Thursday, May 15, 2014

Kisagotami's Journey from Separation to Unity

If you can, please join me as I present the Buddhist story of Kisagotami to the circle of people at Unity of Taos on Sunday, May 18th. Its a rich and wonderful story of grief, befriending grief and seeking and finding healing.
I'll let you know when the recording is available.

     Then, on Saturday, June 21st from 10am-4 pm I'm offering Descent and Return: Giving Life to Life, a full day retreat built around the Sumerian tale of Inanna and Ereshkigal. This is not a gender biased myth, but the story of one aspect of the feminine that dwells in all of us.
After hearing the story of Inanna and Ereshkigal we'll use sandtray, discussion, collage and journaling to explore the ways the wisdom of this ancient myth relates to our modern lives....

Descent & Return, Giving Life to Life
   A myth is a stone dropped into the still waters of a clear lake. As the stone drops it creates ripples in ever widening circles. Eventually all ripples come to rest upon the shore.  Encoded with ancient wisdom regarding the human experience, a myth offers us an opportunity to enter the narrative in our own way, hear what’s most relevant to our life and awaken to a personal understanding of its teachings.
       A myth can hold both the comfort of a story told and retold and the freshness of a story heard for the very first time.  In this way it can carry us to new shores or imbue familiar places with new meaning and potency.

    In the Sumerian myth of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth and Ereshkighal, Queen of the Lower Realm, we enter the primal landscape of an ancient and ongoing human journey – the journey of descent and return.  The myth of Inanna and Ereskighal is a narrative map that illuminates this journey. It suggests how we can strengthen our connection to the full range of our human potential as we engage in the descent and how we can return with new vitality and wholeness.  We’ll deepen our experience of this timeless myth using journalling, sand tray, time in nature, discussion and collage.  Together we’ll enter the landscape of Inanna and Ereskighal to discover our individual path to integrating the collective wisdom that this myth reveals.

Where: Unity of Taos
When:  Saturday, June 21st, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
         Fee: $55. includes materials and snacks
 Early Bird Discount! Register by June 6th  $50.00
Registration ends June 17. For registration and details information: Call 505 310 2765

Presenter: Rose Gordon began facilitating workshops and retreats in 1997. Trained in Council Circle practice by Gigi Coyle and Jack Zimmerman, Rose has worked as the Restorative Justice facilitator in Taos County since 2004.  Her experiential retreats integrate 2 decades of scholarship, training & direct service including a degree in Hospice & Grief Counseling, 5 yrs. as  Director and Faculty Member for Upaya Zen Center’s Being with Dying Program,  facilitation of bereavement groups  & design & facilitation of training programs and retreats in topics including Descent & Return, Stress Reduction, Dreamwork, Compassionate End of Life Care and Restorative Justice in Colorado, NY, Boston, Dubai and Thailand.  Rose trains hospice volunteers and is an invited presenter at Southwestern College, Santa Fe Community College and Southwest Acupuncture College.

From Ram Dass: Death as a Reminder to Live Fully...An Excerpt

In Eastern traditions, the state of consciousness at the last moment of life is considered so crucial that you spend your whole life preparing for it. Mahatma Gandhi, the great Indian leader, walked into a garden to give a press conference and was assassinated. As he fell, all he said was “Rām!” the name of God.
Meher Baba proclaimed, “The divine Beloved is always with you, in you, and around you. Know that you are not separate from Him.”
Aldous Huxley says so beautifully in his novel Island, “So now you can let go, my darling…Let go…Let go of this poor old body. You don’t need it anymore. Let it fall away from you. Leave it lying there like a pile of worn-out clothes…Go on, my darling, go on into the Light, into the peace, into the living peace of the Clear Light.”
Making peace with death and being fully in the moment allows you to lose yourself in love – in the love of the beauty and awe of God made manifest, in loving yourself and everything else, the suffering, the pain, the joy. In the eternal present of the moment you are free of time. Then if death is the moment, that’s the moment. When you are in that place of openness, it’s all possible. At the moment of death, you are surrendering and being cradled in the arms of God. If we let go lightly, we go out into the Light, toward the One, toward God. What grace!
One dies as one lives. What else can better prepare you to die than the way you live? The game is to be where you are – honestly, consciously, and as fully as you know how. Once you have awakened, you can’t fully go back to sleep. Regardless of what happens in the world, I’m still going to follow Maharaji’s instructions every day – to love everyone, serve everyone, and remember God – love, serve, remember.
Part of your relationship with yourself is taking responsibility for the care of your body and doing the things that promote good health. The body is the temple of the soul, the temple of your spirit. It is the vehicle for you to stay in this incarnation and become a fully conscious being – the vehicle for you to become one with God. Honor it. Take care of it...
Much of spiritual work is slowing down enough to let our minds come into harmony with our hearts. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna, “Give Me your mind and your heart and you will come to Me.” It is as if he is saying, “Always think of me, always love me, and I will guide your heart and your actions.” If, as I do, you follow the path of guru kripa, the grace of the guru, the same applies. Let your love and devotion guide the heart. Let the thinking mind be balanced by the bhakti heart.
Being here now is experiential. When you are in the moment, time slows down. In this moment you have all the time in the world. But don’t waste a moment. Who you really are is beyond time. When Christ says, “Look, I am making all things new,” it’s the same as when you’re living in the here and now and you start fresh in every new moment. When you are really in this moment, this is all there is. And the moment of death is just another moment.
- Ram Dass
Photography by Nathan Chesky (follow him on Facebook)
In order for us to be able to make these teachings available to everyone, we need your support. As Ram Dass says, “When you see the Beloved all around you, everyone is family and everywhere is love.” We are all affecting the world every moment – our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another. So please do lend your support to help us make this vast offering from Ram Dass and friends accessible to all.