The Other Kind of Fire: Soul of the Wounded Healer
Fire calls us forth to intermingle, laugh, love, and enjoy, yet so many are feeling lonely, exhausted, isolated, and bewildered even as we come out to socialize after the Great Loneliness of these past three years.
Summer is the season of the fire element bringing warmth, connection, intimacy, ripening, expansion, circulation. Fire also purifies, clearing out the what is no longer useful to be recycled into nutrients for soil and new growth. Indigenous peoples teach that there are ways to help the earth by setting contained fires to prevent the build up of understories that have become congested with overgrowth or that have lost their vitality. The nutrients from the ash feeds the earth and creates fertile soil while preventing natural fires from burning out of control.
I can see how this is also a metaphor for our own psycho-spiritual health internally.
As multitudes of fires burn out of control across the body of Gaia each summer, I can feel how she struggles to nourish all her children, even as we continue to harm her. I wonder about how our own bodies are responding as I take off my sandals and step into the salty water. What happens to the earth happens also in our bodies. Continue reading “The Other Kind of Fire: Soul of the Wounded Healer”→
Something is happening, like a slow simmer tenderizing the border of things. At the boundary of the flesh and at the interface between my heart and the world, I can feel how the correct amount of heat invites what is hidden or held apart to come forth, open, show itself, soften, vibrate, delineate, copulate, expand, intertwine, define, wonder, touch, feel, love. At this sacred edge, self and other become doorway and door.
Fire moves and circulates life from the edges toward a centering principle. In humans it is our heart that holds the fire, encouraging engagement, relatedness, kinship, belonging. Over time, fire is capable of creating something completely new from a multitude of complex parts without losing the wholeness of each part. Even if each separateness dissolves in the process, it paradoxically can never lose its integrity completely when rooted in the spirit of the heart.
There is a breathing that is more than our own, a palpable stream of cosmic vitality thatmoves, enlivens, connects and transforms along numinous pathways between heavenand earth. Ancient Taoists knew these currents as dragon veins, along which the breath of life—qi—ushers emptiness and form back and forth to one another; moving betweenrealms like an unborn, undying prayer from the heart of existence ceaselessly offering its spirit to the full potential of embodied life.
As spring winds steadily fan theflaming spirit of summer’s becoming, warmth and lightis offered to the hidden or not-yet-formed things so that they may continue their full emergence and live in the world of form and time. There is no such thing as holdingback to plants, creature beings, planets, stars. Life is made to bear fruit, and in sodoing, dies wholly to itself over and again in a participatory dance of inter-being.
In the midst of the bursting exuberance of spring, it is easy to forget that growthis also contingent on inward acts like letting go. Growth is mostly not smooth and happens in stages, each one requiring courage, faith, trust and death. Birthrequires much dying. Immense suffering is often the result of not knowing howand when to die, and that it is simply okay to let go.Continue reading “The Way of Dragon Veins: A Prayer From Where the Heart Begins”→