The mountains call to us. They are ancient beings, ancestors. Here in Colorado, in Rocky Mountain National Park (Estes Park), location for recent Avanti Healing Arts® Reiki Classes, there is sun three hundred and eight days a year. Coming after Maine at sea level and weather which, like the Pacific Northwest, involves vast quantities of rain, it is a welcome pleasure to be here above tree-line, contemplating 14,000 foot peaks, meditating in the thin pure air. There are elk everywhere and the spring flood makes an awesome sound as the Big Thompson River thunders down the gorge.
It is inspiring and bittersweet to be here (the extremes are the most challanging and yet wonderful aspects of life). I came to Colorado to be near my mother in her last days. She passed in March of 2007 and I stayed on, in the mountains that were also so dear to her. Hiking in the Roosevelt National Forest, I experience the fragrence of Ponderosa Pine and the whistling of the Golden Marmot, hear the hummingbirds swooping in their dance and the roar of the spring flood in the river. It is a healing place.
The people of Colorado are much like those in Maine: they love the outdoors. And best of all, there are no black flies! So if there are mountain lions around while hiking, invoke the power symbol and project the thought form that there is room for us all. Or when tenting off the trail, and a black bear wanders by, remember that this shy creature only wishes to walk the land of its birth, to do what is to be done on the Earth. The way of Reiki is to project vibrations that accept all into harmony. However, the girl scout code applies here: Be Prepared. Reiki is great but I pack a whistle and pepper spray too, and hang my food high in a tree.
It was not easy to have left my beautiful retreat in Maine to travel here and there to teach Reiki, but it was time to move on. People are curious about why. It actually was a spiritual quest, beginning with a persistent message (replete with technicolor visuals) to go out into the wilderness with a cart and a donkey. At first I thought it meant to literally be out there bumping along with my cart doing who knows what. Then I thought, “oh, it is another life I am seeing”, or a metaphor, so I relaxed into the idea that I did not have to make any big changes, just to understand the message. Later, seeking a simpler explanation of life in the moment, I thought it was a manifestation of my recent farm-sitting experience with horses and donkeys (see article Reiki on the Farm on News page). Finally, I realized that it meant that I needed to actually do something, not just dream of doing it! So here I am for the moment, on the road in my cart (my trusty steed, the Subaru Outback with the Thule on top) driving up the West Coast, being an itinerant Reiki teacher, giving treatments as the opportunity arises.
It is not where we are located, or what we are doing in the moment, that matters— it is what we are, what it means to us to simply “be” one with ourselves and with our Higher Self, which is what we call Spirit. Yes, people have said this over and over, we all have, but living it is another matter all together! Sometimes I don’t do very well at this but it helps to remind myself that I am only a human and to offer it up. It is an enormous challange for me to be in big towns with so many cars and people and noise after the peace of my tranquil place. This is a reminder to me to not miss daily Gassho (in Japanese “two hands coming together”) meditation.
It is also a reminder to go on Retreat if I am losing my center. Two days spent at a Benedictine Abbey (St. Walburga) in Virginia Dale, singing the psalms from morning to night, gave me back my self that had become overshadowed by the stressful car trip across America from Maine to Colorado. As I entered the Chapel, peace descended upon me immediately. One of my favorite things to do during Mass used to be to invoke Reiki and feel the amazing connection with my highest guide, a blessed combination that never fails to bring me to where I need to be, and cannot find alone.
No matter how lonely, or hard the path, there is joy at the center of our being, awaiting awakening. There are many ways to center oneself. I have a friend who is often depressed. His “chapel” is his camera. He takes macro photograhs of only the smallest little things, no matter where he is, and it helps him to always be mindfully looking for that special image hiding somewhere, waiting to be uncovered and noticed. These little discoveries take him out of himself, and bring him happiness, by putting him in touch with the tiny places of beauty that exist everywhere, if only for a moment.
The day after my mother passed on, I found a scrap of paper floating around in the bottom of a drawer, written to her on her 16th birthday by my grandmother. It was a stanza of a poem by Charles Kingsley: “Be good sweet maid and let who will be clever. Do noble deeds, not dream them all day long. And so make life, death and the great hereafter, One grand sweet song.” I had been hearing the first line of this for three solid years in my meditations, without having the vaguest idea where it came from or what it meant. Now I know that it was my grandmother, who I never knew, telling me to get out there and manifest my dreams.
Just For Today: Walking on the right path. May 27/07