Following the Inner Call
A couple years ago I read a book that impacted me in a profound way. It is Terry Tempest Williams book called Finding Beauty in a Broken World. There is lots to contemplate here.
And it brings to mind how I even got this book.
One day as I was walking in the town of Pt Reyes, I followed something inside me that had me go into the bookstore. I don’t frequent bookstores any more because I have become a Kindle reader who can immediately order a book by one click. I no longer touch the covers and read on the back or leaf through the pages. I greedily go online and read the reviews and recommendations and then in one moment, the book appears on my screen.
It is magical and yet something is being lost in all this. I know it and yet I have succumbed to this guilty pleasure.
So when I went into this bookstore and began looking at a table of books, a young woman with an open face smiled at me and we began to talk about books. She told me that she can no longer read because of a head injury and now can only get books on tape. She told me that even to step inside a bookstore was hard for her but is something she is able to do now as she lovingly touched each book as she longed to open them.
She told me this as we shared our love for certain books recommending them to each other. She told me this without pity although I imagine she went through some grief to get to this equanimity.
Because of her, I bought Finding Beauty in a Broken World.
In part of the book Terry Tempest Williams spends two weeks observing Prairie Dogs in Bryce Canyon National Park. She mirrors for me how I love to observe nature either the zebras and baboons that parade through our front garden in South Africa or the hummingbirds, crows, turkey vultures, blue jays, raccoons, skunk, foxes, deer and chipmunks that fly and parade on our deck in Inverness.
I, who was raised in Los Angeles, whose parents said that camping for them was a Hilton Hotel, feel like I am finding a big part of myself that I didn’t know I knew until I went to Girl Scout Camp in the Big Bear mountains near Arrowhead, California. And even then, it was a taste.
Now at age 68 I have slowed down some to become an observer, finding a way to commune with all that passes as scenery in my life. My passion for the wild things grows and I often wonder where it came from in me, a Jewish urban girl.
And then I read this in this book.
In the presence of prairie dogs, I feel calm, safe, and reassured, sensing there is something more enduring than our own minds. I feel a peace that holds my heart, not because I believe this is better than the world we have created. I feel at peace because the memory of wild nature is held within the nucleus of each living cell. Our bodies remember wholeness in the midst of fragmentation.
Perhaps as the world feels more fragile, more vulnerable as we witness daily through the global world view its destruction, there is something in me that is seeking a thread that connects me to the web of life.
I followed a thread that brought Gary and me to South Africa, a place 24 hours away by plane but an inner “yes” just the same. I remember the jet-lagged night when we decided to buy the land and then wondered in the next instance if we were crazy. And then something in me said, “It isn’t for us, it is for something we cannot know right now.”
- the stick bug and praying mantis that landed on our kitchen counters,
- the vervet monkeys that stared at us with quiet curiosity through the branches outside our bedroom window,
- the zebra grazing on our lawn
or the kudu walking with grace through our garden.
Such wonder and majesty. Observing all this, the insects, the animals, makes sense out of everything that feels so senseless, so crazy, so fractured and split.
South Africa forced me out of San Francisco into West Marin County and the wildness of Pt Reyes National Seashore. Grace gave us a property that watches the migration of birds and the movement of tides.
I am calmer now, less inclined to move fast or grasp for something outside of me. Perhaps that is why we have to follow our own inner callings, our own threads because that will allow us to bring a wholeness to all that seems so fragmented in this world, find a rhythm that suits us even when we can read a book with one click or fly on a plane across the world.
It all fits somehow if I listen to my own heart and sometimes I need to slow way down for that.
My travels over many years between Egypt and South Africa along the Nilotic Meridian has taught me about working with the cosmic energies of ancient Egypt and the earth energies of Mother Africa. Each opens a profound understanding of how we need to integrate the cosmos within ourselves, dancing between the expanded states of the formless with the deep rootedness of form. It is a journey of balance and love but requires us to embrace our unbridled selves and not repress them. This Spring of 2017, I am thrilled to be offering two opportunities to integrate the profound energies of Egypt and South Africa. Imagine yourself in the Paws of the Sphinx at dawn bathing in the One Heart and Cosmic Mind, or traveling into Mother Africa, sitting at the foot of Modimolay in the Blyde River Canyon where the Africans believe God created the world. It would be a joy to my heart to share either of these special opportunities with you.
“As Above, So Below”
A Mystical Journey to Egypt
February 16–March 1, 2017
“As Above, So Below”
A Mystical Journey to Egypt
February 16–March 1, 2017
Join us as we enter the Ancient Mysteries of Egypt beginning in meditation at dawn in the Paws of the Sphinx and then traversing the Nile visiting the temples in a luxurious private dahabia based on the ancient sailing vessels Imagine taking a small boat to the island of Philae where the Goddess Isis was worshipped for thousands of years, greeting her at dawn in a private ceremony. This opportunity is something that will transform your life in ways you cannot imagine. I have done this journey for 24 years taking countless groups through these doorways.
If you are called to come, please learn more here about the trip to the Ancient Mysteries of Egypt and join us.
South Africa 2017
An Invitation to Explore and Deepen into the Heart and Soul of Mother Africa
March 16 – March 30, 2017
This Journey and retreat was birthed out of our desire to share something essential that lives deeply in our psyches and hearts. Our own experiences in Africa have awakened our soul to remember its primal beginnings as we walk the ancient earth, rocked in the womb and the heart of the Mother. To be with the mystical nature of this land, to immerse in the deep African mystery is to be called into palpable Presence, that vibrant field of Oneness with all living things.
I am excited to share this retreat with you. I have had my home in South Africa in the Blyde River Canyon for 16 years and have longed to bring people there to deepen into the mystery of the land. This retreat will include time with the white lions of Tsau as well as safari in the Kruger National Park, the largest game park in the world. Many other sites and experiences will unfold as we explore the nature of this profound biosphere, the Blyde River Canyon.
If you are called to come, please learn more here about the trip to Explore and Deepen into the Heart and Soul of Mother Africa and join us.