Deep Listening

Listening. Deep, still listening. I was reminded in the last few days that energy/prayer/intention is not just about directing heart and mind, it’s also about deep, still listening. As I was contemplating Morro Rock, surrounded by an ocean that was being pretty feisty (high surf advisory), I got the message to quiet down. To just enjoy with no expectation or concern about how to connect. A 25 million year old rock is the epitome of patience and stillness and may have some wisdom if all one’s listening centers were open! If I’m quiet and trust and can remain comfortable in silence, connection happens and the gift of inspiration may be part of that. 

One of my ocean musings/inspirations is that we humans (and maybe all of life) are little pods of Mother Ocean (Mama Cocha in Quecha), brought to this form to walk the solid part of this planet, much of which was once water as well. It’s as though we are ambassadors from the waters to the land. In qigong, one of the things we do when we practice is to visualize and notice flow. Qi/energy flows in our blood, in our bodily fluids. …the water movement of the body is the home of the yuan qi, or “original qi”. Yuan qi is the movement of life in its natural tract, in harmony, and represents an inherent wisdom that makes itself clear in the kind of quiet that you find in a forest’s deep winter, the sound of every snow flake falling clear and steady (Winter Renewal with Mingmen, Gate of Destiny). 

So when you can, sit in stillness and quiet with nature and your own nature and open to the inherent wisdom of the universe. Those of you who know and/or practice the Zhineng Qigong essence mantra, Hun Yuan Ling Tong (HYLT), know that when we move into silence right after chanting, the mind stays quiet for awhile as the vibration of the sound and mantra flow through the body. HYLT means that the true self connects to the Hunyuan Qi of the Universe and thus manifests “wonderful” things, such as self-healing or other good intentions. These “miracles” can be explained by the “Hun Yuan Ling Tong” theory. In a state of “Hun Yuan Ling Tong,” when consciousness is connected with Hunyuan energy and information, things can transform immediately through this information (HunYuanChi Therapy).

Or you can simply connect with the energy of nature, with a flower in your garden, a tree, a frog, an ant, or a 25 million year old grandmother volcanic plug reaching up to the sky from the ocean…take some moments, allow your brain to sink in to the quiet essence of nature, and listen. 

For more on listening…Guru Singh’s Morning Prayer.

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Healing the Womb of the World

It’s been a long time coming, but our next In The Beginning podcast is with Vivienne Verdon-Roe. Vivian is a long time activist, Academy Award winner, and a Wisdom Healing Qigong teacher and healer. She is a gift to all who know her and have experienced her teachings. vivi

From her website: Since getting her life back and so much more, Vivienne’s passion is sharing the great gift of Wisdom Healing Qigong.  She believes the physical healing she has experienced and the inner joy regardless of life’s circumstances are bi-products of the ultimate path of this amazing technology — which is waking up to the fullness and magnificence of what we truly are — beings of infinite possibilities and infinite love, who can co-create with the universe a healthy, caring world that works for everyone.

Enjoy the conversation!

New Podcast series! I’ll be recording a new series of podcasts called Weavers & Healers, 20–30 minute conversations with inspiring teachers and healers who are weaving traditions and lineages into powerful healing modalities for our times. Check out and subscribe to Weavers & Healers here. The first episode (if all goes well) will be published by June 1, 2020. If you would like to be interviewed for this podcast or know of someone you’d like me to step into conversation with, please let me know.


Inner Smile

inner smileThe Inner Smile meditation has its roots in Daoist tradition. It is said it was a secret practice because it’s so powerful…and so simple! Inner smile acts like a homage to this form we have on earth, this beautiful body of ours. It acknowledges the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our organ systems and infuses these amazing forms with love, light, smiles and gratitude. The day I acquired the habit of consciously pronouncing the words thank you, I felt I had gained possession of a magic wand capable of transforming everything. Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

As we practice Inner Smile, we become more and more acquainted with and then intimate with our organs and cells. We can then communicate more effectively when we need their help with healing. They know our voice when we call to them to send white blood cells to fend off an infection, for example. I let my organ systems know when I’m about to plunge into an ice cold mountain lake, that all is well, just enjoy, don’t panic. It works! cropped-mountains.jpg

The physical aspects of this practice are not separate from the emotional and spiritual aspects. Even if you have to “fake it til you make it”, smiling causes powerful chemical releases in our bodies.  For starters, smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress. Neuropeptides are tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate. They facilitate messaging to the whole body when we are happy, sad, angry, depressed, or excited. The feel-good neurotransmitters—dopamine, endorphins and serotonin—are all released when a smile flashes across your face as well. This not only relaxes your body, but it can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Psychology Today

I recorded a 6.5 minute Inner Smile Morning Meditation for you. Please feel free to share. It includes a Thich Nhat Hanh quote and breathing practice as well as smiling to our organ systems. I recommend using this upon awakening, before getting out of bed, but it’s good at any time. Haola, Smile! All is well and getting better.




How do you want this life to feel?

tenaya reflection
Tenaya Creek, 8/19

One of my teachers, Celia Blackwood, produces a moon teaching every 3 days (Playing Along with the Moon.) Today, September 3, 2019, the moon is a waxing moon in Scorpio, a water moon. It’s a time to meditate, journey and ritual on the deep questions and to clarify our intentions. I love this question she posed with the teaching: How do you want this life to feel? 

Often we strive and do things in order to achieve this feeling, but we haven’t actually clarified that it’s the feeling we desire. Our desires often manifest as what we want to DO, rather than how we want to feel. So this question gets us back to the essence. How do we want this life to feel?

I pondered this question on a bench outside this morning, sipping my tea, surrounded by the beautiful tree benchSierra to the west and the White Mountains to the east. My answer to this question is that I want to feel more joy, to embrace more moments. My gaze fell upon a young Pinyon Pine in our yard. I spent a bit of time dropping into my heart, acknowledging and connecting with this tree that I’ve appreciated some, but never spent time with. After a few minutes, I began to feel communion. And I felt that communion as deep, lasting joy, beyond the moment, easily accessible by simply being in the moment and having the intention of connecting. And then staying, staying a bit past when I got the urge to move on to the next thing. Pema Chodron’s teaching of “remaining like a log” came in handy! This is a practice, this communion!

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.― Thich Nhat Hanh

IMG_3384One of my commitments to this communion practice is to notice one thing every day that brings me delight. And then spend time with that one thing–in silence, and then journaling, drawing, singing, writing poetry, etc. One thing. Five + minutes. It is my belief that this ritual is one way to cultivate communion, this deep joy that I would like more of in my life.

Krista Tippett has a lovely interview with Ross Gay about delight on her podcast On Being. This uplifting interview continues to inspire me to notice and cultivate and immerse in delight.

I intend to delight. I intend to cultivate joy and communion. I write this because there is power in intention, and even more power in sharing our intentions. Thank you for being my witness!