Ever present, un-missable Grace (May 4th class)

Dear Friday morning loves,

This week's Friday Frolic started with a surprise encounter followed by fifteen minutes of non-stop belly laughter! I walked into Michelle's welcoming home at 9:00 am, as I do each Friday, and was greeted by Paul, her husband. Paul and I had not yet met in the context of his life with Michelle, but we instantly recognized each other and we were equally thrilled and shocked by the serendipity of our encounter!! Paul and I met in 1989 on a Bust Loose trip to Mexico. Yes, you read that right...1989!! He and his three friends and me and my three friends met on the plane to Puerto Vallarta and we hit it off immediately. What followed was a week of outrageous laughter, way too much drinking, and non-stop FUN (and may I add that it was 100% platonic for all of us which is what made it so, so incredibly special)! The eight of us kept in touch for years to come but then, as happens, we lost touch of each other. Paul met Michelle shortly after our trip to Mexico and went on to set-up the most beautiful life with her. Who would ever have predicted that 29 years later, I should find myself taking the key to Paul and Michelle's house while he rushes her off to the airport?! You can probably hear Michelle's roaring laughter through your screen...the three of us were nearly peeing our pants!! I remember Paul as being the most gentle, generous and seriously fun guy...and I am not the least bit surprised that he was wooed by Michelle's gorgeous spirit! I just LOVE it all.

Now, on to Qigong, cause that's what I'm here for, right? Well, yes, AND apparently so much more (as each week continues to show me)!

This week we had another small gathering (Michelle C, Cathy, Lisa Marie, Jessica and Katrina C were greatly missed). It was odd and yet divinely peaceful to be in the Lotus Garden without Michelle's presence...what a gift to be able to use her space even in her absence. We welcomed Tammy, one of Michelle's yoga angels to our group, Tammy will be joining us for the rest of the session and I'm thrilled to have her! Michelle Mc, Glenda, Katrina K, Tammy and I shared a circle of serene and sincere presence. 

Last week I started reading the book, "Broken Open", by Elizabeth lesser. This book has been suggested to me for years, but, as I often do, I waited for the book to call me before beginning. I am finding it to be very powerful and affirming of my own experiences. I was particularly moved by a passage about grace, which lead me to re-read the passage from Mooji that I shared last week...

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I followed this with a passage from Elizabeth's book that was written by Ram Dass.  Ram Dass began his life as a psychology professor named Richard Alpert and went on to become Ram Dass, named by a Guru in India. In 1997 he had a debilitating stroke that changed his life forever. Here is what he writes about his stroke and his experience of grace...

For me to see the stroke as grace required a perceptual shift. It was a shift from taking the point of view of the Ego to taking the point of view of the Soul. I used to be afraid of things like strokes, but I’ve discovered that the fear of the stroke was worse than the stroke itself....I’ve now been given a fully rounded understanding of grace. What was changed through the stroke was my attachment to the Ego. The stroke was unbearable to the Ego, and so it pushed me into the Soul level, because when you “bear the unbearable”, something within you dies. My identity flipped over and I said, “So that’s who I am - I’m a soul!” I ended up where looking at the world from the Soul level is my ordinary, everyday state. And that’s grace. That’s almost the definition of grace. And so that’s why, although from the Ego’s perspective the stroke is not much fun, from the Soul’s perspective it’s been a great learning opportunity. When you’re secure in the soul, what’s to fear? Since the stroke I can say to with an assurance I couldn’t have felt before, that faith and love are stronger than any changes, stronger than aging, and, I am very sure, stronger than death.
— - Ram Dass (excerpt from "Broken Open", by Elizabeth Lesser)

Once we began to practice qigong, the energy of emotions and the desire to be with all that arises became very strong. So I spontaneously changed my plan and shared the Qigong series of the Daoist Five Element for Organ and Emotional Health. Based on the wisdom of the Five Elements, this set restores Yin and Yang balance by promoting efficient qi flow from one organ to the next. It brings the elements back into balance and keeps the organs clear, strong and flowing with qi.  It also has a powerful effect of harmonizing the emotions, especially when combined with the intention of doing so.

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I closed with Kuan Yin's message of The Lotus Throne..

The same Lotus wisdom that enlightens beloved Kuan Yin and all spiritual masters is the very same Lotus Light within your own heart beloved. It can take great courage to trust your own inner light, to ascend the throne of your own inner spiritual authority, especially if the light of others around you seems more powerful than your own. You are being asked to trust this inner guidance above all others now. Have faith in your own heart. Know that you are divine.

Prayer of the Lotus Throne:
You burn bright in my heart, guiding me eternally, Divine Lotus of Light, my very own Heart. I ascend to the Lotus Throne within you, my power, my wisdom, my love and light acknowledged. All is well within my own Soul, by Kuan Yin’s grace and my own Divine Fire. I trust and empower myself spiritually now more than ever. Om Mani Padme Hum.
— Kuan Yin Oracle Cards by Alana Fairchild. #37 The Lotus Throne
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Blessings to each of you this week. I will see you next Friday, May 11. Reminder that there is no class on May 18. 💜

Love Patti

xoxo

The Body is the Book of Life...and it is Best Read from the Background (April 27th class)

Dear Friday Goddesses,

Once again, we shared such a beautiful, raw and real class this past Friday! We had a small group with Katrina C, Lisa Marie away at workshops, and Jessica tending to her mama’s care. 

We explored the energy behind our bodies, both conceptually and kinaesthetically. It is an incredibly powerful experience to allow yourself fall behind your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations.  This sensation evokes the witness and observer within each of us. It is a powerful way to view all of the experiences of daily life and is one we will continue to explore in future classes. 

We also continued to allow vulnerability and evoke our willingness to see the darkness. I shared an Instagram post from Mooji that I stumbled upon right when I needed it:

Mooji

And followed this with a Teaching from Pema:

The Wisdom of No Escape

The central question of a warrior’s training is not how we avoid uncertainty and fear but how we relate to discomfort. How do we practice with difficulty, with our emotions, with the unpredictable encounters of an ordinary day? For those of us with a hunger to know the truth, painful emotions are like flags going up to say, “You’re stuck!” We regard disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, jealousy, and fear as moments that show us where we’re holding back, how we’re shutting down. Such uncomfortable feelings are messages that tell us to perk up and lean into a situation when we’d rather cave in and back away.

When the flag goes up, we have an opportunity: we can stay with our painful emotion instead of spinning out. Staying is how we get the hang of gently catching ourselves when we’re about to let resentment harden into blame, righteousness, or alienation. It’s also how we keep from smoothing things over by talking ourselves into a sense of relief or inspiration. This is easier said than done.

Ordinarily we are swept away by habitual momentum. We don’t interrupt our patterns even slightly. With practice, however, we learn to stay with a broken heart, with a nameless fear, with the desire for revenge. Sticking with uncertainty is how we learn to relax in the midst of chaos, how we learn to be cool when the ground beneath us suddenly disappears. We can bring ourselves back to the spiritual path countless times each day simply by exercising our willingness to rest in uncertainty of the present moment - over and over again.”
— Pema Chodron, "Comfortable With Uncertainty, 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion"

And we closed with the perfect message from Kuan Yin:

VALE OF SHADOWS

A lotus blossoms with deep rich mud into which she plunges her roots and draws great nourishment. From this mud, made of water and earth, growth happens and great beauty is revealed. Your Soul lotus thrives through depth of emotion and aliveness of your body into which she can plant her Self and unfold as a lotus of light.

A PRAYER FOR ASSISSTANCE THROUGH THE VALE OF SHADOWS

I pray to Kuan Yin, beloved spiritual mother, please help me be fearless in the Vale of Shadows, realizing that I am just growing in self-awareness and whatever has grown ugly through lack of love will gleam like a polished jewel through my attention, willingness to love and accept all parts of me and my divinely-inspired creativity in integrating this part of me into my life with more consciousness. Om Mani Padme Hum. May all parts of me be blessed. Om Mani Padme Hum
— Kuan Yin Oracle Cards by Alana Fairchild, #43 Vale of Shadows
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I feel like a broken record constantly saying THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU! You each propel me deeper into my truth and allow me to receive guidance, to hear the words I am meant to speak exactly at the right moment...and to allow them to flow.

XOXO
Patti

Still Floating (April 20th class)

Dear lovelies,

A heart felt THANK-YOU for bringing your whole beautiful, brave and vulnerable selves to our circle on Friday! I am in absolute awe of the depth and power of each of you and the collective energy of our circle!

What a weekend I have had! I thought I would have sent this email sooner, but I have been going non-stop since Friday’s class. It has been a frenzy of family activities, outside play, spring cleaning and time spent at Pamela Wilson’s online retreat, “The Mystic’s Lair”, which was absolutely divine! Throughout the busy-ness of the weekend I have felt life’s energy simply guiding me from one thing to the next with virtually no contraction or stress involved. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for this kind of ease and fluidity. Though this is a cause to celebrate (which I am doing), there is also a very calm awareness behind it all that is simply observing and appreciating the moment…neither clinging to it or assuming it will always be this way.  

I want to invite you all to send a blessing to Jessica’s mother, Alexandra who is having a lumpectomy this coming Tuesday to treat early stage breast cancer. I had intended on doing a group blessing for Alexandra and for Jessica on Friday, but it slipped by. So I would like to invite each of you to send love and light to both of them. 💞🙏

I also want to let you know that unfortunately Ariel won’t be able to join our circle as she has many new things arising in her life, which she needs time to dedicate herself to. For those of you who know her, she sends her regrets.

Here are the readings I shared during class.  As you know, the Richard Rohr reading was from a letter requesting donations sent by the Center for Action and Contemplation… I am sending you a photo of the letter. The Kuan Yin reading and prayer was from card #8, Dynasty of the Divine Mother, which I drew from the Kuan Yin Oracle Cards.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Patti

Richard Rohr
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Dynasty of the Divine Mother, Oracle card #8 Kuan Yin Oracle Cards by Alana Fairchild

The only wish of the Divine Mother Goddess is that all beings be spiritually free. The Divine Goddess calls us to realize our true nature, to fall in love with our own divinity. Enlightenment is a culmination of many small steps, each one as a drop of water forming a divine ocean of peace, realization, love and unity within us, an ocean that washes away fear, separation and scarcity and bathes us in abundance and bliss. You carry the torch of enlightenment within you, beloved. Let it shine each day.

Beloved Kuan Yin, Green Tara, Mazue, Goddesses of the Great Divine Mother, please help me to live my light, to live my enlightenment in each day, to know my own Self and to live the beauty and bliss with peace in my heart. Thank you for your help. Om Shanti. I feel your Peace in my heart now. May all beings feel and know this peace within. Om Shanti. Om Mani Padme Hum.

 

 

Well That Was a Pretty Incredible Welcome Back! (April 13th class)

Hello to my radiant Friday morning BEings,

Wow, what a beautiful morning we shared yesterday! What an absolute gift and honour to share my first post surgery qigong class with each of you in Michelle’s peaceful and sacred studio. Truly, I am in awe of how the universe is arranging my life, and each of you play such a significant part in the unfolding of the mystery!

I cannot wait to share the next eight weeks with you and I’m also thrilled (and beyond grateful) to be coming back to Michelle’s Meditation Hut on Friday mornings this fall (stay tuned for those details)!

Jessica, I am so excited to meet you next week! I’m also over the moon to share that my dear friend Ariel (who many of you know) is going to join our Friday group starting next week! Could this group get any more delicious?!

As I shared yesterday, I am continuously drawn to the integration of various teachings - there seems to be an innate desire and need to find the common threads and to weave them together. The movements of Qigong seemingly open up the channels so that divine truth can flow in and I am just here to say YES, YES and YES…and to bring as many people with me as I can. Thank-you for coming along for the ride! Lately, I have been drawn to the basic teachings of Buddhism and have found the words of Pema Chodron to be the most soothing and 

The Love That Will Not Die

Spiritual awakening is frequently described as a journey to the top of a mountain. We leave our attachments and our worldliness behind and slowly make our way to the top. At the peak we have transcended all pain. The only problem with this metaphor is that we leave all others behind. Their suffering continues, unrelieved by our personal escape.

On the journey of the warrior-bodhisattva, the path goes down, not up, as if the mountain pointed toward the earth instead of the sky. Instead of transcending the suffering of all creatures, we move toward turbulence and doubt however we can. We explore the reality and unpredictability of insecurity and pain, and we try not to push it away. If it takes years, if it takes lifetimes, we let it be as it is. At our own pace, without speed or aggression, we move down and down and down. With us move millions of others , our companions in awakening from fear. At the bottom we discover water, the healing water of bodhichitta. Bodhichitta is our heart - our wounded, softened heart. Right down there in the thick of things, we discover the love that will not die. This love is bodhichitta. It is gentle and warm; it is clear and sharp; it is open and spacious. The awakened heart of bodhichitta is the basic goodness of all beings.
— Pema Chodron: “ Comfortable with Uncertainty, 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion”

Wishing you all a week of open-hearted presence!

xo

Patti