Friday, December 15, 2006


They have crashed upon the shore,
no two waves alike,
for millions of years.

One brief, endless moment to stand on the shore
and absorb all the wonder of that singular event -
knowing full well -
it is forever.

And in an instant, gone...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thought for Today...

"Theology is not authenticated by conformity to the past, but by relevance to the present."

Rev. Raymond A Parr

Monday, December 04, 2006

"Into Nature" One heck of a retreat...

This past week, I went out to Lake Mead for a retreat, getting into nature to let Earth speak to me in the gentle ways she has of teaching... What I actually encountered was a wind storm and possibly the most precarious situation in which I have ever been in the many times I have been "out and about"...

Following are excerpts from the journal I kept. It was an extraordianry time. I am still getting over it and find that I am not completly over the ordeal. I ahve always been sensitive to wind, and of all the elements, it is Wind that affects me the most in ways that are both exhausting and exhilirating.

There is only one portion of the entries that I have chosen to not share, as it involves writing a letter to someone and I simply don't think folks need to read it. Within the entries, I have made some comentary in parentheses to explain the entry more. My hope is that in making this journey available to you, that you can gain something from it that will touch your inner heart and that can be a learning or healing for you.

Blessings, Karen

I wanted to take a week and go out into nature to "listen" and possibly work at discerning my next steps in the process I am in that involves my separating from the religious order I have been a part of for the past 27 years. I had not anticipated that Spirit had a different agenda laid out for me...

Day 1
I drove to South Cove (Upper end of Lake Mead) - really windy (Gale warning flags were posted) and no one there at all. No cars in the parking lot. The lake is very low. Drove to Pierce Ferry - could see the Colorado River.- where once (4 years ago?) Water formed a large lake area - I could see what the lake bottom looked like because it was dry ground. There was an Airstream RV parked in the camping area behind a low hill. It didn’t look like anyone was there. (I was thinking about possibly camping there for the week) Something didn’t feel right so I left.

Drove to west side of Mohave Lake. (There is a dirt road that winds down to the lake.) I’ll stay put tonight, as the sun is low.. And the wind is still pretty fierce. Tomorrow, if the lake is ok for a canoe, I’ll head out and find a little cove and set up camp for the remainder of my time out. The place I am camping tonight is a long beach and in the summer, I think it is used a lot. I couldn’t believe the trash. Yikes. Bits and pieces of stuff everywhere. When I looked for firewood I sang a healing song to the land. Two ducks flew in and paddled around a bit. Was nice to see. I also am graced with a pair of ravens. The clouds are beautiful.

Day 2
(Last night) Got the tent pitched in incredible wind. Like pitching a sail. In the evening, had a pair of coyotes for guests. They came from opposite directions and met about 50 yards from me. An interesting meeting. They both "nosed" each other and then went on their way. One sat about 30 yards away and watched me for a bit - then moseyed on. I woke up to noise outside the tent. Then it was at the truck. I opened my tent door and flashed the flashlight and picked up 3 pairs of eyes. They were racoons. They were also (probably) annoyed because I had locked up the truck and the food was in the truck. Another critter later on nosed around the tent a bit.

(The water was calmer in the morning - Tuesday - so I decided to head out in the canoe to find a nice quiet camping location...)

Today, I found a nice spot. The wind was but a breeze and canoeing was nice. I got the camp set up then bathed and washed my hair. Found plenty of firewood so if the wind permits, I will feed Brother Fire tonight and do some drumming.

It’s warm enough for a teeshirt until that wind kicks up. Then’s it’s cool enough for a light jacket.
Half moon - waxing. Newness - beginning. How many beginnings does one have in a lifetime. Every moment is now - un-countable - eternal present. There are no "beginnings" - simply the ever-renewing "now". The patterns on the water - one instant - never to be the same again. So blue. So very alien to the surrounding landscape. I want it to be evening so I can build a fire. Sun is taking its time.

The clouds that occupied much of the sky today are almost gone - blue above - deeper blue below.

I think it is a racoon. It’s sometime in the middle of the night. Windy as all get out! And one of the furry ones was trying to get into my food box. Good thing for the large, heavy rock I put on it. So I flashed the flashlight and barked like a dog at it.

Wonder what they usually eat... Wide awake. Also wonder how long the wind will last. The tent is very secure. Saw a shooting star. Woot! I love the surround-sound quality to wind in this area. Right channel - waves, water sound. Left channel, wind through rocks, mountains. Center - tent flapping. And all around - wind singing her robust song.

—> on a side note, women are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to peeing in a windstorm...

Day 3 (Wednesday)

After I fussed at the racoon last night, I felt a bit guilty. Here, we humans have decimated natural habitat globally, forcing other species to try to make a living on a fraction of what they used to have - and then expect them to forage elsewhere while a box of goodies is there for the taking. I decided to not fuss again, if Rocky came back and if he could get into the box, I would share what I have. Most of what I brought is in cans - for that very reason - and the only thing he could have gotten to is some tea, wheat thins, and individual cups of apple sauce. Sure enough, he came back.

This morning, doing the peeing in the wind ritual and checking the tent stakes. I got some food - will be in the tent today.

Rocky managed to get one baggie of wheat thins. That was it. Bless his or her heart.

The wind is fierce - the lake looks like an ocean. Waves are actually crashing against the rocks. Reminds me of Asilomar beach. If I hadn’t pulled the canoe further onto land last night, I would have lost it. I pulled it up some more. Otherwise, everything is staying put, including the tent. Sand is hitting the side. I can open the tent flap about 6 inches - giving me a beautiful view. I am convinced Wind loves to show off at times.

When Wind wants in, it will knock on all the doors, and try all the windows. It is good to let a little in.

The air is cold. I wonder 2 things - how hard the wind is blowing and what the temperature is. Both measurable things. Like time. At least the sky is clear and the sun is warming the tent so if I have the tent door closed, it is warm in here. I need to organize it for day use and not for sleeping today.

What lessons does Wind share? It goes where it wills to go. Sings softly for the most part, but can really belt one out when he wants to. Loves to play across open waters. Surfs. Is an artist with sand and rock. Is relentless. Dances with the raven - slow dance. Is ignored by ants. Trees get their leaves and branches blown clean of the fine sand. Humans stay inside.

As much as I would like a calm warm day, I am quite content. Con-tent. With tent - with shelter - home.


Wind wind wind and more wind. Got a good nap in though. 2 actually. Also re-reading Medicine for the Earth.

I want so much to be spiritually connected in the way MFTE describes. I want to be able to be hollow bone for the helping spirits to use for the healing of others, and the planet (Then I heard a voice...)

"You can, you know."
How? It is so strong.
"Take up your drum and sing the song I will give you. "
My feet are cold.
"Stand in the sun for warmth always."
Can’t I just do it from in here?
Why not?
"Because you must be in the wind in order to communicate with it."
Tell me more.
"You must merge with what you seek to influence. Fully engage. Become that. Incarnate into that which which you would want to change. - if you truly want it changed. Is the wind really bothering you? Is that the reason to change it? Or are you simply uncomfortable with the wind being himself? "
I have sat in this tent all day.
I have only had a little apple sauce and wheat thins.
"You are starving?"
Cold yes. Starving no.
"You are still writing so you are not frozen yet."
I am not freezing, just cold. I wanted warm, calm days on the lake. And now I have wind.
"Your brother."
Yes my brother.
"Your teacher."
Well, ok. My teacher.
"Wind is just being wind. Can you accept that?"
Yes, I can accept it.
"Even though you choose the safety of your shelter?"
Even so.
"Wind does not dislike you, you know. Wind is not personal that way. He celebrates the changing of the seasons and the waxing of the moon. That is all. Can you celebrate with him?"
Yes, actually, I can.

"There’s more."
"Holding onto your perception of how it should be is not what you are here to do. Let go. Let go of your fear and need to control the outcome. Your path will lead many places. It has already. Be that flexible person your heart calls you to be. New things are opening to you. But you will not see them if you stay safe.

Do not fear the east. You will be close there. Close to the ones you love and know. People will come to you and your door will be a haven to many. Go where I lead you - go where no one wants to go. And trust that your heart’s desire is opening to you. See, I bring you good news. Good indeed."

Sunset - I ventured out - drummed the sunset and wind. Secured the canoe and got some more apple sauce AND Green and Black’s almond chocolate bar. I be dining tonight. Wind is still blowing strong.

All day long! I want to find out if indeed this was the strongest wind in AZ history.

I am totally impressed by the tent. Stakes are all good so I’m snug for the night. If Rocky Racoon ventures out tonight - there’s an applesauce with his name on it.

My feet are cold and life is good. Back to Medicine for the Earth.

(Middle of the night) Rocky Racoon has friends. The 3 are back.. I peeped out to check on the canoe and caught them red-handed. The one Cliff-bar is history as they found the box I had that and the chocolate bar in. At least the chocolate bar is safein the tent. When I looked again, they were trying to get to my straw hat which has weathered the wind storm under a milk crate. I have it now in the tent... (I have had this hat for a very long time)

Dawn - Thursday

The wind is do-able. Will try to get going today. Maybe camp with the truck tonight...

(I got everything ready to load into the canoe should the weather seem favorable. Then as the sun rose higher, it seemed that I might be able to get out of there, so I head out, paddling back along the edge of the lake. I was not into the whote caps yet, but after a while, the wind picked up, and it became too dangerous to continue in the canoe. At one point, as I rounded an outcrop, the wind caught the canoe and blew it into the rocky shore line. the waves crashed against the canoe, swamping it tot hepoint where I had to get out of the canoe and walk it along the rocks onto a sandy shore. I waded in thigh-high water to get the canoe safely out of the waves. I set up my folding chair in a small grove of tamarisk trees near the shore, thinking htat I would leave everything ready for another attempt at paddling out, if the wind subsided a little.)

I got a little ways, but the wind kicked back in and I could not paddle hard enough. I was into the wind and finally beached. In the process, my feet and legs got soaked. Boots too. I found a little space in the salt cedars that breaks the wind a little. Dried my feet - dry socks. They are cold though. The white caps on the lake just won’t give up.

Nature is giving me a hard time this time out. But going "out into nature" is not always the peace and calm of a gentle fall day or two. Sometimes it is about keeping your feet warm and dry. Maybe that is a lesson I need to learn - how to keep my feet warm no matter what life is dishing out to me.

I realized last night how much I was pre-occupied. I was worried about the truck being parked where it was - the canoe, the racoon, Sister Marcia's trip to Ohio..

The wind is very strong. My hands are also cold. Will try to warm up a bit.

I think it is midday - got the tent pitched again - it is again like pitching a sail. Got the canoe to higher ground. The lake sounds like the ocean. I’m moving in for the day. Will try cooking some food. It will be the first hot food I have had since this all started, but I need to have something hot inside me now. (I have a standing rule to NEVER have an open flame inside a nylon tent. I decided to forego this rule in favor of having a hot meal and took every precaution imaginable to prevent burning the tent up....)

This undoubtedly is the hardest trek into nature I have ever done. What can compare? La Verna? At least I am in the tent. Will try cooking something in a few. In the past 3 days I have had 1 can of minestrone, some wheat thins, and some apple sauce. Oh..and half the chocolate bar.

The sun is warming the tent so that feels good. My sleeping mat got wet so it is drying in the wind. That shouldn’t take too long. (I put the 5-gallon water container on it outside to keep it from blowing away.)

I had a hunch it was going to be trying. And I guess I’m not surprised. It would have been nice to have some "quiet days by the lake", but this is what nature has given to me. and. My feet have feeling again.

Wind will have its way again today. I am completely at its mercy. My hope is that it will calm enough this evening to let me get back to the truck, but I realize it is not up to me to decide that. If it were not for this tent, I would be completely miserable. As it is, I feel done in by it all. But in the midst of that feeling, I know in my heart of hearts that it will be ok. Whatever "it" happens to be.

(As I finished this last entry, I heard)

Write what I will give you.

(So I wrote..)

"See how the waves move - as you watch them, they take on a life of their own. Each individually making its way to the shore - no two alike, infinite variety - or so it seems. Look again -vast - part of the whole of what water is. There is no difference, although you would see it so.
See beyond the wave to the water, and beyond that water to the all. That is your gift and the lesson you must learn for yourself. You once had eyes to see the waves. I have given you eyes to see beyond that - to see and to experience what is the all. Look again at the wave - now look beyond the water-part and see how the wind carresses the wave. The water. How the lake bottom determines how the wave-water will interact with it. How the sun’s rays affect the currents of wind -how all of creation works to support that one wave-event.
That is how you are to see now ."

I cried after I heard that teaching - my heart wants to embrace it all - every bit of it.
I want to see that way. Sometimes I think I do - but it seems I fall short and I don’t want to fall short. I want to merge with it all. Not just merge with water, or fire, or wind, or earth. But merge with the All.

What is hard to deal with is that nagging notion that I am merged with the All. I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know what to do.

"...then just simply be."

(After this, I went outside in the wind storm for a while. I can't describe what or how I saw, but I can say truthfully that I did see - beyond sight - I saw - the whole - the All. Everything was connected. The wave that I looked at became immense and like a tremendous and beautiful arc across the whole of the lake. The water itself blended into the rocks and sky and mountains int he distance. there was no separation but one mighty and amazing moment in time. Earth in her entirety, and yet beyond the limits of earth's physical form. I will never forget the experience of it.)

I stood by the shore and saw before me the great expanse of the All - and the waves - no more individual events upon the rocks. But a symphony of movement - great arc upon the water and beneath/above/beyond the rocks - formed and forming for eons, encouraging water to go this way and the air - dancing spirit upon the arc of wave forms. And the watchful mountains knowing that one day, they too would return to the great water. All of creations plays this dance. The furthest star knows of my watching, and I know of the star's awareness. Peace reigns -
And the wind is beginning to calm.

(After that experience, the wind calmed a great deal. I packed the canoe and tried to get out again. At one outcrop, the waves were too much for the canoe and I could not go any further. I ended up in a cove that was exposed to the north driving wind, but could not get out so beached the canoe, and set up the tent - realizing that I would be here for the remainder of the day. I also realized that I was very lucky to still have a tent to find shelter in, as this last attempt on the lake was the most precarious I had ever experienced in the canoe.)

Chicken stew and mandarine oranges for lunch. If I do end up staying one more night I’m afraid Rocky Racoon and friends will not be having dinner on me - they ate all the stuff not canned. Only thing left is some calm chowder and more manarine oranges. They’re probably still stuffed from last night’s feast.

I want to get going - at least back to the truck. Will check the lake and make a decision. The wind is still gusting, but I think I will get back. There are a lot of white caps in the main part. I’ll wait a bit. Wait too long, and I may miss my opportunity.

No go. Still pretty rough. Maybe later. It’s chilly too. A lot cooler than it was a few days ago. I don’t want to "settle in" too much because if I can get out today, that would be my preference.
I like writiing - it has been a while since I wrote my thoughts down - journaling never was my forte, but I find that it slows me down a bit, a good thing.

There is a difference between actualy putting pen to paper versus typing into a computer. One - the computer is faster, but there is no connection to the sound of a thought and actually "drawing" (writing) it on a piece of paper. I like using the computer, but there is something about this that I like a lot also.

I am in the tent - and the flap is closed so I can stay warm. I hear the water hitting against the shore but don’t see it. It’s a nice sound - fluctuates in many ways. There is an outcrop of rocks to the left, and the sound in more pronounced. In front of me, it is a gentler sound. And to the right but not far, the sound is somewhere between the other 2. The waves travel toward me along the rocks, so it is more progressive-sounding.

Everytime I think about trying to get back to the truck, the wind kicks up a bit - reminding me to wait.

I have noticed that we never really "wait" - we just suspend expectation in the now. Waiting implies stopping something at one point and picking it up again at another point. But if we truly are in the eternal "now", there are no points. Waiting creates desire for something that is not in the present and so is not created. It is an empty quest. Patience and waiting are in the same envelope.

I have no idea what time it is... I am thankful though that the wind is not as strong as it was earlier .

3 things I’d like right now. Hot cup of tea, Bath or shower, warm shoes. Dry shoes (replaces the tea). I could make tea, but I am feeling lazy - besides the tent is warmer than outside... And the tea and stove are outside......

I want the lake to be calmer so I can go home
I want the lake to be calmer so I can go home
I want the lake to be calmer so I can go home
I want the lake to be calmer so I can go home.

This will be my last night on the lake. I started out from the 2nd place and made it almost around the hill. The wind was too strong and I could not keep the direction. I literally blew into a cove. Good place to camp though. Got the tent up AGAIN. As I started to thread the poles, the wind gusted greatly. I burst out "Why is it everytime I go to set up this damn tent, you have to blow!?" I guess I didn’t get to transmute that outburst into love and light - sorry, Sandy...

It seemed everytime I thought about getting back to the truck, the wind would blow even harder. So I caved in, and now am settled into the tent once more. There is learning to do.

I really need to wash my hair. But I have simply been too cold.

Come first light, if the weather permits, I will get back in the morning. Will wash hair and me before driving out.

It has been a very hard few days - but it was really what I apparently needed. I didn’t swamp the canoe - although I came pretty close a few times. Rocky and Friends made off with all the tea so my cup of tea for the evening is out. There is nothing else for them to get into.

I am tired, but content.

Friday dawn

Wind is fierce. I was awake most of the night doing lots of mind-chatter. Strategies for getting out of here.
1. Hike back to the truck over the hills - contacting Park Service
2. Wait it out - I have food, water - can stay if need be. If I do, I need to get a hold of Barbara and let her know. (My friend in Kingman who was expecting me back on Friday) The cell phone battery is very low. I think I would have bars at the top of the hill behind me.
3, Call Park Service and tell them where I am - cell phone may not last.
4. Call Barbara and ask her to call Park Service.
I like option 1.. The truck is not that far as the crow flies. It is just a matter of negotiating the hills and finding a way back. Before I do anything though, I’m going to clean up.

I don’t like the idea of possibly losing my gear, but it might come to that.
I want to set the intention that all will be well, I won’t lose anything, but what will be will be. It’s ok.

The interesting thing is that I am not all that far from the marina across the lake. (Maybe a mile at most) Feels like I am a hundred miles from the nearest anything. But it is really not that far as the crow flies.

The lake has a way of creating distance - especially when I am probably the only one out on it, and the waves, wind are so strong. I have a good shelter, food, water, can be warm. Life is good, despite the hardship and unknowing about what the day will bring. Major lesson - stay centered - trust and rely upon what is at hand, and take the next moment as it comes. Amen.
If I do end up hiking out to the truck, I want to bring these notes with me so I can have memory of this amazing time. This, I want to share.

I just looked at the pictures I took - there are orbs all over the place. I am blessed. There was a whole group of them by the canoe this morning and one by the tent in all of the shots. Amazing. None by the food box, hince Rocky and Company

I was never alone...


We hear many times the teaching to remain centered. What I learned this past week, among other things, was that we do have the capacity to connect with the Center - not just "our" center, but the One Center, if that makes any sense. I found that when I connected there, I was able to walk through whatever was there for me to walk through. I used my abilities and skills, for sure - possibly realizing some I had not realized I had. But the key was that connection to the Center - the frequency of Earth if you will. Then it flowed. There were times when I was in grave danger - in the canoe, with onset of hypothermia - but in those times, I connected, and was able to surf the waves of the situation. It was not an easy surf. But the more I let go of my own expectations of how it was supposed to run, the more I was able to experience a more universal flow of energy that sustained me.

I am still recovering, I think. I have moments when I feel like I need to lie down and get warm metaphorically. I don't doubt that a little soul loss is involved and I will be asking one of my colleagues to help me with that. I sense that when I see the wind in the trees.

But we are earth. Earth creating herself as human. And we have the capacity to experience the wholeness of earth and beyond. It is a beautiful thing. The teachings are true. We CAN surf the coming waves of earth's changing. The frequencies are shifting. We can also shift to know on every level those frequencies.

And I am so grateful for the teachings I have participated in this past week or so.

Monday, November 06, 2006

By the Book

Opposition seems to be a strategy of the old paradigm; the recurrent themes of duality and power-over. And when it is met with something new - a "both-and" metaphor, it has no clue what to do with it, except regress back to what is comfortable. It is very clear that the process of trying to hold that one is right while the other is wrong simply does not work anymore.

The more we adhere to the concept of "by the book", the more we create the very demise we are trying to avoid. It is, as D. O-Murchu wrote, time to put the book down and truly engage in life with all its variations and turns.

Those who do so, or at the least, have that desire, watch your back... But don't be afraid of that which would have you cease the awakening that is happening.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thought for today...

"We do not transform the darkness by dismissing or trying to overcome it, but by engaging with it in all its complexities."

Diarmuid O'Murchu - Quantum Theology

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A New Thing...

I've added a blog to the Spirit Drum site to jot down thoughts and impressions here and there. My hope is that it is helpful for folks who read it. Please feel welcome to also comment and dialog. Peace you your spirit.

S. Karen