By Drena Griffith
During the month of February, Lorian columnists and writers explored a variety of themes: a winter meditation, animal companionship, the smallest act of service (saving the life of a bee) bringing healing to the world, and life (and love) after the deaths of beloveds.
Additionally, Julie and David Spangler, in responding to a question for "Ask Julia" about the nature of inner contacts, helped create a new Views from the Lorian Community feature: "Conversations with Lorian." For more information, click here.)
Here are links to (and excerpts from) the February posts:
An Incarnational Sketchbook: Body in Winter by Mary Reddy
"Winter is a mirror of subtle worlds. Remember—all that is unseen is not therefore absent. I ask my body if it is also quietly busy with an underground enrichment, an earthly steeping of my spring growth. This winter I find myself sleeping later, longing to stay in bed until the sun’s rays begin to peep over the Cascadia range. Yet through the long nights, my dreams have shone with an incandescent light. Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote “Perhaps I am a bear, or some hibernating animal underneath, for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is so strong in me.” And so I, in my body, attune to the season and the earth’s turning, wedded to its rhythms as much as any bear."
My White Shadow by Claire Blatchford
"My white shadow knows the art of being with, without invading boundaries, though there are times when his close is a bit too close. Like after he’s caught and gulped down a whole mole, sampled manure in the cow pasture or rolled in fishy seaweed. I know my good ideas— weeding the garden rather than going for a ramble— are not always his good ideas. Nor are his mine— as when he chases crows round and round the yard, nose aimed skyward, barking up a storm! Does he really imagine he could sprout wings and fly with them? Or the way he insists, in his ridiculous, persistent manner that squirrels come down straight away from this or that branch in a tree. To what? His open jaws? How can my white shadow who is so wise also be so silly? Perhaps he, secure and comfortable in the depths of his doggie incarnation, thinks the same of me."
Loving the World, One Bee at a Time by Rue Hass
"In these difficult times, it is easy to feel like there isn't much I can do that will bring about change. Or sometimes I feel so much, and it all has so many sharp edges, that I want to close down. But I believe that how I stand in even the smallest acts I take each day probably makes far more difference than I know. Here is a story of a small act that made a big difference for me, and maybe helped the world."
Laying Cynthia to Rest by Susan Beal
"Cyn was the bright yellow to my cool blue, the sunlit meadow to my misty greenwood. She was outgoing, heart-on-her sleeve, romantic, dramatic, and generous to a fault. Whereas I was shy, quiet, and kept my feelings to myself. I preferred the company of animals and plants to people, whereas Cynthia probably would have thrown herself in front of a train to save a stranger. When she was sad or distressed, the entire household vibrated with her pain. When she cried, she howled in long, drawn out, gutteral sobs that forced all of us to participate in her heartbreak.
I was completely different. I wrote my papers and studied for tests on my own. And whether Mom formed her opinions of me from watching me through the years, or I molded myself to fit her expectations, I grew up hearing, 'I never worry about you, Sue. I know you can handle it.' But this never felt like a compliment, more of a dismissal of who I was. But I didn’t know who I was because I lived so completely in my sister’s shadow."
Cedar of Lebanon: Meditations by Dorothy Maclean, Essay by Freya Secrest
"Cedar of Lebanon - Many lives come and go, and still our power goes up to the sky and down to the earth. This is the power of the Almighty of which we are caretakers in this moment of time. Our serene strength stabilizes and makes upright whatever comes to us in openness, for we are living matter, fashioned from the elements, and we are kin to all life. You and I are blood brothers, made from the same substance, each fulfilling our destiny on this planet. I contain you in my towering strength, and you contain me in your towering aspiration."--Dorothy Maclean, Call of the Trees
Love Beyond Death by Drena Griffith
"I have heard an "inner voice" a few times in my life, and by that I mean an actual "out loud" voice. At least it was loud to me. The first time it happened it was an ordinary day in a familiar place. I was 14 years old and was with my mother and sister in the kitchen of the house I grew up in. They were in deep conversation about various spiritual topics they were exploring. As I sat listening, I wondered why I wasn't participating in their explorations. I was interested in the topic, and some of what they were learning was so familiar that I felt I already knew it. It was in the midst of my question to myself, Why am I not joining in this journey with them? that I heard the voice. It was as clear as the voices in the room, though it felt closer. It also seemed to come from above and behind me. This voice said, 'It is not time yet.' Simply that. But with that simple sentence came what I would now call a 'download' (we didn't have the term in 1965) of the insight that my task at that time was to settle into my body and my personality. And I would know when the time was right to pursue spiritual interests. This knowledge landed in my core.
I didn't move from the counter where I was sitting. I didn't jump up and shout that I had heard a voice. It was so natural an experience that it didn't occur to me to tell anyone about it until decades later I knew the voice was right. It felt right. Whose was this voice? I don't know. It might have been what I call "Big Julie", a higher part of my incarnate self, or my soul. It might even have been an inner friend or guardian angel. I am sure there are many possibilities. But in all these years, I haven't really asked. What is important to me is that I knew without a doubt that the voice was real. I felt like it knew something I didn't, and it was right. I didn't need to ask if it was real. I knew it was for me, and I knew I could trust it. How did I know? I suppose the same way I know when I can trust a person. There is a comfort and a feeling of rightness to the relationship. And then, experience through my life teaches me if it is right. Perhaps I didn't shout about hearing a voice because I decided to hold its insights close to my heart and watch to see how it all worked out. Through my history, I have found I can trust my own inner way of listening, my own inner senses. Learning to trust my own individual mode of communion with Spirit is part of growing up."
Conversations with Lorian (Part 2) by David Spangler
"How do I recognize a contact with the Sacred whether that contact is within myself or in the experience of someone else?
In part, the answer to this question depends on how I define the Sacred. If I believe the Divine is a fair but stern parent, then I will look to those parental qualities as my criteria for recognizing divinity. If I see God as the loving, nourishing energy of life uniting all creation in a wholeness, then that expectation will shape my perception. Do I see myself as God’s creature and thus as something separate from the Divine, or do I see the Sacred as the underlying, foundational Identity of everything that is? If the latter, then I will be more open to the experience of an indwelling divinity with which I can commune; if the former, then God is the Other from whom I receive messages, instructions, and teachings, which can just as likely come from someone else as from within myself.
Whatever my belief may be, how open am I to an experience that expands or challenges that belief, requiring me to see the Sacred in new ways? The Sacred might contact me from a place within my own consciousness, but if it does so in an unexpected or unfamiliar way, then I might not recognize it as a genuine contact; whereas I might accept someone else is having a conversation with God or Jesus if their experience conforms to images that I expect or in which I have been taught to believe."
As always, many thanks to our volunteer team of writers who, month by month, post by post, help us to hold up Incarnational Spirituality before the world! This month Rue Hass received the following Facebook response to her blog post, "Loving the World, One Bee at a Time" from friend Fearn Stanley:
Thank you Fearn! And thanks to all of our readers, subscribers and followers on Facebook. Your presence matters to us, so please feel free to reach out, share your thoughts, as well as any questions for Conversations with Lorian! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring is nearly upon us! This month daylight saving time returns; we have a new Manifestation Class starting on March 14 as well as the spring Views from the Borderland set to arrive in subscribers' mailboxes near the Vernal Equinox. Views from the Lorian Community will feature blog posts on manifestation, subtle perception—and also, inspired by Julie Spangler, a deeper exploration of "inner hearing."