Mending Indra’s Net – we invite your participation

Long before the days of the Internet, all life in the Universe was interconnected in another way. People looked up and saw an uncountable number of stars in the sky.

As was the custom, a storyteller created a tale to explain this natural wonder.

The god Indra was regent of the heavens. He managed this enormous responsibility for every act, every event, and every person throughout the Universe by creating a magnificent silver net that stretched infinitely in all directions.  At each connection of the net’s threads, a brilliant jeweled mirror reflected everything happening at every other location.

People felt securely held in this net. It was clear that they were connected to all other beings and to every place on the Earth, and that every thought and every action had an impact.

But every fisherman’s net frays at times, and as artificial light has dimmed our nightly awareness of the movement of stellar bodies on their paths through the Universe, we have lost our sense of occupying a place in universal light. The vitality of places of power on the Earth have begun to fade without our appreciation, awe, and care. Humans have begun to suffer from the lack of soul food our connection to such special places provides.

Now, you’re invited to take part in mending the net.

In the course of your life, you’ve probably had one or more peeks at the net.  Describe an experience that made you feel part of the larger whole of life.  Where did you experience that moment? What had you brought to that moment –perhaps gratitude, adventure, surrender, or sorrow? Remember how it began.  Did it take you totally by surprise? Call up the sensations of being there – the physical sights, the sounds, the fragrances. What happened?  What have you carried forward in your life’s journey from that experience?

Wherever you live in the world, whatever your journey, you occupy a node of Indra’s net.

As we relive these moments, we remember that we are children of the Universe, guardians of the Earth, nodes in Indra’s net.   Share your story, and a photo if you like. You can either comment on this blog, or send an email to Ginny.

Celebrating Winter Solstice: Tule Spirit Boat

As winter’s darkness prepares to give way to light, join us creating a tule spirit boat with offerings of gratitude for the many blessings that nurture our lives. Those very gifts of Nature and community empower our intentions for the coming year.  In that partnership, we become the voices, the hands and feet – expressing the Life Force.

For many centuries, tules lined most of the shores of San Francisco Bay; growing, their structure helped deal with toxics in the water.  Harvested, they offered housing and boat materials for the Ohlone people.  Early in December, at the edge of the Bay, we’ll gather the tules in ceremony. When the reeds have rested and dried, ready for their next incarnation, we’ll shape the boat and fill it with offerings, talking story  – of the Bay’s past, of the Ohlone people, of our blessings this year. We’ll tell stories of the power of hibernation and of dreaming, of resting and visioning.

This is a really delightful sequence if you like poking in the mud, adventures in nature, celebrating community, sacred play, connecting with the ancestors – and feasting!

Joyous to do – and so helpful to orient ourselves in alignment with the universal powers that help us shape our own desires for living harmoniously with Nature.

Join us for either event, or both

Saturday Dec. 6  11 AM Ceremonially collecting tules near the shore of the Bay

Sun. 21  10 A.M. at Bayfront Park, at the bayshore end of Marsh Road in Menlo Park.

Building, blessing and launching the boat on the high tide, helping pave the path for the return of light, for the highest and best relationship to the evolving web of life next to the Bay. Carried by the boat, biodegradable offerings of flowers, prayers, foods, sweetness, and incense will make their way toward the open sea.

COST of  the 2 events – $75
separately,  Dec 6  $35, Dec. 21, $45

Location:
TBA among various west Bayshore locations for tule collection
Bayfront Park in Menlo Park for the ceremonial building and launching

For further information, or to reserve a space, contact Ginny Anderson, at 650-323-4494, or email Ginny at silkythree18@gmail.com

Radical Joy for Wounded Places – cleanup of several critical habitats

Radical Joy for Wounded Places is a worldwide community of people committed to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss and despair, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth.

On June 21 at San Bruno Mountain (Summer Solstice), Mountain Watch is sponsoring a cleanup of several critical habitat areas. Buckeye Canyon leads into a 5000 year old shell mound; next to it is Owl Canyon. Nearby is a critical mating area for Pacific tree frogs, but was once part of the quarry on the mountain.

Gathering at the edge of Quarry Road, we’ll help with the cleanup, have lunch, and make a despacho – an Andean offering to the land. We’ll create a symbolic bird with leaves, sticks, and other objects found on the site – contribute its photo to an international website collection. We’ll share mountain stories and meet the people who live and breathe the mountain.

Help put San Bruno on that worldwide map of wounded places being tended and honored. Contact www.mountainwatch.org for more details of the cleanup location.

I’ll be meeting people who are coming at 11:00 at Quarry Park in Brisbane. Email Ginny Anderson if you’re able to do a short walk, work some, then join in creating the bird and in doing the despacho. Quarry Park is at the corner of San Francisco Ave. and Inyo. (map)

Water Meditation – Honoring the Waters of Fukushima

On Friday of this week, some profound cleaning may begin at Fukishima, when workers start the removal of spent and dangerous fuel rods from their holding pools. Here’s a meaningful way to be connected – a process passed along by the Andean Shaman Americo Yabar, over 20 years ago. This was part of Circling the Bay day on San Bruno last weekend, walking next to a frog restoration site – a great place to be, as we spoke of the important work at Fukishima this week. It’s one Circling the Bay has done at Ring Mountain, standing looking out at San Quentin.

This may remind you of a practice you already have in your “tool kit” – or may inspire you to create another way of relating to the intensity of planetary changes. If so, please share what comes to you.

Water Meditation – Honoring the Waters of Fukushima

We are all connected, and the tides twice daily remind us of that.   As Fukushima clean-up intensifies in dealing with spent fuel rods, here’s a walking meditation, a personal cleansing and healing that can connect you with the actions of transformation.  It’s a useful way to participate meaningfully in this time of profound planetary change.

The people of the Andes call this time on the planet Pachacuti – the time of great change.  This meditation, called Eating Hucha, can surprise you in its potential to transform anxieties and fears about the situation.Hucha is heavy or dense energy – our anxieties, fears, anger, depression – you know the kind.

You can do this anywhere, alone or with friends, any time at all.  For the purpose of connecting with Fukushima, as workers remove spent fuel rods, you might choose a spot at the edge of the Bay, a river, or flowing stream. I’ll be doing the meditation on November 8 at the edge of San Francisco Bay, when the tide is going out.  (Bayfront Park, in Menlo Park near my home, has hosted numerous Earth Day Sunrise Ceremonies; there, the outgoing tide that day is between about 3:45 and 10:45 PM., and I’m looking forward to the inspiration of the water’s movement.)

Here’s how to “eat hucha” – or “eat the shadow”:

Preparation:

Wherever you’ve chosen to be, stand still for a few moments, and look around you, taking in the beauty that surrounds you –being aware of the lay of the land, of the wind blowing through the leaves of trees, plants dotting the landscape, clouds scudding across the sky.  Spread your arms wide as you inhale, opening them to receive a huge gift inhale (as you ARE – the breath of life!!).  Tip your head back, so that you’re opening your heart cavity from the sides and from above.  As you exhale, bring your hands to your heart and take in the beauty around you.  Fill your heart, your whole being, with peacefulness, with the pleasures of sound, fragrance, and sight that encompass you here.  Do that several times, until you feel fully aware of, and quite filled with, nature’s beauty.

Eating Hucha:

Sit comfortably, or if you prefer, begin to walk slowly.  Imagine a mouth in your belly – see the lips, the teeth, the tongue.  Notice whether the lips are full or narrow, whether the teeth are perfect or a little askew.

Focus on any feeling of anxiety in your personal life. Let those feelings surface that keep you from being as peaceful as you’d like to be.  Don’t identify with the feelings – just name them, let them come to the surface.

Now focus on the mouth in your belly, and imagine eating those feelings – watch the lips close around them, the teeth chew them up, and the tongue and throat carry them down a pipeline like your twisting and turning intestines, directly into the earth.

Our feelings, like everything else, are a form of energy. Mother Earth has a composting habit that feeds on what we provide, and is quite able to accept as food the heavy energy of your thoughts and feelings. These feelings represent food to be recycled. These feelings become offerings of compost; leave that anxiety to become compost for the living plants around you. Chew up your sadness and pain, your anxiety, your frustration, without identifying with those feelings. Take those feelings down imaginary strands that reach from that mouth, through the muscles of your body, and into the earth.

Use your breath to help this process – inhale as you take in the heavy feelings, exhale as you send them on their way. When you feel complete, take a few more deep breaths, filling yourself with the life force around you – the living, breathing expressions of the life force pulsing in all its forms.

Then allow yourself to tune into your feelings about Fukushima – the anxiety that’s hard to focus on, the sadness about the damage to the Earth, the fear and displacement of so many people, the apprehension about far-reaching impacts of contamination. Images from the news and words you’ve read, dialogues with friends, may have fed these heavy thoughts. Left in our hearts and minds, they keep us from being able to align with peace, with beauty; but we become part of the process of creating peace as we make way to allow other perceptions, other visions, other possibilities to replace that heaviness.

Circling back to the beginning, take in the beauty that surrounds you. Letting go of the heaviness that occupied you, you now have space that can be filled with light, with beauty – with feelings of compassion and participation in a vast community of living beings, some human, some not. You may find yourself able to receive with more depth, and a greater sense of peace.

If you’re near water, be particularly mindful of its beauty, its part in the well-being of our bodies, of all things alive and growing, of its capacity to connect us with the waters of the world.

Notice and enjoy your connection to the Earth, and to the waters.  Send your highest anticipation for the success of the steps being taken at Fukushima.

We are connected.  We can care for our waters with appreciation, and with the actions of our lives.

In gratitude for our opportunity to walk in beauty,

Love, Ginny

Mission Blue Nursery October 2013 Native Plant Sale

9:00am to 2:00pm

The Mission Blue Nursery is located in Brisbane  - Google map and directions

October 2013 Plant List

Fall is coming and it’s time to get those California natives for the important Fall planting season. Is your garden looking a little dreary? Plan ahead and this Fall plant those late bloomers that will highlight next year’s Fall garden. An excellent choice is the California Fuchsia which happily survives a hot and dry summer, plus others that will thrive from Summer into the Fall with added water – lizardtail, monkeyflower, seaside daisy, goldenrods, and coast buckwheat, to name a few.

 

Payment by check, cash, and now credit card!

Bring your own carry-out boxes

The Mission Blue Nursery grows only San Bruno Mountain native plants. Please join us in cultivating and celebrating these plants!

The Mission Blue Nursery is one of the hands-on arms of the San Bruno Mountain Watch Stewardship Program. Nursery volunteers donate their time to grow California natives from San Bruno Mountain for restoration projects on the mountain and for public and private gardens, parks and planting areas around the mountain.

For a list of all plants under cultivation at the nursery go to our What’s Growing Now page. Not everything on that list is available to the public.

The Cusp of Change

Dear Friends,

I’m writing to you, who’ve circled San Francisco Bay with me some time in the past.  On Saturday, Sept. 7, one week from today, I’ll begin my last circle. I’d love to be present with you to renew your relationships with the sacred places that continue to sustain us. We’ll share the ways that we’ve evolved, and the ways that the sites remain available for even more potent connections from our new vantage points.

The culture has shifted; our needs and potentials have different shapes, and we bring to them the experiences that continue to shape our destinies.

The journeys will involve less walking, more story, some spiritual practices, more personal sharing. We’ll be visiting five sites rather than 7 – but later, may visit either or both of them individually, as conditions at Ring Mountain and at Umunhum shift.  My daughter Marci, who’s now a senior mediator, a collaboration specialist connected with Cal State at Sacramento, has heard so much about our journeys, and will be with us as a participant.

A relevant poem by Raymond Carver recently came my way from Larry Robinson’s list for poetry lovers:

And did you get what
You wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
Beloved on the earth.

Visiting recently with Barbara Hiken, and talking about Circling San Francisco Bay, she said, “It changed my life!”   I feel that also – and from this gratitude, I’d like to celebrate these sites and the blessings they offer. We can renew our capacity to assure that as those blessings move through our human lives, we support the web of all life.  Our lives are on the cusp of change (Aren’t they always?  But physical and environmental clocks are ticking!)

Dates and times:  approximate 10 AM to 2:30 PM

Kirby Cove   Saturday Sept. 7

Mt. Tamalpais  Saturday September 21

Mt. Diabo Saturday October 5

Mt. Hamilton   Sunday October 20

San Bruno    Saturday November 2

Please email or call me to register (650-323-4494), or if you have any questions. If you know someone who hasn’t had a chance to do this, please pass the information along. I’ll attach a copy for your convenience.

This is late notice – but I’d like to do all of these visits while the weather is good.

Suggested donation: $60 a session

Best regards,

Ginny Anderson

A Breastplate of Protection – For the Goddess of Love, Nov 3

In the tradition of the Goddess, we’re reminded that each of us is the Goddess.

When Freyja, the Norse Goddess of Love, descends to the underworld, we ourselves are making that journey, She is our guide, and at the same time she illuminates the way that we’re called on to make the journey

In ancient stories, she’s gone to fulfill her vow to spend a night with each of the four creators of the beautiful golden necklace, Brissingamen. In the new rendition of her journey (see schedule on San Bruno Mountain, Sunday October 30), the dwarves who have crafted this object of beauty are also the guardians of the elements, and the true destiny of Freyja’s involvement with the necklace, spoken of as “The Jewel of Humanity’s Enlightenment”, is only revealed during her journey.

You’re invited to craft a breastplate for her journey.  While the full story will be told on San Bruno, abbreviated visualizations shared as we craft the breastplates will help you sample the journey that each of us faces in this time of transformation on the planet.

Using story, drum journeys, hands-on involvement with the use of tangible symbols, explore the roots of your power.  In present time, we urgently need to confirm our ability to be aware of and acknowledge our own power to be in right partnership with the elements of creation.

Portions of palms will provide a natural base for the breastplate;  beads, yarn, paint, Milagros, and an assortment of surprising materials will be available to incorporate into your personal vision of empowerment as a partner of the elements.

Ginny Anderson, eco-psychologist and teacher of shamanic practices, and Eric DuPraw, woodworking artisan, join forces to help you create the Breastplates of Protection.

Sat, Nov 3rd – 10:30 am to 3:00 pm  Cost $50
Mid-Peninsula address given when you reserve a space. For further information, or to reserve a space, contact Ginny Anderson, 650-323-4494, or email Ginny at freyjand@comcast.net

Whole Heart Native Warmth Project

Midwinter is dreamtime for me, and much of that has been happening.  I could share that with you, but there’s another winter happening with a warm and fuzzy feeling that took place last week-end that I’d like to share with you.

When Maggie Sotelo heard about winter living conditions on the Pine Ridge Reservation, she was inspired to do something very directly, and through the Whole Heart Native Warmth Project; she committed to make 100 blankets between December and March – all handmade with love, care, and consideration for Native American Families.

Maggie’s in college, and works; I knew this was a huge undertaking, and asked if she’d come to a gathering and show some friends how to help make this happen.

Ten women came with curiosity and trepidation (who sews any more?), and were vastly relieved to discover a process that doesn’t involve a single stitch –layers of fabric, fringed and tied together!  We sat around large tables, talked politics and families, shared challenges of life and solutions to some, sang songs and told stories both personal and tribal.

Six blankets emerged that day from our 2 1/2 hours of fast finger-work – followed by at least that much time feasting and

laughing.  Here’s a peek at several of the unexpected blessings that came our way during the day we shared:

  • working with soft fabrics is a sensory pleasure
  • doing something creative for someone else warms the heart
  • finishing something that feels like a good act makes you feel
  • good about yourself
  • simple projects give you a feeling of satisfaction
  • singing lifts your spirits
  • laughing leaves you in a good mood
  • feasting tops it all off
  • creating community
  • I highly recommend it!

    A sampling of the blankets we made that day.

Afterward, a friend of mine who’d attended the event pursued the possibility that her own ancestors and Maggie’s might have known one another in a past generation and that we are all woven into a fabric of

shared existence. How remarkable that two strangers have connected thousands of miles from where their ancestors may have been in contact.  Here’s part of her message to Maggie -

Dear Maggie,

Anything that can help the Pine Ridge Reservation is certainly very important!!!  I enjoyed the day very much, and it was fun meeting you and your mom.

I googled Lucille Lahoma Rogers Letteer (two e’s in Letteer) which is my maiden name.and got a picture of her grave and which is the same as my grandfather’s brother Roy’s.  They were married on Oct. 19, 1920.  It says she was the daughter of William Charles Rogers, the last chief, and the grandaugher of Captain John Rogers, the last chief of the Old Settler Cherokees.

I then googled Lucille Sixkiller.  I don’t know if this is your ancestor.  Her last name was Barnes.  The amazing thing is that your Lucille and my Lucille, if she is yours, were born within a year of each other in Skiatook, Oklahome which may be on the reservation.  Maybe they knew each other and went to school together.  Perhaps your Lucille’s father was the chief of another branch of the tribe.  I don’t know that much about the Cherokees in Oklahoma but I feel for them and their exquisite suffering as they were pushed from one place to another

Am anxious to hear if this Lucille Sixkiller is your ancestor.

Thanks again for organizing this wonderful project.

Kathy

Here are photos of more of the blankets we put together that day.  Contact Maggie Sotelo on Facebook if you’d like to find out more, and maybe bring a group of friends together for a day of delight and creativity.

A Wisdom Story – my new mountain series

Freyja - The Norse Goddess of Love

Freyja - The Norse Goddess of Love

The wisdom story of the Norse goddess Freyja and her magnificent golden necklace takes us to four mountains that surround San Francisco Bay. Join us in a new exploration of this journey – a narrative for our times about the power of love, the strength of intent, the willingness to sacrifice, and the balance of power that inspires us to rethink our personal roles in the transformation of life on the planet.

Freyja, the goddess of love, threw caution to the winds and followed four dwarves into the hidden darkness of the earth. She would pay any price to possess the magical necklace, Brissingamen. Freyja was a shaman, skilled in prophecy, astral projection, and divination. The dwarves, guardians of the elements and directions, worked below the surface of the earth forging magical tools and instruments –including Brissingamen, their most beautiful work of art.

The human race also lusts for Brissingamen – emblem of the elements and a key to our harmonious existence. The entire human race is at stake as we flounder, searching for a way to live in balance with the very elements that sustain life – and equally have the power to annihilate us.

Heimdall returns Brisingamen to Freyja, in an anachronistic painting centuries after the era of the myth's popularity.

Four local mountains will be our points of entry as we descend via shamanic journeying to discover our personal relationships with the elements. The ancient vehicles of poetry, song, and story-telling will carry us each day on this sacred exploration. Gentle walking, taking space, journaling, and personal sharing will be encouraged, as we pursue the quest for Brissingamen, the “jewel of humanity’s enlightenment”.

The mountains will include sites mentioned in my award-winning book, Circling San Francisco Bay: A Pilgrimage to Wild and Sacred Places. Since several sites could serve the same element, the combination will be based in part on the home territories of the participants.

To apply for participation, please email me something about your current quest and whether meditation or shamanic journeying play a part in it. What attracts you to this journey?

Scheduled dates: March 24, April 14, April 28, and May 12.
Cost: $150 for the series, $135 for payment in advance by March 10.

Email Ginny Anderson, at Ginny@eco-psychology.com or visit my website to read what others have said about past events.