Most of us need to be pushed to our edge before we are moved to make changes.
Last month I asked people to buy Medicine for the Earth. What pushed me to do so was discovering that my book Welcome Home: Following Your Soul's Journey Home was accidentally put out of print. The book is available again now. My agent, who was my ex-editor at Harper San Francisco, said she never heard of a book being accidentally put out of print.
So I decided that I needed to take this as a wake up call from the universe. I find that I am in reaction to how much marketing goes on with spiritual work and I have been nervous about taking steps to push any of my books. Obviously I write about them and talk about them at my workshops. But I have taken on a laissez-faire attitude of what will be will be.
What I realized is that by being in a passive role I am not doing my books or the work I am teaching a service.
Over the years I have observed the growth of many spiritual organizations. I have watched how spiritual work becomes limited when it becomes trapped in a hierarchical structure. The focus of the vision often gets lost in trying to control the organization.
In the Medicine for the Earth work we work on evolving ourselves as well as look at creating miracles. When one puts spiritual work in a "cage" by creating too much structure we limit possibilities.
Therefore, I have decided to put into action a vision of a new model to share this spiritual work. This August I am teaching my first Medicine for the Earth Teacher Training.
I am creating a new model of how to support people in spreading vital information while at the same time moving away from the old institutional structure.
Instead of creating a hierarchical structure I will be creating collaborative networks for people wishing to teach. Serving the community needs to take precedence over serving any organization. I also think that it is time to share this work with all. This means being flexible on tuition. When we start to only teach people in a certain economic bracket the work becomes elitist.
Training teachers is a way for me to help participants learn the material so it is being taught accurately and with integrity and grace. It is a way for me to help people look at how to move through issues that come up on an egoic level in teaching, how to create sacred space and hold the space in a training, how to deal with group dynamics, and other issues that can facilitate the experience and adventure of teaching. I’ve learned a lot since beginning my journey as a teacher of shamanism in 1983 and I look forward to sharing what I have learned.
My vision is to make spiritual work accessible to all who want to learn from a teacher and also have the work carried on in a good way.
I don’t believe from a spiritually ethical view that I can certify teachers. But I can provide a list of people who have done a lot of training with me and who want to teach the Medicine for the Earth work. I will have such a list available by September.
With all that is going on environmentally I feel it is so important to get all kinds of spiritual work out as quickly as possible. We cannot afford to have spiritual teachers move into a place of competitiveness, but we must support the wonderful work taught by so many so that consciousness can shift on a mass scale. Different teachers and different spiritual systems speak to different people in the population. There needs to be a diverse team who has the vocabulary and a style of teaching that will speak to different populations.
How I feel I can support the process right now is by helping guide new teachers and support those who are already sharing their brilliance.
The focus of my vision is how to empower all of us to create the changes needed to move our lives back into harmony. Instead of wasting my energy being angry at the abuses I observe, I want to feed the power of new visions. We need to focus and concentrate our energy in solutions not on the problems.
Months ago a student and friend of mine sent me this story that comes from Nancy Sherwood of Earth Sea in Nova Scotia.
The story is called “Two Wolves”. A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about many things.
He said, “I feel as if two wolves are fighting in my heart. One wolf is vengeful, angry, violent.. .and the other is loving, compassionate, and strong.”
The grandson asked the grandfather “Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?”
The grandfather replied, “The one I feed.”
We must feed our visions of what we believe would create a world of harmony, balance, and love.
So this month we will focus on creating a vision for our lives and the planet. I gave some examples of how being pushed to my edge has stimulated me to create change and create a new vision I can feed. Of course, I have also been pushed to my edge about environmental issues stimulating me to write Medicine for the Earth and the monthly transmutation news, focusing on creating a human of light, and teach trainings. This has been a very wonderful way to work with the energy that gets stimulated by watching our planetary situation.
I know all of you are pushed to an edge in your own life about the environment, the world situation, and the powers and structures which manage your life.
As you are pushed to your edge change is being called for; a new vision is being called for. Change creates little deaths in our lives. Something old must die for new life to burst forth. Some of us welcome change and some of us fear it and grieve for the old life and ways that need to be left behind. All the emotions that come up are natural and must be acknowledged for change to occur in a graceful fashion.
A few months ago in a journey the spirits told me I needed to work with transfiguration + concentration. Last month I asked you to practice transfiguration. On the fall equinox we will gather our energies together to transfigure into a divine state adding to this by concentrating on a vision we would like to see manifest in the world. We must remember that with invoking the power of transfiguration + concentration the rest of the elements to the formula of transmutation must be included.
love + harmony + intention + concentration + focus + union + imagination = transmutation.
I would suggest that you begin by reading over the chapter on Imagination in Medicine for the Earth. This will inspire you in your visioning process.
Once you are ready to work on creating a vision please pick a time of the day where you can feel relaxed and not rushed. Pick a day where you can really sink into the process. I will describe a couple of ways you might consider working. And of course if you come up with something different, work in a way in which you feel inspired.
If you decide to work indoors pick out some music you can play which inspires and relaxes you. You can either sit up with your spine straight so that you are oxygenating your body and brain or you can lie down. Begin by taking some deep breaths. Throughout your meditation please remember to breathe. Imagine yourself breathing from your head into your heart. You want to go to a deep place and not create a vision from an egoic place. By focusing on your breathing through your heart you will move from your mind into a heartfelt and intuitive place. This is the place to create from.
You want to set an intention to look at a world that embraces the elements of love and harmony and a world where people remember their connection with all living beings and the cycles of life and nature. There is no separation between you and the rest of life. You want to vision a world that honors all of life and is in deep appreciation for all we receive; a world where we give back and receive in balance.
Set your intention and begin by simply breathing into your heart for a few minutes. Let yourself relax and imagine yourself in a place in nature where you can appreciate the beauty and the power of creation and life. Look around you and notice what life forms are with you. Notice the colors and your environment. Take in the fragrances and all the sounds of nature. Notice if the air is still or if there is a breeze or wind. Feel the temperature and the earth beneath you. Notice the elements that are in this place. Allow yourself to feel fully present here.
Imagine an earth goddess or god coming to greet you and embrace you. Feel the wind starting to come up swirling around you and embracing you. Allow the spirit of water and the fire from the sun to embrace you with respect and love. Feel yourself loved by the elements that are all around you as well as inside of you. The spirit of all life around you supports your purity of heart and intention to create harmony. You are in union with all of life.
From a place of love and appreciation let your imagination flow and vision the world you would like to live in. Remember to keep breathing and create from your heart.
Take your time and don’t rush. You don’t want to rush creation. Really anchor the experience with all your senses. Visualize, hear, smell, feel, and taste your creation.
When you feel that you are ready to come back give thanks to the elements and all the beings you have met in this place. Feel yourself disconnecting from this place and gently let your consciousness drift back into the room. Take some time to feel yourself fully back in the present and in the room you are in.
You might wish to write a story or draw a picture of your creation.
If you choose to do this work by walking in nature take some time to breathe into your heart and set your intention before you leave. As you experience the beauty and wonder of the nature you are let your imagination create the world you want to experience remembering to experience your creation with all your senses. Let the elements inspire and embrace you.
As you walk you might ask nature to show you an omen or a sign when your work is done.
When you return you might wish to write a story or draw a picture of your creation.
Next month I will give you the ritual of putting together the process of transfiguration and creation. So keep working on your vision.
Fear consumes us in the same way fire consumes the earth and it’s living beings. As fire transforms us so does fear. At some point we must face and move through our fear creating a rebirth in our lives.
Anger acts as a poison to our body, mind, soul, and spirit if we learn how to experience it and then let it go. Anger must be and transformed.
Use the transfiguration process this month to purify. transform, and transmute your fear and anger.
There are many ways that we can plant seeds in the world to start to shift consciousness. For the summer solstice I decided to write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. We have been dealing with a terrible drought in New Mexico. The letters to the editor have been a way for people to express their thoughts. The letter I wrote was published in July. It has stimulated a lot of conversation in different spiritual groups here in Santa Fe. These are groups I normally would not access to. You never know what you might stimulate in your community if you want to do something similar. We need to plant seeds wherever we can.
Here is the letter I wrote: “All ancient traditions teach that our inner state of consciousness is reflected back to us by our outer world.
The drought as well as the flooding occurring throughout the world is a message that we are out of balance. An old Taoist story teaches us that when we are in balance and harmony within ourselves rain comes when it is needed. Harmony within creates harmony without.
If we tend ‘our garden’ with honor, love and appreciation for all we have been given balance will be restored. We need to give back to the land as well as give thanks for our lives and the lives of all living beings and honor the natural cycles.
We need to do more than pray for rain. We must honor the earth and our environment through our thoughts and actions. Then we will have rain.”
People love to read the letters to the editor. I hope you write something inspirational to your community and plant some seeds to change consciousness where you live. This is an action we can all put into practice.
I just finished reading a marvelous book titled Green Psychology: Transforming Our Relationship to the Earth. The book is written by Ralph Metzner, Ph.D. Theodore Roszak writes the foreword. Park Street Press publishes the book.
Ralph Metzner explores the history of what has created our global pathology and examines the ways we can heal this rift and restore a healing relationship with nature. His search for role models takes him from shamanic ceremonies with the Lacandon Maya of Mexico to vision quests in the California desert, from the nature mysticism of the 11th century abbess Hildegard von Bingen to the black goddesses and green gods of our pagan ancestors.
Ralph Metzner started the Green Earth Foundation which is an education and research organization dedicated to the healing and harmonizing of the relationships between humanity and the Earth. The objectives are to bring about changes in attitudes, values, perceptions, and world views that are based on ecological balance and respect for the integrity of all life forms on earth. You can visit his web site at: www.rmetzner-greenearth.org
Please remember to link with the thousands of people meditating on creating a human web of light on August 22.
You have read many times my statement that it is who we become that changes the world not what we do. I would like to leave you with a wonderful quote by Jack Schwartz from his book The Path of Action:
“You think of yourself as being a drop of water, but recognize that you are also the whole ocean. Change the drop of water, and you thereby change not only that drop of water, but the whole ocean. By changing yourself, you are changing the level of consciousness in the complete universe.”
Soul Retrieval, Medicine for the Earth, and Shamanism