2 trees wandering

A person of the crossroads making notes while tracking patterns in relationships within the Web of Life and its Mystery

Thursday, June 29, 2006


In many indigenous wisdom traditions (including European, Native American, African and Pacific Islands) there is an intimate relationship with the natural world as an expression of the Divine Mystery. The plants and animals offer both teachings and nourishment to the relationship with humans. Most of my elders and teachers were constantly reminding me that I am a detail of a larger landscape inhabited by all living things which includes mountains and oceans as well as the unseen world.

My experience does not include any knowledge of China or Japan but I recently came across this quote from a book of Chinese Fairy Tales that points back relational thinking and living.

“Heaven and earth and the ten thousand things in between are born as one with us, alike in kind to us. There is no high and low among the kinds. It is merely that one kind dominates another by virtue of size or strength or wit. And so one devours the other and is devoured in turn. But heaven did not create things for each other. Man eats whatever he can, but did heaven breed what man eats specifically for man? The mosquito and the gnat bite man’s skin, the tiger and the wolf feed on flesh. Has heaven created man for the mosquito, or flesh for the tiger and the wolf?” _"Chinese Fairy Tales & Fantasies" translated and edited by Moss Roberts

Friday, June 23, 2006

Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice has passed and this year as I open myself to the energy of the season I am filled with an aching awareness of the return of the dark. It is almost counterintuitive on the longest day of the year to focus our energy on darkness and yet at this time we benefit the most from the bounty of the great, deep, dark, fecund Mother the Earth and the promise of deeper mysteries as the darkness makes itself felt as the days shorten.

So the Season of Unmaking begins and we nourish ourselves from the three harvests (August 1st, Equinox and October 31st) and prepare for the long nights. The time between now and First Harvest is filled with the One Breath made manifest and it is a good time for us to use our breath and our choice to be the reality we want to see.

This solstice calls more than any other for us to step up as individual souls to our place in the Web of Life and to ask ourselves if we are opening to ourselves as multidimensional beings and practicing the continual expansion of our awareness. I wonder how you are answering these questions and finding ways to practice.

Do you feel there is a purpose for your life but find it hard to understand?

Do you have a spiritual path/ practice and find it difficult to bring it to your daily life and work?

Does busy-ness take priority over nurturing relationships with people and nature?

Thursday, June 22, 2006



With our ability to receive information about world catastrophes and possible

pandemics, it is increasingly important for us to be aware, understand and know what

service means in our time. There is an immense amount of attention put on the resources

that are needed in times of crises and the fundraising that is necessary to make those

resources available. It is also necessary to raise awareness so that our help is built on

compassion and relationship rather than fear.

Service is connected to awareness because true service is our self serving the whole. Raising awareness reminds us that our service is to the larger landscape and as a detail of that landscape it’s also necessary to maintain the health and wholeness of our selves. Service isn’t about being a whole and healthy healer before healing anyone else, It’s being aware that if one piece of the whole isn’t whole and healthy, then there’s illness in the whole, and service is to the whole.

There are these two amazing figure eights, and one is about being the detail of the landscape and being whole; otherwise there’s an illness in the landscape. And the other one is understanding that each of us came here to fulfill a unique need, to do our work and fulfill our unique self and the Whole.

The Earth is a medicine bundle, and in it is everything that the beings on the earth need to live a whole and healthy life. Each one of us is one of those medicines. So we’re like a plant, and aiming to understand ourselves in that way keeps us from falling into arrogance. It’s the uniqueness of a particular weed or a particular plant that feeds a certain insect that allows a certain reptile or other insect to survive. If it does something else it’s interrupting the circle of those relationships, and that’s where our uniqueness resides, in this work that we have to do in the world. What is the medicine we bring into the world?

Service is breath rather than something heroic or the better path. It’s a natural activity of being and it’s essential for the Earth and humans on it to survive,. In the unraveling of our understanding of service, we begin to remember and re-weave ourselves in our natural state and place in the Web of Life.

Two leggeds, humans are gifted with a developed sentience that includes awareness of self and context and the ability to choose. Unlike our relatives, the ants and the animals and plants we think of ourselves and think about our place in life and choose how we will be. Our sentience has so developed, it’s very difficult to train that sentience back into correct proportion to who and what we are on the planet and to our being as well as thinking and doing. It is very difficult to train that sentience which has developed as I centered back to the relational thinking of the Web of Life that is we centered. And so at each opportunity to retrain that sentience to both the larger picture and the smaller uniqueness, we have space for the moment, for remembering and remaining aware that you are choosing and that you can choose differently at every breath. And that’s a retraining of sentience so we can remember our moments of choice.

You train your sentience to expand that moment rather than trying to set a heroic standard, which puffs up the idea of service, too. Every choice has the possibility to assist us in re-training our sentience if we expand our awareness of the choices we are making. Now is the moment. When we’re standing like this, when we’re sitting like this, when we do this it’s a time to remember our place in the world.

Plants, animals, insects aren’t laying on the couch wondering where am I and how do I fit. They were doing their work. So how do we train ourselves so that kind of effortlessness comes to us on our breath, and that we can help each other do that?

In this place, service is a natural state of being. Just as we can make breath become an act of awareness, we breathe to become aware. We become aware to appropriately serve.

Extending the Breath

This is the first time I am using technology to share what normally travels on my breath. It seems that we are offered a new means of extending our human relationships and perhaps extending the Web of Life into the invisible realm of the internet. This creates a multliple of implications that start for me with the idea of the breath infusing what comes out of my hands and onto the blog.

Am I breathing life and hope into the words I type and share across the world. How the the basic breath meditation help us aspire to an intensely practical and deeply spiritual life while connecting to other like minds through cyber space?

Can this become an extension of spiritual breath practices from mulitple traditions that can help to align the intellect with the spirit and the One Breath that connects all life?