Category Archives: The Great Turning

Women marching in solidarity with all of life

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver

Julia and I were grateful to be a part of the Women’s March in NYC on Saturday. I hold the conviction that marching for something is always more powerful than marching against what you do not want.  This is spurred by the story of Mother Teresa saying she wouldn’t march against the war but would march for peace. However, what we experienced on Saturday was confirmed by everyone we talked to, in DC and around the world. The feeling on the street was not one of anger, hatred and rage.  Certainly people were protesting and expressing themselves fully but good will was the prevalent feeling.  In DC alone there was 1.2 million people and as my friend Ashby said, “everyone was so kind to one another.” People were considerate to the police and there were no arrests. Over 3 million people around the world marched in solidarity to peacefully demonstrate the love of freedom, the love of this planet, and the drive to not be satisfied with less than equality for all women. For, as one of the many signs said:

“Women’s rights are human rights.”

“People are realizing that our needs can be met without destroying our world. We have the technical knowledge, the communication tools, and material resources to grow enough food, ensure clean air and water, and meet rational energy needs. Future generations, if there is a livable world for them, will look back at the epochal transition we are making to a life-sustaining society. And they may well call this the time of the Great Turning. It is happening now.”

– Joanna Macy

I believe The Great Turning is happening and what we are experiencing now is a reactionary clinging to the old age.

We are being told to fear.

If we really want to combat terrorism around the world. Educate girls and honor all women.

Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot by the taliban for daring to stand up for a girl’s right to education, is still standing.

“The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them. they are afraid of women.” – Malala Yousafzai

This country was founded by brave people who were willing to face down tyranny,

“…in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”- Preamble to the Constitution

As Gloria Steinem said at the DC March on Saturday:

“The Constitution doesn’t begin with, ‘I, the president, it begins with, ‘We, the people.’

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

– Malala Yousafzai

You make the difference. We, the people, have the power to usher in the change we wish to be.

Mary Oliver asks: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I will sing in solidarity with all of life. Not just for its right to be here but in harmony with the love that it gives form to.

March on!

Break the glass!

“A light must B light to C light and feel D light.” – Dr. Andrew Vidich

Dr. Andrew Vidich

While this week has felt like a marathon for Julia and I, we recognize the universe has been accelerating  to  help us manifest what we have been asking for.  Sometimes there is a conspiracy on our behalf.

Thursday night we were asked to sing two songs for a meditation class Dr. Andrew Vidich was offering at the Center for Remembering and Sharing in NYC. We have been reading a book he co-authored called Let There Be Light, which explores how the internal light that is present and transforms the individual is found within all major faiths and paths of wisdom.

Julia and I had a full and rewarding day but coming back into the city for the second time, we felt overbooked, exhausted and almost wished we hadn’t committed ourselves.

We arrived early and were there when Dr. Vidich arrived.  He was wearing a fez and a scarf, as if he was a bearded Dr. Who ready to take us out of ourselves into the expanded continuous adventure.  His smile steals over you and the twinkle in his eye makes you feel as if he might just disappear if you blink. Even his beard fans out evenly, curling out to greet you.

His talk before the meditation was about being humble. He said the poet Hafiz used to put a pebble inside a bowl every time his thoughts or actions were less than loving.  At the end of the day he would reflect and realize how full the bowl was. This was not to shame himself but to recognize that his ego was not as trustworthy as his love was.

Dr. Vidich told a wonderful story from a classic poem about Layla and Majnun. Layla was a princess and Majnun was madly in love with her. Because of the gulf in their social standing, they were not allowed to consummate their affection but their love for one another was boundless.

One day Layla announced she wanted to bestow a blessing on all of her servants. Majnun dressed as a servant and stood at the end of the line as Laila filled each of the glasses they were all given with milk. When she saw Majnun, she knocked the glass out of his hand.  Everyone felt sorry for him but Majnun was in ecstacy.  He explained to the other servants that the blessing she wanted to give him could not be contained in the small glass, so she broke it.  Layla is God or divine nature and Majun is the soul, madly in love with its source.

layla-and-majnun

This reminded me of the Jewish mystic legend of the supernal light of ‘being’ filling the ten glass vessels of physical form. The glass vessels couldn’t take all that love and so they shattered. This corresponds to the Big Bang. The legend goes on to say that illuminated shards are scattered throughout the world and that we can search for them within ourselves and in each other.  This is called Tikkun Olam, which means repairing the world. The custom of breaking the glass at the end of a Jewish wedding ceremony, symbolizes the launching and formation of the expanding universe, which is just starting for the couple and a sign that their love cannot be contained in any vessel.  It is also an invitation for them to search for illumination within themselves and in those around them.

In the café downstairs after the session, Dr. Vidich said “Mysticism is everyone’s birthright.”  Mysticism  is just having a direct experience of your true nature.

He said religions were intended to help us graduate. Many organizations can become more interested in our tuition and like to keep us enrolled.  While we can enjoy the sweetness of the communities each path provides, we can also let go of all that is exclusive and promotes division.

Surely, Dr. V is not the first to talk of universal spirituality and understanding but he reminded us that the shift is really taking place. I used to feel so isolated years ago when I was attracted to the thread that runs through all the great teachings.  More and more people are opening up to some form of spirituality. There is a recognition that what unites us is a common humanity that  goes beyond our personal heritage. This is why there is such dramatic, violent fundamental clinging to politics and organized religion. We are collectively turning towards a more expansive view of ourselves and one another.

Break the glass and be open to the love that cannot be contained.

Break the glass

Rebecca Trobe- Impacting the Great Turning

Perimeters change as we contemplate who we are and what we can achieve.  Level the obstacles by mapping out a sure course and following the love inherent within your path.  Match unlimited aspiration with unlimited service.  We are the generators of positive change and benevolent reconfiguration.  The steel structures of binding separation weigh heavily on the shoulders of mankind. We are here to promote the memory of a balanced humankind with emphasis on the kind. To recognize one another and especially the role that women play for the true healing and reclaiming of this planet, we can shift away from our charade of domination and relax into a merging of our individual streams into an ocean that reflects the infinite.

********************************************************************************

rebecca-trobeYesterday Julia and I got to have lunch with our friend Rebecca Trobe who is incredibly delicious. Some friends give you a natural battery charge. My uncle Jeff used to say that if you run on your own, no matter how charged your battery is, you will run down. But if you plug into the wall socket you can keep going. Rebecca is plugged in. She is the founder of Impact Coaching & Consulting. She works with individuals, couples, families and philanthropic organizations to help them invest their wealth generationally towards things that will benevolently boost their communities and the world.

She talked about the circuit that is completed when folks with money who don’t know what to do with it are connected to things that really help foster positive change.  It not only lifts their esteem and gives them purpose but it ushers in hope. 

She talked about the circuit that is completed when folks with money who don’t know what to do with it are connected to things that really help foster positive change.  It not only lifts their esteem and gives them purpose but it ushers in hope.

Look at the Medici family in Italy. They might have been just a bunch of old rich villains but because of people like Rebecca, the Medici helped to bring us the Renaissance.

It’s all about using intelligence, charm and a juicy heart to direct people towards what is really possible.

She talked about the author Joanna Macy and The Great Turning, which is something that is taking place right now. It is a transition from Industrial Growth Society to a Life Sustaining Society.  The mindset of our society dictates what happens to the planet and all of us on it. This is determined by the way we set our goals and measure our success.  Success is measured in terms of growth and growth of what?   “Health, longevity, wisdom, beauty… or profit?” Ms. Macy points out that our economy is just trying to maximize one aspect, namely profit so we can’t sustain balance.  Actions that slow down destruction of the industrial society (soup kitchens, protest marching, legislation etc.) are not enough. We need alternative structures, ancient ways of growing foods, new education to wake each other up. But that is not enough.  Change must be deeply rooted in our values, in our belief of what is worthwhile.

The shift in consciousness is happening. Wisdom traditions are coming forward; science is coming up with new ways of seeing the interconnectedness of all life. (Quantum theory, Holographic theory, Chaos theory) There is a scientific and spiritual revolution that is bringing about this Great Turning and we are a part of it.

“It means that life can go on and that can be an exquisite reason to get out of bed in the morning.” – Joanna Macy

joannamacyPQ3

Knowing Rebecca as we do and how right on she is in terms of her authenticity and intention, we know that she is working for the Great Turning every day. Not only when she goes to work but when she is hanging out, wherever she is.  We are always encouraged and inspired when we see her because we remember that is our aim as well.

You are obviously a Great part of what makes life here so sweet.  Thanks for being here!  Let’s carry on together!