“Maintaining Balance Within the Duality”
The Earth-Heart Institute of Vision and Healing
Vision Quests, Spiritual Retreats, Women’s Retreats, Kundalini Yoga & Meditation, Personal Intensives
Welcome to the quarterly newsletter of the Earth-Heart Institute of Vision and Healing. We offer Vision Quests, Spiritual Retreats, Women’s Retreat, Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, Personal Intensives, Healing, and Spiritual Counseling. This newsletter will offer thoughts on a chosen topic with simple awareness exercises, meditations, or yogic tips that relate to the topic. We will also update you on our class schedule, recommend books or products that relate to living a healthy and conscious life, and offer some web links to check out that support a greater and more unified Vision of the world, the expansion of the human spirit, and the protection of the environment. If you are not interested in receiving these newsletters once each season, you can click on the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom. Click on our name (above) to visit our complete web site.
Was not the cup that was burned in the potter’s oven
the very cup that holds your wine?”
As the season slowly settles into fall and life all around us winds down, we are reminded that our lives will always turn within the natural cycle of death, renewal, and life again. It has always been so. We are used to seeing this cycle as an annual turning of the seasons, and we are comfortable with it. However, there are larger cycles operating within life that we are less comfortable with. They are outside or our control, less predictable, and we usually try to ignore them.
However, the vast cycles in which we are embedded will not be ignored, or even if they are ignored, will continue to move inexorably towards their next unfolding, carrying us along. Perhaps the grandest cycle of all is the cycle of the evolution of consciousness, an intricate dance within the whole array of life towards expansion, fullness, and creative expression.
Within this grand evolution, we often find ourselves bound by the darkest vision in our hearts, trapped by events that are beyond our control, and that are almost unimaginable. This past year has seen several such events strike across the planet. The tsunami that struck south-east Asia left devastation in its wake; the US has been hit with two massive hurricanes that left incalculable damage; the war in the middle-east continues with much suffering and death; and regional wars and genocide are reported almost daily in the national news.
Virtually no one has escaped awareness of these tragedies as they seem daily to be the top news story. Sadly, even as we try to help the victims of these events and our hearts fill with concern, compassion, and love, we find that we are also filled variously with fear, sadness, anger, frustration, and helplessness. We get overwhelmed and begin to look at the world darkly rather than with the enthusiasm and courage that are a part of our birthrights.
It must be recognized that we live in a world that is defined by the principle of duality and, therefore, opposition. Light will always stand against darkness as heat will always oppose cold. At some times light will be dominant and at others, the darkness will rise, and it is the balance within all opposites that allows life to flourish; though at times like these the balance seems to wobble.
Of course, the pairs of opposites must remain in balance for life to continue, and so when the light within our consciousness grows, so too must grow the darkness. What does this mean? First, as the light within our own heart grows, we are filled with energy and clarity. However, that energy will force our resistances to life’s flow to surface. And our clarity will reveal that those resistances are actually difficult life experiences that have not yet been resolved and healed. Second, this sets up the situation that allows the resistances to be healed, bringing more light to our heart, and paradoxically, forcing to the surface more darkness.
There is an identical process within the global consciousness that we all share. As the light in the world grows, and make no mistake the light entering individual and global awareness is growing enormously and rapidly, the darkness hidden in the collective consciousness will be forced to the surface of awareness. Not only will we all be forced to see the violence, poverty, pain, and ignorance of the world more clearly, but anyone holding too tightly to their hidden pain will, quite literally, go crazy as their darkness is forced to the surface. This kind of darkness will not be allowed to stay hidden much longer because it is creating a drag on the evolving consciousness of humanity.
Very clearly now, we can see that the natural and unnatural disasters of the world are revealing the darkness hidden in our hearts. As participants and as witnesses we must face the chaos and suffering both around and within us. And as we seek to help, each in our own way, we cannot escape the gnawing insecurity of being in a life that we do not control.
The good news that we can hold to is that the state of balance is natural, and at a certain point in the growth of light and darkness they cease to be seen as hostile and in opposition, but to be recognized as working together to sustain life and evolution. The crucial insight here is that the judgments that we make about the opposites, and the actions that come from those judgments, create the conflict, the suffering, and the pain.
So, when our light grows to the point that we release our judgments and our fear, our life will enter a phase of cooperation and harmony between the opposites. Instead of fear based living, our life will be based in love and understanding. As a collective living on our planet, we can see this process at work globally as the darkness in the collective consciousness arises to be healed.
Yes, we are caught up in a healing process now, as painful as it is. However, the light is going to continue to rise, life is going to continue to expand, and in time, life will be seen as balanced, harmonious, and whole. We are moving into a new phase of realization of our inner Divinity. Then we will recognize that life was always balanced, that we were always safe and whole, and that we have never been touched by any of the drama that has swirled around us.
It is especially important now that all who follow the pathways of spiritual unfolding remember this truth. Our response to these hard times should emerge from the center of our love and compassion, from our generosity and willingness to share our blessings with others, and from courage and a peaceful heart. We are safe and have always been so.
This will help release the tension in your lungs (which is traditionally where the energy of “grief” is held). It will completely re-set your outlook on your day.
Lie on your back and relax
As loud and fully as possible, LAUGH.
Deep belly laughs, guffaws, make it silly, vary the sound, high and low, but keep laughing as hard as you can for at least 3 minutes.
This is called “Meditation for the Rough Times Ahead” – do it for 11 minutes
Sit with legs crossed, spine straight (if you need to sit in a chair, that’s okay)
Raise your right hand up as if taking an oath, elbow bent and relaxed near the body, first 2 fingers held up straight and together, lock thumb over the other fingers in the palm
Left hand/fingers are in the same position, touch the left 2 fingers to the center of your chest at the sternum, keeping them as straight as possible (elbow lifted slightly)
Keep eyes closed, or look at the tip of your nose
Breathe slowly and meditatively, bringing the breath from the nose up to the brow point (your forehead between and slightly above your eyebrows), and then down to the heart center where your left fingers are touching. Really try to FEEL the breath travel this path in your body on the inhalations.
Check out the November issue of Yoga Journal magazine. One of our past participants of the Vision Quest, Julian Friend, wrote an article about his experience for this national magazine. Earth-Heart will be mentioned in the article. We appreciate that Julian took the time to write about his experience. It is how others will learn about the Vision Quest.We encourage any of you who are writers to write about the experiences in your life that have been the most transformative for you, so you can share your knowledge with people who could benefit from the information. It’s a good way to spread the Light.
You can also read an article on our website written by Tim Grantham about his experiences in our 100-person Vision Quests .
Be on the look-out for our 2006 brochure which will be mailed in about a week. If you’re not already on our annual brochure mailing list, and would like to receive one, just email your address information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our addresses are never shared or sold, and remain strictly private.
Anyone in the Los Angeles area should make plans to come to Topanga on Sunday, Oct 16 th for the second annual Topanga Healing Arts Day. It is free to the public, a gift from the healers in the community where you can sample free healing sessions (many alternative healing modalities), free live music and entertainment, free workshops all day on a variety of topics. Check out the website for all the offerings and the full schedule. www.thetopangahealers.com. Allyson and Malcolm will both be there, running workshops, answering questions about our programs, and offering free energy healing sessions. It’s a really great day, and family-friendly.
Click on the underlined links below to read about a particular class, or go to Earth-Heart Programs to read about other classes not listed here, and Student Comments to read comments from past participants.
Applications for next year’s Women’s Retreat , April 23-28, 2006 have already started coming in. Last year’s program filled very quickly, and not many got in off the waiting list. Don’t wait too long if you’re interested in joining us for this fantastic week! This year’s Women’s Retreat, and also Lighten Up: An Inner Peace Bootcamp , June 20-25, 2006, will now be held at a beautiful retreat center in Lucerne Valley, CA (about 2 hours NE of Los Angeles).
“Playful Creativity” has been retitled. It is now Your Wild Creative Soul: Free Your Mind And The Rest Will Follow (yes, I’m talking to you). It will take place March 23-26, 2006 (Thurs- Sun) at the Holy Spirit Retreat Center in Los Angeles, CA . This class is going to be pure FUN! If you’ve never felt like a creative person, this will be an excellent program to show you how limiting that belief is. We have the creative force of the universe flowing in us and through us and it’s available to us at any moment if we just learn to get out of our own way by letting go of judgment. We will be doing a wide variety of activities from mask-making, drawing, writing, moving, papier mache creations, coloring, etc.; combining activities in fun and interesting ways to help get the creative juices flowing. Take a mid-winter break and come and dive into that timeless space of child-like playtime, so that you can then bring a creative flow more directly into your life as a creative work-in-progress.
Upcoming dates for Allyson’s Kundalini Yoga and Gong Meditation workshops at Yoga Desa in Topanga, CA are: Saturday, Oct 16 th (“My Poor, Ragged Stressed-Out Body” is the theme), Saturday, November 5 th (Increasing Your Intuitive Power”), and Saturday, Jan 28 th. All workshops are from 1pm-3:30pm and are $25.
We have added a new Small Group Theme Intensive: Fear , March 5th-10th, 2006 in Malibu, CA . You can get all the info from a Personal Intensive, but at a discounted price since it is done in a small group format. The theme of this first program is working with “fear” in all it’s guises in your life.
Due to a recent scheduling change, we have been able to add Personal Intensives during the week of Monday Dec 5 th – Sat Dec 10 th.The next Intensives will begin in late January of 2006. Please note that the majority of available weeks for Intensives fall in the first half of the year, and they are filled very quickly, so don’t wait too long to inquire about dates if you’re interested in doing one in the future.
We have also added 2 advanced levels of the Personal Intensive program for people who have done either the Personal Intensive, or the Small Group Intensive.
WORLDWIDE “WEB OF LIFE”
We want to support organizations out there who are working for the uplifting of humanity. If you know of web sites that are doing really good work in the world, email them to us for possible inclusion in a future newsletter. We’d like to help get the word out.
We are once again mentioning Network For Good, http://www.networkforgood.org
We listed them in our first newsletter after the devastation of the tsunami, and now you can find many organizations listed through them who are serving the region hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Please donate!
The One Campaign, www.one.org also lists relief organizations. Their belief is in unity among people. They believe we commit ourselves – one person, one voice, one vote at a time – to make a better, safer world for all.
The people at www. MoveOn.org have put together an online tool for folks to offer emergency housing to hurricane victims who desperately need a bed and a roof. The aftermath of the hurricanes has created tens of thousands of newly homeless families, and there are not enough official shelters to meet the need. You can post your offer of housing (a spare room, extra bed, even a decent couch) and search for available housing online at: http://www.hurricanehousing.org
Many blessings to you all,
Allyson and Malcolm