mutual care | locating needs

Grateful for the collective imagination and wisdom of Sangha!

Last Sunday, our contemplation on Mutual Care inspired new queries to support us in identifying our current needs along with practices for honoring those needs.

How do we assess when our needs are being met — by asking what fuels, inspires and restores our body, heart, mind and spirit?

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mutual care | honoring needs

This Sunday, Sangha will open our season of contemplation and discernment with an inquiry into Mutual Care — with a specific focus on how we collectively respond to the new and/or changing accessibility needs of fellow practitioners.

Some of the queries that will guide our discernment:

  • What is our capacity for honoring our needs and the needs of others in ways that are equitable, creative, sustainable and reduce harm?

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  • What does this look like in our intimate relationships?
    Our shared sacred spaces?
    Our community?

  • What factors/conditions create barriers to our skillful understanding and skillful action?

  • What factors/conditions support our ability to dissolve barriers and build bridges of possibility that deepen our skillful understanding and skillful action?

Read here about Mutual Care related to accessibility practices: Sharing Sacred Space.

 

reclaiming rest

Naps on naps on naps! In this season of soul-tending, I’ve been relishing a slower pace and a quieter schedule where I can rest in the mundane. A key part in spinning down from the fullness of activities in previous months has been to recognize and accept that everyday doesn’t have to be purposeful or productive!

Discovering the nap ministry during this period of reclaiming rest was a clear co-sign from Spirit to reset the tempo of my days.

Even if I don’t actually close my eyes, I’m enjoying the horizontal repose as often as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

embodying radical self-expression


i am fierce, flawed,
fragile, fear-facing
and, above all, free.

a decolonized mind,
tearing down false refuges + unhooking from the iron yoke of twisted mores that decree how to love, learn, worship, succeed.

a liberated soul,
living into the sacred —
on spirit’s clock, wisdom’s rhythm + body’s intuition.

a rebel heart,
pumping joy through blue veins,
blood rich with resistance.

i am a miracle of my ancestors.

my breath is their legacy,
a continuation of their resilience,
a commitment to brave on
in any + every way
i magic.

embodying resilience

i am lungs springing back oxgenated, fueled and aflamed to burn off toxins and tensions.

the softening fist, fingers extending in a mudra of receptivity.

emerging grace, wobbly-kneed and raw-skinned soles finding its footing, rebounding from stumbles, rising from falls.

the heart willing (sometimes wavering), nevertheless ready to face the tenderness of being alive.

embodying resistance

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i am an open heart —
strong, free, full and clear as the bell itself.

i am soft-flexed knees,
gravity centered and recaliberated,
surfboard-steady and supple
to ride the waves of challenge and change.

turning away from that which seeks
to diminish, defeat or undo me —
i protect my borders,
restore breaches,
preserve the sanctity of
wisdom well earned
and compassion long cultivated.

turning toward that which fuels and fortifies me,
i am a commitment to liberation —
transmuting hurts,
cutting through artifice,
toppling the false idols of oppression,
and living (w)holy unperturbed
in the unalterable truth of my divinity.

 

more contemplations:

embodying refuge
refuge, resistance, resilience + radical self-expression

 

 

 

practice cancelled

Holy-Ice Storm, friends!

Sangha is cancelled due to this stunningly bizarre weather. With the news reporting that the road conditions are sketchy (and my car being completely covered in ice to the point where the doors are frozen shut), it just doesn’t make sense for us to take any risks.

May you find moments of quiet contemplation and refuge today within the safety of your homes.

Hope to see you next week!

embodying refuge

i am a dwelling place of spirit, hope, healing and possibility.

a resting place for doubt, grief, fear, uncertainty, worry, frustration, disappointment and anger to be aired out with breath and tender patience.

an abiding of body, heart and mind in joy, equanimity, compassion, transformative love and freedom.

a sacred space.

refuge, resistance, resilience + radical self-expression

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“The Sangha is an island of peace. The Sangha is a community of resistance against violence, hate and despair.” 

— Thich Nhat Hanh

These words of my root teacher Thây live at the core of our sangha’s suchness. They have shaped our evolution into a community of spiritual friends who find sanctuary in journeying together through challenge and change; being stretched and sharpened by wisdom teachings, shared insights and loving (re)assurances; shedding skin, healing, transforming, blooming wholy into our radiant bodhisattva-ness!

We are called together to revive, reclaim and fortify ourselves with liberating contemplative spiritual practices. We take refuge in the full embrace of sangha to “remember to remember” that we have all we need — breath, willingness, enough time, connection to wise companions with gifts, skills and rich life experiences — to (re)connect with our true selves and nourish our wholeness.

“Retreating” from the madness of the world around us is not a viable option for everyone. For me, access to organized retreats set in bucolic off-the-grid environs invites us to interrogate spiritual elitism and the socioeconomic realities and other disparities and inequities among practitioners in all spiritual traditions. It points us back to the question of how we practice and cultivate justice, liberation and healing as people of faith and wonder.

So we take refuge in “the wisdom of no escape” each time we come back to ourselves wherever we are in a given moment, when conditions are not optimal, when our lives aren’t set up for leaving.

Each time we spring back from our worst moments, we strengthen our resilience, self-trust and capacity to resist being swept away by the toxicity of systemic degradation, violence and oppression that spreads like contagion.

It is my deepest hope and prayer that we know the freedom of trusting ourselves, of embodying the spirit of refuge that feeds our radical being-ness.

Who are we when we cultivate and embody refuge?

Who are we when we cultivate and embody resistance?

Who are we when we cultivate and embody resilience?

Who are we when we cultivate, embody and celebrate radical self-expression?

new moon meditation | lunar wisdom

This world has tried to convince us to mark our days by the standards of industry, technology, and empire — productivity, performance and pursuit — and to measure and define our lives by the tempo of striving.

Yet the rhythms thrumming in our veins remind us that we are guided by forces more powerful than the promptings of a civil calendar.

Those drawn toward the earth will feel the pull of nature in the change of seasons, calling us to burrow, germinate, root, sprout, blossom, harvest, release what has gone to seed, compost…then (re)cycle through this organic unfolding again and again.

Those drawn toward the sky will feel “the full and change of the moon” summoning us to align with its peaks and plummets in order to discern from its energetic flow when to build, create, amplify, illuminate, pause, contemplate, rest, release, dismantle, renovate.

Whether we are drawn to one source or both, the call is the same:

  • Cease striving!
  • Release yourself from the matrix of scarcity that tells you there isn’t enough, that you don’t do enough, that you don’t have enough, that you are not enough!
  • Rest in the rhythm of Spirit!
  • Replenish your energy by relishing in experiences that delight you!
  • Nurture and trust your intuition!
  • Know that there is an optimal order, timing and season for all things!

I was blessed to be introduced to the we’moon calendar almost 16 years ago and have found freedom in reclaiming my connection to moon wisdom.

I’ve learned to attune my teaching and practice schedules with the seasons, encouraging those who study/practice with me to do the same.

Listening deeply to these guiding rhythms has helped me live a life more sacred.