The Meaning Of Death: Stephen Jenkinson

Stephen Jenkinson is a teacher, author, storyteller, spiritual activist, farmer
and founder of the Orphan Wisdom School, a teaching house and learning house for the skills
of deep living and the making of  human culture.
His work is rooted in having spent hours in the company of the dying, in knowing history,
being claimed by ancestry and working for a time yet to come.

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Mind And Morality: Where Do They Meet? An Essay by Larry Merculieff

I have had a traditional Aleut (Unungan) upbringing in the Bering Sea which guides me in writing
this essay
My people were in the Bering Sea for over 10,000 years, and we are still there.
From an indigenous person’s perspective, I find the question to be critical in terms of the
violence around the world today in all its forms and the continuing decline of life support
systems of Mother Earth. The questions we ask about our plight as human beings are central
to where we go from here. Alaska Native Elders say that we must look at the root causes of
our challenges and not at the symptoms. The root cause of our plight is disconnection from
our hearts—which inform our minds, and our minds then direct what we do.

In today’s society, we are focused on how the brain works and what it produces.
The qualities of mind, according to The Free Dictionary, deal with “thought, perception,
memory and decision.” Merriam-Webster defines mind as “the organized conscious and
unconscious adaptive mental activity of an organism.” If this is the case, where is the heart?
The “heart” I am talking about is the inexplicable aspect of us that is in connection with
the divine and guides us impeccably. “Heart” is the source of correct thinking and being.
Einstein is quoted saying,
“we cannot solve the problem with the same consciousness that created the problem.”
I would argue that the consciousness of the mind, as we define it,
is the consciousness that created all the problems faced by humans today.

When veterans returned from Vietnam, thousands came back with a peculiar disorder that the
doctors had to deal with. It was invisible until they put a name to it:
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The vets took to addictions and other behaviors: drinking alcohol, taking drugs,
watching TV for seventeen hours a day, and even isolating themselves in the wilderness or in other ways.
Most of these veterans had depression. They used these coping behaviors to try to escape from their
reality of remembering the horrors of war. To escape required detaching from the present moment
because it was too painful. One definition of an addiction is a strategy to escape the present moment.
These veterans used this strategy to detach, as much as possible, from the heart.
Native Elders say that this is like creating a big stomach that is always hungry and is never filled;
the result is addictions.
The Elders also say that when we swallow feelings we create a stagnant pool inside ourselves
and these stagnant pools create depression. The addictive behaviors were passed along from generation
to generation for coping with anything that hurt one’s spirit, and these behaviors remain with us today.
The addictions, one can argue, are society-wide wherever we take without thought to the consequences
and do harm to others and to Mother Earth.

Prior to the “beginning of time,” all people had an internal guide for how to behave and how to think.
Time began when we focused on guilt, shame, remorse, anger, rage, jealousy, and like feelings; or fear,
which is a projection into the future of something that has not happened yet.
Time began when we focused anywhere except the present moment where the “heart” can be found.
Instead, we simply replaced the present with feelings of the past or future, and so we live there today.
Someone once said, “God can be found in the silence between one’s thoughts” and,
according the Depak Chopra, “the point of power is in the present moment.”
Native Americans say that one who lives in the present moment
is the “real human being”: one who is whole, who knows their place in the world.
In the names they gave themselves as a people and cultures, Alaska Native peoples call themselves
the “human being” or the “real human being.” They understand that human laws and the study of morality
are creations of those who live outside of the present, necessitating that these things be memorialized
and made into laws and fields of study because they have forgotten how to be integrated into life as
real human beings. In the time before time began, we never had prisons. Why? We never had to deal with
human-caused things like warfare, felony, and climate change—the destruction of the life support systems
of the planet.
Why? We never invented the term “sustainability” as a concept to guide how we interact with the earth.
Why? Simply put, the Indigenous Elders say these society-wide struggles stem from a memory lapse:
we have forgotten how to be “real human beings” guided by divinely-inspired laws for living.

We need to listen to these Elders who know. They say that “nothing is created outside [of us]
until it is created inside first.” We are in conflict outside because we are in conflict inside.
We judge others because we judge ourselves first. We criticize and find fault in others because
we are finding fault inside of ourselves first. And we trash the environment outside because
we trash the environment inside. As long as this kind of consciousness exists,
we will never create anything truly new, inside or out.

So, where do the mind and morality meet? The answer is the heart, which directs our individual thoughts,
feelings, and actions if we have the “ears” to listen to what it is saying in any given circumstance.
It is the only aspect of us that guides without doubt or hesitation, and it guides us perfectly.
How do we get back to being heart-guided people? The Elders say that the model for our cultures
should be a two-year-old child. The two-year-old cries when she feels like crying; she laughs in the moment.
When she is angry, she deals with it in the moment, and then she is fine.
Two-year-olds are masters of moving energy.
We need to remember how to move energy to be real human beings’.

Quoted  from Humans And Nature

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As She Is: Film About A Personal And Collective Journey by Megan Mc Feely

“The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious.
If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door.
If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door.
If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.” 
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Speaking about the impetus that lead her to make this film Megan writes on her website:

For years there was this deep sense of insecurity inside…or rather a wrongness
about my existence that I did not know how to describe.
I tried to live the values of the culture, follow the roadmap to success
imparted to me through community, family and school.
I was determined to be an “acceptable” kind of woman, even though I was obviously not.
So I got educated, went into business, wore suits, thought rationally,
competed against others and was successful for a time, but then my life fell apart.

I had been looking outside— in what I did, what I had, who I knew—for who I was,
but it didn’t work. The best way to say it was the outside was not connected to the inside
so I was living someone else’s idea of me (who I wonder?)
I was not free and did not know how to live what I valued.
I had no idea if there was a more natural way for me to be.

It became clear that the only way I could understand was to explore
from the inside…to renounce what the culture valued and reconnect to my inner knowing.
I now know this unknown inner dimension of myself as the feminine….
so I started with a simple question that guided my journey. What is the feminine?

I asked some remarkable people who embody these traits to find out how they would describe the feminine,
to get a sense of how being connected to this part of themselves informs their lives and
how it is lived in balance with their masculine aspect.

This is my personal inquiry, but I have a sense that this film is also
about our collective journey towards wholeness because I am simply a microcosm
of the macrocosm…and so are you’.

This film Includes conversations  with Anat and Llewellyn Vaughan- Lee, Hilary Hart, Larry Merculieff,
Maata Lynne Baron, Orland Bishop and Vandana Shiva amongst others.

Website and  Trailor Here:  As She Is 

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Juliette Of The Herbs: Documentary Film

Juliette of the Herbs is an inspiring portrait of a remarkable woman:

Juliette de Bairacli Levy, herbalist, who learnt about plants from gypsies, peasants, and bedouins.

She healed animals and children with her love and knowledge of plants, animals and the Earth.

To watch: LINK

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100 UK Women Of Spirit To Celebrate

After attending a day held to celebrate these 100 women a friend wrote:

I think you may find this link very inspiring .
I was delighted to be there on the day due to one of the ladies I’d nominated actually
being one of the 100 women awarded, although Tensin Palmo herself was not able to be present on the day.
It truly was an inspirational day and raises the heart for our futures.

All 100 women, have worked in their own unique ways to touch life and lives with their souls’ hearts.
Their spiritual connection with themselves and others has gifted the world in so many different ways:

From a young 28 year old, second generation Indian girl, who joined the police force and refused
to attack  protestors and opened up dialogue on the front line and now the Met police are
helping her to extend this work. To a really sassy media lady who doesn’t tell the same old stuff,
a female judge who listens with her heart and chooses forgiveness, an MP , a poet  …….
so so many .
And they all keep on doing what they do and it really permeates out.
Just being given the opportunity to see and feel this was/is a wonderful reminder
of how each and everyone of us at each and every moment can make a difference ……
Our ‘gift’and the feminine ‘gift’ is this gentle yet constant out-flowing that eventually forms…..

There will be a list of all those 100 women –
currently it’s been worked on so that each and everyone’s ‘work’ can be accessed via links etc……

How We Found 100 Women Of Spirit:  link

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‘Oneness is the Form but Love is the Essence’ Steve Farrell

Aflak by Joumana Medlej

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She is the inmost awareness

Of the sage who realizes

That Consciousness alone exists.

She is the life blossoming within

The creatures of the universe.

Both macrocosm and microcosm

Are lost within Mother’s Womb.

Now can you sense

How indescribable She is?

Ramprasad Sen (Bengal/India, 18th century

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A Deep Sence Of The Sacred Is Innate Within Us

‘Once we allow our consciousness to touch into this greater mystery,
We will find that life will speak to us as it spoke to our Ancestors.
It will remind us how to live in harmony with creation
And how to restore the balance that is intrinsic to life.
And it will give us the energy,
The power and the knowledge that is needed to heel and redeem our wounded world.’

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

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We Are Made For These Times by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times.
I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered.
They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now.
Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the
degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while
endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded,
the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your
spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly
because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning,
practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened
souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across
the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the
history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you.
Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the
long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber
is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended
in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by
dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there.
That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet
great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear.
Didn’t you say you were a believer?
Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater?
Didn’t you ask for grace?
Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend
the part of world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to
another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely.
It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip
toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more,
continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace,
but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second,or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to
stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul
throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire.
To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy
toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

I hope you will write this on your wall:
When a great ship is in harbor and moored,
it is safe, there can be no doubt.
But that is not what great ships are built for.

By Clarissa Pinkola Estes
American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian Psychoanalyst.
Author of ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves.’

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Sacred Ecology: 22 Day Walk Of The New South African Cape Camino

22nd April – 13th May 2016


We are all joint custodians of a new magic birthing on Earth.

Are you meant to be on this trip?

ffi go to

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