Living a 'Spirited" life - Spirit-U-ality

Cherry Blossom Wisdom – for Boston

A while back I published a weblog where I spoke under a cherry tree and I was telling a story about a beggar woman who was desperately trying to find a place to stay on a cold night in the desert. She had been refused again and again from the village people and so her only choice was to ride her small little donkey out into the meadow, just outside of the Village where all of the creatures of the night were roaming. Although she was afraid and was wondering how she would stay warm she looked up at the sky and saw the beautiful starry night and then was taken aback by the glorious cherry tree nearby, which was in full bloom and reflecting the light of the moon. The beauty of the cherry tree stopped her in her tracks and she felt a warm glow come over her entire body, captivated whilst thinking to herself – this is where I will sleep – on the branch of the cherry tree under this voluptuous canopy and let the blossoms shine their beautiful moon glow upon my skin.

Her dejection, her fear, and her cold body all soothed by the welcoming presence of nature, she brought her donkey in and tied him upon the tree. Surrounded by the calming presence of the blossoms and the moonlight, she quietly made her way up the tree and prepared her bed for the night. The many noises of the desert animals now perceptible and distinct amidst the moonlit air – baboon, boar and wildcats sounded like a conversation – not a hunting call she thought to herself surprisingly, as it was not common for night predators. What was even more surprising to her was her own sense of herself – she felt calm, she felt a deep sense of trust, and she felt a knowingness that she would be alright, no matter what. She felt enveloped in a blanket of love as she praised the beauty of life, and then curled herself into the two branches with her small quilt beneath her head and fell asleep for the night.

To say that there is an energetic blanket of love that holds the universe together may sound simplistic or even ‘airy fairy’ – but it’s true and scientific, and yet difficult to sense or imagine, especially after a tragic event like the Boston Marathon bombings. I found myself upon hearing the news, immediately needing to get out into nature and ground myself, to feel and palpate the innate goodness in life, in each other and in what we are made of. The cherry blossoms, the tulips, the hyacinth along with all the birdsong did that for me on Monday night.

We are the only creature on this planet the kills for immoral, political or religious beliefs – the only creature that kills for anything other then survival. Have we lost our moral code? Are we doomed for destruction? Will we continue to use violence, force and dishonest manipulation to no end? And to what end anyway – without a planet to live on. A week ago I posted something on Facebook feed that had a similar question and it was in relation to the North Korean situation, where we have a totally irrational dictator at the controls of deadly weapons with an emotional,unrealistic and irrational agenda. Why can we not stop these people? How do we stop this insanity? And what is our personal responsibility and capacity to not only deal with this reality, but perhaps to be the change we wish to see in the world.

In yogic terms the earth is home to the dimension of duality, we have night and day, positive and negative ions, happy or sad emotions, smooth or hard surfaces, good or evil; all these things make up the way we relate to this reality and the way we relate IN this reality. It’s even how we are made up: a right and left brain, two sides to this fine body right-left, male-female, you get the idea, all of the things that make up this particular incarnation have to do with Duality. Also drawing from the eastern traditions and even old proverbs: everything that is above, is so below – all of the elements that make up the universe are also what make-up us all. So energetically speaking, if the balance of the force field is toward the negative aspect it needs to be counterbalanced with the equal distant positive force field in order to neutralize the polarity. No doubt there is an immense amount of love and life force on this planet and it is only a matter of recognition and acknowledgment that we are able to be reminded of the opulence and presence of this force, just like the beggar woman in the night.

The power of the collective field of energetic, creative intention is unmistakably one of our most potent capacities as humans. The ability to focus our mind and direct intention has remarkable and unprecedented manifestations on this planet in terms of the brilliance of humans and the ability of us to solve problems and make incredible advances in science, art, technology, medicine, music, and yes ecology. We are at the same time, the problem and the solution. One of my teachers challenged me many years ago to track the number of negative thoughts I had in a day. I was a bit put off by this, as I saw myself at the time as a aspiring yogi and somewhat elevated who didn’t have any negative thought, well I was wrong. It turns out that I had many many thoughts that I would tell myself in the course of a day that were counter-productive. It is the ongoing mental dialogue that is the brain, there were all sorts of negative things, and be they ever so insignificant they were still negative thoughts about myself or projections; and indeed it did make up about 80% of my thought force field, just like my teacher had predicted – knowing as he does the human mind. It is the job and purpose of a spiritual practice to refine and expand one’s consciousness towards wholeness, which really means beyond duality – the unbiased presence of totality.

The woman sleeping in the cherry tree had forgotten where she was when she awoke in the middle of the night to adjust herself, disorientated momentarily she looked around and saw many many eyes staring up at her around the bottom of the cherry tree. Her trusting heart never went to fear as she looked down upon the animals holding court for her and she knew there was a larger understanding at work. The animals of the night had made a big circle around the perimeter of the cherry tree, protecting her from any wayward creatures and making sure that she and the donkey had a restful night sleep. She looked upon the sky again, taking in the stars and the waning moon and the shining blossom on her skin, and she said her prayers of gratitude with an open heart laying fully embraced and supported in the Creator’s arms of love.

Although this woman could easily have become bitter and angry, she had likely been turned away many times before, she was able to embrace the present moment and in that – be completely supported by the life force and the potency of It’s love. The daily distractions and challenges to our senses and our faith in humanity are innumerable, we live in a challenging time – where more and more people driven by their own negativity put pressure on the balance of nature. These times are a call to counteract that force and hold court for the cherry trees. These simple spiritual practices are for all of us, and have been given to us from the Masters, as a gift really – as a way of caretaking each other and the planet. And can be as simple as turning a negative thought into positive, expressing a sentiment of gratitude, or focusing on the goodness that makes the cherry-blossom shine in the moonlight.
Bless you all,
Mary-Jo

Published by Mary-Jo

I am passionate about diversity, inclusion, sustainability and community. Having raised my children in a small B.C. town as a single parent, I relied on the community, my resourcefulness and the land to sustain us. We developed a market farm,built a cafe and catering business that utilized the produce, local farmers and families to thrive. As a Waldorf school parent I became experienced in biodiversity, edible landscapes and community engagement. I gained substantial skills in leadership, facilitation, project management, communication through teaching yoga and running various business's. My role as a facilitator and trainer to individuals seeking to become a yoga teacher- whom never thought that they could stand in front of a room and speak in public, gave me insight into human nature and coaching. In addition to designing and building businesses - cafés, yoga studios and national training programs, I am a student of Social Development & Social Psychology and understand the complexity and importance of social engagement. I can handle with grace most any situation, having encountered a disability later in life. Consequent to becoming disabled and through advocacy and providing peer support I have trained and acquired extensive exposure and understanding of UN principles on disability, The Human Rights objectives, theories and principles of Universal Design and the various challenges and obstacles for those affected and the relationship to various stakeholders. After 30 years of teaching yoga, my spinal cord injury and subsequent sabbatical has allowed for the integration of my yoga and more in-depth study of the Healing Arts. I have had the fortune of working with some of the best in the field of rehabilitation, Somatic Experiencing and manual therapy including Emilie Conrad, Mark Finch, Judy Russel, Rod Stryker, Carolyn Myss, Ana Forest, & Tim Miller, Susan Harper, Mariah Moser, Herta Buller and Nature.