Taking Refuge

Along with just about everyone else I know, I have been moving through various stages of depression, anxiety, dread, horror, and grief as I witness the travesty of government, the utter destruction of anything remotely resembling democracy, a social safety net, or environmental protections, indicated by Congress and the evolving cabinet of the soon-to-be-inaugurated dictator-wannabe.

But lately something has happened that – while it hasn’t brought me to singing and dancing, it has allowed me to put my feet more firmly on the ground. take a deep breath, and put myself back together.

Return to Joy – A Book to Challenge the Despair of Our Times

There are powerful books…and then there are books that grasp me by the spiritual lapels and shake me to the bones. Return to Joy by Andrew Harvey and Carolyn Baker, published this year by iUniverse, is one of the latter.

Like almost all of the people I know, I’ve been struggling with grief that’s deepened to despair, watching the relentless befouling of our global biosphere and the implacable destruction of the social safety net here and around the world….the death of the oceans and the looming great sixth extinction…the progress and outcome of the presidential election, and all that has followed….

Navigating a Nightmare in a Connected Cosmos

I’m watching the election returns, seeing my friends’ Facebook feeds registering fear, horror, anger as each new bit of news shows 14963156_10154003827395592_8791516528117946790_nup. Fighting the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, madly tracing Reiki symbols in the air and sending energy, then turning back to the spiraling disaster.

What happened???? Yes, the polls were all over the map, and when I went to Standing Rock the Midwest was a sea of Trump signs….but how could anyone seriously vote for this racist rapist….we all know the epithets he’s earned.

Findhorn: Learning to Listen at the Power Point

IMG_20160421_101315572I could go on and on about the adventures of our group at the Findhorn Foundation‘s Experience Week…our free-time hike to Forres, abetting one young man’s quest to try the quintessentially British diabetic-coma-on-a-plate (a.k.a. deep-fried Mars bar) and then ascending a minor mountain to mug for photos at the base of Nelson’s Tower…wading in the frigid Moray Firth…scrubbing sculleries and washing windows during Love in Action…and serving up a potluck of talent, from Wonderwall to Taize, on our last night…and through it all, through the attunements and trust exercises and service and meditation and clowning, bonding to become a close-knit international family.

Findhorn Nature Outing: Sitting in the Basket of the Trees

By Tuesday of Experience Week, our little group had gained somewhat of a feel for the grounds of Cluny Hill and Findhorn Park. It was time for our focalizers Craig and Pat to introduce us to the wider bioregion. We pIMG_20160419_095436671iled into the shuttle bus and rode past fields of grazing sheep, through glorious birch, holly and spruce forest, to the Findhorn River. We parked at a trailhead above the spectacular crags of Randolph’s Leap … a spot that clairvoyant/metaphysician R. Ogilvie Crombie (“ROC” for short), a guiding light for the growing community, had identified as particularly powerful and watched over by benevolent nature spirits. Here, Craig and Pat invited us to find a spot, settle in, and meditate, consciously reaching out to the awarenesses of the wood.

Findhorn Love In Action:
Reconciling with the “Monster” Within

The second turning point of the Findhorn visit opened a part of me that I had thought unreachable…a part I’d feared for years as a monster intent on destroying my life.

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The dunes at Findhorn Park

There was the rush of arrival and meeting other Experience Week participants …the check-ins, the introductions, getting-acquainted exercises, and talks…and under it all, the looming question: where would we each perform our Love In Action (service periods)?

Findhorn: Ascending the Power Point

“…And over there is the Power Point,” said our co-focalizer Pat, waving her hand toward the forest beyond the Cluny parking lot. Dropping that provocative comment with no further explanation, she went on to point out the laundry, the Boutique, the downstairs 24-hour shower, and other necessities. But that bIMG_20160430_065735943rief mention left me determined: when we had some free time to explore, the Power Point would be destination #1.

It only took a passing mention at dinner to discover that five women in our group had felt equally compelled to see the Power Point. Despite the cold drizzle, we bundled up and sallied out across the parking lot, past the heart-shaped wisteria espalier and under the freestanding arch, with its path leading up the hill.

First Steps to Findhorn: The Mountain Not Conquered

Be careful what you wish for, they say…and after a hectic re-entry following two magical weeks at the Findhorn Foundation eco-village and learning center in northern Scotland, I badly needed time to re-ground, re-center, and integrate all I’d experienced into my life and dreams here in Baltimore. And the solution was effortlessly manifested: a case of acute bronchitis that left me flattened on the sofa with a small pharmacy of meds, and just enough energy to contemplate:

What do I do when everything I say I believe – turns out to be true? When some more of the threads binding my allegiance to a materialist-reductionist, goal-driven construction of the world have snapped, opening perception to a living, conscious, and multi-dimensional cosmos, utterly independent of human agendas? When I have taken steps from the frenetic pace of a human doing toward becoming a human being?

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