During the month of January Views from the Lorian Community columnists and writers reflected upon our embodied experiences of sacredness: in our skin, the motions of our physical bodies, in our interests as well as our attitudes. Additionally, this month we introduced a new feature: interviews with members of our community, sharing through our diverse spiritual backgrounds how Incarnational Spirituality impacts our lives and those around us.
Below are links to (and excerpts from) the January posts:
“In order to be freely ourselves, and truly touch a happy creative flow of life, we need to ground ourselves in the land under our feet and the stars above us. That grounding forms a nourishing support for weaving the complex rhythms of life and the patterns of emotion that we embody. Joy, lightness and heartful courage arise from here. Now we can offer form to the irrepressible shenanigans of spirit.”
The Sacrament of Star Wars by Drena Griffith, Art by Brandon G. Walker:
Drena G: What does your spiritual practice look like?
James T: In my experience, first I do the practice–I set my intention to remember and open to the possibilities of life; then the practice does me–I notice that I am noticing more moments of enchantment throughout my day, without looking for them.
And finally, I become the practice. I am remembering – remembering the One who sent me, remembering the importance of leaving the world a better place for having been here, and doing the things I came here to do, with the people I most enjoy working with, in the way the world most needs it done.
The best description I have right now is one of David Spangler’s poems:
I am the vessel that earth has made
To hold the wine of God.
And I am the wine that God has pressed
To fill the cup of Earth,
And I am the one who sips this new wine
And is filled with its sparkling life,
And I am the one who lifts the toast
To the beloved of all life,
And I am the one who sees anew
The rhythms and flows of God
From Heaven to Earth and from Earth to return
In the Oneness of life.
The Living Universe: Opening Possibilities with Our Attitude, Meditations by Dorothy Maclean, Commentary by Freya Secrest:
"Central to my inner experience of the sacred after times of silent attunement or moments of wonder and awe is a sense of connectedness. I look to give that sense the room to ‘bloom’ in my daily life by initiating the attitude of joy and appreciation that Dorothy’s messages point out. I find this invites and unfolds the Sacred in everyday ways that on my own I could never imagine into being."--Freya Secrest
"There is an answer, a way out, to all that befalls you, and it is up to you to find it. You won’t find it if you look for it on the same level which presents it; it would not be a problem then, it is only a problem because your awareness is confined and caged. But the problem is an opportunity to extend yourself, to let in more light, to rise and enjoy more of life Someone else may point the way for you but the problem is one of your consciousness and one which only your consciousness can solve. You cannot blame anyone else – that is, and be accurate – and its solution depends on your movement." from Seeds of Inspiration by Dorothy Maclean
Dona Teresa and the Body Elemental by Susan Beal:
Skin by Claire Blatchford:
". . .As I rub lotion on my hands skin relaxes, becomes softer. I think of the vast memory of touch skin has gathered within me, not only in my hands and feet, kneeling knees, balancing thighs, tender breasts, but in its constant, simple transparency, no matter how tired or worn. I recall pink flush of babies waking from naps as they return from who knows where, dark circles of sleeplessness, yellow of jaundice, white of fear, blue-black rising up my father’s feet from toes to ankles as he began the journey out of his skin.
I recall, not without some embarrassment, how honest skin is, as when I catch sight of someone, someone who “gets under my skin”, and instantly feel squirmy irritation. Or how the heat of anger or annoyance can flood into my cheeks. Heck, will I ever be able to get a handle on that? Will I ever be able to brake a blush?
. . .The arm of the elderly man seated on my left bumps against me. Without looking at him I pull away a bit to give him more space as my awareness shifts from skin as open receiver of an endless stream of information from the outer world, to skin as closed, enclosing, definition of me. I am in here in my body. He is in his body. Skin as limit, border, boundary, anchoring me in this physical incarnation. Thank goodness! Aren’t boundaries, in a way, what physical incarnation is all about?"
Ask Julia: Community of Consciousness by Julia Spangler:
"In the culture of the 1970’s there was a movement toward community of many kinds. There were back-to-the-land communities, political communities, spiritual communities and more. These were largely groups of people choosing to live with or near each other to pursue a common goal or way of life.
Those who began the Lorian Association came out of one such spiritual community in Findhorn, Scotland. This community was a thriving and vital example of a diverse group of people choosing to live a spiritual life together in partnership with God, the land and the subtle beings of the natural world. There were books and articles written about Findhorn giving a glamorous cast to life in this place and as a result many people believed that if they wanted to be part of the new spirituality, the new age, they had to go live at Findhorn.
When we returned to the United States from our sojourn at Findhorn, we felt that it was important to balance that strong gravitational pull toward Findhorn as a place by a recognition that this spirituality is accessible everywhere in the world for it is a condition of an inner alignment, not a location. We defined Lorian as a “community of consciousness, by which we meant a non physically located group of like-minded individuals sharing a certain spiritual perspective. We saw our focus as promoting new expressions for our human community to engage in a sacred partnership of person and planet around the world. This consciousness could be found and anchored everywhere and connects through anyone’s everyday life."
Many thanks to all Lorian columnists, writers and interviewee for sharing from the depths of their lived experiences. Thanks also to every one of our blog readers and followers on Facebook. One of our Facebook friends, Jillian M, left the following comment in response to Dona Teresa and the Body Elemental:
"A really good article. It so tempting to dissociate when we are traumatized or under stress. By that I am not saying that subtle realms aren't real, but as we are incarnated we need to be in our physical bodies."
Susan Beal's response:
"Absolutely! It's an under-recognized issue in the spiritual community. I know so many people who privilege the spiritual realms over the physical or take refuge in "spiritual" approaches to life because, either consciously or unconsciously, it's just too painful for them to be in their physical bodies. As we become more aware of trauma and its lingering effects it's obvious that kind of escapist approach to the spiritual realms comes at a cost, both personally and collectively. But that's what I love so much about Incarnational Spirituality--it emphasizes the sacredness, even the centrality, of incarnation. It's not something to dismiss or overcome; it's something to honor and work deliberately with--it's kind of the whole point of being on Earth."
February is the month we honor and celebrate our loved ones. But is Valentine's Day merely a Hallmark holiday, a time for people to send cute cards and eat more candy? What is it about February that turns us to ideas (and ideals) of Love? If you have any thoughts you'd like to share, please email Drena: firstname.lastname@example.org.