Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sarah, Susan & Alice

Sarah, Susan & Alice
No, you can't go to school! It's not a place for girls. I'm sorry, your husband is the only one who can own that property. Yes, Mr. Smith makes more money than you because he has a family to provide for. You don't. Lady, if you want that credit card you'll need your husband's signature. Don't worry your pretty head about politics, I'll take care of it. You can't be a manager, you're a woman! The military is for men only. Women have lived with statements like these for centuries.

Then there was a revolution in the 1700's that created a nation. But along the way, the founders forgot about women. Volumes have been written about the new nation. It's essential truth was "all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights." It went on that, "to secure these rights, Governments are instituted by men who get their powers from those governed." What did that really mean? Only men were created equal? If men were the Government did their powers only come from other men? Did freedom and liberty and justice for all apply only to them? My questions weren't so unusual. Others long before me had asked them. Especially Sarah, Susan and Alice!

In South Carolina, Sarah Grimke and her sister Angelina(1792-1879) were the first American female advocates for abolition and women's rights. Sarah's father, Chief Judge of the Supreme Court, refused to send her to law school deeming it only fit for his son Tom. Nonetheless she studied every book in her father's library excelling in the law. Judge Grimke, later said she would have been the greatest lawyer in South Carolina if she were not a woman. In violation of that law, Sarah taught her personal slave to read. And later freed her. Then the sisters went on another improper activity for women - a national speaking tour against slavery and for the rights of women. Angelina wrote "Women were not created for the possession of men. But rather as unique, intelligent, capable creatures deserving equal regard, rights and responsibilities with men." It was inflammatory and incited riots.  (Read their remarkable story in Sue Monk Kidd's book, The Invention of Wings.)

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) is the most famous reformer of the suffragette movement in America. She too was an abolitionist but later was more focused on women's rights. As headmistress of a female academy she was enraged to learn she was paid much less than a male headmaster. It caused her to ease into the role of voting rights for women, saying "I didn't want to vote but I did want equal pay for equal work." That changed when she met the women of Senaca Falls who were lobbying for a woman's right to vote. For over fifty years she and her closest collaborator, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, worked tirelessly. They marched, petitioned congress and endured public humiliations. She and many of her friends were imprisoned in horrible conditions for illegally voting in an election. Not until August, 1920 did women get the right to vote in the 19th amendment to the US Constitution. It changed things.

Then there was Alice. No, not Roosevelt.  This was Alice Paul from Mt. Laurel NJ. She was the architect, activist, strategist and leader of the campaign for the 19th Amendment. She dedicated her life to securing a woman's right to vote. She mobilized women as "Silent Sentinels" to stand outside the White House during WWI incurring the wrath of angry mobs and the disdain of the President. They were imprisoned in filthy rat-infested cells. They were beaten
and left out in the cold with no coats. They went on hunger strikes and were force fed. Government officials removed Alice to a sanitarium in hopes she'd be declared insane. The doctor said no she wasn't. When the press found out about their treatment the public responded in favor of the women. It went to Congress with the deciding vote in the hands of a 24 year old from Tennessee who intended to vote "no." Until his mother sent him a telegram saying "support the women." Ninety-seven years later, a statue honoring his mother and the Tennessee Suffragettes was just installed in Nashville's Centennial Park.

Thank you Sarah, Susan and Alice. You were vilified and humiliated. You were imprisoned and tortured. You were spat upon and urinated on. You were chained and beaten. Yet you persevered and endured. You struggled for hundreds of years, finally getting women the right to vote. In November, at Thanksgiving, in an election year where the first woman in history is running for office, we thank you for your valiant courage in the face of unimaginable discrimination and horror. Because of you we can vote without facing those horrors. Thank you Sarah, Susan and Alice!

                                                                                           Jo Mooy - November 2016  

Sunday, October 2, 2016


The Calling
She was a Rosicrucian and my first spiritual mentor. Her name was Gloria. She introduced
Rosicrucian Cross
me to meditation, numerology, color and frequency, psychic experiences, rituals and sacred ceremonies. She taught me the importance of remembering and interpreting dreams and how to consciously walk shamanic pathways into alternate realities. And she guided me well in the early days of my spiritual journey.

I remember many of her pronouncements regarding the direction my life would take. She'd lean back in her chair, her eyes would glaze, her voice deepened with a husky edge, and she'd tell me what she saw. Gloria said I would never be rich, but would always be comfortable. She said my job would take me far and support me well. She predicted three extraordinary experiences that would propel me into alternate-realities. One of those experiences where I consciously observed myself entering an immense fluid energy field while driving my car is as vivid today as when it occurred in the 1970's.

However, the most compelling prediction she made and one that stuck in my mind was the major directional change my life would take when I entered my 60's. She saw me teaching the spiritual path to others accompanied by an "equally dedicated spiritual partner." At the time of the prediction I felt she'd made her first mistake. I had no "dedicated spiritual partner" in my life,
and I couldn't conceive of a scenario where I'd be teaching others about the spiritual path, being new to it myself. What I failed to realize was that "The Calling" to do just that had been planted in my being long before she told me when it would flower.

What I've come to know is that The Calling is a journey of spiritual awakening that can come like a bolt out of the heavens or it creeps into your consciousness like a feather falling softly from a pillow. It can arrive at any time in your life as it did when I met Gloria. When you become conscious of it, you know on a deep inner level that your life is going to change in dramatic ways. It's a subtle spiritual force that permeates your being and all you can do is respond to its direction. It influences the books you read, the music you listen to, the TV you watch, and the places you visit. It causes you to seek out teachers who can identify and explain it in ways that soothe your spirit.

It's not an easy path to follow.  It doesn't have to, but many times it shatters your old life patterns, leaving it in tatters. Because you're changing, old friends and even family members will often fall away from your sphere of contacts. They tell you they don't know who you are, or worse, they don't like the person you've become. When you try to explain your new interests or behavior, they want no part of it. Or you. It can be a painful and lonely time. Yet you persevere.

That's when you realize that the "new you" no longer has the same interests that were prevalent in your old life. Everything about you has changed and you want to follow that singular path though you have no idea where it will lead. It's then that the spiritual teacher becomes your best guide. And if the teacher is good, they will direct you to your own inner guide.

Gloria's prediction of "teaching the spiritual path in your sixties" has happened. You said that the material we teach at the women's meditations or retreats had a profound effect on your lives. You said, the practices and exercises caused seismic changes to happen. While old relationships came unglued new ones emerged and ignited. These changes are The Callingsounding from the depths of your being. When you hear it then cross that threshold, only you can pick up the light offered and carry it on. You will do this with a lightness in your heart, and a smile on your face. The awakening of spiritual knowing is the soul's essential quest in living a human incarnation. What a symphony it creates!
                                                                                               Jo Mooy - October 2016   

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Mermaid Altar at the Wall

The Mermaid Altar at The Wall
The Wall juts out into the Gulf at the north end of the beach. It's the end point of a mile or more
The Wall
beach walk. There's no way around it other than to swim at high tide, or wade through the criss-crossing currents at low tide. It's six feet high and about two feet thick. It's a concrete bulkhead to hold the tides back from swallowing the expensive home that sits hidden on the ridge away from the water. It's also a barrier to the beach walkers who might infringe on the property rights of the owners.

The Wall is plain. The concrete is dun-colored. It's been there for many years with nothing to distinguish it other than two sets of large black stenciled "Private Property No Trespassing" letters prominent on the beach side. But no matter the intentions of the owners, time has taken its measure. With the rising of the sea level, the higher tides have brought in sand raising the beach and reducing the height of the wall to just under five feet.

Reducing it from six feet made it more approachable to the walkers who considered The Wall, the end of their beach walk before they had to turn around and walk back. But one day something happened. The walkers began to see The Wall, not as an obstacle to overcome, but
The Blue Mermaid
one to embrace. The changes started spontaneously. Now that the top was reachable, one or two walkers brought a shell, (or several) leaving them on the top of the wall. Other walkers, seeing the shells, began to add their own.

Then the biggest change came. No one knew who did it, or when it was done, but one day an artist decided to paint The Wall. She began by painting two wild-hair mermaids. The blue one with big eyes waved to the walkers. The lime green one was positioned swimming towards the sea. The mermaids were accompanied by eight blue fish swimming in different directions. A thin green palm tree, and a couple of pink jelly fish floating off behind the swimming mermaid completed the mural.

As soon as The Mermaids arrived the intention of The Wall as a barrier dissolved. While the Mermaids didn't obscure the "Private Property No Trespassing" signs, their appearance made it less in your face. The Mermaids were whimsical and invited interaction with the walkers. Soon the walkers responded in kind and The Wall became known as The Mermaid Altar. Beautiful shell offerings were left on top of the wall. Then came the symbols, reflecting the different religions, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism, of the walkers. It was not unusual to see the OM symbol made out of seaweed on top of the wall next to a shell shaped peace
Sunday Morning Offering
symbol, or a Christian cross made out of sea beans.

Many religions have houses of worship where the faithful can go on a Sunday morning. The original teachers of those religions taught about the majesty of nature and suggested there was much to learn about life by being in nature. The beach calls to many and in this area, it can be its own place of worship. That's evidenced by the many walkers who head out early on a Sunday morning to commune with nature. They walk north on the beach towards The Wall. They stop en-route, picking up shells, or beach-glass that will become an offering at The Mermaid Altar. When they reach The Wall, they place the offering on top. Sometimes they stop, bow their heads, and offer a prayer. Occasionally they bring a child, telling them about the altar and lifting the child to place a shell on the top.

It's suggested when given a lemon, make lemonade. So it was, when an owner put up a wall hoping to detract others from their expensive beach property.  The beach walkers and the artist took that lemon and made lemonade! The "Private Property - No Trespassing" concrete bulkhead was transformed with a lovely mural.  It's now a destination for Sunday morning walkers that they call The Wall or The Mermaid Altar!

                                                                                           Jo Mooy - September 2016   

Tuesday, August 2, 2016



Heat! It conjures up images of fire, rising temperatures, passion, even a movie. But it's much
Solar Eruptions
more influential in our lives and is something we often take for granted. Earth is in the "sweet spot" in its distance from the inferno of the sun. Without the sun's heat, the temperatures on earth would reach hundreds of degrees below zero and pretty soon life on earth would end. And should the sun itself vanish, the gravity that held things together would instead allow all comets, asteroids and planets to fly off into space or each other.

While science defines heat as "the energy stored inside something" (like the core of the earth) temperature is a measurement of how hot or cold something is.  Heat travels and moves around and through objects. Things that are hot cool down (like a cup of coffee) and things that are cold get warmer (like a cup of ice-cream.) Then there's weather which is an atmospheric condition defined as temperatures of hot or cold, and atmospheres that are sunny or rainy. Weather is driven by air pressure, temperatures interacting with moisture, and the sun's angle relative to the axis of the earth.

That's heat in a nutshell. But why is it so important? Because weather shapes the earth. Andalso because weather, with its temperature extremes of hot and cold, has an extraordinary impact on human health and well-being. In the northern hemisphere August is a month
Frying egg on sidewalk
synonymous with heat. The temperature is so hot wildfires abound and often sidewalks buckle in the heat. Some daring souls have fried eggs on their car bumpers during the month. August is also the "high season" for catastrophic hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina caused one million people to leave the Gulf Coast and move to other parts of the country, becoming the largest diaspora in the history of the United States.

The heat of August, coupled with high humidity, also contributes to exploding tempers and emotional outbursts. Like the weather, pressures in humans builds up. Police reports show violent crimes soar in the hot months but less so in the cold months.Archaeologists and psychologists say there's a link between the environment and human behavior. Evidence exists that extreme weather caused crop failures that led to unrest, uprising and the downfall of civilizations from Babylon to the Mayan Cultures to the dynasties of China.

But consider this.  Research scientists at UCLA Berkeley have been seeking a "grand unified theory of the environment and human behavior" that crosses location and time with the only constant being us. The research concludes that a degree of fluctuation from average temperatures or rainfall results in a predictable change in human conflict. They said this conflict is played out on NY subways, as well as influencing the regional and national levels. When heat is added it escalates. For instance when policemen were placed in a "heated simulator room" they were more likely to fire their guns when assaulted. The environmentappears to be affecting how small scale conflicts can escalate into larger ones.
Searing passions
You're probably wondering what this has to do with you personally. Sufi mystic Pir Vilayat suggests one should always "look for that which transpires behind that which appears" to get a better understanding of events. What if there's a correlation not just with the weather affecting humans but rather with humans affecting the weather? I don't mean humans causing climate change, though that's an aspect of it. Rather, what if the emotional state of humans is the actual cause of the weather we experience? What if the angry and fearful behavior of humans creates the volcanic disturbances in the weather?

We're living in a violent period of earth history. Civil discourse and respect for one another has taken a back seat. It's evident in how we treat each other, the litter we leave on beaches and parks, and the value we place on the self and personal gain. If an argument in a heated moment can poison the atmosphere between friends so powerfully that it's felt when others come into contact with them, then it seems logical that contaminated atmosphere will also radiate out as
Us and the weather
part of the weather? Enough heated arguments (wars, election campaigns) will create disastrous storms because our personal "atmosphere" is affected and so too is the overall global weather atmosphere.

When Pir Vilayat said "look for that which transpires behind that which appears" that phrase becomes a directive for each of us to carefully observe our actions and make a determination on how we're influencing others. We are not alone in this! We are inter-connected as one being. What happens to one of us happens to the whole.  That includes our affect on the environment and weather.

                                                                                                 Jo Mooy - August 2016   

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ten Years Shredded

Ten Years Shredded

"How long do I have to keep these tax records?" I asked my tax guy. "Three years but ideally
seven." he replied. I dug deep into a five-drawer file cabinet, and found tax returns going back ten years beyond the ideal seven. So, I made a cup of tea, plugged in the shredder, and sat on my office floor with a pile of folders intending to make short work of shredding ten years of my life. But I learned there's a huge chasm between intention and execution.

The project was not what I expected it to be. As each folder was opened and the contents spilled out, my business and personal life from decades ago captured my attention. Taxes paid to the different cities and states I'd lived in brought up memories of not of what I had to pay (outrageous) but of the relationships and long-term friendships forged in each place. I recalled my first boss Tom who taught me an adage that I used throughout my career. Tom said "Twenty percent of the people do eighty percent of the work so feed the eagles and starve the turkeys." I wondered about him and those long gone friends.  Where were they today? Did they remember me as I now remembered them?

The contents also spoke to both sad and happy life events. A lawyer's letter notified me of an investment that passed to my sisters and me upon the death of our mother. It was a loving reminder of her and how many years she'd been gone. Savings bonds receipts, purchased for each grandson when he was born, required an accounting with the IRS. I remembered leaving
an important executive meeting when the phone call came in that the first one was born, and my hair-raising drive from Connecticut to New Jersey to see grandson Deegan.

Charitable donations were made in honor of events that touched the world. There was one to the NYC Firemen's Fund after 9/11 which brought up long ago memories of a day engraved in the hearts of all - especially New Yorkers. Three file folders later there was a different donation to the efforts in Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami killed 230,000 people and devastated that region.

It took several hours to go through all the files. As I did my old life came into focus and was remembered well. I recognized it as a life well lived, filled with joys and professional rewards. W-2s showed a career with many promotions and much promise; while expense accounts recalled travel all over the country and to foreign ports. As I thumbed through the receipts I smiled remembering the events, banquets, guests and friends made along the way.

Recalling the memories I realized it was a life I had to leave behind in order to live the life I really wanted to live. It was impossible to do the work that consumes me today while continuing to live the old life in the Corporate world. Rewarding as it was, I had to leave it behind in order to pursue that which has since become a life purpose.
When a life purpose emerges you realize it's not a hobby you're pursuing but a powerful and meaningful path. It's a path that family or friends might not understand and they might actively try to thwart it. I experienced that for several years before making the final break. When it occurred the dominant feeling that overpowered all the others was "Freedom." I had the freedom to pursue that which brought me overwhelming happiness and purpose.

Those folders were a reminder that the path to meaningful happiness can take a 90 degree turn at any moment. It comes unbidden but is merciless in its demands for notice! If one is strong enough to do it, willing to ignore well-meaning guidance from family and friends, and courageous in resolve, the rewards to pursuing a new path are remarkable. Shredding tax documents reminded me of the strength and courage it took to close the door on the old life and open the door to something new.

All the skills learned in the old corporate life enhance the new one. I teethed on computers, perfected presentations, developed marketing plans and writing proposals - all still in use today. That life was ideal for the time I was in it. It afforded me happiness, and a good living to raise a family. As Ten Years were Shredded it reminded me there were no regrets. My past life brought me brilliantly to this new one here! At the end of the shredding I realized happiness is wherever one is planted.

                                                                                                 Jo Mooy - July 2016   

Monday, June 27, 2016


The Blue Ray
I first learned about the Medicine Buddha when a Buddhist friend from California did a prayer meditation for my mother who was very ill. She said the Medicine Buddha is an enlightened
being known as the healer of physical and mental illness. He is depicted seated, wearing the three robes of a Buddhist monk, holding a blue-colored jar of medicine nectar in his left hand with the right hand resting on his right knee. He holds the stem of the Myrobalan plant which is considered an exceptional universal healing plant. A lapis lazuli blue aura surrounds him.

In the years that followed, my knowledge of the Medicine Buddha remained subtle and uninformed. But apparently that prayer she invoked for my mother was destined to sow seeds that would begin to emerge a few years later when my brother-in-law went to Nepal and brought me a beautiful Life of Buddha Thangka. It had all the aspects of Buddha, including the Medicine Buddha, painted on it. Soon after the painting was hung over our altar the Medicine Buddha began to make its presence known.

One morning in meditation two figures appeared on either side of the Medicine Buddha. The one on the left identified herself as the Bodhisattva Chandra, Goddess of the Moon. The one on the right identified herself as the Bodhisattva Surya, Goddess of the Sun. Both of them appeared in a sea of blue color. In the scene were shades of the most extraordinary clear blues with streams and pure rays of blue everywhere. I wrote down the meditation with plans to share it with our local women's circle, which I did in 2014.

Fast forward two years later. The local Buddhist Center invited the community to a Medicine Buddha Empowerment. An empowerment is like an initiation. It's a ceremonial ritual handed down in an unbroken lineage for thousands of years. It consists of prayers, blessings, a guided meditation, and an initiation into practices associated with a specific aspect of the Buddha.

Walking into the center my eyes fixed on a poster of the Medicine Buddha. Normally the Medicine Buddha, portrayed in blue, sits serenely alone. But this one was different. What caught my attention were the two deities on either side of the Buddha - the Goddess of the Moon and the Goddess of the Sun. I recalled the meditation from several years earlier as the bell rang for the ceremony.

An empowerment is a very singular and purposeful experience. No two are alike. After a series of teachings and chants the meditation guiding the empowerment began. In the stillness, the visuals that were called in took over my being. I became immersed inside a Blue Ray of light. Blue filled every cell in my body. I had no consciousness of anything but The Blue Ray. I felt blue, saw blue, and experienced blue. There was a notable collapsing of the physical entity into this absorption by The Blue Ray. It was like experiencing blocks slowly falling away until nothing but a Blue Ray remained. In that state, I was submerged into a vast healing space that was timelessly held by the being known as the Medicine Buddha. I had become the Blue Ray.

Since the empowerment the effects of the Blue Ray continue. When needed for healing, it's
summoned as though it never left. A cold, accompanied by 2 weeks of coughing, caused the muscles around my ribs to become painfully inflamed so I decided to visit my local physician. On a scale of 1-10, the pain was a 10. Before going to the doctor I summoned the Medicine Buddha in meditation. An hour after meditation I went to the doctor. When asked the level of pain, I said a 6. The doctor prescribed muscle relaxants and an anti-inflammatory medication. By the time I got home the pain was a 2. I filled NO prescriptions. Over the course of 6 hours, a severe pain in the ribs that had been with me for two weeks, disappeared completely in the Blue Ray of healing.

Lama Tashi Namgyal said, "If one meditates on the Medicine Buddha, one will eventually attain enlightenment, but in the meantime one will experience an increase in healing powers both for oneself and others and a decrease in physical and mental illness and suffering." That is the force of the Medicine Buddha and the power of The Blue Ray!

                                                                                                 Jo Mooy - June 2016   

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Off The Bucket List

Off The Bucket List
Everybody has an opinion on it. Everybody wants to do it. Everybody thinks if they're not
actively pursuing it, they've failed. "It" has been a hot topic for decades in seminars, blogs, newsletters, for the new age faithful, and for those who make a living off the subject. IT is Ascension. 

When I googled the topic of Ascension 43 million entries came up. I clicked on some of the readings, dumbfounded at the many interpretations cloaked in religious, psychological, or inter-dimensional covers. I was struck by the warnings of physical and emotional symptoms that can present before ascending to the 5th or 12th dimensions - your choice! This is made even sillier when so many sites seem to copy one another's opinions and material by propagating the same information.

So, how do we get out of this quagmire of Ascension? First place I'd start is taking the whole conversation about Ascension as something one has to do, Off The Bucket List. It's difficult enough living an earth life with all the interpersonal relationship issues we deal with, making a living, raising children, being a good citizen and being a decent human being. Why add another level of complexity to that?  Especially as ascension is neither a process nor a destination.

Ascension is either a huge crutch or a great hindrance for those on the spiritual path. Those who
"teach" you how to ascend, no matter the fanfare or notoriety associated with their teachings, are either a great distraction or they are negligent in their offerings. There's no place to "ascend" to. Why? Because this is our evolutionary glide-path and it goes on forever. 

We live in and are a part of an eternal universe with cycles that rise and fall, over and over, in perpetual motion. The cycles are endless. There is a constant in this however.  It's called consciousness. And, the best behavior in consciousness is one of compassion for self and for others. It goes back to living one's life as a decent human being. If we've got this unnecessary burden of having to ascend, we live our life with one foot nailed to the floor and the rest of us way too busy trying to "ascend."

Forget about Ascension. Take it off the bucket list. Instead, grow where you're planted. Smell the roses. Show the kids the butterflies. Teach them good manners and respect for others. Make sure they're mindful of nature and the planet. Teach them compassionate consciousness! And every now and then show them a little magic. That's ascension!
                                                                                                 Jo Mooy - May 2016