"Just as when the waves lash at the shore, the rocks suffer no damage but are sculpted and eroded into beautiful shapes, so our characters can be molded and our rough edges worn smooth by changes. Through weathering changes we can learn how to develop a gentle but unshakable composure. Our confidence in ourselves grows, and becomes so much greater that goodness and compassion begin naturally to radiate out from us and bring joy to others. That goodness is what survives death, a fundamental goodness that is in every one of us. The whole of our life is a teaching of how to uncover that strong goodness, and a training toward realizing it."
Sogyal Rinpoche - “The Tibetan Book of the Living and the Dying”
Where have I been!!!?
Ok, let’s see… I know I have promised a post about this, so let’s start with Tea. In the Fall of 2011, Tea Master Wu De happened to come from Taiwan to LA for the first time, he served me a bowl of living Tea that without a doubt, forever change my life. In that bowl, there I was and everything was in it. Presence, spirit, love, beauty, truth, sadness, strength, kindness, compassion, joy, warmth, life, death, space, movement, and stillness. The spirit of nature itself manifested through this Leaf, awaken by hot water, and served up by this tea monk to nourish me. That night, I took home a bowl, some leaves, and a genuine desire to explore further. Per Wu De’s suggestion, I woke up every morning and set aside the first moments of my day to drink 3 bowls of Tea in silence. Previous to this, I had always fantasized about having a disciplined meditation practice, but wasn’t quite sure what that looked like to me. It can be quite challenging to wrap your head around getting out of bed in the morning to sit up in silence for an hour observing your breath, and the ego can come up with a million and one justifications as to why you shouldn’t. But with this practice, it is different. Every morning, I hear the Leaf calling me to wake up and sit with her. Every morning I find space, stillness, and magic. Every morning she is completely different, yet so familiar. As time goes on like this, I find myself carving out more and more time every day to sit in peace and silence, meditating with this plant.
I recently went further down the “tea bowl” and accompanied Wu De back to Taiwan to visit the Tea Sage Hut center in Miao Li. My trip was full of rich interactions with present, loving individuals. We bonded over deep silence, yummy meals, incredible teas, and bounds of laughter! In every nook and cranny I found ways to deepen my connection to Self, peeling back more and more layers of my own “onion”. It was such a heart warming experience of surrendering into the receiving flow. In terms of Tea, there is so much information there, some spoken, but mainly in the experience of drinking living Teas that are brewed in ways that allow them to shine their brightest!
It has been almost 2 years now and I have since sat many tea ceremonies, more served by Wu De and also many served by my dearest friends, who as well have been profoundly impacted by this tea tradition. Every ceremony is completely unique unto itself and deeply moving. I have danced, cried, laughed hysterically, and travelled through time and space. I now have the humble honor of serving and have watched others find in their bowls the same magic that continues to inspire me. Tea meets us exactly where we are and gives exactly what is needed. She shows us a doorway, opens it, but gives one the choice to stand wherever feels comfortable.
If you would like to learn more about drinking Tea in this way, the community, and even help support, there is a beautiful way to participate! The Tea Sage Hut center, which is completely free, does an amazing project called “Global Tea Hut”. It is basically a tea of the month club! You sign up with a monthly donation and every month in the mail you receive a different living Tea, a newsletter, and a gift. All the donations go toward helping the center run. I highly recommend it!
Wu De also has written a few amazing books of which I quote often… The Way of Tea is a great introductory into the long life and presence Tea has had in shaping our culture over thousands of years.
Happy Full Moon!
Sending you all love and light,
"Drop into the heart. Inhale love, exhale limitations.
On the Solstice VISUALIZE our beautiful planet glowing with white light. See the collective consciousness glowing, growing, elevating to heal the planet. SEE circular rainbows circling our planet as all the colors burst forth from the prism of the light we are emanating.
WE can do it! We are energy! With the power of our vibrations united and our visualizations we can bring this vision to life. Let’s do this beautiful sisters of love, brothers of the light! I know you are feeling me on this. No more smallness. You are powerful beyond belief! Don’t doubt your Self! Awaken, embrace, connect with the Earth.
For our planet, for our childrens’s future!!! Let’s herald in this era with a new vision of peace.
Let’s be the warriors bringers of light! Let’s commit to peaceful action, peaceful thoughts, peaceful visions.
"It is in us that God meets with Nature, and yesterday parts from to-morrow. The Present is the moving Infinity, the legitimate sphere of the Relative. Relativity seeks Adjustment; Adjustment is an Art. The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings."
We are coming into the last few months of this year, which seems to have been all about burning up the self that no longer serves purpose in our life. We are being forced down into the darkness of our shadows to discover the remaining “masks” which still lie waiting.
It was a big weekend with the beautiful Harvest Moon shining down her radiant light, so I pulled a medicine card yesterday with the intention of sharing it with you all. So fitting that what came up was Owl. Owl is the medicine of deception and wisdom. Between Owl and this past full Moon there is definitely no hiding now.
"Since time immemorial, humanity has been afraid of the night, the dark, and the unseen - waiting fearfully for the first crack of morning light. Conversely, night is Owl’s friend."
“Owl can see that which others cannot, which is the essence of true wisdom. Where others are deceived, Owl sees and knows what is there.”
Owl is saying get comfortable down there! Befriend the darkness. Be still and allow your eyes to adjust, your vision becoming sharp. The deeper you go and the darker it gets, the more keen and aware your observation must become. For those that feel life couldn’t get any worse and are writhing in pain, take a deep breath and relax. Embrace your shadow or you will continue to struggle. There is no deceiving yourself any longer. Where in your life are you still trying to hide, allowing the self-serving ego to make excuses for you? The Ego is very smart and sneaky, so to catch it, one must constantly be awake in observation. The other question could be… Where in your life are you allowing others to deceive you? Either way, Owl is here to help you uncover the total truth.
"Pay attention to signals and omens. The truth always brings further enlightenment."
Quotes from- Animal Medicine Cards Book by Jamie Sams and David Carson
"When we accept our own wild beauty, it is put into perspective, and we are no longer poignantly aware of it anymore, but neither would we forsake it or disclaim it either. Does a wolf know how beautiful she is when she leaps? Does a feline know what beautiful shapes she makes when she sits? Is a bird awed by the sound it hears when it snaps open its wings? Learning from them, we just act in our own true way and do not draw back from or hide our natural beauty. Like the creatures, we just are, and it is right."
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves
I am an invisible child of a thousand faces of love,
That floats over the swirling sea of life,
Surrounded by the meadows of the winged shepherds,
Where divine love and beauty,
The stillness of midnight summer’s warmth pervades.
Life often cuts at my body and mind
And though blood may be seen passing,
And a cry might be heard,
Do not be deceived that sorrow could dwell within my being
Or suffering within my soul.
There will never be a storm
That can wash the path from my feet,
The direction from my heart,
The light from my eyes,
Or the purpose from this life.
I know that I am untouchable to the forces
As long as I have a direction, an aim, a goal:
To serve, to love, and to give.
Strength lies in the magnification of the secret qualities
Of my own personality, my own character
And though I am only a messenger,
I am me.
Let me decorate many hearts
And paint a thousand faces with colors of inspiration
And soft, silent sounds of value.
Let me be like a child,
Run barefoot through the forest
Of laughing and crying people,
Giving flowers of imagination and wonder,
That God gives free.
Shall I fall on bended knees,
And wait for someone to bless me
With happiness and a life of golden dreams?
No, I shall run into the desert of life with my arms open,
Sometimes falling, sometimes stumbling,
But always picking myself up,
A thousand times if necessary,
Often life will burn me,
Often life will caress me tenderly
And many of my days will be haunted
With complications and obstacles,
And there will be moments so beautiful
That my soul will weep in ecstasy.
I shall be a witness,
But never shall I run
Or turn from life, from me.
Never shall I forsake myself
Or the timeless lessons I have taught myself,
Nor shall I let the value
Of divine inspiration and being be lost.
My rainbow-covered bubble will carry me
Further than beyond the horizon’s settings,
Forever to serve, to love, and to live
As a sannyasin.
I have been working with Runes lately and felt called today to pull a Rune to share as an overall theme of the times as of late. Inguz is what popped up into my fingers. In, the Hero God is the Rune of fertility and new beginnings. Here is a little of what it says…
"Drawing this Rune may mark a time of joyful deliverance, of new life, a new path. A Rune of great power, receiving it means that you now have the strength to achieve completion, resolution, from which comes a new beginning."
“As you resolve and clear away the old, you will experience a release from tension and uncertainty.
You may be required to free yourself from a rut, habit or relationship; from some deep cultural or behavioral pattern… The time of birth is always a critical one. Movement can involve danger, and yet movement that is timely leads out of danger.”
-Ralph H. Blum
This seems to hit the nail right on the head! So far this year has been a lot about big life shifts. Shadows that lurk in the corners are coming right up the the surface to be dealt with. If you feel as though you have been walking through the fire, you are not alone! Pay attention to all details of life, even the most subtle. What things are we hanging onto that don’t serve us anymore? What attachments and ideas of ourselves can we let go of, so that there is more space for a deeper understanding of our authentic Selves. How can we create more room for truth, beauty, peace, and above all LOVE? It is a time for death and rebirth…. When things get uncomfortable, just open your arms and say out loud, HOW FASCINATING!! Embrace the fire, it is here as an ally to help you burn up those things you no longer need, so that a new more vibrant and healthy being can be reborn!
Today was the Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse. This eclipse has been all about releasing, whether it be old habits, stories, or illusions we have about ourselves. It is really powerful to set some intentions on specific things you would like to let go of. We held a Goddess ceremony this morning and wrote all our intentions out and then burned them!
Visit Mystic Mamma to find out more information on this Lunar Eclipse!
Photos were taken at our ceremony this morning by my dear sister Mijanou from Mystic Mamma.