Sunday, August 20, 2017

Spiritual Significance of the Solar Eclipse

A Solar Eclipse occurs across the entire US for the first time since 1918. I've received many inquiries about the Eclipse asking about its spiritual or esoteric significance.
This eclipse is getting lots of publicity.  Each person reading this newsletter can Google the eclipse and come up with their own conclusions.  For those who really want to understand what's happening on deeper levels read on.  What I've written is based on my reflections of why this is such a major event and why we not only need to prepare for it, but determine how each will personally participate in it. 

As a background, ancient civilizations used Cosmology, Astronomy and Astrology to teach how planets affect life on earth.  All life including humans evolved from the soup of gases and molecules of the stars.  Hindu teachings say the orbits of stars and planets act as a 'cosmic clock' timing events that affect human life. History records many events affected by comets and eclipses.  That's why we pay attention to those occurring within our field of view, like this Eclipse.

The moon will pass between the earth and the sun on August 21, 2017. The TOTAL Eclipse will be seen at 9 am in Oregon. It ends in South Carolina at 4 pm.  It will be
visible in SW Florida as a PARTIAL eclipse (74% of it visible) starting at 1:18 pm with MAX viewing at 2:50 pm. It ends at 4 pm.  DO NOT LOOK AT THE ECLIPSE WITHOUT GLASSES.

CONSIDER - The path of the Eclipse - light and darkness - starts in the liberal state of Oregon and ends in the conservative state of South Carolina.  Both locations begin with sunlight, then pause for 2 minutes and 40 seconds of darkness, before the sun's light returns.  I believe we are not immune to planetary cycles and are in fact reflective of them.  Eclipses don't happen in a vacuum but build up in energy to the actual event.  My symbolic interpretation relative to the Eclipse is that the recent events in Charlottesville brought hatred and darkness clearly onto the national stage even as others held a vigil of light  against it.

Albert Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity, but in order to prove it, he needed an Eclipse.  The 1919 Eclipse proved his point that "Space and time are interwoven into a single continuum."  Most numerologists would take the number 
1919 and total it to 20 which is the number for Duality. It would be more accurate, but I "saw" a different number.  I took 19 by itself and "saw" the 1 as the beginning and 9 as the end.  Then seeing it occur twice doubled the numerological message of alpha and omega - beginning and end.  It impressed that "two sides" must come together as one or it will be the end.

This Eclipse occurs in 2017 - another 1 year or new beginning.  The date is 08/21. Added together it's an 11 year.  11 has spiritual significance.  It is the number of Revelation & Inspiration from a Higher Plane.  It is "Brotherly Love" on a grander stage.  11 is the Spiritual Messenger.  So my interpretation is this Eclipse has great magnetism associated with it.

The Sun and Moon radiate different energies.  The Sun affects the Masculine Right side and is extroverted or outgoing.  The Moon affects the Feminine Left side and is
Introverted and receptive.  These energies will interact suddenly, starting and stopping in a shortened period of time.  Because of that, noticeable changes will be felt.  The influx of Solar masculine energy will be halted as the Lunar feminine energy holds sway.  Silence and stillness will result for those few minutes like a holding of the breath.  This will be like Cosmic Pranayama.

This section is the most esoteric of the teachings on the Eclipse.  12th Century Mystic Ibn Arabi said "the Moon is under the governance of Venus - the planetary symbol of Love." He said "The moon is a vehicle for spiritual revelation and it relates to the transformation of Primordial Sound.  The 28 sacred sounds that begin with HU control the Lunar Cycles."  This is a study by itself.  Retreaters should dig out their books on HU to understand its deeper meaning.  But there's an inherent message that the Moon is under the governance of Venus, the planet of Love.

As a Solar Eclipse pulls consciousness inward our personal spiritual practices are magnified.  It's an auspicious time to reflect on changes we wish to bring into our work and make a commitment to them.  There's an enhanced awareness of alternate
dimensions of time and space.  
Suffice to say, preparation for the darkness requires planning.  Will it be a time of reflection or simply "watching the eclipse."  What happens when the sun goes dark?  How will you respond?  As the sun goes dark, there will never be a more powerful opportunity to "seed an intention."  That intention will return even greater benefit as the sun's light accepts it.  

As Ibn Irabi said about sound and the lunar cycle, you might consider chants.  Sound will change atmosphere and environment.  So consider a meditation like the Medicine Buddha.  If the weather is overcast and you're unable to be outside, the effects are still upon you.  You can also do your work while NASA streams it live.

We are not scheduling any beach or ceremonial event associated with this Eclipse. Instead, we're doing our own spiritual practices in a silent Retreat.  In silence, in the dark Moon, within the containment of sound, great things can be seeded and will unfold. We look forward to hearing about yours.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Coming Home

Coming Home
The words "spiritual teacher" in the brochure caught my attention. He was the guest speaker at

a metaphysical center I attended in the late 1970's. When he walked into the conference room, I saw a gentle man with a round face and wavy shoulder length yellow hair. He'd come to talk about his book, "Coming Home - The Experience of Enlightenment in Spiritual Traditions." The title was scholarly, shedding light on his PhD background in Comparative Religion. His name was Lex Hixon.

At the end of his presentation, the audience rushed to meet him carrying their copies of the book "Coming Home" for him to sign. I watched from my seat as one after another shook hands with him, or engaged in brief conversation. As the swell of people diminished I got up to leave. But something stopped me. Turning around I went back towards him wondering, "Why are you doing this and what do you plan to say to him?" In fact, I had nothing to say, but when I stood in front of him, the words, "You are a friend of my soul" came tumbling out of my mouth. As I heard the strange words I thought to myself, "What are you saying to this stranger?"

He took my hand in his and looked into my eyes. The words I'd just said felt like they were taking form. He said, "I know those words. You too are a friend of my soul." Then he asked, "Would you come to my home in NYC tomorrow?" and I, without knowing this stranger, or what I was agreeing to said, "Yes." He gave me his home address in Riverdale overlooking the Hudson and told me to come at 9 a.m.

Continuing this strange meeting, and completely out of character, I told no one where I was going that Saturday morning. On the drive into NYC I kept asking myself, "Are you crazy - No one knows where you're going - You could be meeting an axe-murderer." Yet I kept going arriving at his high rise apartment off the Henry Hudson Parkway exactly at nine. He greeted me at the door in a Buddhist robe, asked me to remove my shoes, then ushered me into a very sparsely decorated Zen home. He then asked me if I knew why I was there. I said no, but was compelled to come. He asked me if I knew how to meditate. I said yes.

Next, he asked if I knew who Kali was. I didn't at the time. So he took me into another room where a large bronze Kali was sitting on a small table with incense, a candle and an altar cloth. There were no furnishings in that room other than a cushion in front of Kali. He asked me if I had a meditation shawl. I said no. He left the room, returning with a long white shawl with maroon borders. He placed it over my shoulders, lit the candle and incense, and told me to sit with Kali and come out when I felt ready. Then he left.

I sat with Kali for almost two hours. I studied her ferocious face and many arms. I meditated. I
thought about the surreal day I was spending. I meditated some more. Eventually the candle and incense burned down and my legs had grown numb so I got up and came out of the "Kali room." He was nowhere around. So I went into an adjoining room I concluded was his library as it was filled with books on every religious topic. He came in to find me holding a large book, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. He said, "Ah, you've found Sri Ramakrishna. You need that book and the Works of Vivekananda." He added, "You should also study The Way of Zen."

We talked a while into mid-afternoon. Then by some unspoken agreement it was time for me to go. I removed the shawl still around my shoulders, folded it, and handed it back to him. He said, "No, that shawl is now yours. I received it from a sage in India and now I give it to you. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna is also yours to keep." He walked me to the door, bowed to me and we said goodbye.

Though my time with him was only several hours long, he turned out to be one of the greatest catalysts on my journey on the esoteric path. Though when we met I had no idea who he was or how he would later influence me. You see, Lex Hixon was a mystic who immersed himself in the major religions of the world which he called "parallel sacred worlds." He was a disciple of Swami Nikhilananda of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center in NYC, a well known and respected Sufi master. As host of New York City's WBAI In The Spirit, he regularly interviewed the leading spiritual and religious teachers of the 20th century. This gentle unassuming man was also an artist, musician, scholar, and spiritual author.

His last words to me on that Saturday in New Jersey were, "Wherever you are, be at home!" Little did I know that I'd never see him again for Lex died at age 53. I still have the shawl he gave me, along with The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna and The Works of Vivekananda. I read The Way of Zen many times. Each time I fondly remembered that Saturday with Lex Hixon. 

Though I never saw him again, I knew our connection was real when, 35 years later, on a spiritual retreat, my teacher wanted me to memorize The Heart Sutra. He handed me three different translations and told me to choose one. When I got to page two of the translation I'd chosen tears welled up. It had been translated by none other than Lex Hixon. Lex was right when he told me, "Wherever you are, be at home!" In the briefest moment in time, he was the guide who directed me on the path of Coming Home!

                                                                                           Jo Mooy - August 2017  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Log

The Log
In the pantheon of US holidays, fourth of July was always my favorite. It was special because I spent twenty five summers in Provincetown at the very tip of Cape Cod. The holiday required no gifts, no family dynamics, no emotional drama. It was so simple. You watched a parade, went to the beach, had a BBQ with friends, then enjoyed the fireworks in the evening. It was a holiday that represented summer, sun, and fond friendships that for me lasted over thirty years.

The Log was an old wooden beam about twelve feet long that washed up in Provincetown bay. It landed on the beach in front of the Crown & Anchor hotel where it remained for years. It was well-known as a landmark. To our group, The Log represented stability, continuity, and our personally marked territory on July 4th. Because everyone on Cape Cod wanted to come to Provincetown to see the fireworks, The Log was deemed our gathering place on July 4th.

To secure it, we had to claim The Log and that section of beach by 7 a.m. the morning of the holiday. We took umbrellas, beach chairs, blankets and all the paraphernalia we would need during the celebration to mark this blackened beam as ours. One person was chosen to remain and hold The Log until we all arrived with coolers later in the day. It wasn't hard duty because the Crown & Anchor played patriotic music all day long. And the people watching was superb.

Now, thirty years later, things have changed. The country still celebrates July 4th with parades, gatherings and fireworks. Those long ago summer days are sweet but distant memories. Those pals from the Cape got older. Most of us moved away. Like so many quaint places in Provincetown, the "old Crown & Anchor" is now an upscale hotel, too grand to host non-guests on its beach by the bay. You might wonder what happened to The Log? It was dredged up and unceremoniously hauled away when the Crown & Anchor was remodeled.

Every July 4th holiday I think of those friends. I can still smell the beach and the gunpowder from the fireworks. And I always hear Kate Smith belting out God Save America from "The Crown's" speakers. Her voice and that song say July 4th for me. But The Log is the grandest memory of all. For it was our touchstone no matter what was happening in the world.

You see, The Log was our metaphor in time and space. Those summer days on The Log sheltered us when AIDS was rampant and the world's financial markets were in disarray. The Log gatherings allowed us to laugh, remember, forget, sing oldies, and eat lobsters. The Log was where we said goodbye to friends lost to AIDS and where we welcomed new ones into our midst. Each summer when we returned to the Cape The Log was still there on the beach, promising us that all was well in our little world.

The Log is long gone but the message it left behind is easy to recall. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. Spiritual teachings say that everything is in a state of becoming, living, then dying and becoming again. The Log's message is, everything is in transition. It reminds that rituals are necessary in the human experience and celebrations a tonic.  Thirty years later I still love Kate Smith and fireworks and still hold those friends close. But, as things change so did my new favorite holiday which is Thanksgiving. I also know that one day, this too shall pass! That's the real message of The Log. 

                                                                                                  Jo Mooy - July 2017  

Friday, June 2, 2017

WU WEI - The Art of Doing Nothing

The Art of Doing Nothing
"Sitting quietly. Doing nothing. Spring comes. And the grass grows by itself." This Haiku poem
by Matsuo Basho (1600's) floated into my inbox one morning after the US election. Sitting quietly and doing nothing was definitely not part of my game-plan that day. But, I tucked it away thinking if things "settled down" I'd revisit it at a later date.

Things didn't settle down! After the inauguration the country was more divided than ever before. Visible agitation and personal anguish were expressed everywhere. Some felt we were on a runaway train back to the dark ages. Friendships became irretrievably broken. Sadly in other cases, long term marriages or relationships ended because of election results. The very active "group-mind" behind the right and the left were at polar opposites. Neither side could agree on any topic.

After a few months sitting in this symbolically stretched-thin rubber band, I was at a loss on how to move forward. Then I remembered two spiritual teachers and the practices they taught me for when things seemed most bleak. The first was to be consciously aware of what you're doing and the second, reflect on what is actually transpiring behind the obvious appearances. So I took stock of my daily life. Being tied to the computer (which supports our many projects and seminars) was partly to blame. Bombarded by constant news flashes I was swallowed up with
anxiety just like everyone else. I had to do something pro-active. I clicked a few buttons and disabled the News Briefs, Facebook, and Twitter posts. Instantly my knee-jerk reactions to every breaking headline or post stopped. Ease entered the work-day. I focused on creative work instead of the chaotic news cycles with their inane talking-head commentaries.

Then, "Spring came and the grass began to grow by itself." I remembered the Haiku to "sit quietly and do nothing." What an indulgence that seemed. I looked up the concept of sitting quietly and doing nothing and found Wu Wei. It's one of the greatest principles in Taoism known as "action in non-action." That sounds like a contradiction but it's not. It's actually allowing our actions to happen effortlessly and finding that the actions are in fact, part of a greater flowing alignment. So I sat quietly, doing meditation practices, sending healing and blessing to governments around the world. A contented feeling washed over me that "the grass would grow by itself" or in other words, "All is well."

While I wasn't immune to the daily news, the practice of Wu Wei allowed the second spiritual
practice to form. I started looking behind what was actually transpiring and saw a bigger picture emerge. Reasoned individuals who had long been silent were mobilizing in support of their views. People who didn't care what was happening in the outer world, began to care again. They were marching, writing Congress, completing polls, contacting friends, attending Town Hall meetings, and some even taking the dramatic first step of running for public office. They were organizing into waves of action in a flowing alignment.

I'm much older now than the days when I too marched on Washington for various causes. Those marches in the 60's and 70's set in motion civil rights, the US withdrawal from Viet Nam, women's rights, Roe v. Wade and gay rights. The ones marching and lobbying today, along with those content with the status quo, will also see the results of their efforts playing out in the years to come. If actions are in alignment with a common purpose, and intended for the good of all, we'll experience the results of all their efforts.  It's happened before and it will again.  In fact, it's much like experiencing an exquisite cup of tea.

Why tea? Consider what transpires unseen and unknown behind a cup of tea. Things are happening behind the scenes.  It grows in the higher elevations of the earth. Tropical clouds
overhead create the rain that waters the tea bush. Human hands lovingly pick three or four perfect leaves from each stem, drying them for days before the crop goes to market. Auction houses buy the tea then ship it to the various countries to be purchased by brand or type by ordinary consumers.

Each cup of tea you enjoy contains an immense geological, geographical, political and social history. The visible and invisible efforts of the elements of earth, water, air, fire, and human hands create that exquisite cup. That's exactly what's happening in the external world. Our collective consciousness is affected by the activities of everyone who demonstrates for change. Some do it quietly on the internal world, seemingly doing nothing. Some do it fiercely in the outer world by marching, organizing, and lobbying. All put their desires into action, aligning with a purpose.

Wu Wei says there is "action in non-action." Whether we're active or not, the tea still grows. In time a delicious brew awaits us. Or as Julian of Norwich said, "All is well!"

                                                                                                 Jo Mooy - June 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Life After Death

Life After Death

After physical death there's an inherent part of the human psyche to believe that the soul, or its
equivalent, goes into another realm of being. From earliest childhood I saw beings from other worlds in dreams or with an inner sight. When I got old enough to attend school, the nuns and Jesuits replaced those visions with stories of heaven, hell and purgatory. Stories of spirits were drummed out of me. It took many years to unravel that indoctrination and resurrect the more real imagery of my childhood.

I was 25 when my grandmother "Bobo" died. Two weeks after her passing she appeared in what I thought was a dream. Except I'd opened my eyes and she was standing there in a long white gown next to my bed. She took an object out of her pocket and handed it to me. I said "It's the number 8. She said, "Turn it on its side." The message for "infinity" was clear. In April on her 88th birthday, her daughter, my Aunt Polly, died. As I wrote the numbers 88, the hair on my neck stood up with the coincidence of Bobo's infinity message.

Polly was my hero from the age of 12. She was an independent woman who did things her way. She drove a green convertible MG sports car before graduating to a big truck. She built things. She rode motorcycles. She loved fished and boating. She was All City and All State in softball and basketball. She traveled and camped in a van all over the country with her life partner. Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40, she told the surgeon she'd survive. She did for 48 more years until she was felled by a stroke.

Our family gathered for her funeral in Jacksonville. Most of her contemporaries had already passed on so it was a small gathering. I wanted to be alone with her for a few minutes so
waited until all the visits, tributes and accolades were over before entering the little chapel. I was now alone with her in the now dim room. 

I stood in front of the casket to thank her for the influences she had in my life; for the role model she represented to me as a strong, proud and independent woman; for teaching me to drive in her MG; and to water ski on my first try. (It helped that she told me alligators were in the river.)

I told her I didn't want to see her frail condition as she died, but would stand with Janet, her life partner, and the family in saying goodbye. Finally I said, "I love you Aunt Polly." The moment I said those words, I love you Aunt Polly, a white flower in the large flower arrangement that was on top of her casket fell. In slow motion, the flower hit the casket, bounced off, and came to rest on the floor in front of me. Intuitively I felt her, knew she'd heard me, and this was her message back to me. It was the only time I shed tears.

I went out to find the family and tell them what had just happened. They asked where was the
flower. I said on the floor. They insisted we go back and get it. As we walked into the chapel two men from the funeral home were wheeling the casket out a side door. The only thing left where the casket had been was the white flower. It now sits on our altar.

The following night I had a dream about Aunt Polly. She was dressed in a white summer dress. Her hair was curly and short. She was about 35 and looked radiant. She was "hosting" a memorial service for everyone at a swank white restaurant. Then she whispered to the family members, "Let's get this thing over with so I can change into shorts and a T-shirt. I'm going fishing then we're going to eat at a real Fish Camp." With those words, I knew Aunt Polly was just fine and had survived Life After Death!

                                                                                           Jo Mooy - May, 2017  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Mosquito and the Dove

The Mosquito & The Dove
One is a tiny annoyance, buzzing around and biting the unsuspecting victim. The other is a gentle bird making cooing sounds and threatening no one. One is a menace to anyone enjoying an afternoon in the park. The other sings its songs in the enjoyment of the park. But can a mosquito or a dove change your life? Yes if you've killed one. Such is the story of the Mosquito and the The Dove. 

When I was six years old, my playmates were all boy cousins. We traveled as a "pack" playing games or trying to outdo one another in contests of strength or skill. One day we decided to make sling shots. It took hours to choose the right tree branch, cut it to size, and carve the V-shape just so. Finally, each of us had a perfect sling shot. Next we had to find our prey.

We set up a target and fired small stones at it. Then growing bored, the boys began to aim at birds in the sky, missing each one. Taunts and wagers filled the air as each stone flew wide of its mark. Then I spotted a mourning dove on the ground near a distant hedgerow and announced I could hit it. My cousins jeered telling me there was no way I could hit anything that far away. I drew back the rubber sling, aimed at the mourning dove and hit it. I watched in horror as feathers flew and the bird disappeared in the undergrowth.

Though I survived the cheers and back slaps of my cousins my eyes filled with tears. When the boys went off to other pursuits I went to the place I'd last seen the mourning dove. On hands and knees I searched for her. Reaching into the dead leaves at the bottom of the shrubs I looked for feathers. There were none. Sobbing, I looked for blood. There was none. I pulled all the low branches of the shrubs aside, examining each one. I knew I'd hit the dove with a stone but there was no evidence of the bird. I went home bereft. 

That night in bed I imagined the injured bird had hidden itself from me. I saw her nest with the
eggs now untended. I knew she was dying alone somewhere, all because of me. In the silly moment of showing off to my cousins that I was as good a shot, or better than them, I'd killed an innocent creature. The pain wracked me with guilt and grief. I knew, even at the age of six, that it was wrong and I had not only hurt it, but something precious inside of me also died. I cried myself to sleep that night and many nights after. Decades later I still live with the sadness of taking the life of this most gentle of innocent creatures. To compensate I declared the mourning dove my totem, treasuring them and their sounds ever since.

Years later a spiritual master told me his story of killing a mosquito. He was playing with his grandchildren and heard a mosquito buzzing them. The kids began to cry because the mosquito had bitten them. So with determination he stalked the mosquito, killing it. He said he knew better but felt no guilt about it. He didn't question whether he should have or shouldn't have killed it. But suddenly everything froze. He went into twelve seconds of silence realizing he had killed something that he was intricately connected to. He was the food of this insect. And in that realization he was the instrument that killed that which he was part of.

We talked about the killing of the dove and the mosquito. It didn't matter whether the dove was not deserving of death or the mosquito deserving of death for biting humans. Both were
 entwined in this vast network of life, each dependent on the other. He told me that when humans begin to function with the realization that all of life is sacred and inter-connected, we will become like prophets. He said the secret of the prophets is that they know love is the foundation of life and that all things are one connection through the magnetism of love. 

The story of The Mosquito and the Dove are apt metaphors for the love we can hope to have for each other. It's easiest with family. It's kind of easy with friends. It's not as easy with the birds and insects that also inhabit our spheres of influence. That is, until you have the experience of killing one. Then you'll experience their loving essence pouring out and enveloping you. At that moment you'll know at the core of your being the loving interconnected relationship we have with all things.

                                                                                           Jo Mooy - April, 2017