on a deeper level and therefore enriching your understanding of others.

See you further on down the trails,

Ari

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Loons give their Penguin friends a swim for their bills in their depository to dive deeply into the water’s abyss.  Winter is a time that we turn yinward and dive deeper into our soulful inner sea of consciousness.  Winter and water represent feminine energy, the dark Yin on the Chinese symbol of the Yin and Yang.  Loon medicine helps us wake up to lucid dreaming or becoming more conscious of our dreams and visions.  Paying attention to our dreams helps us take a reflective look at our waking lives and empowers us to living more authentically.  We all dream, whether we remember our dreams or not.  If we want to have more of a say in our lives, then it stands to reason that we might take note of what our dreams are saying to us.  Winter also represents darkness and the death cycle in Nature.  Mother Earth’s heartbeat slows down at this time. Given that we are a living embodiment of Nature, we are meant to slow down too.  However, many of us have a tendency to resist our natural internal orientation during Winter by trying to stay up in our activity level.  Although balance is always important, your soul will know the deeper acoustics of harmony if you allow yourself a bit more rest and get in touch with the deeper feelings that accompany Winter’s energies of death, grief and loss.  Now is the time when our dreams and visions germinate, somewhat akin to the seeds underground that are beginning to start thinking about waking up as we approach the Chinese-Lunar New Year in early February.  Like buds on our trees, the dreams and visions we are pregnant with now will begin to fruit around the Spring Equinox in March and their manifestation power intensifies as we approach the Summer Solstice in June.

In modern society, especially here in America we get pretty fired up about our guns.  Many folks are citing our Constitutional right to bear arms and some even openly carry a piece by asserting their right to do that and don’t see anything alarming about it.  During my childhood, I grew up in Michigan–boy do we really love our guns there.  Some folks believe that having a gun will keep them safe.  But we have more gun related deaths, many accidental within the privacy of one’s own home, than anywhere else on the Planet.  The NRA is a powerful organization with a lot of money to assault our friends in Congress to shoot down sensible gun control laws.  We have a chock full of military style weapons that end up in the wrong hands out on the street where there are dangers of bullying, desperation and poor impulse control.  Since we love our wars, the resistance energy behind the mind-set of war predictably promotes more storms brewing ahead.  Instead of real homeland security and crime prevention by funneling our resources into positive community connections, treatment, education, healthcare, infrastructure and creating good jobs for the 20 million folks who want to work, our leaders balk at this by concentrating monies at the top of the food chain.  Beef:  It’s what’s for dinner.  I remember visiting my dad as a kid and on some of those visits, he taught me to shoot a 22 by the time I was 6 years old.  Although my dad liked to shoot from the hip and lacked an adequate understanding of childhood development, I do appreciate that he was strict about teaching me the basics about gun safety.  Guns symbolize power and security, but they often manifest danger.  Those of us in touch with our deeper feelings are  grieving the terrible tragedy that happened in Connecticut recently.  I once lived in Connecticut and still have close friends there, so the tragedy has weighed heavy on my heart.  But in the grieving process of this tragedy, I know in my heart that it will lead to an awakening as we move onward.  Even in death, there is rebirth.  I have gone through this process many, many times.  Haven’t we all?

When swimming with Loon, we dive deeper into our souls, as our collective consciousness shifts onward.  Instead of God Bless America or Allah Bless Muslims, we dream God Bless Mother Earth and all living creatures.  Loon helps us understand the depth of our connection to the Dreamtime and reminds us we are all cut from the same cloth of Great Spirit.  Creator’s original Blueprint was a loving One.  Sadly, but understandably, that got distorted.  Given that we are all a reflection of that image, meditation on Loon helps us perceive this in our Being and make friends with that.  We are all living embodiments of All That Is.  Since we are all One, albeit diverse expressions of that oneness, killing someone else is ultimately directed at the self.  Although this truth is mind-boggling, I came to a point where this made sense to me intellectually.  But now I am arriving at a deeper intuitive understanding of this truth in my Heart.  That is why we speak of killing with kindness.  When we come out of our inner peace bubble and remember that there are no enemies, then we truly co-create a New Earth together one step, one breath, one moment at a time.

Stay True,

Ari

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Last week, we followed Dog tracks.  Along the trails, I found myself being more affectionate with my family and mindful of boundaries in relationships. While celebrating the Winter Solstice, we noted hot topics of gratitude and letting go, while coaxing back the light.  On the Gregorian calendar, we embark on 2013 and continue pressing onward in our Consciousness’ assent.  We are in the process of Climate Change and co-creating a New Earth right now and you are It.  Some folks were terrified of Doomsday scenarios that promised the end of the world.  Others were disappointed about being disappointed that our dying old world didn’t fall off the cliff, while immediately being transformed into a Golden Age on the day after.  But aliens didn’t take over and Hillary Clinton went to the hospital–thankfully receiving quality health care without worry of how to pay for it.  Soon we welcome the arrival of the Chinese-Lunar New Year, as Spring begins budding underground with Groundhog.  Before too long, we will know energetic balance again on the Spring Equinox in March.  I awoke the other night to a clear vision of a Beetle gleaming across my inner sky.  Like the Sun’s movement across the sky, Beetle moves from East to West.   Mother energy has been revisiting us at this time, as feminine-yin energy is dominant and we are turning more inward.  Meditating on Beetle medicine is like tapping into a mutable orientation.  Whether we are Franz Kafka or an Average Joe, we are all capable of metamorphosis.  Is anyone else inspired by a bug’s capacity to radically change from an egg to a grub stage and then fly away as a winged creature?  In women, this is somewhat akin to menopause or “mentalpause” as I have heard it called.  Do I embrace this heated change or fight it like a war on something I reject? 

During our tracking right now, many of us remember our heavy heartfelt losses.  There is much pain and it is hard to make friends with that.  Picture the horribly uncomfortable position of grieving the death of a partner, while giving birth to a new child simultaneously.  Some folks have lost their jobs, their homes or gone through gut-wrenching break-ups, separations or divorce.  Even our worried well in the pampered West, are waking up to the hard times we are living in.  Others feel like they don’t know who they are anymore and are uncertain of who they are becoming.  In the mystery of Life, has anyone ever lost a loved one to suicide, unexpected death or any other permanent physical good-bye?  It is a mixed blessing to feel the spirit of the season and also really feel the deep hurt and anger regarding our myriad of deeply traumatic soul wounds, including the inequities, pain and suffering on our planet today.  After I lost my mom to suicide, I felt abandoned and forced to enter into adulthood with deeper wounds than your average Bear.  I had already felt that before she whacked herself, but the void widened, part of me died as well.  But it wasn’t the first time I felt that way, nor will it be the last.  Tempting as it was pursuing career goals, objectives and being driven to distraction–doing the inner work is always what yields fruitful  and sustainable returns.  Living isn’t really sustainable until we wake up to our deeper feelings, while stoking the fiery embers of passion and courage to move toward intimacy, while letting go of egocentric avoidance tactics that keep us asleep.  Some of us have fantastic avoidance mechanisms in place that get in the way of us getting in touch with our deeper souls. 

The old world of white privilege is dying too and it is OK to grieve that.  Some white folks feel like they are losing their country and for them, things seem to be getting worse and they are feeling resentful about it.  Some complainants at the top of the economic food chain do not think it is fair that they might have to pay a little more if the Bush tax cuts fade away.  But a simple perceptual shift reveals that when the playing field is leveled for everyone else, there is enough and we can all win.  When I see a community of straight white men going out on a limb and intimately sharing their feelings around a fire and cheering for gay folks being allowed to join our formerly exclusive club–it fills my heart with hope to see Karma being cleared.  Yes, social change is slow and Great Spirit works in mysterious ways.  Human rights, gay rights, gender equality, civil rights, worker rights and culturally sensitive mental health assessments and testing and equal access to resources are all manifestations of our forward progress.  But we need to remember that conservative energy anchors us in our traditions and be sensitive to that too.  Sometimes this looks like taking one step up and two steps back. 

We cannot always be in control of our lives and remain in our inner peace bubble.  Spiritual beings having a human experience need to come down from the mountain and learn to be on the ground with our fellow brothers and sisters.  Sometimes, our securities wane gradually, while at other times they wash away instantly.  We need to remember that we can control our attitude and how we respond to the cards that are dealt, regardless of how uncomfortable we feel about them.  But the democratic process is messy.  We are all in this together and we all have a say in the great waves of changes coming our way.

Stay True,

Ari

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