“Belief? What do I believe in? I believe in sun. In rock. In the dogma of the sun and the doctrine of the rock. I believe in blood, fire, woman, rivers, eagles, storm, drums, flutes, banjos, and broom tailed horses.”—Edward Abbey
thumbing through the notes I scribbled in my journal from my time at the zen mountain center, I found my own answers to an exercise we were given. the directive was: describe three ‘spiritual tools’ you will use when you leave here, three means of carrying the wisdom gained through the love & altitude of the retreat back down the mountain into the ‘real world’. so, here you have it— the tools that help me most in moments where the din of the mitote feels more ‘real’ than the great, silent ocean of truth within.
connect to the five elements (space, air, water, fire, earth) around and within you to remember you are part of and witness to the grace of all that is
remember your connection to each beautiful heart that surrounds you, the light in the hearts of those who pass down the teachings and the hearts of joy and worlds of light that reside within every being in every world
listen: to grow lovingkindness for all those you encounter, to hear the whisper of truth in your core, and to harmonize with the sound of the everything that breathes life & love through the heart of the cosmos and you
my friend scott’s tools were much more eloquent— feel free to add them to your arsenal as well: “stop (what you’re doing), drop (your awareness down to the heart center), and roll (with whatever the universe is gifting you).”
“The holy person, the medicine person, the healer, calls people to remembering their songs, and resonates that clear note so that others may come again to be in tune with the great voice of truth in themselves. The voice is our greatest medicine.”—Dhyani Ywahoo
“I think that it is important for people to know we are in the final stages of purification. Purifying the planetary body. That is the transmutation of everyone’s consciousness that we must transform as human beings to come again to the sacred hoop of life, and each one must take responsibility for the dreams we weave and that our actions make a scene of beauty and light.”—Dhyani Ywahoo, Cherokee medicine woman
i love that your posting from women who run with the wolves! a great friend recommended it to me and once i read the first paragraph i knew it would be a life changing book. it's so amazing and totally fitting that you would post it in your blog :)
it’s absolutely the best book I’ve read all year. and I’ve read some really awesome books this year. :)
“Medicine is an outside word to describe a holy power that makes things well. The people. The land. It calls forth the wellness. The closer translation is really “holy power.” To be a holy person is more the true meaning of one who can bring someone again to their remembrance of their true nature.”—Dhyani Ywahoo, Cherokee medicine woman
“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. Then you will see what medicines they make, and where and when to apply them. That is the work. The only work.”—Clarissa Pinkola Estes
sleepily, dylan tells me it can be a cutting tool more exacting than a scalpel— it’ll cut along the cell wall, not through.
I walk along the sidewalks of south park in the morning sun. barefoot. I climb a tree I didn’t think I could climb— would never have thought to climb. I submit to my yoga practice. each round of maha chikitsa vinyasa is an opening, a healing, and a joy.
I eat my greens. I go for a lone hike deep into the gorge to the east of the city— through the coast live oaks, past the grinding stones which in the brute heat of the day still ring with the laughter of women and their children (ancient & new), past the low trickle of the river whose desire to join the sea once cut through mountains.
suddenly I want to gather here, in this spot, each month with as many of the sweet yoginis & fierce female warriors in my life as I can summon— to celebrate, sing, dance, practice, heal, laugh & carry the fire forth into the next moon, and the next.
I see it so clearly. my heart bays at the moon of this vision.
I thank the sagebrush around me for the idea— thank the sun, thank the earth. thank the bee on the flowering chaparral. and look down, and there she is! a beautiful, massive black & gold snake, sunning herself just inches from where my feet suddenly stopped in their own tracks— my awareness (thankfully) intact, my instincts alive to the present moment.
we share a moment of silent reverence. I recognize her as kundalini— as the flowing winding rising energy of the divine feminine.
I praise her— jai ma!— as she finds her way on her belly into the safety of the bracken, her sleek-dark body a fine slice of deadly precision across the dry heat of the trail.
I praise her, and I thank her for showing me (again, and again) the journey home.
“It is that holy poetry and singing we are after. We want powerful words and songs that can be heard under water and over land. It is the wild singing we are after, our chance to use the wild language we are learning by heart under the sea. When a woman speaks her truth, fires up her intention and feeling, stays tight with the instinctive nature, she is singing, she is living in the wild breath-stream of the soul. To live this way is a cycle in itself, one meant to go on, go on, go on.”—Clarissa Pinkola Estes
“For some, home is a forest, a desert, a sea. In truth, home is holographic. It is carried at full power in even a single tree, a solitary cactus in a plant shop window, a pool of still water. It is also at full potency in a yellow leaf lying on the asphalt, a red clay pot waiting for a root bundle, a drop of water on the skin. When you focus with soul-eyes, you will see home in many, many places.”—Clarissa Pinkola Estes