Deep Ecology Of The Soul: Dying Into Life


“Ah, not to be cut off,
not through the slightest partition
shut out from the law of stars.
The inner – what is it?
if not intensified sky,
hurled through with birds and deep

With the winds of homecoming.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke



Shortening days, stormy winds, lowering sun, harvest moon, wafts of composting leaves, and layers of grey and white clouds signal the end of a growth period announcing the waning of energies that have been pouring outward toward the light of the sun. We are reminded that nothing stays the same and that growth is bipolar- happening both outwardly in the visible realm and inwardly in the invisible realm.

Twinges of grief float like mists as the long, warm days of summer evaporate into a sense of sweet relief- the kind that comes after deep surrender. Earth welcomes us home to her fecund soils to be re-formed- reshaped in the home of our inner world.

Just as the plant beings deconstruct and return to the earth from which they have sprung, autumn is the time salmon return home to their place of birth to reproduce and forward new life.

Salmon, like all life forms on the earth, fulfill a particular ecological niche in the world. Their life is not theirs alone, but contributes something of value to the greater whole. In this way, they live in wholeness.

Salmon are born in freshwater, migrate out to the sea when they reach a level of maturity, then return to their original birthplace. It is not certain as to how salmon know where their home is. Scientists believe it may have to do with using the earth’s magnetic field like a compass, and then once they reach the river, smell guides them the rest of the way.

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Painting by Monique Gaboury 2004

Acrylic on wood panel



Entering the Sacred Gap: Realm of the Po Soul 1


Temporary Pathways

The atmosphere is charged with an empty kind of fullness as I rise before the sun. Under the black light of a new moon, a grove of fir in silhouette dance like apparitions in the breeze. I too feel like an apparition this morning- between sleeping and waking, night and day, summer and winter.

In my bones is an aching awareness of the seemingly infinite gulf between what is known and unknown, nothing and something, heaven and earth, self and Self, self and other, wholeness and fragmentation, wildness and domestication, questions and answers. Like the moon awaiting her monthly rebirth in the night sky, I await the clarity of light upon the faint, darkened edges of unknown possibilities.

On the beach I notice that the sea is further out than I have seen in a long time, exposing more of the hidden realm than usual. The indistinct vacuum of the new moon is pulling the tide far from the edges of the earth, temporarily offering untravelled pathways decorated in multiverses of living and dead mysteries from the deep sea.


Empty Vessel




I walk out to the end of the bluff where I lay on the light sand and breathe with the earth. Two osprey hunt over the sea in front of me. Mugwort 2 grows in thick clumps along the bluff behind me, delivering me further to in-between where I drift between time and space in meditative emptiness and deep renewal.
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Wayfinding: A Late Summer Koan


This morning I am acutely aware of the space in between things and what happens in that space as we transition from one thing to the next, like from sleeping to waking or from meditation to answering emails. By late morning my mind is buzzing with abundance- news of current events, lists of things needing to be done and questions that have no answers. I take refuge in the woods up the road, creating space to open to a larger perspective. As I start out on the path, I wonder: In what ways can we assimilate all the information that constantly bombards our senses? What helps us orient through change from a place of wholeness? How can we sort through the demands of life to hear and bring out the inner truth contained within our heart and soul? How can we live in reciprocity with the heart and soul of the world? How do we navigate the intensity and chaos of these times with our full presence?


“… the genius of… navigation lies not in the particular but in the whole, the manner in
which all of these points of information come together in the mind of the wayfinder…
You only know where you are by knowing precisely where you have been and how you

got to where you are.” 1


The Myth of Beginnings and Endings


“Excuse me. Can you tell me if this path ends?” I pause and search for an answer. I have been hiking a maze of pathways through the dense vegetation of old growth woodlands for an hour and a half. By now, layers of ordinary reality have dissolved into the humid atmosphere and the boundary of my flesh has opened to include snake, blackberry, rosehip, bumble bee, moth, salal, raindrops, maple tree and more helping my linear mind release its grip and allowing it to become one with my heart, body, senses and environment. Her question registers like a Zen koan.

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