Sunday, October 2, 2011

What if the World Ends This Month


What if the World Ends This Month?  


It's hard to imagine that something that's been around for 4.5 billion years is goingto suddenly cease to exist this month. Especially on a specific date this month. And certainly, if not this month, then surely on December 21, 2012. Hundreds of internet stories, channelings, and/or prophecies, make it sound like the end is quite near.  
Biblical passages are interpreted according to Armageddon beliefs, conspiracy theories are created to support a point of view, or the visible evidence of mother nature's wrath confirms the statement, See, we told you so!  Actually, with conditions on the planet seemingly so awful on every front, a huge shakeup just might be welcomed news all around.  But, I digress. 
Things reached a fever pitch this year after a Comet named Elenin, entered our solar system in December 2010. Comets, are "dirty snowballs" primarily made up of loosely packed ice and dust. There are 4,185 identified comets in our solar system. Yet, why Comet Elenin's arrival caused such a big stir can only be attributed to the atmosphere of fear that prevails on our planet, which leaves most people feeling impotent.
 
It is claimed that Elenin will bring cataclysm to the planet such as we've not seen since Atlantis or Lemuria sank. Theories abound that Elenin's proximity to earth will cause a pole shift that will be preceded by three days of darkness. A recent website proclaimed with much certitude that a series of "pre-cataclysms" would occur between mid-August and September 5th. As soon as those dates passed without incident the website removed the dates and issued an update that the cataclysm had been replaced by "relatively small disasters" so that civilization could continue.
 
In the spirit of thoughtful discourse about the end times I did a little research. It seems that Comet Elenin will make its closest approach to earth on October 16th. For those who say it will create three days of darkness, that doesn't appear to be possible. Seen from the earth, the comet will not cross the face of the sun. Even if it did, the comet is but 2-3 miles across in size while the sun is 865,000 miles in diameter. For a comet of 2-3 miles in diameter to darken the sun (as in an eclipse) it would have to be 250 miles above the earth. This one is 22 million miles away.
 
Let's compare Elenin to the "Great Comet" Hale-Bopp which entered the solar system in 1997. It was visible to the naked eye for 18 months and seen by most people on earth. Hale-Bopp was estimated to be 25 miles in diameter. Yet what effect did it have on the planet? Yes, there were significant blizzards and then flooding in north America, but that was attributed to climate change, not the comet. There were other events that occurred in 1997 that had a much larger impact on humanity. Focusing on world events, 120 countries signed an agreement to eliminate land mines; the UN prohibition on Chemical Weapons went into effect; 150 countries signed the Kyoto Protocol on global warming; Britain gave Hong Kong back to China. If those events were influenced by Comet Hale-Bopp then I personally look forward to the arrival of little Elenin.
 
But if, (and that's a big IF) it should do what others suggest and the world does come to an end this month, what would you do? You've got twenty-eight days to live! How would you live those 28 days? What would you do different than you do now in your daily life? Would you head for high ground? So where would you go and what would you do?
 
Here's what I would do. To start, I wouldn't go anywhere for if the poles shift there is no high ground.  I also recognize that the earth is always in a state of releasing and purifying herself so perhaps this cleansing is long overdue. I also believe that our time in physical form is of a much shorter duration than our time in spirit form and it is to that spirit I would be returning. Therefore, I'd continue to look for the good in all while holding a vision of more enlightened ones returning to earth in a future time.    

On a practical level, I'd talk every day with close friends, loved ones, or family, sharing our life stories, holding each other close and affirming love and kindness.  I'd go for walks in the morning and evening, catching breathtaking sunrises and sunsets that always make me feel closer to spirit.  Last, I'd light a candle, a stick of incense, sit down in meditation and wait. I'd do that all month until Elenin arrives.  Come to think of it, this is what I do every day!  So for me, this month won't be any different. What about you?  Om shanti, shanti, shanti!  

ADDENDUM:  It seems Comet Elenin, made up of dust and ice, was felled by the sun's heat in late September.  A massive solar flare reduced it's size, visibility and impact.  The comet is all but forgotten.  Until the next fearful thing consumes our collective psyche.  
++++++++++++++


Jo Mooy - October, 2011

LEAVING AN IMPRESSION


Leaving an Impression 


At 8:30 every morning he ambled past my window always wearing the same outfit -navy blue shorts, pockets bulging with dog treats, a white golf shirt, white sneakers with long white socks, a white baseball cap and oversized sunglasses. He was well-known throughout the neighborhood as "the guy with the dog biscuits" or "the guy who picked up the newspapers" or "the guy who carried in the trash-cans."

He made an impression on us because he always wore a big smile and he knew everybody by first name. He always had a kind word or comment whenever he saw you. When the garbage men left the trash cans and lids in the middle of the street he picked up each one and walked it to the garage door. When the newspapers were tossed onto the driveways he'd pick them up and place them at the door. If you went for a walk and there were no newspapers in anyone's driveway you knew he'd already gone by. He knew who was traveling, who was ill, or who was visiting. He inquired if there was a strange car in your driveway for more days than it should have been. Yet, his "knowing" was never intrusive. Rather, it was a gentle caring about his neighbors and a genuine interest in all the people he met on his daily walks.

But his most special affection was for all the dogs in our housing community. He knew every dog by name and they knew him. Dogs who never wanted to be petted by other than their owners would wait patiently or plant themselves on the sidewalk waiting for him to bring their doggie treats. My own dog would sit at his street corner waiting for him in the morning. When she had to be put on a special diet, he purchased the biscuits the vet required for her.

Their daily ritual continued for several years until the day she died. On that day she was too weary to get up. But somehow her instincts told her he was coming down the street. She went to the door to be let out. In a final burst of energy she hurrieddown the walkway to see him and in retrospect, to say goodbye. She died a few hours after that. When he learned of her death he cried with us sharing the grief.

I knew him by his daily walks, his kind acts, and his love of the neighborhood dogs. I knew he served the housing association through volunteer groups. I knew he was a veteran, but based on his youthful appearance assumed he served in Korea or Viet Nam. I knew his wife and knew he had an adult daughter.

At 8:30 on a recent Wednesday morning he was walking ahead of me as I was riding my bike along the paved trails in our subdivision. I yelled out "Good morning, Robbie!" so as not to startle him. He stopped and waved as I pedaled past him. It was the last time I saw him alive. Thirty minutes later he was pronounced dead by paramedics after suffering a massive heart attack in the community clubhouse where he'd gone to lift weights.

Looking back on the five years that our lives intersected I thought about all the times we'd spent talking about dogs and I asked myself, why I never asked him about his life. In his passing I learned so much about him. He was not in his early 70's as I'd assumed but rather was 84 years old. He was about to celebrate his 63rdwedding anniversary. He was a gifted musician playing the piano and organ. He traveled all over the world, living in many countries demanded of his job in the oil industry. There he made long-lasting friends as easily as he had done in our neighborhood. He'd made such an impression that letters from those friends still living in far-off lands filled the church's condolences box.

But what stood out the most was how he befriended young people, encouraging them to be better than they were, to take responsibility, to go to college and to become good people. One young woman who followed his explicit guidance, a budding operatic marvel, sang his funeral service. A young man that he befriended 25 years earlier wrote a touching tribute about him and how much he owed to Robbie's counseling.

It's said no one knows the day or the hour of our death. That's probably a good thing because it allows us to wake up greeting each day as a new beginning and giving us a fresh slate to write upon. Robbie's passing did that for me. I realized that this seemingly quiet man had actually left a huge impression on everyone he'd encountered during his lifetime. He didn't have a big pulpit to preach from, nor did he have a cause with a following. He simply cared about everyone he met and treated them kindly. And that can be contagious.

Robbie's death has caused me to think about my life and how I conduct myself andto make some small changes. Now, I slow down on those bike rides, stopping to inquire about a neighbor's well-being, or to ask the questions like "Where do you call home?" "Do you have a family?" "How are you feeling today?" And yes, even sometimes I take a few moments to pick up the trash cans.

I miss Robbie's physical presence as much as the dogs do. Sometimes I glance up from my computer and I catch a glimpse of him in his navy blue shorts and white baseball cap, his pockets bulging with dog treats as he ambles past my window. I know I'm seeing the impression he left on the streets of this retirement community just like the one he left in so many hearts. His daily routine created such an impression in people's lives that they remembered him by his random acts of kindness. His was a life well-lived.  Is there a better legacy to leave in this world than to know you touched lives this way?   

SIDE NOTE: Two days ago while working in the garage with the door open I felt the unmistakable presence of Robbie ambling down the street.  The feeling was so powerful I turned around to look for him.  I was convinced he was standing in the driveway saying "Good morning, Jo."  Of course, he was not.  But his impression surely was as he continues to walk the neighborhood! 
++++++++++++++

Jo Mooy - September, 2011 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Georgia Guidestones

The Georgia Guidestones  


On a recent trip to Georgia for a spiritual retreat Patricia and I detoured to a one-traffic light town in the northern part of the state. It was the home of a little known structure called the Georgia Guidestones which are located seven miles north of a tiny rural town called Elberton which itself is about two hours northeast of Atlanta. Elberton, called the "granite capital of the world," produces more granite monuments in its thirty-seven quarries than any other city in the world. Those facts must have played a part in the decision of a strange visitor to erect a large blue-grey towering structure that has become known as America's Stonehenge. 

Thirty two years ago in June 1979 a mysterious man who called himself R.C. Christian came to Elberton, deposited a sum of money into the local bank along with specific instructions for erecting a granite monument. Christian gave no information about himself other than he was one of a group of individuals from out of state who had selected the highest elevation in Elberton to build a structure that was dedicated to the future of humanity. 

The monument was designed with astronomical, astrological, lunar, solar and environmental significance. There were four monoliths, each 6' wide and almost 20' high, pointing outwards in alignment with the four cardinal directions and the moon's transit in the course of a year. A freestanding central or "celestial" stone between the four cardinal stones supported a 6' x 9' capstone. A hole had been drilled at eye level through the central stone so that the North Star was always aligned and visible. There was also a horizontal slot drilled into the structure so that as the morning sun rose on its annual transit across the heavens it illuminated a ray on the Equinoxes and Solstices. Another slot carved into the upper capstone acted as a calendar marking noon on the stones during the sun's travels.

Each directional stone was carved with ten "guides" for the sustainability of the earth and its inhabitants. The 4" carvings are written in Russian, Chinese, English, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindu and Swahili.  

The guidestones say:
   
1.  Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.  
2.  Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.  
3.  Unify humanity with a living new language.
4.  Rule passion, faith, tradition, and all things with tempered reason.  
5.  Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6.  Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7.  Avoid petty laws and useless officials.  
8.  Balance personal rights with social duties.  
9.  Prize truth, beauty, love, seeking harmony with the infinite.  
10. Be not a cancer on the earth. Leave room for nature. Leave room for nature.

Inscribed on the 13-ton capstone atop the central monolith are the words: Let These be Guidestones to an Age of Reason written in the ancient languages of Sanskrit, Babylonian Cuneiform, Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Classical Greek.

Several feet from the main structure lies a slab of granite flat on the earth that is known as the Time Capsule. It gives a bit of information about the structure's astronomical alignment, that R.C. Christian was a pseudonym and indicates that a time capsule was buried six feet below the slab and was to be opened with no date specified.

With the monument at the highest elevation in Elberton County, it offers panoramic vistas to the east and west. Its remote location and the lack of information about it in guidebooks makes it difficult to find. Yet, it stands testament with guiding principles to the future of the earth and to humanity's life upon it.

While it's difficult to argue with the ten messages of the Guidestones, detractors and conspiracy theories nonetheless abound. Some say the name R.C. Christian was chosen by the anonymous stranger to pay tribute to the esoteric teachings of Christian Rosen Kreuz (Christian Rosy Cross) the legendary founder of the Rosicrucian Order. Religious fundamentalists say the monument was built for devil and sun worship and have demanded that the stones be dismantled and pulverized.

Still others claim there are secret codes in the stones linking them to the tallest building in the Middle East even though the Guidestones were built thirty years before the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Sadly in 2008, the stones were defaced by vandals who painted, "Death to the new world order" across the tablets. Most of the graffiti had been removed during our visit in June 2011 but there was evidence of additional vandalism with hate-filled words carved specifically across the Arabic and Chinese stone faces.

On the morning of our visit, Patricia and I held a sacred vigil and a meditation at the base of the stones.  As we stood alone in the early morning humidity and heat of Georgia, we prayed for the earth, for her inhabitants, and for all the nations represented on the stones. We set a perimeter of sound and light around the monument so that only harmony would be seen by its visitors. We aligned our intentions with those of the builders so that we would "not be a cancer upon the earth" and that there would soon be a time when an "age of reason" would prevail on earth. Surely, if we all align with the higher vision of seeing loving goodness in every person, the golden age we clamor for will one day be the reality on earth.
++++++++++++++  

Jo Mooy - August, 2011 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

In Alignment

In Alignment 

Most of us are aware of the synchronicities that happen in our lives. You're thinking of someone you haven't seen in a long time, the phone rings and they're on the line. Or, you're involved in some type of undertaking and notice the clock reads 11:11 or 2:22. As time goes on, whenever you need a confirmation of a direction on the path, the 11:11 or 2:22 or 4:44 readouts on the digital clock appear, causing noticeable milestone affirmations for whatever you're doing.

During a recent sabbatical and retreat to the north Georgia mountains, I observed however that there was an enormous gap between synchronous events and being in alignment with an ideal. Thoughts or desires which had been set in motion years ago had in fact materialized during what felt like a timeless two weeks. Knowing that every thought creates a ripple effect in the etheric field it was suddenly easy to go back and relate how these concurrent desires had manifested as though laid out by an unseen force.

The lives of my partner and I were changed when we were introduced to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda over 40 years ago. As students of his teachings, we placed a wish into the ether years ago to meet a disciple who personally knew the great Eastern Yogi, who had brought Kriya Yoga to America in 1920.

As we planned various stages of our mountain sojourn which pivoted a visit with friends in South Carolina, the dates of our trip changed three times for various reasons before settling on early June. It would soon be revealed why those other dates had been discarded so easily.

We knew that one of Yogananda's direct disciples was 80 year old Roy Eugene Davis who studied with him in the early 1950's. Mr. Davis is the Director of the Center for Spiritual Awareness in of all places, the north Georgia mountains. Since we were to be in that area, it was our hope to be able to stop by the center and perhaps meet or just catch a glimpse of Mr. Davis. As it turned out, Mr. Davis, who had been ill with pneumonia for many months the past winter and spring, was personally conducting a retreat at the center in early June right when we would be there.

Our stars had aligned and the date changes suddenly made sense and confirmed that we were off to an unusual start to a mystical journey. As though adding more confirmation to our alignment of dates during the trip, Mr. Davis told a story of his own alignment with spiritual destiny when the previous owner of the center with its extensive property donated it to him for his spiritual work.

In the serene and peaceful setting of the mountains, we attended the retreat with guests from all over the world. Time felt like it was suspended and stretched out indefinitely with meditation at dawn to start the day into the evening when a talk or film ended the session.  While both of us had been taught and initiated into Kriya Yoga previously, Mr Davis announced he would personally impart Kriya-Pranayama initiation on the fourth day of the retreat to all attendees. It was an unexpected blessing that had been bestowed in the spiritual alignment that had been guiding the trip.

Reflecting on the many favors of the retreat during one afternoon's lull, we realized that we'd come to the mountains with three threads of desire and that in some way, each was related to the other and each had been granted. One wish was to meet a direct disciple of Yogananda. We'd been in the presence of Roy Eugene Davis for days, receiving his teachings his advice and counsel and his daily blessings. That one fell into place with divine ease.

The other two took form with equal ease. The second desire was to find the Georgia Guidestones, an astronomically aligned set of 20' tall granite structures that were mysteriously erected mysteriously erected in Elberton by a stranger who came to town. These Guidestones have been called America's Stonehenge. This thread, "just happened" to be on our GPS designated route from Sarasota as we traveled to CSA headquarters. What's the chance of that? 100% when you're dealing with divine alignment.

Finally, having studied sound and sound healing for several years, the third desire was to find and experience one of the "Sound Chambers" constructed by Native American mystic Joseph Rael. We knew one to be in the Georgia mountains, but were not quite sure where or if we could find it. Google searches had given us a list of sound chambers by city or by state but no means of contacting any of the owners of the chambers. Then two days before departure, I was compelled to continue the Google search.

As links usually take you to more links I found myself pulled down the Google rabbit hole, until one link gave me a phone number and the name of a woman who was the supposed "keeper of the chambers." Although, the phone number was no longer in service, I searched on the woman's name unearthing a name change and ultimately a Facebook contact point.

After speaking with her for over an hour explaining our story, she agreed to meet us. In another synchronistic flash, the only afternoon she could meet was on our one free afternoon from retreat. Inner guidance told us to embrace this opportunity and we agreed to meet in the parking lot of a small McDonald's on a remote highway in the north Georgia mountains. Our intuition had been right for she knew the location of a Sound Chamber, not 5 miles from our retreat center, and she was willing to guide us there.

We followed her on a gravel road, that turned into a dirt road, then into two tracks covered with pine needles, then to an open field. Gleaming in the distance was a large mirrored pyramid set in the center of a circular garden. The stunning, sun-lit pyramid was at the rear of the actual sound chamber which we unable to enter.

Undeterred, the three of us set up in the energy of the pyramid, laying out blankets, a small candle, white sage, and drums. Toning the vowel sounds of the four directions taught by Joseph Rael brought an answering chorus from the birds in the trees. A small stream nearby accompanied us as we alternated chanting mantras of many religions, finally ending when a bloodhound emerged from the woods, walked into our circle and began to howl his own chant. We laughed feeling nature had answered our call and confirmed our alignment.

Many years ago three desires were released into the world of thought. The three desires were based on spiritual ideals. In June 2011, when a very needed spiritual sabbatical was put in motion, those three threads resonated in similarity. Their frequencies vibrated and aligned in such a way as to bring all three wishes into physical manifestation in the mountains of Northern Georgia. We realized that these were not individual synchronous events separate from the other. Rather they were a much greater unfolding gift that had been flowing from the creator of all life. Synchronicity is two or more separate events showing a causal relationship. In alignment, all the seemingly separate parts of a system come into the functioning harmony of all the related events.

In that conscious awareness, synchronicity was a stepping stone to the grandeur of the pure current of alignment. That state of alignment, bonded with spiritual ideals, creates a magnificent feeling of connectedness with the blessings of universal allness. It is a feeling that swells joy in the heart and brings tears to the eyes. May we all experience that place some day!
+++++++++++++  
Jo - July 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Every Position is North

Every Position is North
 
The late night news bulletin surprised the entire world.  "Osama Bin Laden Killed!"  In moments, every other news story that had been "hot" just days before - the Royal Wedding, Tornado Damage, Midwest Flooding, US Debt - fell to the back pages.  His death opened old wounds for many who had lost family and friends on 9/11.  The reaction of thousands who gathered in front of the White House chanting USA, USA, USA, was understandable.  It was a cathartic primal release for them.   

My reaction however was much more subdued.  Maybe it was even hollow.  I thought about how the world we knew changed on 9/11.  I thought about Bin Laden, the mastermind.  I thought about the fact that I was supposed to be in the north tower that morning. I thought about the people I knew who were lost.  I didn't feel like cheering.  Instead, I experienced a great sadness for what the world had become since that horrible day.  In that sadness I needed to do something, to ponder the meaning of it, and to make sense
of it all.  

Pondering is an interesting past time that brings about revealing insights and changes perspective.  My ponderings often occur at the beach and this was no exception.  Most people on the beach are sun-bathers in swim suits or shorts so I wasn't sure what he was when I first saw him.  His hair was long, stringy and gray and his very thin body was a deep copper color as though burnished by the sun.  He was fully clothed but his shirt and pants, almost the same color as his skin, were in tatters.  He squatted on the beach near the edge of the water directly in my path.  Instead of going around him, I watched him.

He drew a diamond outline in the sand and placed four objects on the points.  He put a small coconut in the west, a date pit in the north, a scallop shell in the south and a round, brown spiky pod in the east.  I asked him if the objects in each position meant something significant.  He shrugged.  Then I asked him why he'd chosen to place each of them in the assigned position.  His reply was, "Every position is north."  He could tell I was mulling his answer so he elaborated further.  He said, "A position just depends on where you're looking.  It's how you're perceiving."  He never told me what the objects meant but his short answers were thought provoking.

In an attempt to find out more about him I asked his name.  He only laughed in response.  Eventually he offered up a few facts.  He had lived near the beach his whole life.  He said he washed up there eons ago.  I wondered why he'd never left the area.  He said he didn't need to.  He had learned about all of life's teachings by living alone and being near the ocean.

He squatted further down with his eye against the sand.  He told me he could "see universes in a handful of sand."  Then a remarkable thing happened.  He picked up one grain and placed it in mine.  As I studied it, the grain seemed to grow at least six inches large.  Then it dissolved into many grains.  Still wondering who he was I asked him his name again.  He laughed again but this time responded, "Oh call me Sam."

As time went on and the news about Bin Laden's death became more probing and soul-searching on the part of the media I thought about "Oh call me Sam" and what he told me about perspective.  If every position is north as he said, then maybe all we need to do is look "up" (or north) for guidance in interpreting any of life's situations.  I did that in relation to Bin Laden's death and my perspective shifted.  All I felt was a deep sadness and tearful compassion for everyone involved on that fateful day. 

I later read that the Dalai Lama said Bin Laden's "actions were destructive - - - and his action must be brought to justice."   He also said, "we must have compassion and concern, even for terrorists like Bin Laden."   In compassion I found myself offering up the Hawaiian Huna prayer much more frequently: I love you; I am so sorry; Please forgive me; Thank you!   

Maybe that's the universe Sam perceived in a handful of sand.  It was a very temporal one.  Like he said, "it depends on where you're looking."  Or in the Dalai Lama's words, where your heart is.
 
Jo - June 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Keeping the Candles Lit!

Keeping the Candles Lit!

"Japan Struggles to Contain Radioactive Leak" - "Fighting Continues in Libya" - "Widespread Cracking on Southwest Planes" - "Taliban Bombs Pakistani Shrine" "Oil Continues to Wash Up on Gulf Shores" - "Quran Burning Sparks UN Staff Slaughter." In just two hours those international headlines filled the air. The national and local news about murders, rapes, dying dolphins, budget cuts and government shutdowns wasn't much better.

This never-ending dose of "news" permeates worldwide consciousness threatening to derail the good intentions of everyone. And why call it "news?" There's nothing "new" about any of it. Rather, it's the same tired litany of fear and anxiety repackaged weekly with a different name or theme. It's very difficult to make sense out of all that's happening on the planet now, even as we're witnessing the labor pains of the new world. But maintaining that image can be daunting, especially when it feels like the world has gone mad.

People of consciousness hear the planetary distress call wondering if they can really do anything to help. Lately, it's not unusual to hear even the strongest and most grounded of practitioners expressing growing feelings of hopelessness or worse, apathy. They say they're overwhelmed or stressed out by all that's happening. Many are withdrawing internally from the endless barrage of things gone wrong, no longer wanting to be part of the outer world. Others share feelings of great sadness that holds them captive. They're unable to keep their own candles lit much less for others.

Some say resistance is futile. Others, that what you resist persists. The phrase, resistance is futile, comes from The Borg in the Star Trek Series. The Borg assimilated everything in their path on a quest to attain perfection. Each species they encountered had an image of one part of the elephant believing that to be the entire elephant. The Borg however wanted to know the entire elephant by merging every species into their collective. But, their mechanical approach to existence was devoid of any empathic feeling. The endless assimilation worked until the discovery that individuals could indeed become disconnected from the hive of the collective.

As the proliferation of fear, negativity and bad feelings continues to affect mass consciousness, we too can disengage from the news-hive of despair. Resistance is not futile nor an option. We know why we came here and what we're charged with doing. But it's going to take extraordinary courage and great strength to hold our vision of the elephant in the face of overwhelming contradictions.

Just as the "news collective" paints one picture of fear in the daily stories, there are so many other uplifting stories that are never shown. Seek them out. We have powerful tools at our disposal. In a universe made up entirely of sound waves, every thought has a meaning, creates an image, and defines the form. We can align ourselves with the good stories giving ourselves an empathetic sonic reprieve. But it will take purposeful intention, firm beliefs, and constant vigilance. We have to create and experience a reality different from what is presented to us every day.

While it's hard, and we're tired of the never-ending saga, we have to keep all our candles lit! The shared vision is of a neighborly world with people caring about one another. We can counter-balance the negative effects that currently predominate through small acts of service. It can start with something as little as a smile even when our own troubles feel insurmountable. We all need help now and then, but perhaps a neighbor needs a helping hand a little bit more. The act of reaching out takes us out of "our stuff" and puts us into a different frequency of helping.

Thousands of people holding soothing images can create a new mold for the world. That's how we keep the candles lit. But, we have to do this right now! And, it needs to be done daily for the next six months! Especially when the news seems darkest. Especially when the struggle seems against all odds. Especially when we're exhausted and feel we're doing this alone. Especially when it's so hard to stand up to the onslaught and still be positive. If we don't do it who will?

The collective healing will become real. It will happen if we affirm and hold the vision of our part of the elephant. In the greatest darkness we are not alone! There are hundreds of thousands also holding lit candles with us! Turn around and you'll see them glowing in the stories of high school football players feeding the hungry; of an 8-year old boy giving thousands of teddy bears to less fortunate kids because "every kid needs a teddy bear"; of other young children sending their allowances to the Tsunami victims; of neighbors reading to the blind; of a community's response to a family burned out of their home. Those stories seldom make the headlines, but in them we see lit candles keeping the darkness at bay!

Jo - May 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sound Healing a Tree

"Sound and music will become the medicine of the future."  When I read those words of the American psychic Edgar Cayce 40 years ago I had no idea that I'd live to see sound as a healing tool or that I'd be actively involved in it.  Yet, sound and sound healing appears to be a topic in the forefront of the scientific and spiritual communities.  If you Google the word "Sound" you'll see almost one billion results while the words "Sound Healing" has 2.7 million results.  Sound Healing is a modality whose time has come as evidenced by the preponderance of practitioners, researchers, professionals and students actively immersed in it.
 
For years I've studied sound with esoteric teachers.  I read about and researched scientific documents and spiritual manuscripts on the subject.  I imaged it in sacred visionary art.  And I learned about vibration and frequency at intensive seminars and retreats.  Finally, after years of study, I experienced sound at a profoundly deep and personal level while in a state of meditation.  Instead of understanding sound at a mental or intellectual level, I became sound.  The experience was so powerful I knew it was time to teach others how to understand it, hear it, feel it, and experience it.  But my experiential lessons were not over yet for spirit wanted me to put into practice what I'd learned about sound throughout all those years! 
 
In the summer of 2010 I planted a six foot tree to replace one lost in a storm.  Though not as hardy as its predecessor it flourished through the fall.  Then in December a wind-storm struck the tree, tearing its trunk into 3 pieces and leaving the pieces hanging by shredded bark.  The obvious choice was to bemoan the loss, dig it up and plant something else.  But an inner voice whispered, "heal it!"  So, instead of cutting it down, the 3 limbs were pulled together and stitched up with duct tape.
 
I talked with the tree, telling it what I was going to do.  I knew that everything in the universe was vibration and that intention, imagination and sound could heal.  I told the tree that it was going to heal and that I would use sound vibrations to assist it.  So, every day when I passed the tree, I put my hands around the swollen bandaged area and toned harmonics and sound into it.  I visualized the 3 limbs coming together as whole and complete.  I saw the sap within the small trunk bringing life to the severed area.  I continued doing that for two months.
 
In March, just a few weeks before the vernal equinox, the tree looked like it was going to bud.  I held out hope, sensing that it might return to life.  One of the limbs was robust, filled with deep green leaves and red flower buds.  The other two limbs didn't look as healthy.  Still, I continued talking to it, sounding it, and toning healing notes into it.
 
The great Sufi mystic Inayat Khan said sound can be magnetized by the voice of the singer and that "the closer to nature it is kept the more powerful and magical it becomes."  The photo above is the tree in Spring of 2011.  While one side is clearly more vibrant than the other, nonetheless there are small leaves and red flowers on the other two limbs.  The tree was talked with and sounded with healing tones almost every day.  It appears to have survived its ordeal.  Some might say that you can "fix" anything with duct tape.  I know that daily doses of sound healed it!
 

Jo - April 2011 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

REMEMBER MIKE!

Remember Mike!
"No no, I can't accept that.  It's too much. I can't let you do that!"  One of the women had just given the other a most meaningful gift of true friendship.  But the receiver would not allow herself to accept the generosity of her friend.  I watched the interchange as the protests continued from one to the other.   Seeing the impasse I stepped between them and offered this story to both of them.

After a year of searching, I found a kitchen cabinet island that perfectly matched the granite kitchen countertops.  The online order was so heavy it had to be shipped to the local UPS store.  I called Mike, the owner of the store and told him to be on the lookout for it and to warn him that it weighed over 250 pounds.  I also learned that the island cabinet had to be assembled so I asked Mike if he knew a handyman that could assemble it for me.  He didn't know of anyone so I figured I'd have to find one after the rolling cabinet was delivered.

About two weeks later there was a knock at the front door.  When I opened the door there was UPS Mike with the heavy shipment.  It wasn't in a shipping box.  The cabinet had been assembled.  Mike had rolled it up the driveway and wanted to place it in the kitchen for us.  I was flabbergasted with what he'd done.  Not only had he assembled it on his own time, but he had personally delivered it in his pickup truck. 

I offered to pay Mike for his labor and effort but he refused.  I insisted.  He still refused, saying it was his way of helping his customers.  Realizing he would not take any money, I went to a local restaurant and bought a gift card of dinner for two.  Very proudly I went to the UPS store and gave it to Mike.  He looked at the card, looked at me, and wistfully asked "Why did you do that?"  I said I wanted to show my appreciation.  Mike said, "But in doing that you just diminished my gift to you."  I felt about 6 inches tall.

When I told my friend that story, she got tears in her eyes and said she had never thought of a gift in that way before.  I assured her neither had I.  But I always remembered what Mike had done and more importantly what he'd said about diminishing his gift.  You see, Mike gave me much more than an assembled kitchen cabinet.  He taught me the true meaning of gift-giving and gift-receiving.  He taught me that it was okay to receive without one-upmanship.  He taught me that the gift of the heart cannot be genuinely given unless there's a receiver willing to accept and allow the gift.   

The three of us had an emotional hug as we digested the story of Mike.  When you're next tempted to refuse or overcompensate for a gift someone has done for you, Remember Mike! 

Jo - March 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Archangel Visits

Archangel Visits
"I have to go; the five Archangels are coming in an hour!" she said.  My mind raced as I visualized a group of costumed individuals from one of the many theater troupes in town, dropping in to my friend's house that Sunday evening.  But it wasn't a visiting theater group.  She explained that the Archangels had been visiting homes in the area, passed from one friend to another.  A sacred ritual was performed as each person who agreed to host them for five days, welcomed them with an altar, a white flower, lit candle, fruit, and 3 wishes - one for the planet, one for family or friends, and one for themselves.

I followed her story intently as she relayed her daily experiences with the Archangels.  She'd greeted them at her front door at 10 pm on a Sunday night, welcoming them into her home and inviting them to honor and bless the three wishes she'd placed on the altar.  She said she felt a large, powerful presence come into the house.  For the five days, she felt as though someone was living in the house with her.  She felt safe, protected and full of peace.  For the five days, she spoke to them constantly, inviting them to go in the car with her when she went to work.  Experiencing some challenging times, she asked them to help stabilize all aspects of her life. She said each time she had a "conversation" with them, she felt assured that all would turn out well.  And so it did for in five days, her dormant business sprang to life, she discovered new income sources, and she found more affordable housing.

My personal relationship with Archangels or Guardian Angels began when I was four years old and living in Antigua in the West Indies.  My great-aunt Rose had a beautiful painting of a Guardian Angel standing watch over a little girl and boy as they crossed a stream.  The painting always fascinated me.  I sensed there really were Angels around and if I studied the image carefully I'd figure out how to see them all the time.  But Aunt Rose had placed it too high over the big pedestal bed for me to get a good look at it.  So I often jumped up and down on the bed flying high in the air to see it better though she often admonished me to stop jumping on the bed for fear I'd fall off. 

One day she was busy doing something so I decided that would be the day to really examine the Angel painting.  I jumped higher and higher on the bed, each leap propelling me closer to the ceiling.  In a moment of delight I realized I was airborne just like the Angel.  But in that same moment I lost my balance and reached out for something to stop my fall.  Those were the days long before OSHA so the only thing available was a live electrical socket protruding from the wall. As I grabbed it, a powerful jolt of electricity ran through me.  As my body was thrown off the bed I felt vibrations everywhere and saw light in myself and everything around me.  In a stunned "in-between state" I knew it was my angel cushioning my fall and letting me "see" her.

Remembering that event vividly, I asked my friend if we could host the archangels.  She sent us the instructions and we began preparing for the arrival of Michael, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael and Metatron.  Setting up an altar on the counter was easy.  We bought a white carnation, got a long tapered white candle, and an apple.  We carefully wrote out our three wishes, placing them on the altar near the candle.  We then waited for them.  As 10 pm approached on the appointed day, we lit the candle and opened the front door to welcome them into the house. 

Though it was a warm, still, clear, night a rush of cool air swept past us into the foyer.  As we closed the front door, we noticed the candle flame on the altar flickering.  The hair on my arms stood up like an electrical current was running through me just as it had in my angelic childhood experience. Both of us felt a powerful presence had come into the room especially when the candle continued to flicker for almost ninety seconds.  Asking the obvious question, "Are you here?" it stabilized.

We hosted the Archangels for five days.  During that time, everything was filled with harmony around us.  Synchronistic events took place daily, confirming for us the angelic presence.  As we told others about our experiences they asked to be hosts.  Before long, they were visiting friends of friends of friends all over southwestern Florida and indeed, all over the world.  People were calling, writing, or begging for the Archangels to come to their homes - especially after they learned of the amazing experiences that were being reported.  Several wanted them to arrive on birthdays, gifting themselves the Archangels.  One received insight to work with animal rescue, something she'd always been drawn to.  Many took them to work as helpers on the job.  Another who "skinny-dipped" in her pool every day said she felt the Archangel's presence so strongly in the house that she was compelled to wear a bathing suit.  Every person reported a powerful happening or experience during the five days they hosted the angels.

One young woman told her fiancĂ© about the Archangels.  He was so moved by some of the stories he arranged his work schedule so he could be home to prepare the altar and welcome the Archangels with her.  It was a fortuitous meeting for him, especially as he asked the Archangels to go to work with him.  While he was on a high ladder next to a power line, the transformers blew up, sending him flying backwards off the ladder.  He was strapped in properly to his safety line so instead of falling to his death, he was carried safely to the ground.  He said he was simply "placed on the ground."  When he realized what had happened and that he should have been electrocuted, he fell to his knees, thanking the Archangels for being there at that moment. 

When I heard his story I was struck by the similarities of my own as a four-year old child.  Both of us had a budding interest in the Archangels.  Both of us had connected with them.  Both of us had almost been electrocuted.  It was a powerful confirmation that the Archangels had always been there for me.  I was reminded of the time when Archangel Michael appeared on the side panel of a white truck confirming a trip to Peru. 
The Archangel visits are confirmation to all of us that if we ask them for help they will be there; and they will never leave us.  In these turbulent times of rising consciousness who wouldn't welcome a little help from our spiritual guardians. If you'd like more information on the Archangels Visits and the rituals that go with it, please send an email with your name and city to jo@starsoundings.com.  Remember, you must agree to send the Archangels from your home to at least one other person.  I look forward to hearing your stories.
Jo - February 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jan. 2011 A Matter of Perspective

The simple act of turning the calendar page from the old year to the new is like buying a lottery ticket.  As the old year is put to rest, the New Year opens wide to endless possibilities.  It conjures up anticipation, hope and belief that things are surely going to be better.  That expectation is even more pronounced as one decade closes and another opens, affording a brief window of time to reflect on the past decade and brace for the new one.  How we interpret events and changes is a matter of perspective.

Was it only ten years ago that we held our collective breaths wondering if the world would come to an end at midnight on Dec. 31, 1999 when all the large computer systems on the planet crashed?  The apocalyptic prophecies of a Y2K disaster fizzled when January 1st dawned and the lights were still on.  The Y2K scenario was the start of a decade of fear and double-speak as a tool to control human behavior.  The turmoil and upheavals unbalanced institutions, governments, and the environment, worldwide.  Our safe little world had not come crashing down in the way we thought.  But by the end of the decade computers, social networks, twitter, texts, and smart phones were in fact controlling our lives even more.  Whether those changes were good or bad was simply a matter of perspective.  Or age.

"Hanging chads" called into question a presidential election in 2000?  Black Americans were delayed at roadblocks so they were unable to vote in that election.  But the orderly transfer of power occurred despite the chads and politics, ten years later, the first African American has been elected President.  The Gulf of Mexico was at the top of international news at the start and end of the decade.  In 2000 a little Cuban boy found floating in the Gulf was caught up in international politics before being returned home to his father.  Ten years later the Gulf was again in the news as millions of gallons of oil floated on the water creating an environmental disaster. 

That oil spill showed that ecological management had not much improved since  hurricane Katrina devastated the region.  Global climate changes now routinely show the effects of human mismanagement on all the ecosystems of the planet.  In the last ten years the polar ice caps receded so much Hudson Bay was void of sea ice.  And the Amazon River, largest in the world, is in an alarming drought paralyzing fishing and transportation on the river.  Some say it's climate change, others that it's a normal cycle.  It's still a matter of perspective.

Despite the embarrassments, WikiLeaks showed that government "secrets" were only secrets in the minds of the beholders.  We learned that open countries really wanted to cooperate with one another towards peace as behind the scenes they diplomatically reconsidered their sponsorship of closed regimes.  We always sensed that Gordon Gecko type greed was behind the financial crisis affecting everyone on the planet but WikiLeaks revealed the documents.  Through technology the "little people" had access to any type of information instantaneously via the internet, satellites, and social media networks.  The promised governmental "information age" had been delivered but it was only a matter of perspective as to whom or how it was interpreted.

On a personal note, feelings of optimism and hope abound since turning the calendar to 2011.  Our recent holiday travels included a return trip to NYC where we visited Ground Zero for the fourth time.  You might wonder why it was necessary to continue returning there.  It's because that place holds special significance in my life for I was supposed to be at a meeting in the north tower on the morning of 9/11. 

The recent visit to the site however felt so energetically different from previous visits.  Instead of the blanketing feelings of death, sorrow, and sadness that always seemed to permeate the area, the "hole" as it was called, resonated with new life.  A massive rebuilding effort is underway day and night, as thousands of workers construct the new memorial, museum, and the five sky-scrapers to replace the
TwinTowers.

Ten years after 9/11 there's a palpable feeling of vibrancy, hope, and pride at the site.  You can see it in the faces of the hard-hat workers, the police officers standing duty on the streets, and even the tourists who mill around the area.  While dozens stand in line to sponsor a cobblestone for the memorial, many more stand respectfully at the shrines of the fire-fighters honoring their sacrifices not with tears but with admiration.  All look expectantly at the 48 stories that have been completed at one of the towers. 

The same feelings of optimism that happen when turning the page of the calendar from the old year to the new are happening at what has become a world monument in NYC.  The reflecting pools that now stand in the footprints of the old towers, the gardens and the memorial museum are scheduled to re-open on
9/11/2011.   The silver spire of the tallest skyscraper, World Trade 1, will pierce the sky at 1,776 feet, standing as a symbol of the eternal spirit of humanity.  It will proclaim to the world that the TradeCenter has been rebuilt and that out of anguish and grief the page has been turned to one of new life.  This spire affirms that it's much more than a matter of perspective.

Through the endless wars, we've lived in a decade where some have chosen to paint all Muslims with the brush of terrorism, even though the vast majority is law abiding and abhor terrorism as much as we do.  Those who see the world as dangerous and fearful live in a state of constant siege.  Meanwhile, others have seized the opportunity to embrace diversity by bringing the two sides together. 

With the New Year and a new decade dawning, we have a magical opportunity to bring forth a bright new consciousness in ourselves and thus into the world.  The choice is ours!  It's all a matter of our perspective.

Jo - January 2011