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.

Standing Rock: This is Not a Rehearsal

I knew of the DAPL desecration of ancient graves and brutal attacks on unarmed water protectors; the ramped-up arrests by the Morton County sheriff’s officers; the lies being spread through the local media about the resistance to the pipeline. I knew of the paramilitary equipment that was showing up against the front-line water protectors’ actions. But nothing could have prepared me for the shock of seeing the steady parade of law-enforcement vehicles on Rt. 1806 past the camp, or the surveillance helicopters and planes that circled many times each day. It was clear: this camp was at the border of a conflict zone; a psy-ops campaign was underway to wear the people down.

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.

A Life to Change Lives: Matthew Fox’s Confessions

I first heard of the radical theologian Matthew Fox when I was in college…at the time, he was the visionary founder of the Institute of Culture and Creation Spirtuality in Chicago, shaking up the Catholic theological world with his teachings of joy, embodied-ness, ecology, activism and contemplation in prayer. I remember feeling intrigued, attracted to a Christian theology that honored creation as sacred…I didn’t know then that Dr. Fox’s work would eventually be the key to a new direction in my life.

“Joyous Repentance” by David Sparenberg

As we sink deeper into darkness approaching winter solstice, poet-playwright, actor, director & author David Sparenberg offers this breathtaking video “inviting all Sufis, Gypsies, poets, alchemists, mystics and lovers to come and have a look. This is an alternative to violence video, to the cult and culture…”

Taking the Risk of Sharing Our Stories

Four years ago, in the midst of studies towards my Master’s degree, I birthed the precursor of this blog on the free WordPress platform. What a journey has taken place between that time and this!

At the beginning, I had no idea of where the journey would take me. I only knew that I was waking up to the reality – not just the single, catechism-shattering experience that I’d had in childhood,  but the everyday, sublime-and-mundane Reality —  that we exist in a conscious cosmos.

And along with that awakening came the calling to, somehow, integrate and share both that experience and that Reality.

The Divinity of the Speck

A few months ago, in a storm of grief over the way the world is going, I wrote to author/teacher/medicine woman Deena Metzger, “Knowing what you know, being sensitive to all you perceive, how do you not despair?” I have written previously in this blog of that question, and her answer – “Because I know that Spirit exists and that some of us are being guided and so we are doing what we are called to do and that has to be sufficient.  And because — I don’t want God to despair too.” – and the download of insights that resulted.

A Christ for the Spiritual but Not Religious?

This may come as a shock to those of you who know me – an Earth-based spiritual edgewalker who’s clenched her teeth, swearing silently “I will not bolt, I will not bolt” when she hears a minister edging too close to standard-issue Christian doctrine, and who shies away from enmeshing dogmatic constructs like poison ivy.

If the Cosmos is Conscious – Then What?

As I’m working ferociously on the final report of an Independent Study toward my Master’s, on bridging from a mechanistic to a mystical cosmology, a friend sent me this snippet of a lecture by Rupert Sheldrake on the consciousness of matter.

After viewing it, I invite you to share your thoughts in the Comments –

If Sheldrake’s view is correct, and the cosmos is analogous to a vast, living and conscious being, in which galaxies, planets, ecosytems, and organisms from whales to bacteria – all self-organizing systems – are conscious components (the viewpoint held through shamanic, ancient and medieval times up to the rationalist revolution of Descartes) – what is your role within this system?

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