Posts from February, 2018
February 01, 2018
Chasing Rabbits, Dark Holes, and Other Forms of Suffering
Our minds are like dogs running through the fields chasing rabbits. Just as any small animal darting across the field, or up a tree, catches their attention, the unbridled mind pursues every thought that arises, without discrimination. If we think it up, the mind chases it down. There are thoughts we really don’t need to think, however, and some that lead us down dark rabbit holes. One of the most challenging aspects of personal growth is learning which rabbits to chase, and which to let go.
Our thoughts craft the contours of our lives. Since most of our emotions are elicited by our thinking, the thoughts we choose to think strongly affect how we feel. A person may have voices that, for example, although designed to help them avoid further pain, actually cause more. Addictions have a seductive voice that says, “Hey! Come on, follow me, this will make you feel better!” When we let our minds grasp this thought, and engage in it emotionally, we are off and running. Doubt has a voice that says “Oh no, you can’t do that.” There are paranoid voices that keep us in fear, and victim voices that allow us to rage. When we chase after these thoughts, seduced by their call, we find ourselves taken down into dark passageways. More thoughts await us there, thoughts that beat us up for having listened, thoughts that evoke dark emotions that bring on even darker thoughts. Once we engage, we become tangled in an underworld of knotted roots that refuses to let us go. This is our suffering.
Posts from January, 2018
January 01, 2018
Pride and Power
There is much talk about owning our power these days. From spiritual teachings we find our power lies in our authenticity and willingness to surrender our agendas to an intelligence beyond our own. There is also the will of ego, however, based on a need for personal gain and status. While spiritual power requires getting out of our own way, this kind of “power” is driven by pride, and lends itself toward abuse. When someone is spiritual, but has not done their personal work, sometimes the two are confused.
Pride, at its best, is a positive sense of self. We are proud that we are the first one in our family to graduate from college, for example. While good self esteem is essential, pride has an uncanny capacity for over indulgence and abuse. In fact it is considered one of the seven deadly sins. At its worst, pride seductively lures us in to defend our inadequacies, at any price. We may choose to lie, or fight dirty, for example, just to claim a victory. While we have won the argument, at what cost is this to our soul? Feeling dirty, we look for another win, and so it goes.
Posts from December, 2017
December 16, 2017
ASC’s Children Program:
Austin Shamanic Center is now offering children the opportunity to embark on a fun, creative, spiritual learning experience. Shamanic teachings, yoga, meditation, art, music and games will be interwoven throughout each event. Our goal is for participants to gain practical tools by building connections with the self, others and the natural world while having fun! At this time, sessions are designed for school-aged children and teens.
December 01, 2017
Intimacy: Bridges Not Walls
It is often said that what we do on a personal level defines how our lives play out as a culture as well. After all, every culture is a reflection of the individuals within it. If we look at our communities right now, we see many people grappling with hate and fear. Divisiveness and anger are erupting within them, lines are being drawn, walls erected. Even weapons are being drawn. At the root of all this divisiveness is fear.
Fear permeates our personal lives as well. It can cripple emotional intimacy if we let it, much like it is undermining our country’s ability to unite. In our personal lives we usually seek out relationships that we can be “ourselves” in. We begin this process from behind a friendly facade we have constructed. It is an amalgam of the parts of ourselves we think are socially acceptable, and the fear based coping mechanisms we have developed to ensure we will not be hurt again. While this persona is safe, it is also lonely, as it negates our vulnerabilities.
Posts from November, 2017
November 01, 2017
Loving Your Monster
Many of us have a part of ourselves that lurks in the shadows, grumbling and rattling its chains, looking for a way out. It can be a nasty, jealous beast, perhaps even rageful at times. We don’t want this to be part of us, however, as it makes us unlovable. So we chain it down in our cellars, and cultivate colorful flowers of positivity in its place, and other personality topiary that makes us look exceptional.
It is important to realize that these monsters we have created ourselves. They are not evil demons that possess our souls, they come from the depths of our psyches. While demons have their realm, these monsters are unacknowledged parts of ourselves that have no outlet for expression. Aspects of our personality that are socially taboo, such as being “too” insecure, sensitive, or emotional, have no place in our culture, so we pack them away. When our sensitivity becomes too much, our emotions run too high, or we feel especially small, these repressed parts burst through to the surface, to our horror.
Posts from October, 2017
October 01, 2017
Deserving and Entitlement
Entitlement is a self imposed claim on recognition, a flag in the ground stating I deserve special treatment. Perhaps we are smarter than everyone else, or maybe more spiritually awakened. Maybe our spiritual teachings even say we are more entitled. You may believe your social status, gender, or race, sets you apart. Your choices on what you eat, or do not eat, may give you that notch above the rest. Perhaps it is the kind of car you drive. You may even think you have earned differential treatment because you have worked so very hard to get it.
Another way people feel entitled is through wounding. They have suffered more than another, so they deserve a break. They deserve retribution. This kind of entitlement is insidious, it floats beneath our conscious thought, motivating behavior and clouding our judgement. It becomes that chip on our shoulder that justifies bad behavior. The world owes us something for all of the pain we have endured. We deserve compensation.
Posts from September, 2017
September 06, 2017
Full Moon 9.6.17
Happy Full Moon!
The energies are very high right now. We have hurricanes and forest fires, huge solar flares, and political unrest that threatens our very survival on so many levels… It is time for all of us who do ceremony to get out our drums and rattles to help shepherd this chaotic energy into constructive outcomes.
Find the biases that lay dormant within your hearts and bring them to light. Own them. The lessons of these times are to be excavating our shadows instead of pointing fingers. Yes it abounds in heaps and piles outside us, but what within us is complicit with it. Look at you own fears, your family beliefs and values, your religious beliefs. Look at what you were taught in school. What personal and cultural wounding, and divisive self protections, are you willing to give up, to live in peace?!
September 01, 2017
Walking In Beauty
A million things call out to be done before the day ends, and then it all starts up again tomorrow. Your life has routine, a rhythm, and it sweeps you up and pushes you along. You have a roof over your head and food to eat, so on you persevere, feeding the beast, doing what it takes, but ultimately, it sucks a little bit of life from you each day.
Even when we do stop and take a breath we are most often thinking about what comes next, or how to improve on what we already have. We go to a yoga class to relax, and find ourselves needing to master that next yoga pose, or we sit down to meditate and wonder if we have reached the furthest dimension of the astral planes yet. We are doers living lives aimed at accomplishment, and we are striving for success. Until we stop and find the beauty in it, however, we will have very little peace.
Beauty is not just an aesthetic, but it is a vibration, the resonance inside of a moment. It is a sensation that stops us in our tracks with its radiance and transports us to another realm. It is inspiration, an experience of pure essence, a transient state of breathless perfection, that exists just outside of time. Integrating positivity with negativity, a wholeness of darkness and light, beauty is a transcendent dance with the senses.
Posts from August, 2017
August 19, 2017
Solar Eclipse Monday August 21st, 2017
Solar Eclipse Ceremony
As most of you know, there will be a Solar Eclipse happening, midday in the USA, Monday, August 21st, 2017. The source that sustains our life-force on the planet will be temporarily out of reach, as the moon passes between us, blocking out its light. Energetically, there is considerable power in an eclipse event. The brief period of darkness that it creates is thought to create a portal, or energetic gateway, between the worlds. It is a time where we have greater access to the powers of Creation, so it is a great time to harness those energies in ceremony.
Ceremony is a way of working with Creation at its base level, and interacting with it to create an outcome. In Ceremony we are acting as co-creators and adjusting the blueprints that underlie our reality construct. Creation is an ever evolving expression of the collective consciousness we are all a part of. Who we are, what we believe, and how we feel about it, all contribute to its existence. Anyone can do ceremony, it just takes initiative. All you really need is your intention, or dream, and a way to access the energies of creation.
August 01, 2017
The Liar’s Shame
There are truths we just do not want to speak aloud. Sometimes we think they will hurt someone, so we lie. Other times we do not want to face the consequences of an action we took, or who we are for taking it. Alternatively, we want something, like a job or a date, and we aren’t going to get it if we tell the truth. And then there is the lying by omission, things we don’t admit to, to keep the peace. “Speaking your truth,” is more about finally expressing an opinion than it is negating the truth. This is about honesty. While some lies are white, others grey, some lies are bold faced black lies. Whatever the color is, it creates shame within you to tell it. Like clouds of yellow smoke, this shame sits between you, and yourself, tarnishing your honor.
Telling the truth takes courage. People’s feelings might get hurt, or we might not look good. We may tell ourselves we will tell the them the truth later when they, or we, are stronger and can handle it. Bonding, however, occurs through having true and authentic exchanges. When we lie to someone so they will still love us, or feel better about us, we can no longer trust in that love. It is a reality braced by the scaffolding of lies. We want a person who accepts who we truly are, warts and all.
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