I got up early this morning, anxious about all the work that needs to be done today, the many responsibilities that go into earning my living. I nearly skipped my morning reading—but I picked up a short article from the American Indian Quarterly titled “People of the Corn,” thinking that it would be a connection to the Samhain spirituality Meg Llewellyn described yesterday, and that I could skim through it quickly. That quick skim lingered with me as I began my work today, and now I find it’s opened up inside me with a challenge for my day.
For our Celtic ancestors, these last days of October and the first days of November were a holy time. For the ancient Celts, time’s cycle was truly a sacrament, a way to experience the sacred. Day and night, sun and moon, and the four seasons all carried profound spiritual messages.
Many years ago, the morning I said good-bye to my first husband, alone in my quiet house, I resolved I would no longer choke back my own voice. I made up my mind to become a different person. I didn’t know how to go about doing that, but I knew that before I could transform myself into something new, I needed to wake up all the way.
Many believe that we go to a heaven or hell after we die. Heaven is viewed by many as a place of effortless repose. Hell is viewed as a place of effort and torment. What if our situation right now is that we have already died, that this reality right here, right now is heaven and hell? Swedenborg indicates such. In his visits to the afterlife, he found that many folk did not know they had died and kept themselves in their old familiar state of semi-darkness or gloom though they had the opportunity to expand into the Light.
A few years back, I penned a blog on the spirituality of Facebook. At the time I believed that peoples’ posts represented their recognition that everyday events matter and that God is present in our day to day adventures. I affirmed that Facebook could be an opportunity to deepen our spiritual lives if we saw it as a way of making each day a holy adventure and every encounter an opportunity for blessing.
We chose the word “anamchara” for the name of our company because it means “soul friend”—and we believe that the word “friendship” is essential to our mission: “to build bridges between spiritual perspectives and religious traditions; between the wisdom of the past and the demands of modern life; between ourselves and the Earth; and between ourselves and the Divine.” The connection between friendship and “bridges” is hopefully obvious. Included in that is the sense that friendship does not judge; it is accessible and accepting; it has a “Beginner’s Mind” that is willing to let go of old paradigms and learn new things from others.
Dragons have lived within the human imagination for thousands of years. Whether wise and wonderful, or monstrous and evil, these creatures are a part of us. In one way or another, we all dream of dragons.
It’s a perfect day for mountain biking: not too hot but not yet winter here in Northern Arizona. The red-brown trunks and grey-green needles of Ponderosa pines fly past me as I steer my bike along the trail. All I hear is the swish of knobby tires on the earth . . . the wind’s rustle through the pine needles . . . occasionally a raven’s call.
People from four countries made their way to a Michaelmas Retreat on Borderland Spirituality at our Retreat House on UK’s Holy Island of Lindisfarne. By some divine synchronicity this coincided with my imminent move to a new house at Berwick Upon Tweed which is on the border between England and Scotland.