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Welcome to my blog, a quasi-weekly column on topics and issues that have my attention, or that are intended to inform or inspire--including the following reminder:

"Realize why you're here, and be about it!"




Talk is rich
03/29/2013

The current issue of The MOON magazine celebrates CommUNITY—those ways that people are working to counter the forces of impersonalization and disconnect that contribute to Americans being among the leading consumers of antidepressants on the planet.

In days gone by, most people lived in families and communities that stayed pretty much intact throughout one’s lifetime. Even employment was often for life, so there wasn’t much reason to “create” community. For better or worse, community was given.



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Purpose is in the present
03/11/2013

Despondency has stalked me since January when I completed the Inka Medicine Wheel and returned to mundane reality—the physical realm where consciousness has solidified into form. (What does that even mean, you ask? It means that our beliefs create our conditions and become self-perpetuating because reality reflects our beliefs back to us. For example, believing that life is a struggle and that one must work hard to get ahead, life becomes a struggle, reinforcing my belief. A thousand instances where life is easy and effortless—breathing, my beating heart, digesting my food, the beauty that surrounds me—are overlooked because they are anomalous to my belief.)

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How the Universe loves us
02/20/2013

In indigenous cosmology, the Universe is alive: imbued with the sacred, animated by God—who loves her creation, as she loves herself.

Since the Universe is made of God and since God loves God, it follows that the Universe loves us. 

But my mind rejects that thought.

Why?

How can I accept that GOD loves us, loves her creation, but not that the Universe, or even the planetary portion of it—that Gaia—does?



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The unified field, revisited
02/06/2013

I read in the February issue of The Sun an interview with Rupert Sheldrake, a naturalist with a PhD in biochemistry and a prize in botany from Cambridge University, who has spent his whole life in prestigious scientific positions...fellowships at Harvard and Cambridge, director of studies in biochemistry and cell biology...and has rejected much of that science.

But that's the good news.




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An Inka Medicine Wheel year
01/29/2013

I just completed the year-long Inka Medicine Wheel training--Alberto Villoldo’s synthesis of 25 years of study with Peruvian shamans into a modern-day program for Westerners.  With 19 other students, I met for four intense three-day sessions at The Ojai Foundation, 40 acres of slightly tamed wilderness at the foot of the Topa-Topa Mountains. Together we journeyed through the Four Directions--South, West, North and East--and the archetypes of serpent, jaguar, hummingbird, and eagle. (Beautiful painting at left by Lynn Berryhill)


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The shaman's way...is inexorable
01/01/2013

It is my joyful sense that we—humanity—have turned a corner in our collective dreaming.  I was running errands in Ojai yesterday and found that feeling reflected in various shopkeepers and cashiers, as well—an almost giddy excitement: We did it! 

“We did what?” 

“I don’t know really,” they’d shrug. “We turned a corner!” 

Yes, we did.  We survived 2012—and not only that, we anchored a new awareness, a collective longing-turned-to-commitment, for oneness, for ayni; for healing the Earth and all our relations.  Even a scientist friend from the Methow Valley, Washington, shared an excerpt (below) from a talk given perhaps over a decade ago by the now-deceased evolutionary biologist Terence McKenna, calling for a return to the magical ways of the shaman.  Here’s a brief quote: “At the centre of that ‘archaic revival’ impulse is the shaman: stoned, intoxicated on plants, speaking with the spirit helpers, dancing in the moonlight, and vivifying and invoking a world of conscious, living mystery. That’s what the world is. The world is not an unsolved problem for scientists or sociologists. The world is a living mystery: our birth, our death, our being in the moment – these are mysteries. They are doorways opening on to unimaginable vistas of self-exploration, empowerment and hope for the human enterprise.”



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Giving birth to The Moon
12/19/2012

For months I've been feeling lost; waking each night wondering why I'm so anxious, restless, and ill at ease.  Finally falling into exhausted sleep only to arise late, wonder what my problem is, and scramble to catch up with the day--only to repeat the scenario that night.

Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, authors of The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World, prophetically described my condition 13 years ago when they were writing their book.  Like the Jews wandering in the desert after their escape from Egypt, I've been betwixt and between.  I've wandered away from my old life that was no longer working for me, and my new life has yet to take form.  Or rather, I've not yet completed the inner transformation that will call my new life forth.


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The contractions of childbirth
11/19/2012

Like a lot of people, my husband and I have struggled financially for the last four years. We’ve lost jobs, clients, income, our retirement accounts, personal savings. We’ve been in an extended period of contraction.

When I look around, I see that we’re not alone. As many as 99% of us are also experiencing contraction. However, as a mother, I can say with certainty, I’ve been here before, and difficult as they may be, contractions are the good news because they mean the baby’s coming. Contraction are the earthquake of childbirth. The old world is crumbling; its time is up. A new world is being born, and we, the ones who have longed for it, are its birthing mothers.



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Fear of flying, or falling, or both
11/16/2012

I had a cool dream last night. Not sure what it meant, but I woke up feeling reassured, which has become increasingly rare in these days of climate change, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), financial “cliffs” (a crisis for the financial elite), and other foretold catastrophes. To say nothing of the fact that my own financial state has been precarious for years now…so many years that it’s in danger of becoming my “new normal.” I’ve taken to sleeping with a mouth guard so that I don’t crack my teeth as a result of night-time tension.



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Back to the future
11/10/2012

A friend writes, “I have thought long and hard about the legacy we are handing down to the kids of the world. I can't believe what they will be facing: before some of them are barely in their 30s the world as we know it will most likely be unrecognizable.

“With the thought that we must resist pessimism, when I ask kids what they think about the state of affairs of the world, there are many who are quite concerned. And many more who seem to be so afraid that they just push through the discussion and go back to ‘party mode.’ I know my own 14-year-old is very resistant to talking about it...A blanket of silence comes over him as his eyes look at the future. I know this is based on fear.



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Evaluating my contribution
11/02/2012

The national election is in four days and, like a lot of people, I don’t know whether to be sick, or just face facts: our electoral process is irrelevant. Neither Obama or Romney is talking about the issues that are most important to me—and perhaps to the other 90 million Americans who reportedly plan to sit this one out: ending drone strikes, slashing the military budget, addressing climate change in a way befitting its urgency, and building a sustainable economy—one that is not based on infinite growth on a finite planet.



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Spiritual Cinema Night to show 'I'm Fine Thanks'
10/21/2012

This month’s Spiritual Cinema Night, sponsored by Symphony of Life Spiritual Center and Casa de la Luna Retreat, will feature I’m Fine, Thanks, a documentary on pursuing one’s own dream, instead of “the American dream.” The film features the stories of people who have left “the good life” behind to follow their passions—and the quiet desperation of those who haven’t quite made the leap. The screening will take place on Friday, October 26, at Casa de la Luna.



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James Howard Kunstler's blog
Lynn Doiron
Crash Course on the Economy

 
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