Chant for peace

The Japanese Peace Bell and its pagoda at Unit...

The Japanese Peace Bell Photograph credit: Dragonbite. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been participating in Deepak’s latest 21 day meditation so part of my Sunday peace time will involve today’s meditation.

If you’ve been around Collective Prayer Sundays for a while, you know I recommend the lovingkindness chant:

  • The earth is filled with lovingkindness
  • She is well
  • She is peaceful and at ease
  • She is happy

But I also suggest that there are many ways you can hold a space for peace.  Sometimes it’s clearing out something within you that blocks peace.  Sometimes it’s saying a prayer.  Sometimes it’s creating a ceremony and carrying it out.  However you choose to celebrate peace today, thank you.

Inner world, outer world–what counts? Part 1


I’ve been contemplating the idea of bucket lists and why I don’t have one for a long time (see post).  Lately I’ve been adding discussions of “living life to the fullest” or “making every day count” to my sense of disconnect from these popular subjects.

The lists and suggestions about what makes life full are always full of places to go, things to see, activities to accomplish.  External “stuff”, to me.  The idea is that in order to count, a life must be defined by lists and accomplishments in the outer world.  Acceptance of this notion seems to be deeply ingrained in the consciousness of a huge portion of the population, at least in the U.S.

Every time someone urges me to live my life to the fullest along with the vision of endlessly busy days and nights which seems to accompany this idea, I feel flummoxed.  By most people’s standards my life has gone nowhere for many years now.  Inward progress, physical healing, transformational changes in outlook and ways of being…  these have been the stuff of my journey.  When it comes to lists of places I feel I must see or things I must produce or actions I must take in order to feel my life has counted, well, I don’t have any.

Are there places I’ve not seen that I’d like to see? Yes.  Are there books not written or DVDs not made that I’d like to complete?  Yes.  Do I feel like any of those things make a big difference to the value of my life?  No.  Do I think that on my deathbed I’ll regret the places not seen or the things not done?  Not really.  Which is not to say that for someone else those things aren’t important or might be done in a consciousness-expanding way. It’s just not how I think about my life any more.

In early adulthood I lived a life of constant activity.  Full days of school and/or work, nights of clubs and movies and dinners out as well as serial boyfriends, parties and conversations.  For me (I’m not suggesting that this is necessarily the case for everyone) the busy-ness arose from my frantic need to fill the empty spaces without actually looking into their origins or the whys and wherefores.  The more I filled my life with places to go and things to do, the bigger the emptiness grew.

When I finally dared to look inward, I found more richness and fulfillment than I’d ever found by running around in an endless cycle of activity.  My goals changed.  Healing became a primary pursuit.  Healing my body.  Healing my mind.  Healing my spirit.  I’m interested in compassion and a loving heart.  I want to be free of anger and anxiety and grief and instead be filled with lovingkindness.

It isn’t that I don’t long to explore the back roads of France or to see great dance performances, but I no longer feel those things in any way fulfill or define me.  What’s in my heart?  Have I been kind today?  When I’m on my deathbed will I be able to say, “I loved as well as I possibly could and I achieved a peaceful heart”?  If I have a bucket list, it includes only those steps that lead to that compassionate and loving heart.

Part 2 will explore the inner and outer aspects of us as they impact the world.

Magdalene’s Feast Day – The Inner Way of Mary Magdalene (redux)


Jamie’s exploration of the true Mary Magdalene is thoughtful and insightful.

Originally posted on Sophia's Children:

Mary Magdalene, by Leonardo DaVinci. Public domain image. Mary Magdalene, by Leonardo DaVinci. Public domain image.

July 22 is the historical feast day of St. Mary of Magdala, so it’s very fitting to share this updated post from the early days of Sophia’s Children.

Not that we need confine such celebrations and honorings to one day. After all, Wisdom is timeless, yes?

Who was Mary Magdalene, really?

And why is this question important at all given that we’re talking about a woman who lived 2,000 years ago, and about whom we have only slender references?

For quite a few years now, Mary Magdalene has been re-emerging strongly (along with Lilith and other feisty Divine Feminine exiles), and that’s usually a clue to pay attention to what’s arising since Life restores bits of Wisdom when the timing is vital to Life.

Such questions seem to arise in force when the answer is important to the times, it seems.

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Sunday Peace Time and Dungeon Prompt on Being Fierce

be peace not war


It’s time again to put aside at least 10 minutes to chant or pray or sing or hold ceremony for peace.  Check out the Collective Prayer Sundays page for more info.

This week’s Dungeon Prompt challenges us to describe a time of being fierce.  He asks that we tell the story vividly and mine is from so long ago I don’t remember enough to do that; not in the mood for waxing poetic in fiction…  But I thought I’d see what I can do.

What would be considered fierce for some could be unthinkable for others.  Many of us are so trapped in our ways that a simple uncharacteristic act of spontaneity is considered fearless by these standards.  Whatever be your measuring stick, think back at some of the more fierce acts of your life.  It doesn’t have to be a major turning event, but rather a time when you stepped up and did something uncharacteristic.  Or maybe you already lead an intensely independent life.  It could be a moment when you let your guard down and allowed someone else to take the lead.

Decide on one particular event.  Now, don’t just tell us about it; let us live it.  Lead us through the event like an adventure story.  Make us feel your struggle, or your renewal, your pain or your exuberance.  Let us live, through your words, the moment when you were fierce of heart.

In general I would say that fierceness as it’s meant here– in the sense of courage– is not a state of being that’s really me.  In hindsight, I’d say this whole spiritual journey, though, has required courage.  It just hasn’t felt that way to me because I’ve felt led to do it, pulled along with it most of the time.  But there’s also been a “fierce” determination to do whatever I had to in order to heal on every level–perhaps driven by the physical problems more than anything.

Always shy and inward and a habitual emotion swallower, perhaps the toughest aspect of the journey initially was confronting issues.  The idea of yelling or pounding pillows intimidated me.  So I struggled a bit with the segment of Nine Gates led by the late Ellen Margron, wherein participants were vehemently encouraged to scream and yell and pound (no longer part of the curriculum).

The next year I moved out to the Bay area and as my life seemed to spiral downward, many body workers and people around me seemed to be in a conspiracy to get me to realize I needed to release a lot of locked up stuff.  Many of my Nine Gates friends had gone on to do a session of the Fischer-Hoffman process with Ellen and I finally gave in and signed on.

Dragging my feet and inwardly quaking, I plunged into the world of exploring issues minutely and having sessions of yelling and pillow pounding.  Tentative at first, I slowly grew to appreciate the great sense of release and freedom that followed.  At the culminating point I enlisted a friend to help me with a session trying to release the underlying source of a pinched nerve in my neck that was more painful than anything I’ve ever felt.

That night something snapped open.  It turned out there were many lifetimes of injuries in that spot and I went through at least half a dozen as if the release was doing me instead of me doing the releasing.  She said my face and voice changed every time I moved to a new time and place. We were in her converted office/garage and as I screamed and cried, people came to the window to ask if they should call the police!

Several hours later, we wound up the session and kundalini flooded in–that years-long ride is a whole other story.  So much changed that night.  By then I felt at ease with release work and started sometimes helping Ellen facilitate release sessions.  Now I teach release techniques sometimes and demonstrate yelling, chopping, pounding, etc. without inhibition.  After the Fischer-Hoffman work ended I kept doing the process every time I ran into old unresolved issues.  Then several varieties of body work tended to hit issues and I’d cry or yell on the table (it DOES take having a practitioner you really trust) without a thought.

It kind of amazes me how many people resist that kind of work; often to the point of refusing to do it at all.  My whole life changed when I let go of so much past drama and trauma and a big piece of it was moving from the timid, self-conscious person who felt too afraid to dig that deep or reveal that much to the one who once stood in front of a whole inhibited class who ALL refused to do the techniques while I chopped and yelled and pounded with wild abandon.

Some people race into fires or jump out of airplanes and that kind of courage I don’t have.  In fact never sky diving has a place on my non-existent bucket list.  But I think it takes a different kind of fierceness to face the deeply buried beliefs, issues and traumas that most of us spend our lives trying to avoid.  When it came to that, I was fierce!



Great idea. Don’t know why I haven’t thought of asking everyone to envision rain, drum rain, pray rain to California and any other areas in drought — but I’m glad Sindy did!

Originally posted on bluebutterfliesandme:

BB watercolor


I am a water sign, Scorpio. I am very watery. Water is strong in my mind lately. I saw a post on FB that talked about the magnificent red woods of Norther California, and how that they were dying from lack of water. This cannot be! Unless some grand New Earth is actually manifest and they moved, and I am going to be there. If you have not been in the presence of these trees, well I don’t think I can express the feeling. Majestic, and ancient, they exist no other place on the planet.

So that leads me to my topic, water. Water so sacred, and divine, water so required, like love. Can we please, please, please!!! As a collective pray, chant, dance, sing, pray, smile……..for gentle, clean, and nourishing rains in needed areas like California. If you drum, drum. I think a drum circle is a great…

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In hindsight… when feelings relating to the past arise

Yesterday’s post reflected on using ho’oponopono to help understand oneness.  It came up out of synchronous circumstances arising lately.

At various points along the journey I’ve found myself impatient with other people’s issues–especially recurring emotions/reactions– and, often, when I’ve reflected about it I’ve realized that it’s an issue I’ve dealt with.  My general sense has been I rarely feel that way any more and I’m always vague as to whether my irritation appears because I’m still coping with the issue more than I realize or because I’m irritated with myself that I used to be that way.

Since I’ve had ho’oponopono on my mind a lot lately (hence the continual mention in posts :-) ), when someone else’s current issues started leaving me feeling both impatient and helpless to help, I finally had one of those “DUH” moments and realized it’s a perfect moment to use the prayer.

It doesn’t really matter whether I still have the issue or if I’m mad about having had it in the past, if I’m seeing it and feeling annoyed, something about it is in me and the ho’oponopono prayer is an ideal means of healing it.  And, given Hew Lens’ results, I’m excited to see whether healing myself seems to help anyone else.

I’ve often used the prayer for things very specific to me or very general in the world, so this will be the first time I’ve used it in a circumstance where it could help some people I’m close enough to to see if things get better for them.  How cool is that?  And it’s even easier to sense the oneness since I already feel connected.

I’ve already started and I’m so pleased to be trying this new path on the journey!

See also this great new post explaining ho’oponopono beautifully.

J2P Monday: Understanding We are All One


Sometimes I think one of the most mysterious and hard-to-grasp elements in metaphysics is the notion that we are all one.  It’s easy to pay lip service to it but the idea that we are not our bodies and instead are energy beings who meld into one large All That Is is beyond what most of us can completely comprehend.

Oneness is also why the ho’oponopono prayer works.  Hew Len was able to heal the inmates on a ward for the criminally insane without seeing any of them because there is no separation between him and them.  When he healed their problems within himself, they healed too because of that connection.

I’ve been contemplating that a lot lately.  Watching myself and my reactions to people.  Taking it in that every time I’m irritated by or upset for or impatient with someone else I’m looking at something that’s within me.  I’m about to work on the ho’oponopono prayer, either writing into the short version the specific issues I’m seeing so that I have specific versions of the prayer for each circumstance I see or concentrating on each issue before saying the long version (see below).

For me, the journey to peace means healing within myself everything I see that I judge as needing healing, including the need to be the arbiter what does and does not need healing.  Every time I see someone else’s issue or ailment, I intend to heal it within myself.

The short version, with an example of filling in an issue:

Divine creator, father, mother, son as one, I, Leigh Gaitskill, wish to do ho’oponopono between myself and my tendency to judge what is healthy and what is not. Cleanse, sever, cut, release and transmute to the path of pure light. [Say this next part loudly and forcefully] HA MAHIKI. We are set free and it is done.

And the longer version, which I feel can be said for every issue though I like to focus briefly on the specific issue before I say it:

Divine creator, father, mother, son as one.  If I, my family, relatives and ancestors have offended you, your family, relatives and ancestors in thoughts, words, deeds and actions from the beginning of our creation to the present, we ask your forgiveness.   Let this cleanse, purify, release, cut all the negative memories, blocks, energies and vibrations and transmute these unwanted energies to pure light.  And it is done

Join me if you like.  Notice what irritates you, upsets you, infuriates you in others.  What are the arenas in which you tend to judge others as doing things wrong or at least not the “right” way?  Everything you notice, heal it in you.  Then let’s see over time whether we notice anything changing.  Comment here or post and link to this post whenever you feel you’ve experienced enough to have something to share.