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Veterans and Indigenous People: Healing & Forgiveness

Deep gratitude to all those involved in this. Please may we create many more opportunities for healing and forgiveness from the horrors of our past. Confession. Healing. Forgiveness. May we learn from our mistakes and never repeat them. May the power of our prayers and ceremonies continue to weave a new world.

“BEAUTIFUL MEDICINE AT STANDING ROCK! Where else in the world do you see this level of healing? DAPL doesn’t understand what they are trying to crush, which in a sense means they don’t understand themselves. This movement is trying to set past mistakes right to create spaces of healing. Healing historical trauma, restoring sustainability to Mother Earth, clergy denouncing the doctrine of discovery, THE PEOPLE TRYING TO forgive, heal, move forward together instead of being in denial. This movement is needed but DAPL only sees $. #NoDAPL” ~Prolific the Rapper

Beautiful photos.

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Weaving into the Tapestry

What do we hear when we listen to the center? What do we speak when we start from a place of stillness, listen to the stirrings of source, and speak to the center?

Last week I was blessed to be a part of a unique gathering hosted by the Heart of the Healer Foundation, Speaking to the Center: The Great Remembering.

As a facilitator/moderator, during the morning session I listened to the words of these loving souls who wanted to share pieces of their hearts and minds. Little nuggets of language, wisdom and invitation moved through my ears, mind, heart and into the pen perched upon my pad. After they each spoke and a brief stretch break, I offered a Woven Poem, a collective storytelling in the prose of words as a weaving of the wisdom they shared. And now I share this poem with you.

The following is a Collective Poem from the words of Grandmother Red Leaf, Peter Kingsley, Don Oscar Miro-Quesada, Michael Johnson, Howard Hanger, Jeff Schmitt & Mz Imani. Woven by Ashley Cooper.

Weaving into the tapestry

Simple humans

We are whole

We are grateful

Things that remember themselves

are not forgotten

When channeled or directed…

She works miracles

Everything has to have water to live

Help us to touch the spirit of the Earth again

The Earth is a spider web

Connections are a very important part

of how we live every single day

Things are as they should be –

even when it’s a hard realization

We have manufactured a spiritual light

It’s ungrounded – it’s unrooted

The darkness outside

The coldness

The empty space

We are living in a dream, a dream, a dream

It’s not enough any more

There is a sacred root of western civilization

Alethia – truth – unforgetting

We are living in a dream, a dream, a dream.

How many of us came here to remember

We have so many fantasies, my friends

We have our own original instructions -

We need to look for them

Go back to our roots

What is the result of our forgetfulness?

The current degradation of our environment

The dislocation of our society

A sleep walking culture

We are living in a dream, a dream, a dream

Catch a glimmering awakening,

in the spark of an eye, in the presence

It’s a void, it’s empty, it’s scary

I bow to the living waters

Find peace within

I am not different from the other

Self and other are one and the same

I choose to be in the world

To share my rituals, my ceremonies, my love

Recognizing the beauty and grace

of the courageous who decided to remember

Re-member – as a global human family

Unification. Wholeness. Non-dual consciousness

Allow Spirit and the great originating mystery

to unfold with its entire expression

Deep gratitude

Deep gratitude from the bottom of my heart

Without the kindness of all these living beings and ancestors

we would not have the kindness of life and the gift of all these problems

We need to continue awakening

We need to act

We need to act now

to solve or out grow these problems

Each of us here can play a role

and we have to

We are all a part of this experience

of life

And it might be possible that we can have a good time, too

Take a few longer, deeper breathes

Bring awareness into your body

Feel your heart

It’s all about perspective

Look at the world from your dogs eyes

I have a slightly different view

… And then there’s integration

Oh my gosh – even though I used to think I had total knowledge, I don’t

I only have one pebble

Awaken to your own happiness

You can lift other people up to be happy too

Hey good looking, you’re looking good

It would behoove us to not take ourselves so seriously

Return to the child

The pre-socialized little being

Please, pant with me

Wag your tail

Show that gratitude

This world needs our medicine

This world needs our science now

Visual Impressions were created live by Kara Brown at the event.

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Categorizing and Illustrating People’s Experiences

As I’ve mentioned before I started a new website and project called Rituals for Healthy Living or Rituals to Invite Balance and Well-being. I’m slowly posting over 40 rituals that people have shared with me.

Posting these rituals has been an interesting practice in and of itself. At the beginning, as I would reread the offering, I would listen for words that I thought best categorize the rituals shared. Those became my labels and now as I read, I figure out which categories to apply to the new ritual. This is my first real introduction to tagging. It’s hard! Especially with the rituals, I wonder what other juicy words might be descriptive. I wonder how best to categorize.

Reading through them also is a sort of meditation… I read through the ritual, kind of try on the ritual that is being shared, notice what parts of me are drawn to parts of the ritual, and contemplate the words that come to me to categorize the experience that is being offered.

The other part of this posting practice that has been an adventure is picking a picture to accompany the ritual. If you find yourself reading any of the rituals over there, please feel free to share ideas for other words to categorize the ritual… or let me know if there is a different picture that would capture some of the essence that is being shared. This was my favorite picture so far!

photo source

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Rituals for Healthy Living

Over the last couple of years, off and on, I have been experimenting with healthy living rituals. I tend to be a pretty spontaneous person, following what is most alive for me in a moment. I try to listen to what I need (my mind, my heart, my body, my soul, my relationships, the whole) and take action from what I hear. However, I recognize that I lack discipline in my life and that often I favor what my heart wants over what my body needs. Imbalance has a way of creeping into my sense of order, causing a lack of order. If I listen carefully I notice the sounds of disharmony inviting me to pay attention to some aspect of my being. I belive that rituals, activities that I do regularly and purposefully with the intention of adding value to my well-being, can help support me in maintaining balance… and so I experiment!

Some of my experiments have included meditation, dancing, toning, singing, yoga, journaling, walking, prayers, breathing practices, and practices to help me tune deeper into experiencing the moment. In this mode of exploration and inquiry, I realized one June day that I have an incredible network of people and I bet some of them do rituals to help keep their life in balance. I decided to inquire and find out. So far 40 different people have shared with me the activities they do to help nourish their life. What a gift! I couldn’t keep these treasures to myself so I have started a new webl where I will be posting all of the rituals I recieve. Come have a peek…

Rituals for Healthy Living is the new site and it’d be great if you came and joined the inquiry that we’re in over there! And if you have rituals of your own to share, please do.

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Sweet Seattle Rituals

In Seattle, there are many residential roads where cars are parked on both sides of the street and there is only room for one car to drive through at a time. I sincerely treasure the norms that the citizens of this city have developed for this situation.

Drivers self-organize. One person chooses to pull over into an opening between parked cars while the other car drives through. The car who has been granted permission to pass almost always gives the other driver a wave of gratitude. The driver that pulled over often waves back. I love this ritual. There is often even eye contact during these exchanges.

Today I felt a real fondness for the guy that let me drive through. I thought to myself “I like him!” I then felt a little pang of sadness. When we’re not adorned with our clunky metal armor, I often don’t find people exhibiting the same willingness to extend oneself into another person’s personal space in kind and friendly ways. hmmm… how can I start living this more fully?

Photo source

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What is Your Morning Ritual?

Currently I am giving attention towards grounding my morning rituals. Do you have morning rituals? What are your morning rituals? How do you open into or invite in each new day? Thank you for sharing any of your practice.

Updated: I’m curious about the balance between discipline and listening. Training ourselves through practice and following our inherent flow and rhythm.

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