AWARENESS

Spring 2004

             “We walk always in a state of grace."

Dear Friends,

This morning I was contemplating the topic for this Spring 2004 newsletter. It has been a quiet day. Rain gathered behind gray clouds and then fell, lightly, softly. The mountain ridge disappeared in the mist. The stream down the hill began to run for the first time this year, fed by winter snows and awakening springs. We have had quite a bit of rain and snow this winter here in my New Mexico valley, and we need it. I am happy for the earth and the trees, and for me. I love the snow and rain. Today I could feel the deepening silence of the coming Equinox, and the presence of spirit. I stopped my work early in the day to take a moment to connect, to communicate. It’s strong here, some days, and I can’t just keep going about my business. Today it was the water spirits, needing attention and strength and acknowledgement, the spirits of the deep underground springs seeking to emerge, to flow again as water in the stream.  It was lovely to discover later in the day that the stream was running. Where I live there is so much magic, so much grace. As I moved through the day doing the chores this solar energy off -the -grid house demands, I kept remembering a thought that arose in my mind as I walked through the forest near my house: “We walk always in a state of grace.” Those words kept echoing in the silence. I felt them as I washed dishes, did laundry, gathered wood, swept yesterday’s dried mud off the porch, took crusts and stale cookies out to the field for the ravens.  A raven flew over, and called. The road in is a sea of mud. The wood is wet. It’s almost the end of the day and I haven’t even begun the newsletter. Grace is everywhere.

So I think I will ask Awareness to speak about grace.

Grace. To walk in grace means to walk in Awareness...Awareness of the presence of love, affirmation and light… to walk in Awareness of the presence of spirit, of the great Whole of which you are a part. To experience grace is to enter into the flow of energy. To experience grace is to experience oneness with all that is. You cannot fall from grace, but you can forget. You can feel separated, alone, under the control of old forces. To enter into a state of grace is to remember that which you know deep inside yourself: You are one. You are whole. The very fabric of the universe is the ground of your being. You can never be separated from that. Just as the stars shine in the night sky, your being is the light that emerges from the great source, the great void. People forget and so they need reminders. You can experience grace in the presence of a great teacher who radiates that presence. You can experience that grace in the presence of a tree, a rock, the sky. You can experience a state of grace by taking a breath and feeling the wonder and miracle of your own breath, in a moment of silence. Take a moment now to experience it. With the closing of the eyes and the intake of breath, a sudden stillness, an inner knowing: “I am one with all that is.

Now, dear friends, I’d like to share with you some of the wisdom and grace of the place where I live. From my house, I see no other houses. I see trees, pinon, juniper, and ponderosa pine, earth and rock. I have learned that if you live in a place long enough, and you pay attention, the spirits of the land and sky speak to you, and the place teaches you. I have lived here for seven years. I haven’t always been a willing student. I miss town and people and I get tired of mud and silence. And yet, with great patience and wisdom, this valley teaches me about life in this world. A different kind of life, with a different rhythm, than the one I lived in town. The qualities I have learned here, though, are ones I need every day, in whatever city or town or country I find myself in. The valley teaches me about humor and patience. The valley teaches me to recognize and honor the presence of spirit everywhere, in everything.

Humor: How can we live without it? In the southwestern Native American tradition, the spirit of Coyote is called the Trickster. We hear the coyotes at night, all around the house. Coyote the Trickster teaches me to lighten up. Coyote says, you humans take yourselves so seriously, you are so self-important. Coyote is there always laughing at me, laughing with me, reminding me I can laugh at myself. At the dances and ceremonies of the Native American people here, there are sacred clowns. Even in the midst of important spiritual rituals, the clowns bring humor and poke fun. It’s as easy to get self-important about our spiritual path as anything else. Coyote teaches me to laugh at myself when I sit down and write big words about living with love and awareness and then …get irritated that I have to get up and put on my boots to go outside to get wood for the fire or it will get really cold in the house.  Then Coyote teaches me to laugh at myself for still wanting to not get irritated; after all, I’m no saint. Look how she still wants to be such a good girl, Coyote says.

Patience: This valley teaches me patience, the sky teaches, the earth teaches. Acceptance is another word for patience, acceptance of what is. Again, we humans think our agendas are so important. Here I learn that the beetle making its way slowly across the floor, the jay pecking at crumbs out my door, the wind whistling through the hills and raising the dust, all have agendas just as important as mine. I have to make way for the greater agenda. I learn to adapt myself to what is happening rather than trying to make what is happening adapt to me. So many people I know, including myself, have control issues. Of course we do. We come from a heritage, a culture, that teaches us to control, to go out and have dominion over the world. We look around now and we can see where that approach to life has gotten us. So here I begin to really learn a different way of being in the world. The land and the spirits teach me this way, and it is the basis for all the native traditions of the world, to live in harmony with all the relations. It is the foundation of the Native American way of being. It is there in the long ago roots of my own heritage, in ancient Celtic spirituality. We all have that heritage too, of living in harmony. Here I begin to remember it and learn how to integrate it into my modern life.

Honoring the presence of spirit:  I realize more and more how blessed I am to have the experience of the presence of spirit on a daily basis. I continue to look for ways to share that with people. Here it is easy…everything is lit with that spirit, vibrates with it. What do I mean by spirit? There are spirit beings, you can call them devas or angels or whatever you like, who are connected with the trees, the rocks, the sky and wind, with everything. I could say that spirit is the divine intelligence pervading all that is, so that when I communicate with the spirit of the water, I am communicating with the divine intelligence of the water, the essence of the water. I can call spirit the light in everything, that can be felt, or seen, or simply known. It is there in a certain of glimmer of light, a moment of stillness, a soft inhalation and exhalation of breath. It is there in a moment of awareness. It is there when I stop and feel the pulse, the rhythm, of the silence around me. The experience of spirit is the experience of grace. I use those words interchangeably. 

I sit down, close my eyes, and invite the presence of Awareness. I sit with that Awareness quietly, breathing in and breathing out, aware of my breath. Then from that place of Awareness I invite the presence of spirit to reveal itself to me. What wishes to communicate today? Images, insights, feelings, knowings may arise. Or I may simply continue to sit in silence, aware of my breath, aware of my thoughts. The important thing is to make some space for the connection or communication to take place. Maybe that night I have a dream, or the next day someone says something to me that goes straight to my heart, or later in the same day I notice a sudden shift in my consciousness, a heightened awareness of a tree or a bird or a cloud. This is my way to connect with sprit, and I share it you from my heart, and from this valley, and hope that it may be of some help. I have learned also that spirit comes when you talk about it, when people share their stories of spirit, so may these words carry its presence.

The awareness of grace is one of the gifts of this land to me. There is another awareness that is given to me here.  We live in a world that is dying. This is a fact. Here in New Mexico thousands of pinon trees are dying from a combination of drought and bark beetle.I drive through brown hillsides every time I go to town and so I am always reminded.  Scientists estimate that by 2050 a million species will have become extinct because of global warming. As we busy ourselves with our human agenda, we are surrounded by a great transformation. How do we respond?  This is a huge question, and not one I can answer. I know the awareness of death brings a heightened awareness of life, a desire to nurture and nourish life on this earth in any way I can, to help others to do the same. I can’t control what governments do, but I can consider which presidential candidate is more likely to address this issue. I can choose in my own life to honor my life on this earth as sacred. Recently I bought a roll of recycled paper towels made by a company called Seventh Generation. The label says “If every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of 120 sheet virgin fiber paper towels with 100% recycled ones, we could save 1,0016,000 trees, 2,625,000 cubic feet of landfill space, equal to 3,800 full garbage trucks, 367 million gallons of water….and avoid 38,000 tons of emissions.” So Coyote and Raven and Pinon and Juniper ask me to ask you: what kind of paper towels do you use? It’s too late to prevent the dying of so many species, I think, by buying a different paper towel, but an awareness of what we consume honors our relations on this earth, and ourselves, and our proper relationship to the earth. Since the early 80’s the Awareness has said the major threat to the continued existence of life on this earth is global warming. It is coming true. It’s a fact we live with, and for the most part continue to deny.

So there are two themes to this newsletter: we walk always in a state of grace, and we live in a world that is going through a great transformation, where much of life on earth is dying. These themes are not contradictory. This great earth, in Her wisdom and grace, continues to radiate blessing and love in the midst of so much death. We can love Her back, and care for Her. We can love life and each other all the more, and share that love in every way we can. We can try to remember what is really important in life, what really matters, and live from that remembering, as best we can.

Finally this, for those of you who live in busy cities and think, well, it is fine for her, she lives in this beautiful place, but how do I experience that grace? One of my most intense experiences of it came one morning last summer at the Zurich Hauptbahnhof (main train station). It was early, and the light came through the glass roof in a certain glimmering way. There were hundreds of people coming and going, the board with the destinations and times was constantly turning, the trains were pulling in and pulling out. I stood there and felt the flow of energy swirling around me, and the ineffable presence of light, just as I feel it here in my canyon. Now, when I reflect on recent world events I imagine the bombings in Madrid, the train stations, that flow of energy and life and people shattered by violence. I feel a great sadness. So I take a deep breath and feel the pulse of love beating in my heart, the presence of Awareness, the love that embraces all the sadness and fear and aggression and ignorance. In city and in country, I learn: I can’t control what happens. I can only be here, with love and awareness, sharing that love and awareness as best I can, sustained by the presence of grace.  Grace comes unexpectedly, on city streets, in crowded places.  It’s there, when we stop and take a breath, and notice, everywhere, always.  We need that experience more than ever, to carry us forward, to encourage us, to help us find our way. May it come to you wherever you are, today, tomorrow, the next day, always. Love to you this spring, time of rebirth and renewal….

Intention

Recently, in a group session here, someone asked, “What is the intention of Awareness?” This was the answer, and it is a clear statement of what Awareness sessions are about:

The intention of this Awareness in manifesting in this form through this person is to awaken, encourage, and nurture the Awareness of each individual being that we encounter. This Awareness comes not to kindle the flame of Awareness, because it already there, but to breathe on that flame, gently and continuously, to bring it into greater being, to nurture and nourish that light of Awareness that is there in every being.

This Awareness comes to support any intention that is for the greatest good. It is important to understand that intentions need not always be put into words. When you enter into this experience of Awareness, in a session or a group, this Awareness is there to support the deepest intention of your soul, and that deep intention of your soul is automatically activated. You don’t need to put it into words. It comes forth, and goes forth with you, so that you can continue to manifest that deepest intention of your soul in the day–to-day world.

This Awareness has many different levels of intention in addition to what has just been said: affirmation of your unique being, the bringing of greater Awareness into this world, the awakening of the love that accompanies that Awareness in each individual being that we encounter, and the healing of that which needs to be healed in each individual being that we encounter.

News and Schedule

Workshops: The meditation workshops I have begun to do are to help people experience that Awareness I have been talking about in this newsletter, and to open the doorway to the experience of grace, spirit, greater Awareness. I deeply believe in these times we live in meditation is not a luxury but a necessity. It is not an escape from the world, but a way to be sustained and nourished so we can live in our lives in this world. It is not easy to make the space for meditation on your own, and that is why I am beginning to work more in groups. Meditation workshops are scheduled in Europe for the upcoming year. If you would be interested in arranging one in your area, let me know.

Spring in Zurich: I will be in Zurich for almost two months this spring and will be available for Awareness sessions during that time. You can contact me directly for appointments; please see details on the schedule page. I won’t be in Luxembourg or Cologne this spring but will return for sessions in the fall.

Basel: I may come to Basel for a few days in June so please contact me by e-mail or telephone at the beginning of May if you would be interested in a session there.

Astrology courses and monthly chat: My friend Sabine Bends, who translates for me in Germany, is an astrologer and offers on-line astrology courses, in German. There are courses for beginners and advanced astrologers, and clubs and workshops for professional astrologers. The address is www.phoenix-akademie-online.de. In September I will begin conducting a monthly class on this website which will include a chat room, forums, and a library where people can download written material from me. It will be in English and people from the U.S as well as Europe (or anywhere else) can participate. This is a good way to stay in touch and explore questions of a spiritual or personal nature with me and other like-minded people. This monthly class will be for members only and there will be a small yearly membership fee to cover administrative costs. Please contact me by phone or e-mail for more information. (See last page for contact info).

Books: My book, “The Great Goddess Calls Her Daughters,” is approaching completion and I am in the process of looking for a publisher in the U.S. I will publish it myself next year if necessary but would like to find a publisher, so if any of you have any connections in the publishing world I would appreciate any help you could give. “Lebensenergie Pur,” my energy meditation book, will be reprinted as a paperback in Germany under the title “Mehr Energie!” by Knaur-Verlag and will be available in Winter 2004-2005. The book is still available in manual form in English from me. (“You Are Energy: How to Access, Conserve and Use Your Energy Effectively. $15)

Donna Leslie Thomson
505-983-7213 USA
00 41 79 725 0731 Europe

www.youareyourpath.com