Friday, February 20, 2009

Silence falling...

Snowflakes are falling on my skin

Refreshing and cold

As I draw within

To the center of the fire

The heartbeat in the storm

The new moon draws near

I am still, quiet, and warm.

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Dreaming Bear...

It's that time of year, and even though we've had an unseasonably warm [global warming?] winter, I have still felt the depths of hibernation pulling me deep into myself. I've been dreaming a lot – sometimes every night I have a dream to write down in the morning. Always I sit with them, distilling meaning – or at least feeling – from what visions I’ve been given. I continue hibernating, dreaming...

Still in the depths of this dreaming, I know not what this coming year holds. I wish, as ever, for more music. I also delight in the many friendships I am blessed with, and look forward to cultivating these connections more. And most importantly, wishing to be of service-to, and in integrity-with this precious earth and her many children... But for now, it is still about the dreaming - allowing myself these still moments of rest. Living peacefully in the unknowing - swimming deliciously in the great void of the unknown, the birthplace of all creation...

My friend Shawna shared a similar sentiment in her winter newsletter, and I wish to pass it on...

I still want to rest, hibernate, rejuvenate, take it slow and refill with the sacred energy and light that flows from deep within during these sacred months of winter. I feel grateful for winter as it calls me to a deeper quieter place inside, where I can relax & ground deep inside myself & listen to the inner guidance to begin planting the seeds of what i want to cultivate in the garden of my heart and life in this coming year. In some esoteric spiritual traditions, the time between winter solstice and spring equinox is the time to contemplate the challenges and victories of the previous year and cultivate a new vision, and new intentions for our inner and outer lives for the year ahead, and sow these new seeds born out of the wisdom and clarity of the heart. So I will continue to savor the sacred silence of winter, and head the call to those deeper places of light, and listen and take notes and re-envision. May you have a blessed winter as well, in all the ways you celebrate it and soak it up.

Still making friends with the bear...

(art by Susan Seddon Boulet, all rights reserved)

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Bear Dreamer...

I have often told this story of a dream I had as a small child of 3 or 4...

I am in the kitchen with my mom. We are baking. Suddenly, a big bear comes in and swallows us up!!

I awake, and shaken, tell my mom about this dream. Being a dream analyst herself, she advises me, "go back into the dream - and since we're in the kitchen, perhaps you had some scissors in your hand - so cut our way out..."

Back in the dream, I do as she says, and we come out into the daylight of our kitchen. Then I sew up the wound on the bear and hug it, making friends.

(art by Susan Seddon Boulet, all rights reserved)

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009


[Disclaimer 1: because I was raised non-religiously, and have spent my past 20 years on the mystic path, I use the word "God" unabashedly and often – when you see me use this word, you can translate it as "All that Is." It's that simple. Every thing, or thought of a thing, is God – it's not separate from you and me, from the everyday, or from anything. And it's accessible, but it can't really be described.... "All that is." And yes, I know that if you read my words below with this definition, you will uncover paradoxes and inconsistencies in my speech. Alas, to be traveling the road back to God while being ever-consumed in that same God-ness...]

[Disclaimer 2: By "eye-gazing," I don't mean the same thing as "eye-contact" - since reading this note, a few friends have been surprised by the depth of eye contact I share while communicating.  "Eye-gazing," however, to me is the communication itself - it's when we sit with together wordlessly for long spans with nothing but the sharing of the eyes...]

I have a confession to make. I have a deep fear of eye-gazing. Methinks I harbour a long-seated insecurity somewhere deep inside, and if I hold gaze too long, I find myself terrified of what may be revealed. Perhaps it will reveal my achingly radiant heart, or will unbind my sensual self, or my wildly unbridled joy… Why are these things so terrifying to unleash? I am fearless in surrendering to God – take me as I am, every drop of ecstatic beauty and tear-filled pain returns to your waiting arms and I am healed, I am whole. But to surrender to another human??! This is what terrifies me. To be seen, naked, unveiled. No, let me hide away in my fortress of pride and nobility. I mustn't let you see the soft, tender cave of my vulnerable human-being. God is forgiving, gracious – but you, you might judge me, turn away or denigrate this preciousness inside me. So I hide away, because this is what happened before, and why I shut my eyes before I go too deep… For I have learned not to trust human beings.

When I was a child, I used to gaze relentlessly – so much so that the other kids would tease me by saying, "stop staring!" I learned to hide away. Haha, I used to be so unashamed that I'd wear no underwear under my skirt – until I also got teased for that when they noticed on the swingset… Sigh, kids can be brutal. And I learned to hide in shame – "something must be wrong with me," I thought, "I should fix it."

And so for years I tried to live from the outside-in, rather than from the inside-out. Instead of living from my creative lifeforce, I put on layers upon layers of acculturation. I never quite made it though, never quite figured it out. It got harder and harder as the teasing never stopped – always something to pick on, and usually it was my emotionality, my depth of feeling - my inner life - that was maligned. I got crustier and crustier as the years wore on, my shell thicker and my trust thinner.

Even when I "woke up" in later life, still the seed of this mistrust remained. The glory of God-light hid it for a time, as I reveled in the Grace of divine beauty pouring into and out of me. But in the dark shadows still lurked this demon…

So now, with awareness, I must forge a new path into the awakening heart. I know it not really matters if I trust humans or not, but if I really trust God. Because it is God-within that I have learned to hide, that I was taught was shameful and too bright, too emotional, too messy – yet it is all the abundant joy of the universe, it is the deepest well of truth, it is primal passion and the clearest vision. And now I wish to crack open this shell and let the light of the divine shine forth. And it's the gloriously dark, hidden, "shameful" places which are the richest treasure troves of this light.

So I am diving into the darkness of my soul, in this time of winter's cave, to recover the lost bits I don't even yet remember...

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Monday, February 02, 2009

25 random things about meeeee...

(This is a trend going around Facebook, and it was so fun, I thought would be worth publishing my words here...)

Not sure I followed the "rules" exactly - "random" things don't usually occur in chronologic and thematic arrangement. Always the rebel, heh heh ;-)

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(( 1 )) I was born at home in Berkeley, California. The midwife was there all night long. The doctor was late, and forgot the silver nitrate - but he remembered the hashish... (not for me, for my parents!!)

(( 2 )) At about 6 months, we moved to a rustic cabin up in Oregon, and because of the woodstove that heated it (and that I was always warned about), my first word was hot, which I pronounced "hotta" - which is similar to the correct pronunciation of "Hatha" (as in hatha yoga)

(( 3 )) I moved to Boulder when I was 7, with my dad and godfather. After sleeping in the van for the first week - in the April snows - we rented an epic mansion outside of Gold Hill with the money they earned on a pot-deal.

(( 4 )) From the time I started preschool in Oregon, and all the way thru junior high, I was teased, picked-on, and basically "the outcast." My nickname for several years was "Airhead."

(( 5 )) In about 9th grade was the first time I realized maybe since I didn't "fit in," it would be okay to be different. So I started hanging out with the stoners & goths, dancing at afterhours clubs, and reading spiritual books.

(( 6 )) From aged 14-20 sum'tin, my greatest medicine was dance. At night, on the dancefloor, was the only time I felt beautiful and at home. Otherwise, I always felt awkward and out-of-place in this world.

(( 7 )) In the mid 90's, after many years of dance medicine - including clubs, raves, trance-dances, and healing forms such as Authentic Movement, I was certain I was going to be a dancer. Through following the Spirit of Dance, I found the source of "being-moved" from within - and all my awkwardness dissolved in the riverflow of God-light dancing from within me. I was certain my path in life was to be a dancer!

(( 8 )) In 1996, unannounced, a song suddenly flew from my lips - and in that very moment, I knew I was also to be a singer.

(( 9 )) Although I knew my voice and the dance were a gift from the divine, my ego latched onto the idea of being a "star" - and for many years, as I studied, wrote songs, and developed myself as a singer, a battle raged between my ego-desires and the deeper fact that music is my healing medicine.

(( 10 )) The first song I taught myself to play on the guitar was "Shiva Shambho" - and that was loooonnnngg before I ever went to a kirtan!

(( 11 )) In the late 90's, I got invited to sing with the stellar middle-eastern band, Sherefe. It was this music - Arabic, Turkish, Balkan, Greek... - that felt most like home for me. My gypsy-spirit was soothed... ...and my musicianship [thankfully!] was irrevocably elevated and inspired!

(( 12 )) I've done things so "out-there" that many of my friends don't even know about (and no, I won't post them here :-) I'm not ashamed of any of it, but until maybe I'm 50, they won't be made public knowledge :-)

(( 13 )) I've been to a whole heckofalot of Rainbow Gatherings (including when I was a kid, and my parents used to bring me - until I wanted to be more "normal" and asked to stop going - I started going again when I was 18).

(( 14 )) From about age 14 on, I began searching for the "meaning of life." At age 19 I started seeking in deep earnest. My first mystical experiences happened when I was 21. The first one happened at a rave - when my 'boyfriend' asked me to get down from the podium I was dancing on I got so enraged that it triggered a kundalini-awakening. Mystic grace and healing moved through me - I cried, danced ecstatically, and shed years of inhibitions. (And I was sober, by the way!!).

(( 15 )) Later that week, after coming back down to the grey mundanity of life, I was blessed with the 2nd opening - this time, while laying down in the dark to sleep, I tingling started in my heart, which suddenly burst into the radiance of a golden white star that flooded all the darkness of the room (and my life). I felt all the Love and completion I could imagine, and I sent all this Love to my friends and family. That winter I hand-drew some 100 "happy Solstice" cards with the same sunshine symbol that now is tattooed on my left arm...

(( 16 )) Some years later, I got the internal guidance that I should chant the Gayatri Mantra every day. I still do, and still evoke that same heartlight radiance that I experienced that one night...

(( 17 )) My second set of mystical experiences were much "darker," though no less joyful. Ever since I was a kid, I would have these terrifying experiences wherein I felt heavier than a shipfull of lead, yet paradoxically as empty as a balloon that could pop and disappear into the infinite in an instant. That's the closest I could come to describe it, except maybe to say it felt like death, or dying. Well, sometime in my adulthood I got a deep fever, and these deathly feelings started arising in my body again. After days of resisting them (trying to embrace them, but it was too terrifying!!!), I finally gave in and let it consume me - at which point I fell over to the other side and into ecstatic bliss...

(( 18 )) After surrendering to terror/ecstacy, I had a weeklong series of mystic experiences. Two of my favorites: First, a dream, in which I am in a black box of a room with no door. Suddenly a woman appears out of nowhere in a long dark cloak and shows me that one of the walls has an opening that was simply disguised by the darkness. We step out, and into the infinite void - terrifying and empty, yet full of everything - the birthplace of all creation. In the second vision, I awake with my hands dancing in dna-spiral mudras above my head - and then I see/feel the entire ocean of the night sky wash through me - black, sparkling, pulsating... To this day I still love the darkness as much as the light.

(( 19 )) Not very many years ago, I left a lucrative profession that didn't serve my heart. Rather than jumping into another job I didn't like, I became a "gypsy" for a year and a half - jumping from one housesitting to couch-surfing to camping gig after another. I lived in Boulder this whole time, and though it eventually wore me down quite a bit (and brought on my first wrinkles!!), it also gave me the creative time and space to develop my teaching skills and web design arts that I still subsist on to this day.

(( 20 )) I like singing more than sex. (!! that doesn't mean i don't like sex also, but if i had to choose...)

(( 21 )) I study Classical Indian music, which I adore. I've written a hip-hop piece with raga interlude... I'd like to study Indian rhythms too, but don't ever expect me to pick up tabla...

(( 22 )) My favorite instruments are tanpura, cello, drum kit, baglama saz, oud, sitar, tabla, cajon, etc etc... Perhaps in that order, perhaps not...

(( 23 )) I'd like to tour the world performing live music.

(( 24 )) I loooooooove gardening - I'm absolutely devoted to the Earth Mother.

(( 25 )) I'd like to live on a sustainable arts & healing retreat center founded with my favorite friends :-)

(( rulebreaker, #26 )) I like to write (a lot!!), can you tell? :-)

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