“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.."
~ Khalil Gibran
Acceptance of our mortal condition is not easy. We live in a culture in which we think, we hope, we search for remedies and cures for all illnesses.
Our medical system is geared for analysis, diagnosis and solution. Medical practitioners work hard to find a way to avoid death. Too often death becomes a medical emergency, approached with urgency and chaos.
It takes courage to face death head on.
Death is a river we must all cross one day. Although we may circumnavigate it, avoiding...
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much."
~ Helen Keller
Building an end-of-life care community is a challenge for most of us.
Since my husband and I do not have children to lean on in times of difficulty, we have to expand our search for those who can help. We worried that by asking for help we could become a burden upon our younger friends.
To our surprise, all those we asked enthusiastically said yes.
Of course our requests necessitated lots of conversation about our values, life choices and wishes for care. We were required to speak up clearly be...
My favorite book this fall is Morning Altars by Day Schildkret, who introduces a ritual practice to nourish your spirit through the process of creating earth art.
His beautifully illustrated book displays many of earth altars he has created over the years. You will develop a richer relationship with the world around you once you witness his artistry and learn to celebrate the earth.This month we invite you to create an earth altar modeled on Morning Altars.
Learn more about Schildkret’s seven-step process of creating morning altars to celebrate the gifts of the earth...
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
– Lao Tzu
Every year in early October I retreat from my normal activities for 3 days. I do this to honor my mother who was born on October 4 and died on October 6. During my retreat I disconnect from the outside world. I make curry pumpkin soup from scratch. Chopping, simmering, straining, tasting shapes the rhythm of my day. In the early years my retreat time was spent grieving.
Now, seventeen years later, I feel my mother’s love nurture me as I nurture myself.
When you invite your ancestors to engage, you can source from their wisdom and experience. They will reveal themselves in your thoughts and dreams. The exchange becomes a 2-way relationship. You help them on their journey in the world beyond as they help you in this earthly world.
Many cultures throughout the world use ancestor altars for protection and inspiration. A most colorful example of the celebration of ancestors is the Mexican celebration of the Dia de los Muertas or Day of the Dead. On November 1 and 2, families bui...
“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”
– George McDonald
On September 21, the fall equinox, I spent time in the company of friends in ceremony. Good friends and family are important in my life. We relish the time we get to spend together laughing, eating and telling stories.
These are the folks I rely on to help me when I am sick and care for me when I am dying. My husband and I do not have children to lean on in times of difficulty. We must plan, figure out who is best suited for the various jobs, and ask for help.
I welcome the “dog days” of summer as Sirius shines brightly in the night sky. For me, this is a time of rest after a busy summer of teaching. The hot days encourage me to take it easy and reflect on where I have been and where I am going. I push the pause button on my life to take time for myself.
Time is such an interesting concept.
We humans depend on time to measure our lives, regul...
In every spiritual tradition there are prescribed periods of mourning the loss of a beloved. While the specific number of days, appropriate behavior and prescribed rituals vary from culture to culture, the message is the same: there is a time for mourning and there is a time to stop mourning.
We now recognize that grief does not have a specified time line. It comes; it goes and comes again.
The wisdom keepers of this world are masters of shifting subtle energies. They know a multitude of ways to create sacred spaces using nature, light, sound, color, and sacred objects.
It is inspiring to discover that 40,000 years ago we humans honored the animals we hunted by drawing them on the walls of sacred caves (France).
While in 800 CE, the temples of Borobudur (Island of Java) were constructed to symbolize the Buddhist cosmology of three worlds – the world of desire, the world of forms and the world of formlessness. Visitors sense the shifting energies of thes...