Posted by sundust oracle under: Current News; Meditation & Prayers; Poetry.
“Go in the direction of where your peace is coming from.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Where does my peace dwell? Where is my dwelling place? Does it have a place or time of assurance? Do I make clear limits and boundaries around what gives me peace, sanctuary a feeling of restfulness? It can be a moment in a busy day…. When something gives me pause. A trees yellow branches stripped by winter, across a purple twilight… a Child asleep in my arms, hailstones striking my window, preparing a meal, noticing with each step that the earth is frosted…
Wonder, sanctuary, beauty and heart… Where do I rest, do I hurry through the wonder? do I hurry through the beauty in order to get to the next task ? We are so focused on what we need to do that we don’t even realize how exhausted we really are until we stop but only for 5 minutes… Do we come home to 1 million tiny do lists we’ve made to ourselves with not one playful, fun, or restful thing on any of them. Do we savor the precious gifts we’ve been given? If we go home we have one gift of which we are assured; we have a shelter and we have a place to rest we may choose not to.
We may not think we need to…. Until we make ourselves sick… from lack of self care. Everything needs to rest this is what the night was made for the moon rises and we find ourselves knowing there is something precious within us within us that can only be found when we are able to allow ourselves respite. From the world from every minutia and all the pleasures we turn into pressures.
Nature doesn’t work this way. The maple tree does not produce sap year round it is very specific…in how much it can give… a maple tree is tapped in a very simple way… if too many taps are placed into the tree it will die… to tap a tree with one or two taps is thoughtful… it honors what the tree needs to thrive and to heal so it can continue its life its beauty and its production of something sweet and wonderful.
Thoughtful… respectful… restful, we cannot keep producing sweetness subtlety and grace…. Without ceasing. It takes energy to create. And like nature we must pause slow down and rest. The earth knows what supports life…it is her line of expertise. But will we listen… pause savor…. Or allow peace?
We have a rhythm the world has made for all of nature… the miracle of seasons, the season of winter places everything back with in its self to strengthen and regenerate… it asks that we make a safe harbor within ourselves a slowing down, a steadfastness, a deep strengthening of our bodies, our minds, our spirits it’s important that we take the time when it is offered by a moment of tenderness a moment of clarity something so irresistible it causes us to look and holds us still… Beauty subtleness nurturing gestation time. A deep peace… we all know it..we have all experienced at least a moment of deep peace…. What was I doing then? How can I do it again? Maybe even… now.
All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the dis-attiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.
by William Carlos Williams
Silent and smooth,
This streaming silver glow,
by Josephine age 11
Posted by sundust oracle under: Current News; Flow; Meditation & Prayers; Poetry.
“I trust myself to receive your trustworthiness with appreciation”
~ David Richo
Hello Every Beautiful One,
What do we trust? Do, we trust that life will continue, life will go on? Do we believe in ourselves in all that we love? Do we trust our loved ones, the people we have called into our lives, to love, support, and cherish us, and we, them? I wonder….
Do we trust the Mystery? The invisible world that supports us all…the miracle of oxygen and gravity…everything is working as it should. The sun rises and all become a part of it, because the sun is responsible for everything that rises in the morning…all life emerges. There are invisible hands at work…loving the world, loving us…bringing every miracle into its fullness.
Are we patient? Do we allow the blossoming of our lives, our desires, our goals? Do we give ourselves and others the space, the time… to learn, to grow; to blossom in our own ways, and in their own ways? Or do we watch over the tiniest bud, urging it to bloom faster…to open at our whim and will? When really, we could allow and become mesmerized at its great unfolding…in its own way, and in its own time.
Do we trust the miracle that brought us here? Trust reflects an absolute presence; an acceptance that everything is unfolding in the perfect way for us to become our best selves… Will we continue to open to our best selves; to be part of the small and great miracles of life?
What are we grateful for? Am I truly grateful for everything that brought me to this miracle of now? Or am I scrounging for the miracles directed by my will and my ego? Or do I recognize that I am the miracle… that I am the great blessing way… and the miracle is in my trust in the present to carry me to the gifts of tomorrow, through my appreciation of today.
May you love and appreciate every miracle that brought you here…in the perfect place, in the perfect time, with all of the perfect teachers around us…to lead us to the miracles that lie waiting, just beyond what we can see.
Help me to trust life, Great Mystery, miracle maker of bones, minds, hearts and hands. Please bless us. Open our eyes, guide our hearts to receive the blessings in this day…to focus on what is working…to bring our gifts into the world. Help us to trust what we cannot see and make of our lives a movement of gratitude of all that we have been given. Help us to focus on the many blessings in our lives and to not stop counting them…until we have given and expressed our gratitude in every moment for everyone.
Thank you, Creator. We love you very much. Help us to see every blessing. Help us to be the blessings you would have us be. Help us to build a better world through the miracles of action. We trust you, we trust life, we trust those we have called into our lives at this time and always. We are grateful.
Blazing a Path of Devotion
Randy, you inflate and deflate
Like a mad balloon man
Desperate to bring a smile to a child’s fate.
Such desperation in all you do,
Such desire to cut the marrow.
To tap the molten fire,
That runs beneath the straight and narrow.
Yet, you also seek domestic tranquility,
A home where kettles sing and light jazz rings,
Background music to humanity’s destruction.
Where a cat’s barfing on a favorite rug,
Elicits the same consternationas news of slaughter
And the fracking fuck!
Living two lives can be like living two lies.
Is it deceit to watch a silly movie as Western fires burn?
Is it betrayal to wish normalcy
When plowing the fields of terror and non-being?
When you speak of one world in the other world,
What do you expect?
To be considered normal? For others to think you’re a nice guy?
To be liked, because the images you speak.
Make people freak?
No, to become a master of two worlds, expect rage!
Expect to be vilified, to be crucified.
Do you think Jesus was concerned about self-image
Or how he was to die?
He was devoted to something else.
The same fire that burns within the Self.
He blazed a path of devotion you have yet to learn,
Eschewing fanaticism that says, “Let it burn!”
So get it together! Buck up! Sit straight!
There’ll be no whining about this tragic state.
Colliding worlds is humanity’s fate.
Get used to your role, because I am told,
In that fierce embrace,
Awaits the promise,
Of many-colored bags of gold.
Canyon of the Ancients, CO
Posted by sundust oracle under: Current News.
What I am thinking of myself is what I am making of myself. I am building my future out of the straw and bones or supple flowers that fill my mind and create what comes out of my mouth. Our words are our horses that we send out into the world to do the work and wildness of creating our lives. The horse is the symbol of potency and power, words are power objects. The one’s we say to ourselves and to others are medicine bundles. Are they empowering for us, for others? I build a new world from all the letters that make up the words that we think or speak. What is this new world that I build? From the words and images in my heart and what are the horses that pull the chariot that contains my future. It’s taking me somewhere, how can we know where?
Reflect – On my heart. What does my heart want me to experience? Acceptance, love, creativity, gratitude. Reflect. Listen. Then act, speak, move, create from your reflection. Bring something into being that is tangible. Pick up the phone, make the call, do what you need to do to make this tangible. An image, a prayer, a poem, it is an Inspiritrix, a symbol to create our reality. Bring the reflection into form, the heart is following you, make this relationship reciprocal.
Invite – I invite help, seen and unseen. Let others know through conversation, prayer and authentic sharing, the beauty you want to create in your life. Hold yourself responsible and ask for support.
Bless – Bless your reflection, the action taken, and the invitation given. You can send a blessing by thinking love, peace, and sending it to your heart to the action taken and to the seen and unseen worlds that are so devoted to you and your purpose.
Trust – That it is within you, these words that will create the life you want. Trust the mystery that got us this far and your heart that would not have suggested such a wild and precious thing unless it were truly possible.
Tend – Bring your reflection into all your interactions. Nurture this quality throughout the day, the month, the year.
Transform – Allow the learning the gifts to emerge. We do this by looking at where am I not experiencing this? We also do this by looking at where am I doing this? And applying true constancy by bringing our thoughts back to the words of the heart.
Center – When we get thrown off balance we remember what brings us back to ourselves to the place where the future lives, in your heart and the actions your powerful words create and in the magic of the power you hold.
With deep blessings and gratitude for all the things you have planted,
Posted by sundust oracle under: Current News; Meditation & Prayers; Poetry; Poetry by Char Sundust.
Thankfully we humans have the ability to reason. Perhaps. Perhaps not. There is a poem by Walt Whitman where he states ‘I think that I could turn and live with animals. They are so placid and self contained. Not one bows to another. Nor to his kind. That lived hundreds of years ago’…from Walt Whitman’s poem Leaves of Grass. Animals simply live. They take care of what they are faced with each day. No one does for them. I have yet to see entitlement in the animal kingdom. Or a lion who says with a den full of cubs and a nursing lioness ‘well I am king of the forest, someone else should hunt for me’and I will relax here in the comfort of my cave’. Interesting how they don’t think the world owes them anything. How everything is earned through the energy they put in. There is no wild creature that does not know how sufficient they are. We do make them weak and reliant. Pets are wonderful but animals who sustain themselves in the natural cycles of winter, spring, autumn and summer are not supported when we leave them food in the deep fall going into winter. When we ‘help’ them many birds don’t make it if we make them overly reliant. As Angeles Arrien says ‘nothing in nature survives if it is too dependent or too interdependent. Both are needed. So I find it interesting to notice how we human beings as animals have become accustomed to having things done for us.
A friend of mine says her mother taught her ‘if you really want to help you don’t ask, you do.’ The lion doesn’t ask. He follows his true nature. He hunts. He is in contact with his instincts and follows through in his actions. He takes care of his family. The instinctual nature is in us also. An internal guidance system so that we can do what it takes to care for ourselves, our families, our work and our creative lives. This seems to have fallen by the wayside. And we are the birds at the winter feeder having not migrated because of a reliance because of something outside… and we don’t only hope but raise quite a fuss if things are not done for us. If we’re are not fed in our own way on our own time. Our acceptance of the way things are and what we are responsible for is skewed by the not so helping hand. We can take care of what we have come to take care of. We need space. We need connection. Sometimes we need help from another’s perspective. Sometimes we need to reflect to find clarity for our next action. To be the lion crouched in the tall grass ready to spring. But do we ever take action? Because we know we alone are responsible for the results of our lives. No one else can carry our dream.
On our tombstones that won’t be said ‘I had a dream but I couldn’t do it because’ ____(fill in the blank)___ ‘I wanted to be entertained’, ‘The people around me wouldn’t do what I wanted’… When the truth is that I could diverted distracted and seduced into putting my energy everywhere except where it really meant something to me. Something emotionally important to my heart. Something that did not require anyone else in order for me to follow through. Sometimes our addiction to being the victim is greater than the work and dedication it would take to mend and repair our own mistakes. Our epitaph is inscribed with our deeds and actions alone. What we have done and not done is etched in the stone of eternity. What does my epitaph say? I followed my instincts or played it safe? I kept my gifts to myself or I shared them with those in need? I risked and won or I never attempted and never gained or lost a thing? We know in our hearts what we are called to do. We are responsible to hold vigil over what we value most. Our work, our friends, our family, our health and well being, our dreams, our community, and our creations. Vigil-vigilance. Will we hold vigil to lead our hearts and minds in the lives we are choosing and creating every moment? We can figure it out or we can ask for help. But the one who takes aim and sends the arrow is us and us alone. Am I hitting the mark? Am I responsible, accountable, vigilant? Do I hunt cleanly? Do I wait and spring at the right moment? Do I choose to show up and be present to my commitments? Do I do as Angeles Arrien says ‘say what is so when is it so, say what I mean and do what I say?’
If we do this, this will reduce conflict in our lives by 85%. And am I willing to do this for myself, for others and for the earth for future generations? We are all here to serve them. Those who are coming. This requires right action, right timing, contact with the undiluted human self. The human soul that will always risk for what has heart and meaning. ‘My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.’ ~ The Buddha.
May we all have the solid ground of our valor and integrity. May this be so for all of us. That we stand accountable that we receive new perspectives and views from others to assist us with our work, growth and fulfillment. And may we always enter with what the Dalai Lama says to himself upon greeting each person ‘I cherish you, I cherish you, I cherish you. I give thanks for all that I am learning from you. I give thanks for the gifts you bring. I cherish me, I cherish me, I cherish me, I cherish you,’
May this year be blessed with great harvest through right action leading to excellence in the fulfillment of our deeply personal dreams. And may we follow and trust our innate human and instinctual responsibilities to kindness with each act, responding with ability to the blessings in us, to the blessings we carry within us, and the gifts we all receive from our rich and varied lives.
Just as the great lion everyday following his true nature, may we be as the great lion everyday following our true nature so our people may live. May you have many blessings in this time of winter and throughout the coming year.
With Deep Gratitude and Respect, I Cherish You,
Posted by sundust oracle under: Current News.
On the land in Idaho at Nine Muses the Retreat Center that we have for artists, writers and meditation we have frogs. Tiny little frogs, and frogs as big as a small coconut. This is such a blessing, I love hearing them sing and talk. I love finding them hopping up the steps, or sunbathing on the water lilies in the sweet kingfisher pond. This is a good sign. Frogs are so sensitive to the environment that they wouldn’t be there unless the land was healthy. What they show us in our time here at Nine Muses is that things in the environment are in balance and the frogs are steadily increasing in number. This is how we know the environment is healthy for us and for them. What are our own significators that our environment is healthy? that the landscape of our interior and external world is healthy. What are significators that we are on track in our own lives? That we are in balance? Well…more often than not we are happy when we are living every day of our lives. We have moments where we slow down, speak the unedited truth, sing, dance, be with friends, and tend to the environment of our hearts and the terrain of our relationships. There is an indigenous saying “all my relations” I was told from the time I could walk (and most likely before) that everything is related, that what happens to the stone, the frog, the lupine, happens to me.
What is happening to me? What are the causes? What is my environment like emotionally, spiritually, creatively? How am I co-creating a place where I can live and let live? A healthy environment is one where everything communicates. They say the first law of love is listening. Am I listening to my own heart, to myself, and to the others that I deeply value in my life? Am I supporting and nurturing a healthy environment or am I a toxic thinker and speaker? Do I stay in toxic relationships at work, at home or in the territory of my friendships? Do I not want to change the internal environment so that what is precious in my life can be brought to its fullest potential? My uncle Alan said to me about a month ago, “everything in nature reaches its fullest potential except for human beings” It got me to wondering, what is our fullest potential. How do we know what our fullest potential is? I doubt the frog knows when he is a tadpole or the maple tree knows when she is a small seed spinning to the ground. But if the right environment is sound, the right nourishment is provided then everything comes together to support a long and healthy life. The fullest potential is not hoped for or yearned for, but journeyed toward, reached as the lily pad and cattails, the long sun on a summer’s day, plenty to eat and an environment that supports well being.
Heidegger said, “Do you want to create, or do you want to destroy?” Every day we have the opportunity to create a nurturing environment or a destructive one. Everything is always communicating, what am I communicating, through my body language, my voice, my actions, or my lack thereof? What is it creating? Do I want to reach my potential or do I allow my dream seeds to fall on uncultivated, barren ground? What am I cultivating and do I tend my own seeds, the work in myself and in my environment? Am I respectful of what others are creating for themselves? Do I think my wants and needs are more or less important than those around me? Am I willing to communicate, to listen and to reflect accurately on the outside what is happening on the inside? Can I conceive of an environment and then take actions that would help me reach my fullest potential? Am I willing to set goals and do whatever it takes? I heard on NPR not too long ago, that if you can fulfill your dreams in this lifetime they are not big enough. May you be so blessed as to produce so many seeds from your work and your play that the environment around you blossoms with a new young and brave forest. So that all that is strong and sensitive within you may thrive.
With great love and deep respect for your gifts,
Posted by sundust oracle under: Current News.
Posted by sundust oracle under: Current News.
I have written a prayer as I know we are deeply impacted by the events that happened yesterday, may you find comfort and solace in these words at this time.
Great Spirit, Creator.
We come to you with humble hearts and we ask for your comfort and healing. We are not a broken city but badly wounded and in grief for those we’ve lost. Members of our community, precious creatives, healers and visionaries have come to join you creator. We believe it is too soon for their divine appointment. We need your help. Please heal us of this violence creator, rearrange our hearts, remove from us any desire to harm anyone for any reason through word, thought or deed to harm anyone in anyway. May those who have crossed find their way to you, may they know the comfort of your angels, may they have a safe journey to their divine appointment with you. And may we be changed by this tragedy, may it open, deepen and transform us into people who care. May we mentor the youth and their gifts, focus on what is working instead of what isn’t, be in the prescription instead of the description. May our hearts be rearranged to make love the most important thing. It is the greatest healing power we carry. Infuse us with this wisdom, power and love. Please cherish, hold and comfort the families, friends, teachers and fans of those whose lives ended in this terrible tragedy. We need your help to teach us, to heal those who are wounded into their wholeness and well being and to carry us all to the wisdom of spirit. We pray that you will keep us in your safe light. Heal us as family, friends. Heal us as community and lush green city. Guide us to change so this never happens again. Thank you very much creator. Bless us, heal us.
The heart moves deep, wise in the fog of misinterpretations only the grace stills the old memory. Somehow this is to change us, move us into a different place than we’ve known before. What is that place? Grief, yes. Pain, yes. But a seed of wondering, how can we be the change we want to see. The present that shapeshifts things, the voice that sings instead of accuses. How many times have we shot down our most creative selves, isolated ourselves from community and our loved ones. Held bitterness, instead of expressing what would mend everything. Things don’t need to go this far outside of us. They don’t need to go this far inside of us. Are we the victims standing by or are we the gunman/woman firing our rage, apathy, cynicism, our pain, our caring too deeply but not telling a soul. And destroying what is good in life and blessed and ourselves and others. The outside reflects the inside always. This holy ground of our hearts has been changed. When we go to compassion to how it has changed us, we ask for the comfort and open our lives more to notice when someone is in trouble and to care and to make what little differences that we can in our inside world which will affect the outside world. To have compassion for our gunman, inside. To express our gifts and talents, our great hearts that yearn to make a difference for the youth, the elders, and those in between. We cannot look outside for the problem, it’s in each of us and a voice that says right before we’re about to fire, put the gun down son, just put the gun down.
With Blessings In Beauty,
Posted by sundust oracle under: Current News.
Yaa Khit Mahk - Thai Endangered Word
Less Thinking, More Happiness.
Love is happiness, what we love, who we love, our self love and our love for our dreams and destiny. That doesn’t mean that love is always easy, but when love isn’t easy we know it’s time to explore ourselves. It’s time to apply our love to our own work. It’s time for, less judgment and more compassion, less criticism and more forgiveness. Less talking and more listening, less wisdom and more wonder. This is not always easy, sometimes it is work to remember what we love, and learn how to love more. We can learn how. The arms of love by Angeles Arrien, let us encounter a way to deepen our commitment to love. This is what is needed at this time, for all of us. We are all learning, but, if we can look at the arms of love daily, and begin with great or little effort to apply them, and then we can celebrate the ones that are strong within us. We can be responsible for improve in the ones that need strengthening. Love is the most powerful healing force in the world. The arms of love are; acknowledgment, appreciation, gratitude, forgiveness, validation, laughter, and play.
When do I show or extend the arms of love? When do I acknowledge when someone has impacted me through their actions or thoughtful words, through kindness? When do I give gratitude? When is it safe enough to be vulnerable, and show what I feel? What does someone have to do for us to express our gratitude? Do we thank someone for the smallest thing? Do we have an ongoing list of what to do for ourselves and our loved ones? Instead of how to be with ourselves and our loved ones…The arms of love are how we can be with ourselves and our community. Can we give authentic gratitude, when someone has done something or said something that has touched our hearts? Can we unfurl into intimacy, bridge two people or a group of people into a new unfolding and appreciation? This requires honesty, about our feelings and what we want without attachment to the outcome. We could say how we feel, or respond to what impacts us in order to take things in a more positive and beneficial direction. We can start with gratitude, and what we trust about someone, share our feelings and if we need anything or not. But, many times, it is simply saying I am deeply blessed by (Fill in the Blank). You could say the friends in my life, the partner in my life, the meal that nourished me last night, my community, or that spring is reminding me of new life. This creates a healing way and a blessing way.It is important that we extend the arms of love, especially when it is difficult. Be accountable and responsible for what we have created in our relationships, maintain our curiosity and our willingness to grow in all our relationships. Where are we unwilling to engage? And move from our compassion for ourselves and others. Angeles Arrien also states, that the direct translation of cruelty is the conscious withholding of love. Where do I withhold my gratitude or appreciation, forgiveness or validation? Why? And what for? Withholding only hurts the withholder. Although, it does harm to those in our environment, people move on and life goes on, without us. The sad thing is that it is without our gifts, our talents, our clarity, and our love. There is an indigenous wisdom that says all people make mistakes and all mistakes are forgivable. As Louise Hay says, “I help create a world where it is safe to love each other”. Can we do this and not go into self isolation? Wayne Dyer says, “If there is a choice to be right, or to be kind, choose kind”. Choose radical honesty, with devotional compassion. Choose the opening, the great opening to intimacy. That only we can initiate.With Great Love in this time of Spring,Char Sundust
Posted by sundust oracle under: Current News.
Winter Letter From Char
Men and women, women and men; moon and sun, earth and sky. The masculine and feminine is within us all.
Jung calls this the anima and animus, this is our deep sacred territory of how we experience vision and heart and the capacity to trust our intuition and our ancestors. Jung also talks about something aboriginal people call the “Bush Soul” which is our animal or a certain kind of tree. This “Bush Soul” is considered an innate and essential part of the human, soul, inseparable from the person themselves. This animal or the tree acts as our ally and if we don’t have one we are considered lost to ourselves, our community and to our deep loved ones.
What has happened to our natural instinctual selves our deeply human animal our instinctual selves. Our self trust our openness to the natural world. What has happened to our connection between the anima and the animus. Externally we see the reparation, but externally we also see the work that needs to be done. What if we were to write an apology to instinctual selves? I am sorry for all the times that I did not listen to my own true nature. I’m sorry I did not speak up like a lion would, or fall silent like an oak tree. But, what if we were to commit to use our silence and our voice for the benefit of all human kind? We can normalize Love is Kind and release the belief that love is blind.
We can always see when we are being trust worthy and loving and when we are being authentic in the world. Actions taken inside and in nature, words said or unsaid in our relationships, its time for a new tactic, that of coming into contact with ourselves, with our science and our spirit, our intelligence and our heart. Working together to say what’s true inside to ourselves to others with some compassion directness and tenderness. The simple act of extending love to ourselves, to all of ourselves that means every part.
In this time of winter what do you love about your masculine dynamic self? What do you appreciate about your feminine and receptive side? And how can we connect with the deep wild soul? That wants to run like a cheetah, tear things apart, rest in the sun? Run fast at record breaking speed and fall silent.
How can we connect with the deep acceptance of who we are and not try to be who we are not?
I love what Wayne Dyer says, “don’t chase what you don’t want”. Is what we are chasing feeding the balance conversation between the receptive and dynamic in our natures. Are we nourished by our connectedness with nature, with the rain, with the touch of the wind and the devotional sun break in the clouds. This is a time to go deep into our own true nature and start a conversation with the unbroken and unknown within ourselves. Like it’s a grand spelunking adventure in search if some treasure found deep inside and in the trees and ferns outside our back door. It’s time to allow the truth of our treasures to shine into the world. Our humanity is beautiful, sacred, a gift and so is any conversation between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. But, especially between any human being and their soul.
These are some suggestions to deepen into our true nature in this season of winter
* Spend time with the elements invite a new relationship to emerge.
* Recognizing them in you and you in them.
* Give gratitude for the life they lend you, honor your dynamic active nature notice where your vision has come into reality.
* Balance that with the magnetic receptive nature what have you truly received what guidance have you received and in what ways has that consistently taken your life to more positive and beautiful places.
* What animals allies, beings in nature have most wanted your attention? This is one of the ways the soul speaks to us through the symbols animals and beings in nature that we most love.
* Notice… read about what you’re noticing (the animal, the tree) Attention is a form of devotion, noticing is way of retrieving ourselves and a way of becoming whole.
Many blessings during this winter season,
Posted by sundust oracle under: Current News.
Fall Letter from Char
Hello Every Beautiful One,
I have the great pleasure and honor in my mentoring and teaching practice of working with many beautiful elders in my every day work. My eldest student is in her 80s, my youngest student is eight wise and wonderful years, and then all those who are in-between. Something beautiful I have witnessed in my classes is how those of us in-between find delight, derive meaning, and gain beauty, wisdom and clarity through these diverse age groups. We all have so much to offer one another through our experiences of life, whether we are young and experiencing something for the first time or still learning (which is really all of us, all the time,) or have some level of mastery at what is taking place. We are truly here to enrich, pass down knowledge, and create a better world together.
There is a song by John Prine that I have loved since I was a child “so if you’re walking down the street sometime and you spot some hollow ancient eyes, don’t just pass them by and stare as if you didn’t care, say hello in there, oh…” It’s surprising that we don’t say hello in there. It’s not only with elders, we see it in every age – shoulders hunched, head down, fulfill the day’s agenda, check everything beside the dotted line leading to more work, all without the very reason we have come here: to love, to learn about love, to connect with these sacred people, these amazing miraculous events that walk by us…other human beings like us. All human beings are equipped with feelings, intuitive natures and experiences. Every time we pass someone by we are missing out on an adventure. A thrilling, hair-raising, often ecstatic multiplicity of story-telling and wisdom that could change our lives in a more brilliant and beautiful direction; even if the whole exchange is nothing more than a smile, a nod, or a wave it adds vitality, energy, aliveness and connection to our world.
Something I’ve noticed in my travels is a natural pull to mentorship and wisdom – here in the states and abroad. In Mexico the elder builders work with the younger builders, and delight in passing down an artist’s true craft. You hear them in one another’s homes laughing; see them at one another’s celebrations for their children or their grandchildren. They know one another; they care for and about one another. In Japan, the honor and respect given to those who have more experience, whose eyes have seen many things, whose fingers have woven the dreams or demise of many things in a long life, those hands are held and that wisdom is honored.
In indigenous traditions they say “oh, they have no ears right now,” when someone cannot listen. It is simply a statement. “Oh, they’ve lost their ears, they will find them.” In this western culture we say “Oh, cat got your tongue?” Which really means, “my voice has been lost,” or “I don’t have the courage to say what is so for some reason.” Angeles Arrien calls this weak heartedness. In her book The Four-Fold Way, she talks about the different kinds of love: love between colleagues, between a student and teacher, between mentor and mentee, between counselor and client, love between friends, life partners, lovers, and between a parent and a child. It seems we all have our eye on the lover and sometimes the child. Meanwhile, many of our elders are in sterile rooms with electric beds and strangers tending to them, while they remain waiting, silent, wise. We do not have an eye on the teacher, mentor, student and often times not on the friend, and less than is necessary on the simple extension of love towards ourselves, the sharing of love with others in an empowering way, even sharing what we love in our simplest daily actions.
In many traditions our loves and our gifts are noticed when we are very young by someone else who carries these gifts. Now, we have apprenticeship and internship programs for everything from doctors to electricians. I know for many of us much is missing when we won’t talk to anyone or listen to anyone else. We miss all this delicious perspective, all these different views to add to our own discernment and joy. We cannot afford to perpetuate isolation which suppresses the basic human need of touch and gaze and soul. Experience gives us pause to gain a loving or grateful perspective, our heart’s perspective on our lives. This is the gift of our friends or mentors, our families, our elders, our children. May those of us in-between remember to nod, smile or gaze, find our ears, find our voices, find our hand and reach out or even say “hello in there, oh…”