Inner Pilgrimage (Part I)

 

”Within my body are all the sacred places of the world, and the most profound pilgrimage I can ever make is within my own body.”

Saraha

 

Just as life speaks to us through the senses and nature, the body speaks to us through sensation and symptom. Learning to understand and appreciate the language of the body comes through a fine tuning of the inner ear and senses to hear the truth speaking from deep within. There is a certain kind of poetry expressed in symptoms- a distilled, clear and creative flow of felt experience, symbolism, and metaphor that encompasses more than words alone. It is the language of the soul speaking from ancient archetypal wisdom that can open us to a whole new world- one that is rich with its own mythology of meaning and support.

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I Ching Hexagram 5 Hsü / Waiting (Nourishment)

Water Above Heaven

“When clouds rise in the sky, it is a sign it will rain. There is nothing to do but to wait until the rain falls. It is the same in life when destiny is at work. We should not worry and seek to shape the future by interfering in things before the time is ripe.” 1

It is no simple task to wait.

When in the midst of overwhelm, discomfort, and strong emotions it is second nature to want to ‘do’ something. Sometimes immediate action is the necessary and appropriate course of measure. Yet there are times where immediate action would be premature, thus interfering with a larger wisdom trying to emerge. At such times we can use our will to be still and wait, as we open to the greater mystery.

The will is associated with the water element and the zhi spirit and resides in the kidneys. When harmonized, the zhi nourishes the life within us that is associated with our soul’s purpose and is guided by the heart. The heart houses the shen spirit and is related to joy, awareness, compassion, love. Shock and trauma can cause the shen to flee from the heart like birds from their nest. When the shen have left and the zhi is depleted, it is difficult to meet life with vitality, clarity and wisdom. There are ways that one can work with this.

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Threading the Needle in Times of Transition

 

“Healing may not be so much about getting better as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are. Not a better you, but a ‘realer’ you… People can heal and live, and people can heal and die. Healing is different from curing. Healing is a process we’re all involved in all the time. Healing is the leading forth of wholeness in people. I think that healing happens only in the context of our imminent awareness of something larger than ourselves, however we conceive that.”

Rachel Naomi Remen

 

This simple quote struck a chord deep in my heart, causing me to wonder about how COVID-19 may be asking us to let go of all that isn’t us to realize our full potential both as individuals and as a global family (the two are inseparable).

In the stillness at the center of the chaotic whirlwind of coronavirus, I see so much beauty emerging from the hearts of humanity- making whole/healing what has been fragmented and broken. Through the millions of small and large acts of love and kindness, sweat and tears, could we be healing ourselves and the planet? Fear, despair, and suffering are daily experiences for far too many. Now, added to the challenges that are already present, with this new development we are being asked to open further to what is possible.

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