Like nature this time of year, abundance is all around you and the possibilities for all of us, together, are bountiful, if only we believe.
Not easy, is it. This thing called hope. Collectively, we can grow it together.
Can you feel it?
Tomorrow, the full moon lunar eclipse. From Lena at Power Path:
The Super Moon marks the bookend of this eclipse window that has brought powerful and unexpected change in endings, beginnings and transitions. Whatever you have set into motion over the last couple of weeks has tremendous momentum and will have far reaching effects. It is important to honor and acknowledge any endings and completions, whether they are initiated by you or not. It is also crucial to focus and place some attention on the space created for new beginnings by those completions. Stay out of any judgment or resentment or martyrdom if what has left your life was not of your doing. Instead, notice what is coming into your life and honor it as part of something new. If you only dwell on what you have lost, you will likely create the same thing for yourself, losing the opportunity to create something new, something that marks an improvement in your life. Be careful what you ask for during this powerful time and make sure it is from your heart and not a calculated thought process.
It is a good time to take action and to refine the intentions you have been working with since the new moon at the beginning of the month. This is a transformational time that can expose issues that need to be addressed, processed and changed. You can also be inspired to manage your obstacles in a new creative way. Be encouraged to think and problem-solve outside the box with a focus on improvement and innovation. Creative thinking will be rewarded with new solutions to old problems.
Whatever else happens, keep your energy light, your vibration as high as possible and your thoughts positive. Bring beauty into your life and fill yourself with inspiration and the intention to move forward in a positive way no matter what.
‘In the spiritual Universe, we only keep what we give away.’
‘I would not sacrifice my soul / for all the beauty of this world. / There is only one thing / for which I would risk everything: / an I-don’t-know-what / that lies hidden / in the heart of the Mystery.’ -John of the Cross
Noche Oscura del Alma
‘If we stay the course and go through this [dark night], we find our way deeper, deeper, deeper, and then we can see that at any given moment in these ways, through marital love, through parenting, through solitude, through oneness with the world, through silence, through service to community, through art, in any given moment, there can come flashing forth our unexpected proximity to this mystical dimension of union.’ -James Finley
C O V I D
1,000,000 U.S. (at least) – – let’s lower the flags and move on.
Yet, the virus continues to mutate and infect, and kill. In our small community, zero masks indoors. As if Covid is…gone.
“COVID-19 Rates Rising as Super Contagious Variant Gains Ground”
KRLD News Radio 1080
With Dr. Peter Hotez, Baylor College of Medicine, with his own breakthrough infection.
“This new BA.2.12 sub-variant is the most transmissible one we’ve seen to date and it’s up there with measles in terms of its reproductive number and its ability to infect. So when you have something this transmissible, even a good vaccine is going to be tough to fight.” Any individual shedding that virus is likely to infect 12 other people.
BA.2.12 is now poised to become the dominant variant in the United States. Dr. Hotez says prior infection from Omicron doesn’t offer much in the way of immunity.
“I have to believe this coming summer we’re going to be vulnerable yet again. Don’t screw around. Get vaccinated, get boosted and get your kids vaccinated.”
In Texas? The testing positivity rate was below 2% in the middle of March. Now it’s up to 8.4%. Keeping in mind, many are ‘home’ testing and positive results are not being recorded.
Too few boosted. Too many more will suffer from long Covid complications. And too many more will die.
‘…and practice being alive.’
How To B/e/l/o/n/g Be Alone
Written and read by Pádraig Ó Tuama
It all begins with knowing
nothing lasts forever,
so you might as well start packing now.
In the meantime,
practice being alive.
There will be a party
where you’ll feel like
nobody’s paying you attention.
And there will be a party
where attention’s all you’ll get.
What you need to do
is to remember
to talk to yourself
between these parties.
there will be a day,
— a decade —
where you won’t
fit in with your body
even though you’re in
the only body you’re in.
You need to control
your habit of forgetting
Remember when you were younger
and you practiced kissing on your arm?
You were on to something then.
Sometimes harm knows its own healing
Comfort knows its own intelligence.
It needs no reason.
There is a you
telling you another story of you.
Listen to her.
Where do you feel
anxiety in your body?
The chest? The fist? The dream before waking?
The head that feels like it’s at the top of the swing
or the clutch of gut like falling
& falling & falling and falling
It knows something: you’re dying.
Try to stay alive.
For now, touch yourself.
Take your hand
and place your hand
upon your body.
to the community of madness
‘In truth, the purpose of any relationship is that love itself be served, in the lives of all concerned.’ -Marianne Williamson
The generous heart does not collapse into the easy things, but rises up in adversity. – Mirabai Starr [Glosa a lo Divino, John of the Cross]
‘The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.’ -Kahlil Gibran
‘Perhaps Sartre was not far wrong in saying that where freedom is abused, society itself turns into hell.’
L’enfer c’est les autres.
Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation:
“When you say you love God, you are saying you love everything (being Gaia). That’s why mystics can love the foreigner, the outsider; in fact, they cannot not love them, because they see truthfully and fully!”
“Return of the Divine Feminine (Mary Magdalene). As the late physicist David Bohm put it, ‘Something more than siren is needed.’ Values are needed, as well as the passion and courage to live them and put them into practice.”
“Meister Eckhart, “Nature is grace.” Creation spirituality. A return to love.
Gnostic gospels of Thomas, Philip and Mary, right practice v. right behavior, the Canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Cynthia Bourgeault, Episcopalian priest:
‘Mary Magdalene’s place of honor is so strong that even the heavy land of a later (300 years), male-dominated ecclesiology cannot entirely dislodge it. […] The high position she held among the close followers of Jesus is more explicitly shown in the Gnostic Gospels where Mary Magdalene is seen as “First among the the Apostles”, not because she was the first on the scene at the ressurectioin but in a more fundamental way: because she gets the message. Of all the disciples, she is the only one who fully understands what Jesus is teaching and can reproduce it in her own life. Her position of leadership is earned, and it is specifically validated by Jesus himself.’
Again, it’s right belief v. right practice. Spiritual Creation is practice. “When you love god, you love everything. That’s why the musics can love the foreigner, the outsider; in fact, they cannot not love them, because they see truthfully and fully” (Richard Rohr).
“The world will only change as we change.”
[Now on Netflix]
“America has lost its capacity to respond to an emergency. Materialism and consumerism have made us dense and sluggish and unable, or unwilling, to collectively respond to even dangers in our midst.” ❁
[Church of the Voyager, Coronado, California.]
Ukraine’s colors remind us of light, in so much darkness.
Pave a way for me out of darkness into l i g h t.
‘Great people are not those who have never fallen down. Great people are those who, when they do fall down, dig deep within themselves and find the strength to get back up. Today may I be someone who rises from the ashes of (the) past.’
‘I’m with Meduza’
Defend the Truth
Independent Russian news.
“We need your help. Right now.
The Kremlin is doing everything in its power to hide the truth about its war against Ukraine. Russia is under military censorship. The authorities prohibit the press from calling this full-scale invasion of Ukraine a war, and they threaten journalists who publish independently verified information about the conflict with up to 15 years in prison.
Meduza was launched in Europe in 2014, shortly after Russia annexed Crimea. For eight years, we have worked to produce independent journalism under the most unfavorable conditions. Millions of people in Russia now rely on our reporting. But a few days ago, our journalists were forced to leave the country.
Since the outbreak of this war, transferring money from Russia to Europe has been impossible. We lost 30,000 donators. At the moment, we get no money from Russia at all.
In this situation, we turn to you. We ask you to take the place of our dedicated supporters in Russia. Save Meduza for our Russian readers — and for yourself.
We have a duty to tell the truth. We have millions of readers in Russia who need us. Without independent journalism, it will be impossible to stop this monstrous war.”
“We are, like Dante, lost in a dark forest, with no sense of orientation. An increasing process of abstraction has demolished our human values, leaving in total command that ultimate abstraction which is the general exchange value for all goods and services: money.
And it may well be that, like Dante, we will have to go through hell and purgatory in order to access our true nature, which is, all wisdom traditions teach us, love.
It will not be an easy journey. It is our collective spiritual task and It will require that we recognize not just the evil which is out there, visible and obvious, but the subtler forms of its inner counterpart, the subtle ways in which we are all partaking of the collateral damage.
We need to be inner and outer warriors, so that pure love may shine, l’amor che muove il sole e l’altre stelle (the love which moves the sun and the other stars).”
Shantena Sabbadini, Director
The destruction and murder deepens today.
“More bodies will come, from streets where they are everywhere and from the hospital basement where adults and children are laid out awaiting someone to pick them up. The youngest still has an umbilical stump attached.”
From British journalist Carole Cadwalladr:
Oh my god. You can see the words written perfectly clearly, both in front & back of the building: “DETI” = “CHILDREN”
From AP News:
By MSTYSLAV CHERNOV, EVGENIY MALOLETKA and LORI HINNANT
MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — The bodies of the children all lie here, dumped into this narrow trench hastily dug into the frozen earth of Mariupol to the constant drumbeat of shelling.
There’s 18-month-old Kirill, whose shrapnel wound to the head proved too much for his little toddler’s body. There’s 16-year-old Iliya, whose legs were blown up in an explosion during a soccer game at a school field. There’s the girl no older than 6 who wore the pajamas with cartoon unicorns, among the first of Mariupol’s children to die from a Russian shell.
They are stacked together with dozens of others in this mass grave on the outskirts of the city. A man covered in a bright blue tarp, weighed down by stones at the crumbling curb. A woman wrapped in a red and gold bedsheet, her legs neatly bound at the ankles with a scrap of white fabric. Workers toss the bodies in as fast as they can, because the less time they spend in the open, the better their own chances of survival.
“The only thing (I want) is for this to be finished,” raged worker Volodymyr Bykovskyi, pulling crinkling black body bags from a truck. “Damn them all, those people who started this!”
More bodies will come, from streets where they are everywhere and from the hospital basement where adults and children are laid out awaiting someone to pick them up. The youngest still has an umbilical stump attached.
C R I M I N A L
From President Zelensky’s address to the U.S. Congress this morning:
‘Peace is more important than income.’
‘It’s about freedom. It’s about the right of people to determine their own future.’
‘Being the leader of the world means being the leader of peace.’
From Pope Francis:
“The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
‘Extreme political polarization. Weaponized misinformation. Media incentivized to divide. And growing inequality. Our democratic experiment has seen better days. How do we reimagine it for the betterment of all?
Spiritual thought leader, activist, and political writer Marianne Williamson says it begins with love.’
‘Our minds our like crows. They pick up everything that glitters, no matter how uncomfortable our nests get with all the metal in them.’
-Thomas Merton, 1961, Seeds of Destruction
Apropos for contemporaneous news cycles and destruction of social media. -dayle
For the thousands who die everyday from the pandemic still, whose deaths are only felt in numbers, not souls…1,000,000 total as of today. -dayle
‘Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life.’
‘What is to give light must endure burning.’
A prayer from Marianne:
‘I place my relationship with him in your hands. May my presence once again be a blessing in his life, and my his be blessing in mine. May my thoughts toward him be those of innocence and love, and may his toward me be the same. Amen.’
“At least the global pandemic brought us all together.”
The human shape is a ghost
made of distraction and pain.
Sometimes pure light, sometimes cruel,
trying wildly to open,
this image tightly held within itself.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France:
“…a response that makes it possible to avoid war, to build the elements of confidence, stability and visibility. Together.”
“The role I want to play right now is citizen.”
“When we grant ourselves permission to live the life we want, there is little in the world that can stop us.” -Marianne
Former President George H.W. Bush wrote to fellow ex-president Gerald Ford in 1996: “Too often we fail to tell our friends that we really care about them and we are grateful to them.”
‘Maybe pickone person today and say: You made a difference.’ [AXIOS]
From Seth Godin:
“…it’s a metaphorical green light, a window of opportunity, a shift in the culture you can feel disappearing, it might very well pay to speed up. Because that extra effort, done with safety on behalf of those you seek to serve, will compound.
It never pays to wait until a deadline, but when you see the world changing, it might be a good excuse to redouble your efforts.”
Reading this from Seth, reminded of Matthew’s book, which I loved. -dayle
“We will not save what we do not love.”
And from Matthew Fox:
“In Invoking the divine feminine, Julian of Norwich is of course informing us about how we need a balanced sense of gender to survive and even thrive in a time of pandemic and after a pandemic has left us. […] All human life on the planet is born of woman.“
Today marks the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945.
Wreaths were placed in Berlin today at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
President Biden said: “Today, we attempt to fill a piercing silence from our past — to give voice to the six million Jews who were systematically and ruthlessly murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.” [AXIOS]
World remembers Holocaust as antisemitism rises in pandemic
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Survivors recalled their agony to a world they fear is forgetting, Israel’s parliamentary speaker wept in the German parliament and politicians warned of a resurgence of antisemitism on Thursday’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The day falls on the anniversary of the liberation by Soviet troops of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most notorious of the death camps where Nazi Germany carried out its Final Solution seeking to murder the Jewish people of Europe.
At the memorial site in Poland, which was subjected to a brutal German occupation during World War II, a small number of survivors gathered in an auditorium. Attendance at the yearly event was sharply curtailed amid Europe’s coronavirus surge. Others joined online.
Nazi German forces killed 1.1 million people at Auschwitz, most of them Jews, but also Poles, Roma and others.
[6,000,000 were murdered in concentration camps during WWII; 1,000,000 were children.]
Mickey Levy, Speaker of the Knesset, reacts during the commemoration of the “Day of Remembrance of the Victims of National Socialism” in the German Bundestag, Berlin, Thursday, Jan.27, 2022. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)
Halina Birenbaum, a 92-year-old Polish-born poet who lives in Israel, recalled her suffering remotely. She was 10 when the Germans invaded and occupied Poland in September 1939, and was 13 when she was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau after being led out of the gas chamber of the Majdanek camp thanks to a malfunction.
“I saw masses of the powerful but arrogant army of Nazi Germany as they marched cruelly, victoriously, into the devastated and burning streets of Warsaw,” she recalled.
“The countless experiences of infinite suffering on the brink of death are already a distant, unimaginable story for new generations,” she said.
Commemorations everywhere took place amid a rise of antisemitism that gained traction during lockdowns as the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated hatred online.
German parliament speaker Baerbel Bas said the pandemic has acted “like an accelerant” to already burgeoning antisemitism.
French President Emmanuel Macron, center, flanked by Auschwitz concentration camp survivor Esther Senot, second left, and Bergen-Belsen concentration camp survivor Victor Perahia, right, stand at attention at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 in Paris. . Holocaust survivors and politicians warned about the resurgence of antisemitism and Holocaust denial as the world remembered Nazi atrocities and commemorated the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp on Thursday. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool)
Miejsce Pamięci i Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau
Official recording from the LIVE stream of the commemoration event for the 77th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz (January 27, 2022, 16 CET).
‘Holocaust Remembrance Day was designated by United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005. The resolution came after a special session was held earlier that year on 24 January to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust.’ [wikipedia]
From Marianne Williamson:
On this day of painful remembrance,
Please bless the souls of those who died in the Holocaust.
Bless the souls of those who were targeted,
and bless the souls of those who helped them.
Heal the hearts of those who carry the scars of evil,
and awaken our hearts and strengthen us
for the work that we must do today.
to create a world in which evil such as that
will occur no more.
In the words of Elie Weisel, a survivor of Holocaust who dedicated his life to our deeper understanding of its significance,
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness. Not only are we responsible for the memories of the dead, we are responsible for what we do with those memories.”
Today, we must do a lot with them. Today may we all bear witness.
Auschwitz Memorial Podcast
“The official podcast of the Auschwitz Memorial. The history of Auschwitz is exceptionally complex. It combined two functions: a concentration camp and an extermination center. Nazi Germany persecuted various groups of people there, and the camp complex continually expanded and transformed itself. In the podcast “On Auschwitz,” we discuss the details of the history of the camp as well as our contemporary memory of this important and special place.”
Online lessons: http://lesson.auschwitz.org
From the Auschwitz Memorial, Saturday, January 29th, 2022
29 January 1936 | A French Jewish boy, Michel Ejzenberg, was born in Paris. He arrived at #Auschwitz on 26 August 1942 in a transport of 1,000 Jews deported from Drancy. He was murdered in a gas chamber after selection.
Please follow them on social media. Everyday, they post a photo on the birthday of a prisoner from the concentration camps during WWII. On Twitter: @AuschwitzMuseum
We honor their memory, and remember their promise.
Life takes pride in not appearing uncomplicated. If it relied on simplicity, it probably would not succeed in moving us to do all those things that we are not easily moved to do.
“The Way Things Are…”
That’s how culture perpetuates injustice and indignity. Because that’s just the way things are around here.
But the status quo isn’t permanent. The world doesn’t stay the way it was. It changes.
And it’s been changing faster than ever.
It doesn’t change because the status quo sub-committee had a meeting and decided to change it.
It changes when someone decides that the way things are around here needs to change, and simply and bravely begins to do something differently.
And then someone else follows along.
I fear that the elevation of Dr. King to the pantheon of great Americans who have national birthday celebrations has come at a subtle cost. These days almost no public official would dare speak ill of Dr. King. However I worry that this universal acclaim has deadened the radicalism of Dr. King’s message. And by radicalism, I mean that what he espoused was far outside what was then the mainstream. It still is.
We must remember that he was a deeply contentious person at the time of his death. Dr. King would not, could not, suppress the moral clarity with which he saw the world. His messages about racial prejudice and social justice were not welcome in most corridors of power. He was a danger to the status quo and many who benefited from it. He not only preached powerfully about the necessity for racial healing and integration. He also issued stirring rhetoric from his pulpit on the need for economic fairness across racial lines. And he was a fierce critic of the Vietnam War.
So today, please don’t revere Dr. King the American saint. Please engage with Dr. King as the unique vessel for a message America was long overdue to hear.
Our Turn Now
Those words should ring like clarion calls to all of us today. Our task is not merely to celebrate the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr., but to commit ourselves to their realization. And that means much more than just tweeting a quote, or making an instagram post. It means developing what Dr. King described as “tough minds and tender hearts.” It means committing to routing out not only systems of injustice in the world, but also the hatred in our own hearts. Dr. King said that a basic tenet of non-violent philosophy is that “self-purification must precede political action.” In his words, we need both “a quantitative change in our circumstances and a qualitative shift in our souls.”
Dr. King was the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., remember, a Baptist preacher whose political vision was rooted in his understanding of the gospel of Christ. “It is time,” he said, “to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of human civilization.” That love – that new love – was a social love, a love that would heal not only personal but also political and social relationships as well. He found inspiration for that possibility in the work of Mahatma Gandhi, traveling to India to study the principles of non-violence and bringing them back for application to the struggle for Civil Rights in the United States in the 1960’s.
So many of the struggles to which Dr. King dedicated his life, and for which he ultimately died, are struggles that are with us still. Surely he could be talking about America today with comments such as this: “If they give it to poor people, they call it a handout; if they give it to rich people, they call it a subsidy.” Or, “If it happens to rich people, they call it a Depression; if it happens to poor people, they call it a social problem.” Or how about this? In describing America in 1967, Dr. King described the “three evils” of racism, consumerism/poverty, and militarism/war. As those not the main challenges that are with us now? He called for a “radical revolution of values” then, just as we need to call for one now.
The struggle is in our hands. The dream is in our hands. The hope is in our hands.
MLK Day 2022. It’s our turn now.
‘…the ultimate goal (was) the establishment of the beloved community.” Such a notion was not a religious platitude; it was a political strategy.
For a full look at Dr. King’s writings and speeches, I highly recommend A Testament of Hope.’ -Marianne
The longer I live, the more urgent it seems to me to endure and transcribe the whole dictation of existence up to its end, for it might just be the case that only the very last sentence contains that small and possibly inconspicuous word through which everything we had struggled to learn and everything we had failed to understand will be transformed suddenly into magnificent sense.
Not every lesson feels fun while it’s happening, and at times I have resisted growth fiercely. But I remain open today to the miracle of transformation. I know that as I move forward into a new realm of being, Love itself will aid me in my progress. Spirit will erase the patterns of fear that have sabotaged my past.
“Freedom without consequences is a myth.
Our actions always have consequences.
The question is: who will bear them?” -Seth Godin
From https://www.suleikajaouad.com newsletter this week.
Suleika, your name is on my alter as you continue to ease back into health. February v i b e s strong. Only love and healing and wholeness. -dayle
“When you’re suffering—enduring some kind of rage or heartbreak, disappointment or plain human idiocy—it can feel like you’re alone, like you’re the only person who’s struggling this way. Often, the impulse in those moments is not to share or create but to hide.”
Diving deeply into a dynamic unity, Father Richard Rohr writes:
In the early Christian era, only some few Eastern Fathers (such as Origen of Alexandria and Maximus the Confessor) cared to notice that the Christ was clearly something older, larger, and different than Jesus himself. They mystically saw that Jesus is the union of human and divine in space and time, and the Christ is the eternal union of matter and Spirit beyond time. But the later centuries tended to lose this mystical element in favor of dualistic Christianity. We lost our foundational paradigm for connecting all opposites.
Since we could not overcome the split between the spiritual and the material within ourselves, how could we then possibly overcome it for the rest of creation?
The polluted earth, extinct and endangered species, tortured animals, nonstop wars, and constant religious conflicts have been the result. Yet Jesus the Christ has still planted within creation a cosmic hope, and we cannot help but see it in so many unexplainable and wonderful events and people.
For more and more people, union with the divine is first experienced through “the Universal Christ”—in nature, in moments of pure love, silence, inner or outer music, with animals, or a primal sense of awe.
Our encounter with the eternal Christ mystery started about 13.8 billion years ago in an event we now call the “Big Bang.” God has overflowed into visible Reality and revealed God’s self in trilobites, giant flightless birds, jellyfish, pterodactyls, and thousands of species that humans have never once seen. But God did. And that was already more than enough meaning and glory.
From journalist and former CBS news anchor Dan Rather today:
Steady is about taking the world as it comes, trying to control what you can but recognizing much is beyond your ability to shape. It is about joining with others to leverage the power of collective action. It is about caring for yourself when you need to regain your footing. It’s about understanding that others have struggled in the face of injustice and despair. Steady is about recognizing that progress is possible, even when it feels ungraspable. It is also about having the humility to understand that joy can be fleeting, so you need to find it and hold on to it when you can.
I don’t know what the next year holds in store, for me, for you, or for our country and our planet. I hope it is one of greater justice, peace, and health. I know that it will undoubtedly be one of challenges, in ways we can predict, and in ways that are unknowable.
God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please…you can never have both. […] There is no history. There is only biography.
“Caution is like a disease, it kills ideas. Be daring. And caution will disappear.” -Yoko
Full Moon in Cancer is Monday, January 17 at 4:50PM Mountain Standard Time (MST)
Also known as the Wolf Moon, this full moon suggests a deeply emotional time giving opportunity for some serious emotional clearing of pent up frustrations, past disappointments, regrets, judgments and feelings about what has or has not happened. It is a good time to sort out the difference between your mental thoughts and judgments and the true nature of your emotional center and what it holds.
This year (2022) is an emotionally centered year and we see it anchored in this full moon. Since the theme of January is about values and what is important, this will also be highlighted during the full moon window.
Beware of self-judgment around what you should have paid more attention to or put more energy into. What is past is past. Clear the emotions around it and move on. This is also a good time to receive the higher emotional energies of gratitude, love, awe, beauty and inspiration. Do some self-care during this time that includes some higher-centered possibilities. Since Mercury is now retrograde, this is a time for more being rather than doing and a good time for reflection and study of where your true power comes from. What is important to you? What do you value? What do you love? What do you love to do and where do you love to be? And with whom?
Today I choose the light, and turn away from darkness.
I know there is a force within that lures me toward the light, yet there is a competing force within me that would keep me bound to darkness. May the love of God cast out the fear that is lodged inside my consciousness, and deliver me to peace. May the light of love cast out all fear and darkness in my mind.
She isn’t letting us go gently as she finally releases her grip. Colorado. ♡ -dayle
From Marianne Williamson:
“I embrace each moment as an opportunity for a miracle.
Infinite opportunity is built into the nature of the universe.
It is not lack of opportunities, but rather the ways I have sabotaged them, that has obstructed the flow of miracles into my life.”
December 31, 2021
A Revelation of Heaven on Earth
“We return today to CAC teacher Brian McLaren, who illustrates how one of the Bible’s most challenging books—Revelation—can be a source of wisdom and hope for us today:
There’s a beautiful visionary scene at the end of the Book of Revelation that is as relevant today as it was in the first century. It doesn’t picture us being evacuated from Earth to heaven as many assume. It pictures a New Jerusalem descending from heaven to Earth [see Revelation, chapter 21]. This new city doesn’t need a temple because God’s presence is felt everywhere. It doesn’t need sun or moon because the light of Christ illuminates it from within. Its gates are never shut, and it welcomes people from around the world to receive the treasures it offers and bring the treasures they can offer. From the center of the city, from God’s own throne, a river flows—a river of life or aliveness. Along its banks grows the Tree of Life. All of this, of course, evokes the original creation story and echoes God’s own words in Revelation: “Behold! I’m making all things new!”
Rather than giving its original readers and hearers a coded blueprint of the future, Revelation gave them visionary insight into their present situation. It told them that the story of God’s work in history has never been about escaping Earth and going up to heaven. It has always been about God descending to dwell among us. . . . God wasn’t a distant, terrifying monster waiting for vengeance at the end of the universe. God was descending among us here and now, making the tree of true aliveness available for all.
Earlier in the year, Richard shared the shocking hopefulness of the Bible’s apocalyptic literature:
God puts us in a world of passing things where everything changes and nothing remains the same.
The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. It’s a hard lesson to learn. It helps us appreciate that everything is a gift. We didn’t create it. We don’t deserve it. It will not last, but while we breathe it in, we can enjoy it, and know that it is another moment of God, another moment of life.
People who take this moment seriously take every moment seriously, and those are the people who are ready for heaven.
Brian offers this final encouragement:
What was true for Revelation’s original audience is true for us today. Whatever madman is in power, whatever chaos is breaking out, whatever danger threatens, the river of life is flowing now. The Tree of Life is bearing fruit now. True aliveness is available now. That’s why Revelation ends with the sound of a single word echoing through the universe. That word is not Wait! Nor is it Not Yet!or Someday! It is a word of invitation, welcome, reception, hospitality, and possibility. It is a word not of ending, but of new beginning. That one word is Come! The Spirit says it to us. We echo it back. Together with the Spirit, we say it to everyone who is willing. Come!”
-Father Richard Rohr
‘We’ve been studying war for centuries, we must now study how to create peace…conditions for a deep and lasting peace.’ -Brian McLaren
Plan for U.S. Department of Peace
Ending the scourge of violence in the United States and across the planet requires more than suppressing violence. Lasting peace requires its active and systematized cultivation at every level of government and society. The U.S. Department of Peace will coordinate and spur the efforts we need to make our country and the world a safer place. Nothing short of broad-scale investment and government reorientation can truly turn things around.
Both domestically and internationally, we must dramatically ramp up the use of proven powers of peace-building, including dialogue, mediation, conflict resolution, economic and social development, restorative justice, public health approaches to violence prevention, trauma-informed systems of care, social and emotional learning in schools, and many others.
“I believe our country’s way of dealing with security issues is increasingly obsolete. We have the finest military force in the world, however we can no longer rely on force alone to rid ourselves of international enemies. The planet has become too small for that, and in so doing, we overburden our military by asking them to compensate for the other work that we choose not to do. We are less effective, and less secure, because of that,” said Williamson.
As its mission, the U.S. Department of Peace will; hold peace as an organizing principle; promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights; coordinate restorative justice programs; address white supremacy; strengthen nonmilitary means of peacemaking; work to prevent armed conflict; address the epidemic of gun violence; develop new structures of nonviolent dispute resolution; and proactively and systematically promote national and international conflict prevention, mediation, and resolution. In short, we must wage peace. “Large groups of desperate people,” said Williamson, “should be seen as a national security risk.”
The Department will create and establish a Peace Academy, modeled after the military service academies, which will provide a 4-year concentration in peace education. Graduates will be required to serve 5 years in public service in programs dedicated to domestic or international nonviolent conflict resolution.
The Secretary of Peace will serve as a member of the National Security Council and will be empowered to coordinate with all Cabinet agencies – including the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Justice, and State, and the new Department of Children and Youth.
In 2022, let’s pledge to making this our reality. -dayle
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be free from disease.
May auspiciousness be seen everywhere.
May suffering belong to no one.
See the film, confirming what we have become. More reality than satire, and brilliant. -dayle
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 1961
Biden signs enormous US military budget into law
“Congress allocated about $24 billion more than the Biden administration had requested for the military.”
Marianne Williamson, December 26th, 2021
New Year, Zen Mind
The creative power of doing nothing.
In these days between Christmas and New Year’s, our addled brains can take advantage of the opportunity for a much-needed rest. The most powerful somethings emerge from a space of no-thing; like the empty rice bowl often referred to in Eastern philosophies, it is a space left empty for the Tao to fill. The empty rice bowl is what in Zen Buddhism is referred to as the “beginner’s mind” – when ideas and images from the past are let go, thus making way for synapses and connections in the present that would not otherwise be possible. “Be ye as a little child” is much the same concept, with the consciousness of children so powerful precisely because they have no past to drag along with them. They know that they don’t know, which makes them teachable.
There is a saying often heard in AA: “Your best thinking got you here.” Western civilization might want to look at that. With all the geniuses who have lived among us, all the enlightened philosophies and laws that have been passed, all the think tanks and institutions of higher learning that exist — and yet we’re still inches from the cliff. Western materialism and scientific thinking have not in fact delivered humanity from our worst nightmares; it has relieved us of some of them, to be sure, but it has created others. The naive idealism which led us to believe that external powers would be the saviors of humanity has crashed against the wall of ultimate reality, challenging us now to radically rethink. No matter how smart we are – no matter how scientifically or technologically advanced we are, and no matter how much financial or political power we have – without humility we are misguided, without ethics we are blind, and without love we are doomed.
So what do we do? What trick of the outer world does anyone think is going to save us now?
What’s going to save us is a more evolved state of consciousness – a shift in our thinking that takes us beyond the judgement, blame, fear and and negativity that stand like shadows before the light. In A Course in Miracles it says it’s not our job to seek for love, but to seek within ourselves for all the barriers we hold against its coming. That makes all the difference in the world, because miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. When we withhold love, however, we deflect the miracle.
The only antidote to the myriad crises of our times – the hopelessness, cynicism, anger, and nihilism; the environmental degradation, systemic injustices and possible paths to fascism – is a miracle. It’s an inside rather than an outside shift that will expand our awareness, rearrange circumstances on our behalf, and pave the way for new beginnings. It says in A Course in Miracles that “Miracles are everyone’s right, but purification is necessary first.” What we most need to purify are the thoughts that hold us back.
The most powerful thing we can do between now and New Year’s eve is to clear away our impediments to love. That means doing the work, and the work can be messy and difficult. Who have we not forgiven, including ourselves? What are our character defects that make us obnoxious to others and self-sabotaging to ourselves? What are the tricks we play that keep us small and victimized? Where does our disengagement and complacency make us unconscious participants in the downward trends in our society? Where are we selfish, needy, controlling, angry, arrogant…? You get the picture.
This work done by enough of us on a personal, individual level is the path that will lead to global transformation. Only a critical mass of those who love deeply can counteract the power of those who do not love at all.
Love is the natural intelligence that runs the universe. So where there is love, life works pretty well. Things proceed in alignment with the same intelligence that turns acorns into oak trees and embryos into babies. When love is withhold, the system gets jammed and intelligence malfunctions. It still operates, but in an inverted, diseased way. And only when love returns – through atonement and forgiveness – can nature self-correct. “All hands on deck” is better stated “All minds on deck” right now. Each of us affects the whole, with every thought we think and every action that we take.
No one person, piece of legislation, or action of any kind is going to turn things around now.
Human civilization is a very, very big ship that is heading in the wrong direction;
it will take a massive operation to turn it around. That operation is the collective zeitgeist of our time: billions of people all over the planet now responding to a call that is coming from deep within all of us: to do things a different way, to think and be as we have not thought or been before, to let go the past and let the future be made new. And with love.
That’s a lot of work we have to do over the next week, and nothing will help us do it more than spending enough time doing nothing. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “We’re materially passive but we’re spiritually active.”
So must we be now.
“Another world is not only possible she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” -Arundhati Roy
Justice Ginsburg: “For one thing, we should appreciate the women on whose shoulders we stand, women who said the same things we said many years later, but we spoke at a time when society was willing to listen.”
Write to them. Share your story.
1 First Street
NE Washington DC 20543
‘Abortion is not just about “a woman and her body.” It’s also about a woman and her God, her sense of what is right and wrong, a woman and her own internal compass, a woman and her life and how she is called to live it. When I heard a young woman on a panel describe an abortion as no bigger deal than a pap smear, I remember two things: 1) feeling nauseated, and 2) thinking, “This has gotten insane. We’re going to lose this.”
I am thoroughly pro-choice, but not because I don’t believe abortion is a moral issue. I’m pro-choice because I believe it’s an issue of private morality…’
A deeply reflective and personal essay about the right and devastation of ending a pregnancy, a woman’s decision and her private morality…her choice. ~dayle
Abortion In a New Light.
The Answer with a capital A.
by Marianne Williamson
“With the Mississippi abortion case now before the Supreme Court, it appears that reproductive rights in this country could very likely be severely curtailed.
I was a child when the Roe V. Wade decision legalized abortion in the United States. Becoming sexually active years later, I never knew a time when a woman couldn’t assume her right to an abortion should she choose to have one. My late teens and twenties were a time of tremendous feminist tumult – often referred to as “a war between the sexes” – and a woman’s right to control her reproductive destiny was a huge part of our newly forged freedom.
I can’t remember a sense of huge controversy around Roe v. Wade in the years first following the decision. It was only later that the topic became a roiling argument throughout the country, more and more people expressing passionate positions either pro or con. Generations of women grew up taking the right to an abortion for granted, with seemingly little understanding of how fragile a right can be when its disappearance is only one Supreme Court decision away. I’ve often been astonished by women who didn’t seem to realize the significance of their political choices in regard to this fundamental freedom. No matter how many times you’d remind someone during presidential campaign season, “But the Supreme Court! The Supreme Court!” there were always those – including young women who I assumed were sexually active – who’d roll their eyes as though it simply didn’t matter. Never having known a time when the choice wasn’t theirs, they seemingly couldn’t imagine a time when it wouldn’t be.
What is happening now, then, has been brewing for years. And strident voices on both sides of the argument made it inevitable. While I’ve always been committed to a woman’s right to choose, I’ve been disturbed over the years by how the issue has been contextualized on the political left. I saw it as problematical both morally and politically.
I was always told growing up that it’s not government’s role to legislate morality. There were issues of public morality and those of private morality; while ethical decisions should weigh heavily in public policy, “government should stay out of people’s bedroom,” as my father used to say. While as citizens we should care deeply about the moral dimension of political decisions, when it comes to an individual’s private choices – choice that had no one effect on “the common good” – then government should have no say whatsoever. I have never deviated from that belief.
I’ve always recognized a moral dimension to the issue of abortion, but to me it’s an issue of personal morality. Denying a woman the right to her own moral choices, as well as the choice of what she will do with her body, is government overreach and transgression upon her freedom, period. But a casual abortion is as much a moral anathema to me as it is to any rightwing conservative. And the vast majority of women I’ve known – including those who have had abortions – feel the same. Whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is a deeply painful decision, and one made by most women because of ethical considerations: the failure to be able to financially support a child, her relationship to the father, health considerations and so forth. It’s hard enough deciding whether or not to terminate a pregnancy; the last thing a woman needs is to have the government weighing in on her decision.
Yet any suggestion that abortion is a moral issue has been considered by many in the pro-choice movement to be a slippery slope that would lead to disastrous political results. I very much disagree, however; I think our failure to recognize its moral dimension is part of what has led to disaster. Our failure to put the issue of abortion within a moral context been a gift to the anti-choice movement.
Over the years, an overly secularized left became stridently amoral on the issue of abortion. This made me squirm, not only because I felt it was wrong but because I could see that it aroused a deep reaction in those whose social and political leanings were more conservative than mine. Over the years we began to lose the social consensus that abortion should be legal, in part because of those who kept continually trying to argue that in essence it’s no big deal.
But it is a big deal. Abortion is not just about “a woman and her body.” It’s also about a woman and her God, her sense of what is right and wrong, a woman and her own internal compass, a woman and her life and how she is called to live it.
When I heard a young woman on a panel describe an abortion as no bigger deal than a pap smear, I remember two things: 1) feeling nauseated, and 2) thinking, “This has gotten insane. We’re going to lose this.”
I am thoroughly pro-choice, but not because I don’t believe abortion is a moral issue. I’m pro-choice because I believe it’s an issue of private morality, and I trust the moral decision-making of the American woman. It’s a deeply personal decision for a woman whether to terminate a pregnancy, and government should have no right to make that decision for her. An additional moral issue is that repealing Roe v. Wade will simply mean rich women can continue to have safe abortions (they always did), while poor women will be relegated to the days of back alley, dangerous abortion procedures. Economic injustice is itself a moral issue.
As a political candidate I was told on various occasions by people with an anti-choice orientation that they would vote for me despite my pro-choice positions and my support for Roe v. Wade. “But you do agree it’s a moral issue, right?” they would say to me. “I just need to know that you see that.” It was a very easy promise for me to make.
Abortion is one of several areas where the refusal of those on the left to include the moral dimension of an argument in its analysis, much less how it was to publicly communicated, has diminished the moral authority of progressivism as well as its deeper connection to the hearts of our fellow citizens. Treating people of faith as though their consideration of issues is too unsophisticated to be taken seriously has had a deeply deleterious effect on American politics: it already has – and will continue to, if left uncorrected – begun to shrink the political base of progressivism. It is a serious surrender of moral authority, and a surrender of moral authority almost inevitably leads to a surrender of political authority. It’s no accident that year after year, in poll after poll, we’ve watched support for reproductive rights fall. Yet no one was allowed to say, “Perhaps we could reconsider our approach to this.” Nope. Such conversation was suppressed almost fanatically by the self-proclaimed arbiters of exactly how we were permitted to talk about Roe v. Wade.
In A Course in Miracles it refers to the Answer with a capital A. That answer is not about which one of us is right; in a free society, no one gets to have a monopoly on the truth. Our political as well as our spiritual salvation lies in learning to speak, to think, and to respond from a much deeper place. Stark binary choices provide little opportunity for truly creative problem-solving, much less a miracle. We will continue to crash into walls both political and personal until we deepen the level of consciousness from which we approach our lives. Yet when we do, our lives will transform. Our politics will transform. And our world will transform.
The war over reproductive rights is a symptom of a deeper problem, and until we address the underlying issue of how we speak to each other and listen to each other, respect each other and honor what our hearts are saying, we will remain divided in ever more dangerous ways.
[From The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.]
Free child care, free early prekindergarten, free conception, and education. No, as Marianne cringed and became nauseous hearing abortion is like pap smear. Horribly, no. There are layers, often complex layers a woman has to hold to make a deeply morality based decision. If SCOTUS eliminates viability, abortion will instantly be nullified in at least 20 states, making abortions illegal after six weeks, of course most women often don’t know they’re pregnant until a number of weeks later.
The Supreme Court will present their final arguments and a decision some time next summer, June 2022. If the conservative judges who were placed on the bench for the sole purpose of overturning Roe, they have their votes. Privileged women will continue to find abortion sites, perhaps in other states, yet those women in poverty won’t be able to drive long distances to find a clinic that will assist them; if they do assist, doctors may be arrested on criminal charges. It will fundamentally change the country where abortion has been legal for generations.
I urge you to write to the Supreme Court, all women…all ages. Tell your stories, explain to them your private morality, what could or did happen to you, be it going forward with having the baby, or ending the pregnancy and why you made that decision. What were the social services needed that you didn’t receive, i.e., contraception, education, medical care.
Here’s the address again:
1 First Street
NE Washington DC 20543
From former CBS news anchor/journalist Dan Rather:
The issue of abortion is one on which fair minded people, honest to their own beliefs and moral codes, can disagree. But today was not about personal choice. It was about the law of the land that will make no exceptions other than those carved out by the states. And if the history of a time before legal abortions is any guide, and there is no reason to suspect otherwise, today will beget many personal tragedies, ruined lives, hardship, and despair. -Essay from Dec. 2, 2021, “Steady.”
What is the end game? Why subvert individual rights, dilute voting rights, gerrymandering, billionaire favor? Historian and Harvard professor Jill Lepore weighs in with her thoughts on her latest Pushkin/BBC Series about Elon Musk, episode #5 of “The Evening Rocket.”
“It’s a weird thing about being a historian, everything reminds you of something else. […] ‘Muskism’ asks us always to picture the future, but I find it hard not to keep picturing the past, yanked back, lassoed by likenesses. […] The people with the most money shouldn’t get to decide what happens on earth, or on the moon, or in the skies, or on mars, or any where. To me the largest story about the rise of ‘Muskism’, extravagant extreme fantastic capitalism, is its anachronism. I can’t tell you anything about the future of ‘Muskism,’ but it strikes me that for all its obsession with the future, ‘Muskism’ is trapped in the past. Elon Musk is a visionary, but what I’ve come to believe doing the research for the series is that those visions come from a future first imagined in science fiction long, long ago. Decades, sometimes more than a century ago, rockets to Mars, electric cars, cyptocurrency, a future without governments or banks, a future where engineers and scientists, and only engineers and scientists, have the answers. A future whose long dead authors very often pictured a world where the poor and powerless and the robots know their place, and it is
to serve the powerful quietly and obediently and without daring to claim sovereignty, or independence, or even intelligence.
This future was imagined by a very tiny number of men during an age of imperialism, before women could vote, an age of staggering economic inequality and brutal racial injustice, in an age of pandemic disease, unraveling democracies, and world war.
The present is tough, but that past is passed, and I don’t ever want it to be the future again.”
In the midst of my pain, give me comfort.
In the midst of my sorrow, give me peace.
In the midst of my brokenness, give me wings.
For You are the author of miracles
and I need one now.
We are spirit and thus we are more than the world.
Center for Action and Contemplation, New Mexico
Cultivating Radical Compassion
Author Tara Brach is a skilled psychotherapist and meditation teacher who has developed countless ways to help her students transform their suffering not only for their own sake but on behalf of the world. Over the last seventeen years she has focused particularly on the RAIN meditation practice,  which “cultivates a trust in our own basic goodness and by extension helps us recognize and trust that same light shining through all beings.” Brach suggests:
When you are caught in difficult emotions, the RAIN meditation can bring you back to a wise and compassionate presence. Give yourself a few moments to pause and turn inward.
R Recognize what is happening. Mentally whisper whatever you are aware of: fear, anger, hurt, shame.
A Allow. Let whatever you are feeling be here, without judging it, trying to fix it, or ignoring it. Simply pause and “let be.” You might whisper “This too belongs.”
I Investigate. With curiosity, feel into your body—your throat, chest, belly. Discover where the emotions live inside you. You might gently place a hand wherever feelings are strongest. Sense what is needed or being asked for right now. Is it love? Forgiveness? Acceptance? Understanding?
N Nurture. Offer care to feelings of vulnerability, hurt, or fear. Let the touch of your hand be tender, and send whatever message might most offer healing. You can imagine this coming from your own awake heart or from another being (friend, grandparent, spiritual figure, dog) you trust and love.
After the RAIN: Take some moments in stillness, simply sensing the quality of presence that has unfolded. Notice the shift from when you started (an angry or fearful or victimized self) to the compassionate awareness that is always here.
 To learn more about the RAIN meditation, see Tara Brach’s book Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN (Viking: 2019). For online RAIN resources, visit tarabrach.com/RAIN.