2017.Char.Newsletter.crop2
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July 2017 Newsletter from Char

“To change one’s life—Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions, no excuses.” -William James       Keep experiencing life. How Am I experiencing life? Showing up, allowing my eye, my heart, and my hands to engage with what has heart and meaning. What I cherish, care for, and love, and what cherishes me.   We are under the spell of the great hurry; that somehow if we can do more in a condensed period of time we will be free…. later.   Today an osprey is free, and all morning has been sounding over the small cove where I live. The sound is striking the drum of the ear with a wonder that causes one to move, to stand, to pause, to look outside. The work of the osprey is simple. And over many years of visitations I find I have yet to see a pair. But today they came on the radiant currents, landing, speaking one another’s language….and their stillness, togetherness, and conversation pauses all other notions in the world. I am with them. They are with me. We are in the world together. They are fishing. They make this look easy, watching from the aspen for motion under the surface—this patience and stillness. Forethought and precision—always fills a font of delight. When after two hours, a half hour, nine hours—they strike, rising with their shimmering, well-earned gift. Today there are two and there is much they can accomplish with two. Much more than one if we cooperate, if we communicate, if we are aware of one another. The gift of their sound enters my day, my interactions informs my heart; and strengthens my spirit and reminds me of the simplicity focus collaboration, and creativity it takes to support our lives. What is marvelous is one isn’t asking the other to do something—anything—in particular. Each is doing their own part, focused on their work and the flight ahead…and perhaps the return to the nest…that often weighs as much as 4 tons, where the newborn Osprey wait for the catch of the morning. The stillness, the catch, the building of the nest—the tending and nurturing the beings who will enter the future. The powerful sound of connection. My soul is filled with these moments—what regenerates my spirit? What do I want to build to express, to experience…If I don’t have it, if I don’t have a plan to make contact? Perhaps I can collaborate. Perhaps I could touch...

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12 July
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Seeds
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Word seeds(harvest)

The Hopi people say everyone has always wanted to love a seed. I have found nothing more satisfying than that tender push upward of new life. In the spring I notice these cycles, and pose to my heart some queries. How am I aware of the new seeds pushing outward? What are the seeds I am planting in my thoughts, my gestures? How am I experiencing the world? How is my atmosphere experiencing me? What am I thinking, saying, feeling? It's of importance to Nature what we are giving and what's being given...

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01 June
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Home
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Home

Tonight I found a snail on the pavement and picked him up.  It took some effort. He had been nearly crushed and his shell lay next to him in pieces – most of it scattered somewhere I couldn't see, and I felt this heart break as I thought, 'there is nothing more important than doing the right thing by him.' This relative who is sensitive to the environment, so sensitive in fact he will only live in an environment that can support life. I thought nothing but 'find some green leaves' and wondered as I saw his silver trail, 'what's the right thing to do?' I decided earth burial and placed him under the hawthorn tree...

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18 May
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What will I harbor now?

[embed width="600"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0XBXJjoXJ4[/embed] What is a harbor A safe harbor, a place where you can relax as you never have before. A place where words mean something where speaking makes a bridge, a way for us to reach one another.  Angeles used to say sometimes we need to over communicate in order to create a field of safety.  There are a number of ways we can contribute to our own and others' safety. She also stated that too much spaciousness and not enough spaciousness create fields of unsafety...

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09 February
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"Two geese at peace," featured image for "Let the Rains Come" by Char Sundust
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Let the Rains Come

Today the rain came down like seeds - on the houseboat - tiny seeds breaking open over the lake, the trees. The kestrel making his morning motions overhead. breaking over black crows, cormorants and mergansers. Families of wood ducks & the steady stream of cars - The purifying, cleansing rain cool - sweet water - filling the house with delicious sound.  I love this symphonic morning I was wondering if that's why so many people love this final resting place before the next world of Canada. I wonder if we yearn for the rain, the pure tenderness, the wonder and dangers of what it means to be cleansed. Being cleansed is always a relief - it takes time and care - a force of attention and consciousness - respect.  It's important we clear away whatever we no longer need to become refreshed and clean to clean it up in order to clear a way and remember what we, and how come we, are letting go.  What does it mean to clear it up - to allow those drops of rain to carry away the hurts and haunts of the heart and spirit? It means we reflect, we become aware of our own participation in what hurts or undermines us We reflect on our behavior and what we can do differently in the future. And then we wash the rest away.  We allow that Power so much greater than ourselves to give us back to ourselves.  refreshment regeneration - happens in contemplation   Not so much in "where have I let others down?" (Although that's a part of it) But "Where have I let myself down? (Self abandonment) which ends up catching. And the need for amends multiplies the more we set aside our own needs...

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26 January
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Stay Together - picture by Char Sundust
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Stay Together

Stay Together  I love this line.  I was recently in New Hampshire giving a talk on Spirit in medicine. Different aspects of the soul and their expressions and different ways we can return the soul to medicine, medicine to the soul.  One way we can do this is to stay together, to speak to listen to maintain curiosity - I love his "one word" in this poem:  Stay together Learn the flowers Go light  How do we tend to the good of all? To our togetherness? As healers and visionaries many of us see beyond what is said, feel beyond what is shown, and know beyond what is consciously known.  There is a wisdom of the soul and the heart The heart being the center as the soul surrounds. The best way to bring our medicine into the world is to get ourselves together - the soul, the heart, the mind - and to build a relationship between the 3 that is caring, responsible compassionate, creative and joyful.  My unity within me, my caring for my own congruency is what I reflect into the world.  As Gary Snyder says, "How then can we meet there in peace?" within ourselves and at the table where there are many different views, beliefs, perspectives and pick up our glasses and toast to one another To our lives our families, To the world?  What do I want to celebrate. Where or with whom do I have unspoken gratitude? How can I remedy that...

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18 November
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The little one in the caves at Cougnac...
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Underneath Everything….

How we follow the symbols How we make the symbols. We have always made them.   I have just returned from a journey with Patrick O'Neill, on pilgrimage to the sacred sites in France with a group of friends and colleagues.   We were taken on the most breathtaking journeys. To Lisieux, to Madeleine, to Sarlat. These places where people made life. Where they made home / ceremony / children / friends / a life for themselves and their community Mairie, our guide introduced us to these sacred places with such tenderness and wonder That we were transformed by each encounter as a community, as individuals, captivated in a journey of what is ancient, sacred and truly lasting With one another, with the mystery and the immense generosity of the people, the land, the harvest season. To see as we did at Cougnac Caves the tiny bat clinging to a slender crystalline stalactite was a befriending of what lives under the surface. I wonder what treasures, images and symbols are underneath the surface for each of us. My father always told me to follow the symbols 🌊 🌊 🌊 🌊 🌊   These images at Cougnac were of the ibex, the woolly mammoth, the deer / stag and some were clearly human. Moving, striking images-that many thousands of people arrive to see and experience each year. These symbols, this place of remembering and perhaps, if we are fortunate enough, if we feel and heed the guidance of the symbols then maybe the gifts, callings, wisdom and awareness of what is ancient of what is just under the surface can be acknowledged, recognized and put to work. By put to work - it's as though I walk now with the stag, the mammoth, the ibex I walk in the sacred signs of my own humanity and in them I have access to the original instructions of what it means to be human.   To walk with them is an honor a gift, to continue to listen to their teachings is what the images are for. It was written thousands of years ago...

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14 October
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Leanna & Char Making Medicine
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Making and Taking Medicine

What is my medicine?  We are always making medicine. Our words our thoughts and our actions. Angeles Arrien used to say, "I can be in the description or I can be in the prescription." Where am I? What kind of medicine am I making? Would I want to take my medicine? The words and actions and thoughts that I'm putting into the world?  One of my favorite prescriptions is a gratitude practice. There's almost nothing that cannot be shifted in some way by gratitude. It's a simple, and complicated, thing. And that we must slow down, pause and maybe see that everything is OK after all. What am I grateful for? What needs tending or mending? It's not an all or nothing world. Different things go well while I'm learning other things. Sometimes we learn Gracefully. Sometimes not. But it's all part of this fantastic journey that we all share - how could we bring our medicine, our prescription, to our own lives, to our relationships, And to our communities?  Here's to a wonderful harvest time filled with being in the prescription instead of the description...

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29 September
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