Life Bursting Forth

Another part of my wholeness lately has been a radiant sense of alignment... juicy possibilities and thriving life unfolding and emerging. Here's a little character I met at the coast the other day. It seemed to speak my language!

And roses are blooming in the garden... ahhhhh


posted by ashley

Holy Wholes, Including the Holes!

I feel whole.

Included in that is a void, a hole... missing that which has been lost, that which is changing. Missing not in a longing way, just in a recognizing a groove that is paved and was once vibrantly filled... and now is near empty... the same rushing current no longer fills its chamber. It still pulses with the energy that filled it's strong and delicate walls. It echoes with fragrant vibes of beauty and memory... and in this moment, it feels kind of like a ghost, a lucid dream.

Stepping back, expanding beyond (and still including) that sacred chamber, I feel the whole that is emerging now. I see with my visioning eye how that electric life force energy is diffusing into new places, spaces, chambers of embraces. The energy does not yet have form. There is not yet a new channel for it to rush along. It's in the bardo, dangling in between.

My personal heart breathes a little shallow. My soul opens brightly.

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posted by ashley


Hearing, Seeing and Loving

Anne Stadler recently inquired on an email list:
I am wondering do you feel “heard”, “seen”, and “loved”—even by the people with whom you are conversing? Do you feel you are engaging fully (using all your intelligences!) with each other and the whole in this exploration?
Many inspiring responses have emerged... and here is what I wrote:
I'd like to share some personal stories. My practice keeps turning me again and again inside myself (along a pathway of service beyond myself).

I'm sitting at a coffee shop right now, gazing out the sunny window. A dog turns around and stares in my eyes. In this moment I feel heard, seen and loved by that dog. I recognize myself in him... his alert curiosity, seeming contentment in experiencing life as it is. He stays close to his human companion and sweetly offers loving connections with those who pass by (or sit on the other side of the window!).

Earlier this morning I felt very alive, heard, seen and loved in my fascination with the appearance and movements of snails in the garden. So many unique angles from which to experience them, especially as their bodies morphed with each subtle movement. And each snail was so different from the other.

Lately I've been noticing where I don't feel heard, seen or loved by myself or parts of myself don't feel heard, seen or loved by other parts. I notice when I don't feel this towards myself, I seek that feeling externally from others. When I feel a longing to be heard, seen or loved by another, my practice now is to deepen my connections internally, inviting myself to be heard, seen and loved by myself. When I am connecting with myself in this way, I am more easily able to recognize and receive energy and attention from others.

A couple of days later...

This morning I deeply felt a longing for another to see and love me... in a particular way that I wanted to be seen and loved. I felt myself out of balance and needing attention.... so I set out on a walk. My intention-- to experience the beauty around me and within me. My goal -- to find a centered place within where I felt seen, heard and loved by myself. My hope -- this practice would lessen the contraction and sense of woundedness that I was feeling in my longing for another to fill that need for me. It worked! Turning towards and embracing myself opened up so much more space for me to be present with and accepting of what was before me.

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posted by ashley


Integrating Man's Control of Order with Nature's Mastery of Order

If you're in the Seattle Area, I highly recommend a trip to this year's Seattle International Children's Festival to experience contemplative juggler, Thomas Arthur May 17 - 19. For a taste, you can watch some recent television appearances here and here (for the second one, skip ahead to 31:31)

"In a wondrous dance of animate objects and projected image, Luminous Edge tells the story of a Wizard's apprentice and his struggle to learn new ways of being in a world on the verge of collapse. How do we learn to cooperate with the natural flow instead of trying to control it? The apprentice seeks to integrate the genius and skill of the Wizard with the heart of the Shaman as he explores magical patterns reflected in geometric shapes and natural objects.

Luminous Edge is a playful, hopeful exploration of the environmental and social problems facing our world today, a call to bring the wisdom of science into the heart of soul and community."

Although this work has been created for the children's festival, it will definitely appeal to adults as well and I highly recommend purchasing tickets and joining us for the experience.

At this performance you will be swept about by breathtakingly beautiful images of nature, forms of movement, and inquiries of existence.

In the meantime, here is a picture of Angkor Thom, Cambodia brought to us by Day and Night Painter. It's another sacred place that shows the connection between man's control and nature's power... and it also leaves me in awe.

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posted by ashley


Today's Discoveries

Easily amazed... and frequently awed.

On a walk through the park today I got to watch two slugs eat. I'd never seen a slug eat. So slowly does the flower bud move into it's little body, steadily disappearing into the mystery. Watching them, I found myself thinking about a recent post by Amy over at Beauty Dialogues. She speaks about the Language of the Senses. I was awed by these beings, their shape, antennas, the ways they move, the texture of their skin, their means of nourishing self. I wondered how I would ever describe with words the quality of engagement my senses were experiencing. You just read my attempt!

As my walk continued down to the Puget Sound, I stumbled upon a crew of parasurfers. I guess I've never watched parasurfers before because the first time I saw one take air and fly up, hovering above the water, I let out a screech of excitement. That must be so exhilarating to feel the force of the wind sweep you up, surrendering to its power! And the ways in which they flew/glided across the water... riding the wind and wave's currents.

And with these experiences I found myself thinking about this morning's post... slowing down... feeling the wind. This evening I was reading an article by Thomas Hurley that I imagine I'll write more about as it is moving me DEEPLY. I highly recommend it. The following quote again made me think of this morning's prayer.
Illuminating truth reflects the soul’s hunger to know its true nature – to understand what is ever more deeply and to have that knowing be the ground for life and work...We relax the grip that constrains awareness and invite all the voices in, especially the inner voices that too often remain silent. We attend to clues about what is, articulating what we know and acknowledging truths hidden or at the edges of awareness.
Photo Sources: Slug Parasurfer
posted by ashley

A Curious Course

What is this mysterious flow between personal, impersonal, transpersonal? What does my soul long for? What does it feel like for me to answer a call, beckoning my re-turn to Self? Holding my gentle edges... embracing all of my selves... holding with gentleness, embracing what-is.

Each moment guided by deep listening, trust and reverence for love, beauty and togetherness.

Slowing down so that I may hear the rhythm of the current, so that I may feel the caresses of the wind, so that I may rest in the arms of my own sacred breath. Slowing down, feeling the morning haze dissolve, opening to the vibrant life emerging into this fresh day.

Surrendering and walking slowly... ever-so mindfully... being present with it all.

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posted by ashley


Educating for Wholeness

I recently updated Educating for Wholeness. There you'll find perspectives from parents, teachers and students as well as learning activities that I facilitate with students and parents. Have a peek:

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posted by ashley


Crossing Boundaries

“Crossing the boundary from personal to transpersonal takes will...
takes the will of soul… and that’s fearful.”

~Finn Voldtofte

photo source

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posted by ashley

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