The Alchemy of Love

“It feels like I’m standing in the middle of a burning pyre being burned alive. When I look out through the flames, there is this intensely raw feeling of being at the complete mercy of
a process that I cannot change and can only allow. The flames fly wildly around me and there is nowhere to go. It seems that the flames are coming from my own flesh and bones, so wherever I go, the flames follow.” 1


Hexagram 30. Li/The Clinging, Fire. Li means “to ‘cling to something’, ‘to be conditioned’, ‘to depend or rest on something’, and also ‘brightness’…what is dark clings to what is light and so enhances the brightness of the latter. A luminous thing giving out light must have within itself something that perseveres; otherwise it will in time burn itself out. Everything that gives light is dependent on something to which it clings, in order that it may continue to shine… Human life on earth is conditioned and unfree, and when man recognizes this limitation and makes himself dependent upon the harmonious and beneficent forces of the cosmos, he achieves success… one may put aside hope and fear, and sigh and lament: if one is intent on clarity of mind, good fortune will come from his grief. For here we are dealing not with a passing of mood… but with a real change of heart.” 2

A ‘real change of heart’ opens pathways for healing.

The heart belongs to the element fire, summer, heat, south, joy, sadness, red, bitter flavor, the tongue, blood, sweat, flowering. Taoist sages tell us that deep within the heart within the heart, lives the shen (the spirit of the heart), imbued with the pure light of divine consciousness that guides and protects us in our earth walk. The shen ask us to tenderly care for the altar of our heart—a threshold between the realm of the timeless and the time-bound where mystery lives and informs us in the most sacred ways of the Tao. The shen need our stillness and silence so that we may hear, with the inner ear, the guidance of Mystery whispered in a language only the heart understands. Continue reading “The Alchemy of Love”


absent blackberry
ripens whole in my heart space—

chaos wild with grace


The Walk Between


The experience of transition times can be mildly to severely destabilizing and disorienting, yet it can also be immensely liberating and creative as one phase declines and a new one arises. More than any other seasonal transition, the chaos of spring is one of the most demanding on the body, mind, emotions, and spirit.

In summer we are nourished by months of warmth, light, community, and the abundance of fresh produce all fostering a sense of contentment and nourishment. Our storehouse is filled so that it can help sustain us through winter months. When autumn escorts us from summer to winter, there can be a sense of grief as the warmth and abundance of summer falls away. Yet there can also be a sense of relief, ease and comfort in surrendering to the forces of gravity as the demands of long days and outward movement begin to decline. In winter, our energies become more yin, moving inward and down. Like trees and seeds, if we allow ourselves to naturally be with this time and wait in relative stillness and dormancy, new life gestates and is nourished by the invisible realm.

The first signs of spring emerge in unpredictable fits and starts. One day is snow and freezing cold, another is filled with sunshine and warmth, while the spring winds continue to bring chaos and change. A new energy begins to stir within as the daffodils show their faces, small buds swell from bare branches, and migratory birds leave and return. One day we burst out of hibernation, only to be met by fatigue and a need for more rest the next day. By listening inside to what we are experiencing and responding with fluidity, patience, and care to our current needs, we are more able to find some ease. Flexibility is key.

Like seedlings beneath the earth, our energies are beginning to rise. Instead of the ease of surrendering to gravity like in fall, spring energies must move against gravity toward the light of the sun like seedlings pushing up through the earth. This negentropic movement against gravity requires energy. If we haven’t allowed ourselves enough rest and renewal in winter, energy stores will be deficient and there may be difficulty in meeting or grounding the more active, yang energies of spring and summer.

Continue reading “The Walk Between”




Turn up the sound



The Way Out Is In


Hexagram 29 K’an/The Abysmal (Water)


“In man’s world K’an represents the heart, the soul locked up within the body, the
principle of light inclosed in the dark…Water sets the example for the right conduct
under such circumstances… Water reaches its goal by flowing continually…When we
are in danger we ought not to attempt to get out of it immediately, regardless of
circumstances; at first we must content ourselves with not being overcome by it…A
spring flows sparingly at first, and tarries for some time before it makes its way into the

open…we must wait until a way out shows itself.” 1



Emerging from my night time journey, I float to the surface of waking life in slow motion. Time has not yet influenced my body, as spirit soars freely—watching. Although we are still in the depths of winter, I feel the first stirrings of spring within.

A restlessness emerges from the dark waters of my soul—lost to an emptiness filled with impatience that aches for things to be different from what they currently are. In this moment I feel trapped by the heart-breaking realities of life on the planet.

I decide to take Impatience and Trapped-ness for a walk. I patiently follow while Impatience leads, and Trapped-ness rides along in my heart. Moving at racer’s pace, my heart devotedly pumps blood to my extremities so that I can keep up. Impatience shows no sign of slowing down. Trapped-ness quietly watches.

“What are you running from, and where are we going?” I wonder out loud. “Anywhere but here.” Impatience mumbles. So we continue on. And on. And on. Until the trail turns into a sheet of ice, causing Impatience to freeze in her tracks.

Continue reading “The Way Out Is In”

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8