Take good care of your heart (Sept 17th circle)

Dear Wise Women,

Thank-you for bringing your whole and beautiful hearts to our circle yesterday evening!

Deep Presence
Compassion
Open-Heartedness
Courageous Vulnerability

Time and time again, these four qualities stand out to me as some of the most important qualities to cultivate on the path towards what some may call spiritual enlightenment, but which I prefer to call freedom. I am referring to the freedom that comes from being ok with whatever happens.

As Michael Singer says,  “You can learn to stay open no matter what happens in the world. At first it feels unnatural since your innate tendency is to close as a means of protection. But closing your heart does not really protect you from anything; it just cuts you off from your source of energy.”

If we can truly stay open no matter what, then we are in fact “free”.  Please note that this is not the same as condoning atrocities or overlooking bad behaviour, nor does it mean we are free from experiencing pain, grief and loss. Being open simply means that, no matter what, we are not disconnecting our heart from inner energy. Only when we are able to stay open can we truly heal ourselves and others.

Over the coming weeks we are going to deeply explore Compassion and Open-Heartedness. I will be touching on the teachings of Michael Singer, Pema Chodron and others.

As I shared, when I was laying out the oracle cards yesterday morning, one of the Wild Woman cards fell off the table (actually it pretty much jumped off the table). I laughed and said to myself, “I guess I’m supposed to read that one.” It was the Compassion card. I read it and smiled at how perfect it was for today. So, I set aside the other reading I had planned to share and shared this one instead. Here it is again for you to savour…

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Come with passion to that which calls your heart no matter how big or small the pain, suffering, joy or happiness is. Do not be afraid. Compassion is not afraid to feel. It is not afraid to suffer. It is alive and beating and knows we are one...we are the Holy Divine.

Caress your wild and sacred heart for it will carry you to places of understanding beyond what your mind could ever do. Notice your feelings. Allow your heart to feel safe and open to all there is to experience as you carry it through your life. Walk gently. Embrace your hurts. Celebrate your triumphs. And, remember that you are doing the best you can do, just as others are doing their best too.

Allow yourself to feel what you feel, and it will lead you to that Wild Woman place - that authentic true nature that brings you peace of mind. This is where great ideas flow and the biggest problems have solutions you couldn’t have imagined.

It is important to uncover what moves your heart. Let go of preconceived ideas. That is your mind. Open instead from your heart. Let it lead the way in your life. Discover, “what is the feeling that moves your heart into action towards that which calls you?” Consider your awareness with mindful and heartfelt interest. Hold in your arms the deep embrace of all life’s story, no matter what it is and who you are. The story is there for your unfolding. We all have a purpose. Trust the light that shines within and let your heart bathe naked in your support. Keep it safe and warm for the journey, knowing it can trust you to hold it, feel it, know it and allow it. What can you feel to nourish this knowledge and understanding?

Let the energy behind your heart’s passion move you into the action you want, need and desire. Open your self to a world far deeper than your mind could ever know. Your heart knows something it can’t explain - but it feels in a way you understand, helping you to remember who you are. Connect up with this. Align with and support your soul. Do not stop yourself. The world needs your genuineness and your respect. Witness the expression of your wild dignity and understanding. It is a small world really, when connected, with possibilities unfolding everyday. Walk in your possibility, and allow your potential to seek compassion in yourself so that you may serve yourself and the world in the tradition of the wild and real. Every step you take is a healing step. Every step you take is a sacred step.

Take good care of your heart as you carry it through each step of your life. It’s the only one you have, and truly it is there for you in every way. It wants to feel everything and be safe in doing so. It looks to you for that safety, for that knowing, for that understanding that it is very much a part of your journey here on earth. Heal your body. Heal your soul. Heal your heart. Heal the earth and all her creatures. It is time.
— Elizabeth MacLeod - Wild Woman Mystery Cards

And here are the excerpts and pointers that I have summarized from Michael Singer’s chapter on Infinite Energy…

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Consciousness is one of the great mysteries of life. Inner energy is another.

Just as everything that happens outside in the physical world requires energy, everything that happens inside requires an expenditure of energy.

Creating thoughts, holding onto thoughts, recalling thoughts, generating emotions, controlling emotions, and disciplining powerful inner drives, all require a tremendous expenditure of energy.

This energy doesn’t come from the outer energy source. It doesn’t come from food and it doesn’t come from sleep.

This flow of energy comes from the depth of your being. All the great spiritual traditions give it different names (Chi, Shakti, Spirit). This is a source of energy you can draw upon from inside. It is what you feel when love rushes up into your heart.

This spiritual energy is yours. It’s your birthright, it’s unlimited and it’s equally available to everybody. True spiritual teachings are about this energy and how to open to it.

The sun does not shine differently on different people. It’s’ the same with inner energy. The only difference is that with the inner energy, you have the ability to close up inside and block it. When you close, the energy stops flowing.

The only reason you don’t feel this energy all the time is because you block it. You block it by closing your heart, by closing your mind, and by pulling yourself into a restrictive space inside.

There are centers within that channel your energy flow. When you close them, there is no energy. That is what it means to be “blocked”.

The energy center you intuitively know the most is your heart. The heart is an energy center, and it can open or close.

When you are open, you feel the wellspring of beautiful energy inside of you. When you are closed, you don’t.


There is a very simple method for staying open. You stay open by never closing. It’s really that simple.

Closing is a habit, and just like any other habit, it can be broken.

We are programmed based upon our past experiences such that all kinds of things cause us to open and close. If you pay attention, you will see it happen regularly throughout each day.

Any time you start to close, ask yourself whether you really want to cut off the energy flow.

Because if you want, you can learn to stay open no matter what happens in the world. At first it feels unnatural since your innate tendency is to close as a means of protection. But closing your heart does not really protect you from anything; it just cuts you off from your source of energy.


Do not let anything in your life be important enough that you are willing to close your heart over it. When your heart starts to close, just say “No, I’m not going to close. I’m going to relax. I’m going to let this situation take place and be there with it.” Honor and respect the situation, deal with it. Do the best you can. But deal with it with openness.


The most important thing in life is your inner energy. If you love life, nothing is worth closing over. Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over.

The more you stay open, the more the energy flow can build. At some point, so much energy comes into you that it starts flowing out of you. You become a source of light for all those around you.
— Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul, Part 2: Infinite Energy, Chapter 5: Infinite Energy

I invite you to place your hands on your heart and say:
I love you. I trust you. You are beautiful and you are wise. You beat in harmony with the greater plan of life. You are my guiding light.”

Wishing you open-hearted living this week. Remember, the very simple method for staying open is to not close. So notice when you are closed, acknowledge that you are closed and ask your heart to open, no matter what!

With love,
Patti

Stepping Into the Divine Feminine (Sept 10, 2018 gathering)

Dear Wise Women,

Before I start, I want to revisit the term “Wise Woman” and my invitation for you to receive this name. Earlier on, through an email, I asked you to allow me call you a Wise Woman. I also invited you to really feel into what a “Wise Woman” means to you? 

I asked you to close your eyes and notice what images come to your mind, to let yourself notice what is evoked in you. I invite you to do this again. Really, really take the time to be with it all. Notice your resistance and judgement, notice your longing and desires, notice it ALL. Have some fun with this, and above all, and give yourself permission to be called a Wise Woman.

If you are seeking a more definitive answer of what a wise woman is, I encourage you to consider Susun Weed’s description as transcribed below. Susun is a renowned herbalist and healer and advocate for the reclamation of the Wise Woman. Every single word resonates and aligns with my beliefs and visions - and I hope it strikes a cord for you too. Please take the time to savour this invitation to step into your Wise Woman self!

The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women by:

~ Focusing on simple remedies that are easily accessible
~ Sharing information freely
~ Offering compassionate listening
~ Renaming her weaknesses as strengths
~ Reminding her that her body is the body of the earth, is the body of the goddess, is the sacred ground of being.

The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women to:

~ View themselves as healthy, even when they have problems
~ Create their own healthy norms
~ Honor their natural cycles and changes (puberty, menses, pregnancy, menopause)
~ Define themselves from a woman-centered viewpoint
~ Connect with other women for personal and planetary healing
— Susun Weed, http://www.susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/November09/healingwise.htm

As I explained at the beginning of our gathering today, I am continuously guided to bring forth a variety messages and pointers. Sometimes they arrive weeks and months prior and sometimes the morning of. I had planned on sharing a different reading/teaching today, but in my morning meditation I was called to draw a Kuan Yin Oracle card and the one I drew seemed to summarize exactly what I have been feeling about the power of the feminine and the reason I am compelled to bring women together in the manner that I do. I was also particularly struck by how I felt that the message was not just for me, as the apparent teacher, but for each of YOU as the spiritual leaders you are in your own lives.

I have included the reading below for you, I invite you to especially consider the following excerpt, which touches on the power of presence and compassion in a most beautiful way:

The gifts of the Yin Empress are experienced through your feminine power which is accessed through living your heart truths, your genuine values and your fierce gentleness. Femininity is not weak, nor is it aggressive, it is fierce compassion that refuses to descend into judgement and if it does, rise again to compassion over and over and over again.
The Yin Empress
The Yin Empress brings peace, prosperity and success to her beloved devotes. Your Soul Purpose includes Healing and Empowerment of the Divine Feminine, The Yin Empress herself. You gain power, assistance and untold blessings in following your Soul Purpose. You are lifted and supported in your Sacred Work now.

You are a spiritual leader and pioneer and part of what you are here to do for the planet on a soul level, whether you are a man or a woman, is to empower the Divine Feminine, the cosmic Empress of Yin or divine feminine energy, so that we might live in more balance as a species on the Earth.

The Divine Feminine is only now making her resurgence on this planet and many do not understand Her. Your sacred task, for which you will be richly supported, nourished and rewarded, is to help live Her truths now. In doing so, you are planting seeds of awareness and experience for others to draw from when they too are ready to live into Her sacred truths.

This will explain why at times you feel you do not fit in to current culture. You are not meant to, because you are meant to help it to grow and change! In the same way that beloved Kuan Yin had a rebellious and compassionate streak, and did not fit into the world in the way that it was because she was born to help it heal and ascend, so to does your Soul yearn to make a real difference in this world, to help it be free of fear that leads to competition and domination and power struggles and instead to live from a place of love and peace.

The gifts of the Yin Empress are experienced through your feminine power which is accessed through living your heart truths, your genuine values and your fierce gentleness. Femininity is not weak, nor is it aggressive, it is fierce compassion that refuses to descend into judgement and if it does, rise again to compassion over and over and over again.

Men and women in touch with their feminine power are able to love, to have compassion, to be truthful and to honour what really matters to them, whether it fits with contemporary cultural values or not. They realize that they are helping to create a new culture with wiser values. Living in this way not only feels better and more truthful, it also leads to a successful life with much creativity, positive contribution, personal empowerment and satisfying relationships, not to mention inspiration for others to draw from so that they too may grow.

You are being asked to live into your feminine power now, to be true to who you are and not give in to social conditioning that tells you feminine power is not enough, that you must compromise your values, your beliefs or your compassion to ‘get ahead’ or ‘come out on top’. You do not have to live that way, you are being empowered to live from your heart and realize that this is not only enough, it is a blessing for all. The Yin Empress thanks you for your loving devotion and service to her and shines blessing upon you now, beloved.

HEALING WITH THE YIN EMPRESS
Sit quietly with your eyes closed and imagine that you can journey within your heart on the breath, riding it like a wave. As you enter into the heart you become aware of how endless the space is within the heart. It is dark, open and peaceful, supportive and empty. There is a sense that it extends endlessly, this peaceful empty space, filled with love and presence, above you and below you, and before you and behind you and to the left and the right of you. Feel how it is eternal and peaceful, that it does not force or fight, and yet is always there. Imagine any struggle or issue being released into this darkness, consumed by it and it ceases to exist. The bliss that you feel in recognition of this opens your heart and you allow yourself to be held in this space and spiritually fed.

PRAYER TO THE YIN EMPRESS
Divine Yin Empress, Mother of Compassion, Kuan Yin, Om Namaha. Peace, Grace, Light and Feminine Power infuse your being within my heart now. May I be a vessel of the grace and healing of the divine feminine. May I live my Soul truths on this planet, may fear and anger be softened with love, may I find the true nature of my spiritual power and may I align with you, beloved, into eternal Grace of Divine Love. My devotion to the Yin Empress and Her wish for all beings to be spiritually free grows in my heart now, I receive your love and protection. Om Mani Padme Hum.
— #40 Kuan Yin Oracles by Alana Fairchild

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Like a peacock, your beauty is multiplied when you spread your wings (June 11 circle)

Dear Qigong Goddesses,

Goddesses of Courage, Goddesses of Compassion, Goddesses of Vulnerability,  Goddesses of Honesty, Goddesses of Love.

Yes, you are all of these!

Honour your inner goddess and watch her grow - watch as she comes to know her beauty and her strength, watch her beauty radiate outward, watch her love and wisdom naturally spread to others! Your inner goddess knows that her beauty comes from life itself, she knows that we all originate from this ONE source. This is why she is able to fully accept and appreciate her beauty...an appreciation that is founded on communion rather than comparison.

Thank-you everyone for courageously opening your hearts and expressing what you love about yourselves. It was truly astounding to see the transformation in the group before and after the exercise. I loved how we all held loving kindness and presence with one another while each of us courageously shared our beauty with one another! I sincerely hope that you took away a renewed sense of loving kindness towards your self and that it grows throughout your day, week and life! 

With deep appreciation and utmost respect.


LOVING KINDNESS AND MEDITATION:

When we start to meditate or to work with any kind of spiritual discipline, we often think that somehow we’re going to improve, which is a subtle aggression against who we really are. It’s a bit like saying, “If i jog, I’ll be a much better person.” “If I had a nicer house, I’d be a much better person. “ Or the scenario may be that we find fault with others. We might say, “If it weren’t for my husband, I’d have a perfect marriage.” “If it weren’t for the fact that my boss and I can’t get on, my job would be just great.” And, “If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.”

But loving kindness - maitri - towards ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy, we can still be angry. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.

Curiosity involves being gentle, precise and open - actually being able to let go and open. Gentleness is a sense of good heartedness toward ourselves. Precision is being able to see clearly, not being afraid to see what’s really there. Openness is being able to let go and to open. When you come to have this kind of honesty, gentleness, and good-heartedness, combined with clarity about yourself, there’s no obstacle to feeling loving-kindness for others as well.
— Pema Chodron, "Uncomfortable With Uncertainty, 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion"

REVEAL THE PEACOCK BEAUTY:

You are just like the stunning peacock, a great beauty within you resides, a glorious divine being of beautiful light with an ability to create, as your Divine birthright. Let your creative energies rise to a sublime inspired new level this week as you are accessing the power of your throat chakra for higher creation. Your intentions, decisions, and particularly your words are becoming more and more powerful. Enjoy the wise use of this growing creative potency to express the beauty within you asking for Divine Blessings on all your plans, projects and words.
Kuan Yin Oracle Cards by Alana Fairchild. #24 Reveal The Peacock Beauty

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PRAYER TO THE PEACOCK BEAUTY:
Beloved Kuan Yin, bless me with the grace to surrender into the beauty of my own Soul, to recognize my higher creativity in flow now, to make the creations of my Soul my highest priority, that I may life with abundance, peace and happiness. Help me beloved beauty to recognize my own beauty, as magnificent and colourful as the stunning peacock. May my creations be as lovely. Om Mani Padme Hum.
- Kuan Yin Oracle Cards by Alana Fairchild. #24 Reveal The Peacock Beauty

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We followed with a beautiful practice of Shibashi Qigong and closed with three chants of Om.

Next week is our last class in this session. What an amazing journey we have had together! I sincerely hope to see many of you this fall.

xo
Patti

Tapping into the power of ancient wisdom (June 4th Circle)

Lovely ladies,

Thank-you, once again, for bringing your whole self to class today. Your focus, pure intention and presence was palpable. It is truly an honour to facilitate such  a gathering. 

Johanne, welcome to the circle!

I wish you all a week of unconditional love. I hope you try my suggestion of Embracing Yin and Yang first thing in the morning (inhale, extend arms all the way up; exhale, cross arms and fold inward)...while doing this, set an intention to be very present today. :)

xoxo
Patti


HEALING PRAYER (shared at the end of our seated meditation):
"I call upon the presence of unconditional love. Be here now, without restraint. Fill me and fill this space. Touch all beings with your grace. I feel the presence of unconditional love within me. I acknowledge the presence of unconditional love all around me. I am the presence of unconditional love and in this love, no fear can remain. May unconditional love guide any fear back to the light of love, or back into the earth, as serves the greatest good My body, mind, heart and soul are now completely bathed in and protected by unconditional love. Through my own free will, this is so."

- Alana Fairchild, Sacrel Rebels Oracle Cards # 11 Diving For Light


Today there was an extra focus on the honouring of ancient teachings, beginning with a brief exploration into the Toltec tradition and followed by a practice of the Eight Silk Brocades, one of the oldest and most widely practiced forms of Qigong.

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THE TOLTEC:
Thousands of years ago,  the Toltec were known throughout southern Mexico as "women and men of knowledge". Anthropologists have spoken of the Toltec as a nation or a race, but, in fact, the Toltec were scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and practices of the ancient ones. They came together as masters (naguals) and students at Teotihuacan, the ancient city of pyramids outside Mexico City known as the place where "Man Becomes God."

Over the millennia, the naguals were forced to conceal the ancestral wisdom and maintain its existence in obscurity. European conquest, coupled with rampant misuse of personal power by a few of the apprentices, made it necessary to shield the knowledge from those who were not prepared to use it wisely or who might intentionally misuse it for personal gain. 

Fortunately, the esoteric Toltec knowledges was embodied and passed on through generations by different lineages of naguals. Though it remained veiled in secrecy for hundreds of years, ancient prophecies foretold the coming of an age when it would be necessary to return the wisdom to the people. Now, Don Migual Ruiz, a naguals from the Eagle Knight lineage, has been guided to share with us the powerful teachings of the Toltec.

Toltec knowledge arises from the same essential unity of truth as all the sacred esoteric traditions found around the world. Though it is not a religion, it honours all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. While it does embrace spirit, it is most accurately described as way of life, distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love.

A Toltec is an artist of Love, 
an artist of the Spirit, 
someone who is creating every moment, 
every second, the most beautiful art - 
the Art of Dreaming.

Life is nothing but a dream,
and if we are artists, 
then we create our life with Love, 
and our dream becomes
a masterpiece of art.

GOD WITHIN YOU:
There is an old story from India about the God, Brahma, who was all alone. Nothing existed but Brahma, and he was completely bored. Brahma decided to play a game, but there was no one to play the game with. So he created a beautiful goddess, Maya, just for the purpose of having fun. Once May existed and Brahma told her the purpose of her existence, she said, "Okay, let's play the most wonderful game, but you have to do what I tell you to do." Brahma agreed, and following Maya's instructions, he created the whole universe. Brahma created the sun and the stars, the moon and the planets. Then he created life on earth: the animals, the oceans, the atmosphere, everything.

Maya said, "How beautiful is this world of illusion you created. Now I want you to create a kind of animal that is so intelligent and aware that it can appreciate your creation." Finally Brahma created humans, and after he finished the creation, he asked May when the game was going to start. 

"We will start right now," she said. She took Brahma and cut him into thousands of teeny, tiny pieces. She put a piece inside every human and said, "Now the game begins! I am going to make you forget what you are, and you are going to try to find yourself!" Maya created the Dream, and still, even today, Brahma is trying to remember who he is. Brahma is there inside you, and Maya is stopping you from remembering what you are. 

When you awake from the Dream, you become Brahma again, and reclaim your divinity. Then if Brahma inside you says, "Okay, I am awake; what about the rest of me?" you know the trick of Maya, and you can share the truth with others who are going to wake up too. Two people who are sober in the party can have more fun. Three people who are sober is even better. Begin with you. Then others will start to change, until the whole dream, the whole party is sober.

- Don Miguel Ruiz, "The Mastery of Love"


Eight Silk Brocades (Ba Duan Jin)
The history of the Eight Silk Brocades series of qigong exercises can be traced back to over 800 years ago. The legendary founder was the famous general in the Southern Sung Dynasty, Yue Fei, who used the exercises to train his army. His army was never defeated and its success was traced back to these exercises. The Eight Silk Brocades is recognized by the Chinese Health Qigong Association as one of four official Qigong exercises, and is practiced around the world.

 "Drawing the Bow", the Second Piece of Silk

"Drawing the Bow", the Second Piece of Silk


OM:

The first syllable is A, pronounced as a prolonged "awe." The sound starts at the back of your throat and you stretch it out. You will start feeling your solar plexus and chest vibrating. The second syllable is U, pronounced as a prolonged “oo,” with the sound gradually rolling forward along your upper palate. You'll feel your throat vibrate. The third syllable is M, pronounced as a prolonged “mmmm” with your front teeth gently touching. You will now start to feel the top of your vibrate. The last syllable is the deep silence of the Infinite. As intelligence rises from the deep silence, you have to merge your chant from the ‘M’ to the deep silence. Symbolically the three letters embody the divine energy (Shakti) and it’s 3 main characteristics: (1) creation, (2) preservation and (3) liberation.

Why do we chant it?

Everything in the universe is pulsating and vibrating – nothing is really standing still! The sound Om, when chanted, vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same vibrational frequency found throughout everything in nature. As such AUM is the basic sound of the universe; so by chanting it we are symbolically and physically tuning in to that sound and acknowledging our connection to all other living beings, nature and the universe. In addition the vibrations and rhythmic pronunciation also have a physical affect on the body by slowing down the nervous system and calming the mind similar to meditation. When the mind is relaxed, your blood pressure decreases and ultimately the health of your heart improves.

- Sam Saunders, www.mindbodygreen.com


The Simple Power of Presence (May 28th Circle)

Lovely ladies,

The presence held by our circle yesterday was precious! I continue to be in awe of the gifts that show up when we collectively tune into the energetic field, and especially when we begin to move together!

I enjoyed sharing my experience and insights from attending Eckhart Tolle's talk in Calgary. One of the most significant insights I gained was the awareness that "striving" to be present actually (and ironically) has been serving to distract me from the present moment.

Thank-you for also sharing your insights and experiences regarding present moment awareness. There is always so much to learn from each other! 


"Your relationship with the present moment IS your purpose. It is all that matters."

- Eckhart Tolle, Calgary May 15, 2018


The evening with Eckhart called me to pull out one of my favourite books, "The Presence Process" by Michael Brown. Like Eckhart, Michael teaches that presence is the portal to spiritual awakening. 

Here is the excerpt I shared in class...

Present moment awareness is a state of being as opposed to something we do. The simplest definition of present moment awareness is to be fully aware of the moment we are in - or, to be present in the moment.

The emphasis isn’t on the moment, but on the beingness we bring to bear on our life experience when we pay full attention to the moment.

A reliable indicator we have entered present moment awareness is if our experience, no matter how comfortable or uncomfortable it may feel at any given moment, is infused with gratefulness.

When I speak of gratefulness, I’m not referring to the kind of gratitude that’s been founded on comparison, such as feeling grateful we are in better health or have more wealth than someone else. Neither is it the sort of gratitude that arises because life is unfolding how we want it to and everything is easy. Rather it’s gratitude that requires no reason - gratitude for the invitation, journey and gift of life itself.

Gratefulness is the one single marker we can depend on as an indicator of how present we are in our experience. When we lack gratitude for simply being alive, it’s because we have strayed from the present into an illusory mental state called “time”. In the world of time, it’s challenging to be grateful because nothing appears to unfold the way we think it should. The past holds regrets and the future the promise of improvement, while the present requires constant adjustment. We therefore spend our waking moments reflecting on what didn’t work in the past and planning those adjustments we believe are necessary to attain the peace and fulfillment we week. Because those adjustments are oriented to a “better tomorrow”, we’ve forgotten how to have a meaningful today.

Present moment awareness isn’t a concept - it’s an experience. The fact that more and more of are entering it now is a consequence of our accelerating evolution. For anyone willing to receive its blessings, its invitation is here, now, in this moment, this set of circumstances. It calls us in a silent voice that says” “STOP. THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO AND NOTHING TO DO. THERE’ SIMPLY EVERYTHING TO BE.”
— - Michael Brown, "The Presence Process"

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I am open and willing to allow divine light to flow through me, to notice in every moment when my attachments and my stories disconnect me from this infinite flow. Each day and each moment, I aspire to do my best to cause no harm with my actions, words or thoughts; to do my best to keep my heart and mind open to nurture compassion to ease the suffering of the world; and to do the most difficult of all - to accept and embrace the world just as it is.

  - a prayer I wrote (contains the three vows of Buddhism)

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I felt so blessed to have been invited to a concert by Deva Premal & Miten with Manose! I had never heard them before and was simply blown away by the beauty, authenticity and energy of their performance. Here is a link to one of their songs, which we listened to and sang along to yesterday. If you would like to learn more about Deva and Miten, click here.

XO
Patti

Compassion, Compassion, Compassion (May 14th circle)

Dear ladies,

I am so glad I listened to the voice in my head that said “ask them to draw an Animal Spirit Card card and bring it to the circle”. Thank-you for trusting me and trusting the process.

Your individual willingness to receive your animal message and to look inside for the resonance was inspiring! And it was intriguing to see how each of us called forth compassion in our own unique ways. For some, there was a longing for compassion, and for others there was an awareness of compassion’s presence. All this was shared with some lighthearted laughs...courtesy of our animal friends!

I did not know that Compassion would be the theme of our class until after our opening circle, and, yet, the readings I picked out beforehand fit perfectly. Divine Grace at work!


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LIGHTEN UP (and Do Something Different):

Being able to lighten up is the key to feeling at home with your body, mind and emotions, to feeling worthy to live on this planet. For example, you can hear the slogan “Always maintain only a joyful mind” and start beating yourself over the head for never being joyful. That kind of witness is a bit heavy.

This earnestness, this seriousness about everything in our lives - including practice - this goal-oriented, we’re-going-to-do-it-or-else attitude, is the world’s greatest killjoy. There’s no sense of appreciation because we’re so solemn about everything. In contrast, a joyful mind is very ordinary and relaxed. So lighten up. Don’t make such a big deal.

When your aspiration is to lighten up, you begin to have a sense of humour. Your serious state of mind keeps getting popped. In addition to a sense of humour, a basic support for a joyful mind is curiosity, paying attention. taking an interest in the world around you. Happiness is not required, but being curious without a heavy judgemental attitude helps. If you are judgmental, you can even be curious about that.

Curiosity encourages cheering up. So does simply remembering to do something different. We are so locked into this sense of burden - Big Deal Joy and Big Deal Unhappiness - that it’s sometimes helpful just to change the pattern. Anything out of the ordinary will help. You can go to the window and look at the sky, you can splash cold water on your face, you can sing in the shower, you can go jogging - anything that’s against your usual pattern. That’s how things start to lighten up.
— Pema Chodron, "Comfortable with Uncertainty, 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion"

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MOTHER OF MERCY
Just like a Sun that sines brightly casting a strong shadow, your growing spiritual power needs to be expressed with the awareness that it will have an effect on others, even if you are not completely conscious of that effect. To create peace in the expression of your power, we call upon the Mother of Mercy. Mercy tempers great strength and power with kindness, gentleness, compassion and caring. The Divine Kuan Yin brings the quality of Mercy to you know as a divine gift, encouraging you to cultivate mercy in your dealings with others and to receive it for yourself now too.

PRAYER TO THE MOTHER OF MERCY:
Mother of Mercy so loves my Soul
The Nectar of Mercy brings peace and bliss untold.
I open my heart now to this endless love and peace, which the grace of Kuan Yin helps me reach.
Om Mani Padme Hum.
— "Mother of Mercy", Kuan Yin Oracle Cards by Alana Fairchild

  New Moon is Tuesday, May 15th at 5:47am Mountain Daylight Time

New Moon is Tuesday, May 15th at 5:47am Mountain Daylight Time

Focus on the New Moon energy on Monday night. This New Moon is very potent and powerful. It comes with a robustness similar to an eclipse and is a marker for great change, the preview of which could be manifested through some major earth event or events.

We have seen this beginning to happen with earthquakes and volcanic activity in various parts of the world, all related to the earth. Watch for your own internal earth event that may feel like an inner earthquake, shifting all of your priorities and values around. This new moon is both difficult and exalted with potential for great inspiration that comes with the freedom you may experience following challenging choices you have made or are in the process of making.

While stepping forward into new territory through your choices and realigning values, it is also important to bring in the quality of beauty and inspiration into the equation. Nurture yourselves in some way and have some fun despite the chaos that you may feel around you. It cannot be focused hard work all of the time. You will reap many more benefits if you take some time to smell the roses along the way and do something for yourself that represents self-care with a bit of luxury like going to a fine restaurant for a meal or treating yourself to a massage. And if you are in the process of purging the old, bring in something new that is an upgrade in the area of beauty and inspiration.
— Lena Stevens, The Power Path School of Shamanism

Have a wonderful week and Victoria Day long weekend and I will see you on May 28th!

xo
Patti

Wild Women, Shared Presence and the Nuance of Passage (May 7th Circle)

Amazing Women,

Thank-you for participating in the sharing of your chosen cards today, and for once again bringing your authentic and willing self to our circle.

Carmen, we will miss you.  Enjoy your west coast adventures and hope to see you in class in the Fall!


It was nice to formally share with you my vision for Practicing Grace Qigong which I had intended to do on our first class, but was drawn elsewhere until now. I have paraphrased this vision below:

Class Philosophy:
This is a sacred space from entry to exit, a place to join with others to access your own healing power. We honour each other’s unique journey, share and connect while being mindful to allow each person’s experience to be her own. Laughter and joyous connection is encouraged!  

Circle of Presence:
The person holding the stone receives utter presence from the others. No words are spoken, unless the person specifically asks for a response (as you witnessed last night, this is a rule I myself often break ;)... but the intention remains 💗). This exercise is about noticing what is and being with it without judgement. It is about shared presence, shared vulnerability and shared celebrations. Together we hold intense presence both for ourselves and for others and to set and sense the energy field of the group. Healing is amplified in a group, and many traditions consider a group to be a necessary component of spiritual awakening.

Practicing Grace Qigong:
Practicing Grace Qigong is an intuitive practice to open the mind and heart and restore energy flow to the body. We honour all traditions and all human experiences, recognizing that most energy blockages are caused from our emotions, our unwillingness to feel the sensation of emotion and stay with it without assigning a mental story to it. Only when we allow the emotion to move through us do we unmask, let go and open the mind and heart.

Qigong uses slow movements, deep breathing, and focused intention to restore the flow of qi to the body.  Of these three qualities the most important is intention; “intent guides the Qi to produce healing”.  It is not about perfecting the details and doing precise movements. It is about listening and following your body’s innate wisdom to move with the energy.

The following passages from three different teachers  capture the essence of what Practicing Grace Qigong is all about...

It is our Qi that holds us together, animates us and makes us who we really are. It is our true self, the source of consciousness, awareness and life. Without it nothing lives. When our invisible life force signal, qi, is in orderly action, life thrives and well-being abounds.
— Master Waysun Liao
This flow of energy comes from the depth of your being. All the great spiritual traditions give it different names: Qi (Chinese), Prana Shakti (Hindu), Spirit (Christian), Skan (Lakota).

The only reason we don’t feel this energy all the time is because we block it by closing our heart and mind which blocks the energy channels in our physical body (meridians and chakras). Fear is the cause of every problem. We block our flow of energy by closing our hearts and our minds and we do this because of fear.

True personal growth is about transcending the part of you that is not okay and needs protection
— Michael Singer, "The Untethered Soul"
The purpose of the spiritual path is to unmask, to take off our armour, to let go of our fixed identity. Buddha taught that the fixed identity (ego-clinging) is the cause of our suffering. Looking deeper, the real cause of our suffering is not being able to tolerate uncertainty.

If we can get in touch with the sensation as sensation and open ourselves to it without labeling it good or bad, then even when we feel the urge to draw back, we can stay present and move forward into the feeling. Our feelings are the gateway to liberation, an open doorway to freedom from suffering, the path to our deepest well-being and joy.
— Pema Chodron, "Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change"

Last week I received my new deck of Wild Woman Mystery Cards in the mail - I was so excited I just tore into the packaging. My beloved yoga teacher,  Michelle Crawford introduced me to these cards and they have quickly become my most favourite!  On Sunday I drew two cards from the deck: PRESENCE and PASSAGE. I had sensed that we would dive deeper into presence in this week's classes, so this was (yet another) affirmation for me. I was absolutely blown away by Elizabeth MacLeod's description of "passage". To me, her description is exactly what qigong is  all about -  presence through the motion of life. I  hope you enjoyed listening to the messages in class and enjoy reading them again here!

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""Don't just do something, stand there!" shouts the Wild Woman. Be present in all your capacity. Envelop all there is. There is nothing you can do in greater capacity than to be present.

If you want to feel your presence you must be there in yourself. With this, you will feel connection to everyone and everything. 

To maintain balance in your life, especially when things are out of your control, is to recognize that there's nothing you can do, except be present. This is all you need to hold your balance. 

Be present to life now. Let it be. Recognize it is almost always the way. Be present. Just be present, and all will come to you."

- Elizabeth MacLeod, Wild Woman Mystery Cards

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Passage is a word misunderstood. It suggests movement from one place to the other. Consider for a moment that passage is something more that you go through without movement, as if it were an initiation of sorts. Consider that passage is that which you are always engaged in as you move in and out of each moment in your life.

There are little and big passages, just like little and big moments. Sometimes the simplest moments are the most profound. Simple, Wild Woman is a word also misunderstood. Simple is made to look easy, or made to look quick, but simple is clear and can be as profound as any moment you might ever have. Notice that with each new moment, you are in passage, passage into something new. You are traveling into all that you are, in any given moment. When you realize this, you will know  you that you have reached the initiation of the Wild Woman, knowing that each moment is a passage into something greater than ever came before, because it is a new moment. And with this comes the allowing necessary to open your heart to all the experiences you could have. It's like you are literally birthing into your self in every moment and coming out new, with which to see your perceptions change before your very eyes!  This is the gift of passage. Coming into your self and allowing for passages of life to take place with compassion and light heartedness, you will initiate yourself into your self without the need for anyone to tell you of wisdom they think you should do. You will know.

Wild Woman passage is a sacred event unfolding every minute of every day. It takes a conscious awareness to be present to the steps you take and choices you make in each moment. Passage takes you to another passage. And passage is always there for you whether you like it or not. To be present to passage allows you to take ownership in your life, deciding which road to take and which path to climb. It allows you the full experience of all of you. It's as if with each step you move for you to create yourself. So create yourself. You do not have to find yourself. You are here. Create yourself, in every moment, in passage. What an enormous gift to yourself and ultimately our world."
- Elizabeth MacLeod, Wild Woman Mystery Cards



 


And, finally, here is the closing Kuan Yin passage and prayer that I shared at the end of our class:

 TAI CHI RISING Your energy field is growing stronger, with more spiritual electricity pulsing through your being. Take time to nourish your nervous system as it adjusts and be gentle with yourself as you adjust to increasing levels of spiritual potency, which gives more impact to your words, actions and thoughts.   A PRAYER FOR TAI CHI RISING Through the mercy and compassion of Kuan Yin, and my own Free Will, may my energy field grow to meet the needs of my Soul light. May I be strong and merciful, powerful and wise in equal measure, may I be loving and potent with temperance and peaceful intention. Om Mani Padme Hum.   - Kuan Yin Oracles by Alana Fairchild

TAI CHI RISING
Your energy field is growing stronger, with more spiritual electricity pulsing through your being. Take time to nourish your nervous system as it adjusts and be gentle with yourself as you adjust to increasing levels of spiritual potency, which gives more impact to your words, actions and thoughts. 

A PRAYER FOR TAI CHI RISING
Through the mercy and compassion of Kuan Yin, and my own Free Will, may my energy field grow to meet the needs of my Soul light. May I be strong and merciful, powerful and wise in equal measure, may I be loving and potent with temperance and peaceful intention. Om Mani Padme Hum. 

- Kuan Yin Oracles by Alana Fairchild

Thank-you for another beautiful evening!

xo
Patti

curious moon gazing, being the witness, and the five element practice (April 30th circle)

Dear Monday Evening Warriors,

I want to start by thanking each of you for holding such sacred space for each other in last night's circle!  The group is very new and many of us have just met one another... and yet there is a rare willingness to be seen.  Sharing our struggles and our celebrations without judgement and comparisons is, in itself, a healing practice - even if not immediately felt, the experience alone can clear energy blockages and release old patterns. Thank-you for trusting this process! 

Perhaps it was this process that caused me to spontaneously change my plan midway through class and share the Qigong series of the Daoist Five Element for Organ and Emotional Health. I hope you enjoyed it - I suspect we will do it again next week. 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.

See below for some of the readings/pointers that were shared during our class. 💞

As always,  please feel free to contact me at any point during the week if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

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IT’S A GOOD TIME FOR HOWLING...

We’re all feeling the effects of the extremely emotional SCORPIO full moon.

All the pain and passion we’ve held since last October?
All the anguish and anger we’ve felt since last fall?
All the hidden secrets starting to be revealed?

The FULL MOON in Scorpio calls for us to release everything.

Every last little drop of rage, remorse, sorrow, grief, disappointment and despair. It’s a time for howling, gnashing, wailing and otherwise getting it all out.

Yet even bigger, on May 15, Uranus enters Taurus for seven years for the first time in 84 years. Many astrologers are calling it the most important shift of the year—a revolution in finances, materialism, farming, food, physicality. Last time this happened was 1934, when Hitler, Stalin, Mao were in power. Yet other astrologers see it as an extremely hopeful next seven years— a freeing shakeup to old outworn systems.

There is never any fear in astrology, because we are all souls moving toward greater expansion.

What happens in the past is NOT repeated in exactly the same way in the future, because we are continually evolving.

However, if you are feeling emotional, the Universe asks that you focus on yourself as a soul.

Connect in.
Get help from your Guides.
Ask for Divine assistance.
— Sara Wiseman (www.sarawiseman.com)

This is an intense full moon with energy similar to an eclipse. It is an extremely important time to be mindful of your reactions and to take responsibility for them. If you are triggered in any way, you have an opportunity to look at those deep patterns that may be coming to the surface and work through them with focused and disciplined intention. Get help if you need it.

On the other side of this personal inner crisis energy is the support for expansion and the possibility of moving into something new and different. This is also a good day for gratitude and honor as you celebrate all of your accomplishments up to this point in your life without being attached to how they have defined you. Allow this full moon to support you in creating new intentions for redefining who you are.
— Lena Stevens, The Power Path School of Shamanism

You are not your thoughts or emotions. You are the one who is simply aware of your thoughts and emotions.

True personal growth is about transcending the part of you that is not okay and needs protection. This is done by constantly remembering that you are the one inside that notices the voice talking. That is the way out. The one inside who is aware that you are always talking to yourself about yourself is always silent. It is a doorway to the depths of your being. To be aware that you are watching the voice talk is to stand on the threshold of a fantastic inner journey. if used properly, the same mental voice that has been a source of worry, distraction, and general neurosis can become the launching ground for true spiritual awakening. Come to know the one who watches the voice, and you will come to know one of the great mysteries of creation.
— Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul
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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Leaning into discomfort...with support from the Universe (April 23 circle)

Dear Monday Evening Beauties,

Oh, how I love the freedom  to explore what arises in our circle!  Thank-you ladies for a contemplative and powerful gathering last night!

Here is the reading I shared at the beginning of class. Thank-you for the heartfelt conversations and sharing that followed. I bow down to your willingness to be open, vulnerable, honest and humble. Know that you are not alone. 

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"

Here is the closing Kuan Yin passage and prayer that I shared at the end of our class:

“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.”

— "Dynasty of the Divine Mother", Kuan Yin Oracles by Alana Fairchild

OM MANI PADME HUM
THANK-YOU  for chanting this with me. Wowza!  What an experience that was...a first for me... and I cannot wait for more!

Om Mani Padme Hum is a powerful heart opening, consciousness-raising, peace-finding prayer of divine power. It is probably the most utilized mantra on Earth so it has a lot of group energy supporting it and those that choose to use it. It helps bring compassion and resolution to any issue. It calls on the divine power of Kuan Yin, of all beings of unconditional love, and the Divine Mother, as well as your own divine spark expressing through your Soul to get on board and help resolve whatever needs to be resolved.

It means ’the opening of the jewel in the lotus,’ or ‘may the heart awaken with divine compassion and may I know myself to be an awakened being of light’.  

Om sounds like “pom”, Mani as in “manicure”, Padme sounds like “pud-maye”, Hum rhymes with “gum”
— Kuan Yin Oracle Guidebook by Alana Fairchild

May the warmth and energy of spring fill your week!

xo
Patti

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Thank-you for the warm welcome back! 🙏 (April 16th circle)

Hello Monday Evening ladies,

What an absolute gift and honour to share my first week of post-surgery qigong classes with each of you! I cannot wait to experience the next eight weeks with you and to grow together. 

Pam and June we look forward to having you join our circle next week!

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 insightful. So, for the time being, we are going to explore some of her words.

Here is the passage I shared from her book, “ Comfortable with Uncertainty, 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion”. 
 

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. 

Wishing you all a week of open-hearted presence!

xo
Patti