Scurrious Minimus

Scurrious Minimus

“Sciureus minimus”. Listen to it for a couple of seconds. One. Two. It sounds like “scurry-ous minimus” doesn’t it? It ‘s my own combo of the scientific name for a chipmunk (sciureus) and the specific species of tiny, adorable, toylike characters that run and bounce along our front porch (lesser chipmunks). I don’t know about you, but I have this inbred need to be doing-doing-doing so much within only a few square inches of time- perhaps “Protestant work ethic” is a good term for it. I wake up, scurrying to get things done, which feels like a good thing, but then feel spiritually bereft to continue on, which doesn’t feel like a good thing, and then guilt sets in which really doesn’t feel like a good thing! See, even the words here feel like scurry-ous minimus! So I slow down and think the better question is, what does experiencing meaning look like? How can I craft each segment of my day from “scurry-ous minimus” into “meaningous maximus”? Then I take a deep breath, take off my ears and tail, and slow . . . down . . . .

(beautiful artwork by Natalie Wargin)

Slow Food for Thought

 

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(beautiful art by Loren Webster)

 

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

– John O’Donohue

“Slow time” is a pair of words I like to linger within, when I can remember to slow down long enough to do so. It reminds me of a Japanese phrase- “mono no aware”- the heightened, yet transient ahh-ness of things. What comes to mind right away when I think about this are lifecycle moments: a peony at its peak, ready to drip its plethora of petals, a moist forest carpeted with the plums and browns of decaying leaves just before the snows come in, or a young fawn on spindly legs still speckled with the soft signs of just being born. I remember having just discovered the term “mono no aware” on a hot summer day in Palm Springs, California. Looking up at the sky for the first time with this new awareness gave me such a fresh perspective. It brought me immediately into a place of gladness, presence, and the present. How long would the sky remain that shade of blue? When would that cloud formation change into a new form? I didn’t know, but in that moment, I granted myself the time to appreciate every second before me- each tinge of perfection and change in its own current and unique state. I had somehow entered into “slow time”.

Writing in Response to Our Times- Event

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Writing in Response to Our Times

with Sarah Zale and Gina Marie Mammano

May 20, 1-4 pm

Cost: $60. 

Has the aftermath of the election affected you personally? Are you feeling the need to wrestle and rumble with your thoughts and emotions—as well as connect with others in reflective and transformative ways? In this writing workshop, you will explore your stories and feelings with two facilitators from eclectic backgrounds: poetry, Compassionate Listening ®, social justice theatre, meditation, and spiritual leadership. Participants will be invited to share their writing on a voluntary basis in a supportive environment; no experience is necessary. All writing styles welcome. 

 

Gina Marie Mammano: Inspired by the ancient spiritual practices of lectio divina and walking meditation, Gina’s book Camino Divina: Walking the Divine Way helps readers explore whole new worlds inside themselves. Gina is an award winning poet whose work has been published in journals and magazines such as the Dos Passos Review, Poetica, Pilgrimage Journal, Bearings, and Crucible. Her training as a spiritual director, work as a retreat leader, and experiences gleaned from the Opening the Book of Nature program have allowed her the ability to create interactive and intuitive listening exercises both in the interior and exterior landscapes.

 

Sarah Zale teaches poetry and writing, social justice, and intercultural competence in Seattle. A certified facilitator of Compassionate Listening ® and facilitator of Theatre of the Oppressed and Playback, she brings the skills of deep listening and interactive theatre to her students. Sarah is a passionate believer in the power of poetry and the arts to transform and heal ourselves and the world. She has published two collections of poetry: The Art of Folding (2010), which was inspired by her travels to Israel and Palestine, and Sometimes You Do Things (2013, Aquarius Press, Living Detroit Series) which highlights the history of Detroit and celebrates its rebuilding.

Sign up here!

http://writersworkshoppe.com/workshops/intensives

“Dare to love yourself”

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During the “Spring Soul Bath” I co-lead recently, I read this haiku by Aberjhani: “Dare to love yourself/ as if you were a rainbow/ with gold at both ends.” We had just bathed ourselves with the resonance of Tibetan bowls and the sun-yellow images of forsythia and daffodils, when the words of this profound truth struck the group following the striking of the tingshaw bells. What does it look like to be a rainbow with gold at both ends? What do you look like spun with color and light, a bow of promise in the world, holding a bucket of brightness and value in both of your hands? What would it look like if you loved yourself this way whenever the light struck the prism of your awareness?

“My soul and the great World are one.”

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The wishes of the soul are springing,
The deeds of the will are thriving,
The fruits of life are maturing.

I feel my fate,
My fate finds me.
I feel my star,
My star finds me.
I feel my goals in life,
My goals in life are finding me.

My soul and the great World are one.

Life grows more radiant about me,
Life grows more arduous for me,
Grows more abundant within me.

-Rudolf Steiner

I lead a group of teachers a few weeks ago through a Camino Divina exercise in a lush, wet landscape at the Whidbey Institute. The air was thick with rain. When I asked pairs of folks to share with one another a line that struck them during a thrice-fold reading of the quote above, so many chose the lines “I feel my fate, My fate finds me.” Myself included. Growing up, I imagined Fate a large obsidian presence, towering over me- a block of sharp, dark importance that I couldn’t see my way through or around to get past it. Many of us realized during our conversations and our walk in the woods that day that fate may be more of a calling, a pulling towards a deep-born longing of contribution to the world, a Friend. When Fate and I find each other, though, I think I’ll ask her to trade in her “e” for an “I” and a “t”, and I’ll call her “Faith” instead. That way, when I meet her on the trail, that large obsidian presence will be formed- instead, of light.

(beautiful artwork by Andy Kehoe)

Spring Soul Bath- offering

Camino Divina

labyrinth-ginaMARCH 25TH 1-4 PM

With Karen Calhoun and Gina Marie Mammano

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Join Energy and Sound Healing Therapy Practitioner Karen Calhoun and Poet, Author, and Spiritual Director Gina Marie Mammano for an afternoon of soul bathing in the waters of soothing sounds, guided poetic meditation, haiku, and submersion into the rich hues of the art of creating the finger labyrinth. It is an opportunity to pull away from the tumult of daily life and the stresses of our current age and spend a few hours in a sauna of self care as we move into the earth’s renewal into spring.

Registration limited to 25 people.

The Afternoon Includes:
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Hand pan and singing bowl sound bath
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Poetic guided meditation

Creating a finger labyrinth
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Crafting a spring solace haiku
Cost: $30
Materials Fee: $10
LOCATION:

LANGLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH FELLOWSHIP HALL 301 Anthes Ave, Langley, WA…

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Brigid’s Day

Today is Brigid’s Day. The patron saint of poets, healers, and fugitives. And tomorrow is Brigid’s Day. Celtic goddess of the flame and of the well. Tell me, friends, how will you keep your fire stoked today? How will you keep your well filled with life?

“And the day has its feet to it that will see me coming
into the hearts of men and women like a flame upon dry grass,
like a flame of wind in a great wood…” – Fiona MacLeod

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