Jul/Aug 2019 Newsletter

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Walking on the Moon—Walking on Earth
On the evening of July 20, 1969—like millions of other people around the world—I sat glued to the TV to watch the first Moon landing by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. As a child born in the late 1950s, I never remember a time we didn’t shoot rocket ships into space. My first memory of anything beyond the local world of my family and the little apartment in which my family lived was getting up early in the morning of February 20, 1962 to watch John Glenn take the Friendship 7 into space to become the first human to orbit the Earth. I wasn’t quite four years old but the images are entrenched in my memory. I spent the sixties building models of Mercury and Apollo rockets, collecting playing cards of astronauts, and imagining myself as a space explorer someday. When the lack of math skills in high school dropped me back down to Earth, I knew that being an astronaut wasn’t in the cards for me.

Somewhere along the journey—maybe in seminary—I learned about the work of another astronaut, Edgar Mitchell, the pilot of Apollo 14’s Lunar Module. Mitchell spent nine hours working on the lunar surface and was only the sixth person to walk on the moon. While his contributions as an astronaut added invaluable information to the space program, it was his reflections on the experience that left an indelible mark on our culture.

Mitchell writes about an experience that can only be explained as mystical: “On the return trip home, gazing through 240,000 miles of space toward the stars and the planet from which I had come, I suddenly experienced the universe as intelligent, loving, harmonious.” 

Having experienced what only a few people had before by walking on the moon, his explorations turned inward toward Spirit, and homeward toward Earth. Mitchell explains, “Instead of an intellectual search, there was suddenly a very deep gut feeling that something was different. It occurred when looking at Earth and seeing this blue-and-white planet floating there, and knowing it was orbiting the Sun, seeing that Sun, seeing it set in the background of the very deep black and velvety cosmos, seeing—rather, knowing for sure—that there was a purposefulness of flow, of energy, of time, of space in the cosmos—that it was beyond man's [sic] rational ability to understand, that suddenly there was a non-rational way of understanding that had been beyond my previous experience. There seems to be more to the universe than random, chaotic, purposeless movement of a collection of molecular particles.”

In 1973 Mitchell founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a research center exploring such topics as spontaneous remission, meditation, consciousness, alternative healing practices, consciousness-based healthcare, spirituality, human potential, psychic abilities, psychokinesis, and survival of consciousness after bodily death. Their approach is scientific in nature, that is, exploring the possibilities without arriving at a forgone conclusion. After returning home from space, he was able to see Earth and the human spirit in a way that wasn’t apparent to him before.

I am still fascinated by the idea of space exploration, including eventually sending humans to Mars, but am troubled when I read articles about the moon becoming an international landfill or see YouTube videos of satellite debris orbiting around the earth long after the satellite has gone out of commission. It seems that we have tragically figured out a way to objectify the Cosmos in the same way we’ve objectified the Earth. Furthermore, by focusing on space as the answer to our problems, we have effectively created a limitless way to deny what is happening right here at home. Rapid deforestation of the tropical rainforests, increase in fossil fuels, political dismissal of global warming and climate change, giant trash islands floating across our oceans, sea mammals washing up on shores with bellies filled with plastic should be more urgent than beating the Russians into space. We need landscape exploration, not space exploration!

So, on the 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing I’m certainly feeling nostalgic, but I refuse to stay stuck in 1969. Following the lead of Edgar Mitchell, I’m looking for a way to commit to work at home and within, which I believe, begins with seeing the Earth and everything within it as a blessing. Creation Spirituality, or by whatever name we call it, provides a way to see the Word of God imprinted in all things, and to do the hard and urgent work of tending our own landscape. As we each take our own small step toward this end, my hope is that all those steps together will create one giant leap for our Mother, the Earth—Home. 

Sid Hall, President
Creation Spirituality Communities
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Calling all in New York or New England
Do you live in New York or New England?? Would you like to get together?? Email me if you are interested being part of a new community in the northeast!! Sarah Vulgamore  sfv0964@gmail.com or  www.wellforthesoul.com
July & August at Spiritwind, Auburn, CA
At Spiritwind for the month of July we are looking at "Spirituality and the Big Questions." Then in August our topic will be "Our Spiritual Journeys" where we will here the stories of different people in the group.

Spiritwind meets every Thursday evening year-round in Auburn, CA and is led by Rev. Dr. Rick Kuykendall.

Spiritwind is a Creation Spirituality Community in the tradition of "One River, Many Wells" and has been meeting in Auburn for 15 years.
A Call and an Offering
In Portland, Oregon, we continue to cultivate Creation Centered Spirituality (CCS) and Order of the Sacred Earth (OSE) conversations and networking. This note is a formal call to fellow CCS and OSE folks in the Portland region to contact me if they want to cultivate the conversation and network with others who embrace CCS and OSE: Dr. Rolla E. Lewis ( rolla.lewis52@gmail.com). Let’s deepen CCS and the OSE in Portland, Oregon by introducing more conversations, practices, and actions. It’s time to move beyond shared meals and shared practices among family and friends, and expand this conversation with new acquaintances interested in CCS and OSE. That is to say, cultivate a larger CCS/OSE community.  If you are living in or near Portland, drop me an email and we’ll see where the conversation goes.

That said, rather than flapping my lips or rattling my fingers across the keyboard, I offer a shared practice based on a metta, loving kindness meditation, drawn from practices taught by the Dali Lama, Jon Kabat-Zinn and others. I practice this metta everyday at the beginning of a long walk in the forest where I Sow Poetry among the trees, but Sowing Poetry is a different practice. Let’s begin with the metta practice. One practice at a time. One breath at a time: Inhale, exhale.

This activity takes about 15 minutes. If possible, find a place where you can walk undistracted. In Portland, there is always Forest Park or some other green space. If you don’t have such green space and are limited to a room in your home, you can adapt this metta practice to more limited space and even practice standing in a limited space. Do what you can. As Fong Ha, my tai chi sifu used to say, “You sit, you stand, you walk.” Each involves a form of practice and cultivating your center.

This metta practice considers the first person (I), the second person (the other) (you), and the first person plural (we).

Start walking. Stop. Turn around 360 degrees. Spin if you wish. Look at the world around you. State out loud:
May I be safe.

Continue walking. Smile, laugh if you can, walk robustly. Say out loud:
May I be happy.

Continue walking. Walk robustly, breathe deeply. Say out loud:
May I be healthy.

Continue walking at a comfortable pace. Extend your arms in a downward direction with your palms facing toward the ground offering the other a forgiving gesture—it’s okay. Say out loud:
May I be forgiving.

Continue walking at a comfortable pace. Move both hands to lie upon your heart. Say out loud:
May I be self-compassionate.

Continue walking at a comfortable pace. Extend both arms and your hands out wide to embrace the world in a thankful gesture. Say out loud:
May I be thankful.

Continue walking at a comfortable pace. Stretch your hands straight up over your head bringing both palms together, like the roof of a house. Say out loud:
May I dwell in love….

As you continue walking, let your hands drop and move your hands into a heart shaped gesture with your fingernails and tips meeting to form the top of a heart and your thumbs touching to form the bottom of a heart. Note the heart and then bring your hands together palm-to-palm over your own heart. Then Say out loud:
…. and peace.

Continue walking at a comfortable pace, relaxed and accepting. Say out loud:
May I live with equanimity.

Continue walking at a comfortable pace. Repeat what you just did to deepen your experience.

Continue walking at a comfortable pace. Shift to second person. Imagine a person you want to cultivate your relationship with. Continue the same pattern of individual gestures, stating each line out loud with each movement:

May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be forgiving.
May you be self-compassionate.
May you be thankful.
May you dwell in love….
…. and peace.
May you live with equanimity.
Continue walking at a comfortable pace. Repeat in the second person.

Continue walking at a comfortable pace. Shift to first person plural. Imagine yourself as a member of a group where you want to cultivate your relationship with others. Continue the same pattern of individual gestures, stating each line out loud with each movement:

May we be safe.
May we be happy.
May we be healthy.
May we be forgiving.
May we be self-compassionate.
May we be thankful.
May we dwell in love….
…. and peace.
May we live with equanimity.

Continue walking at a comfortable pace. Repeat in the first person plural.

May we be at peace with all beings. As Meister Eckhart says, “Compassion is the greater part of justice.” Let me know how it goes or if you have any questions. Dr. Rolla E. Lewis ( rolla.lewis52@gmail.com )
Come help plan our Next Gathering!
Calling ALL! Would you like to help shape our next Creation Spirituality Gathering? Spots are now open on the Design & Planning Team. Come and share your talents to make our next Gathering the best one yet!

Blessing for my Orange-ness
by Sara Vulgamore

Bless the orange-ness of my Being
        the fiery furnace of my heart’s tuggings
        the embers that glow,
        even still,
        beneath my heart’s longings.

Bless the comings and goings of
        your Brilliance,
        through my day –
        offering me your gift of re-creation,
        eternal again-ness,
        or a new-ness,
        after my moments of disintegrating.

Bless the orange-y always –
        Creator, creating, in the created –
        pilot light of my Soul.
by Tim Cromley

Let us make the seductions of our Egypt
  the starting point of our resolve.
Let us build a monument of hope
  in the desert of our poverty.
Let us erect a flashing beacon of trust
  in the darkness of our moral loneliness.
Let us reach out to one another
  from the desolation of our separateness.
Let us make the wilderness of our greed
  the birthing-bed of our charity.
And in the wasteland of all our hatreds
  let us sow seeds of conscious Love. 

Old Deserts and New Life
by Rafferty Jose Simonton

The Egyptian god Set (Sutekh) is the quintessential god of fire, of heat, of deserts. So then also, like a sudden desert sand storm, of chaos, and like a desert mirage, of trickery. Set’s heat has erotic overtones; paradoxically the blazing energy of life while representing desiccation and therefore death. Set’s red lands define the limits of the rich black soils nourished by the Nile. As such, they are liminal, the threshold of danger--and of challenge and change. Set is a god alone, an oddity and evil to people whose culture defined them within traditional collective roles.

Wandering for 40 years in a desert is to be in constant danger, totally dependent on the Hebrew tribal God who gave instructions to the few. No wonder the faith of the people wandered at times. Jesus spent 40 days alone in the desert, facing the temptations of this world as offered by Satan, whose name and characteristic trickery and symbol of a fiery realm echo Set. Stepping out from the safety of supporting culture and home to cross over into the harshest of personal challenges is to face the worst in order to find the best. 

The fastest growing demographic regarding religion in the U.S. is “spiritual, not religious.” True across all groups, but in particular, the young. There are Catholics who can no longer live with the on-going abuse crisis. Painful heat, emotional desiccation. Mainline Protestants tired of uninspiring conformity. Tepid and ebbing life. Young evangelicals disturbed by the indefensible amorality of the gospel of wealth and the current sell-out to naked political power. Trickery, deceit, the worst of temptations sold as goods.  Even members of well-meaning progressive churches that actively promote the political common good yet who feel like they have nothing beyond the immediate, no sense of mystical connection and ultimate meaning. And a few of us raised without religion, who through intense personal experiences of blazing light and fiery love, connected to Christ and tried to fit ourselves in somewhere. Only to find the Procrustean bargain of affiliating with some Christian church not worth the mutilation of psyche and soul.

We who self-describe as SNR have been accused of not wanting to do the hard work of religion. But we see so many of the ready-made structures as deficient and shabby. Or worse, showy.  To us, it is being given simple and certain answers that is easy. Never having to do the hard work out of figuring out the details of faith, of having to live with uncertainty and ambiguity. Of stepping over the threshold, being lost in the desert alone. That’s the challenge of the abyss, Da’ath of kabbalah, the Duat of the Egyptians. It’s the individuation of Carl Jung—each person must face the shadows of evil and death within. Such that the heart of the collective unconscious is found within, the living waters of a spiritual oasis. 

We know this is nothing new. Beginning as early as the 3 rd century, the quarreling among the laity, the theological battles over biblical passages and doctrine, and the constant compromise with political authorities resulted in the monastic movement, those alone. Now known as the Desert Mothers and Fathers, whose wisdom is deeply respected.  But unlike them, we live in the world. Our deserts and our oases internal, our caves and cells connected through the internet like the vast underground mycorrhizal connections between tree roots and fungi that nourish entire ecosystems. This movement of SNR is also underground, mostly invisible. But its effects, like the infrared heat of the auras around trees, can be felt. There is something wild, something new pushing up from the old dark soil, something hot, insistent, seeking the light. Those tiny mustard seeds Jesus spoke about may have mutated, evolved into a different form, but their roots are Christian. The new life Christ promised.

In his 50s, Rafi went to grad school in theology at the GTU, affiliated with the Jesuit School of Theology. The culmination of a decades long series of mystical experiences which led him to Christianity. He has participated in workshops and conferences put on by Creation Spirituality in Oakland, CA. From the Seattle area, he is the descendant of loggers. Through a dream, he became a Pacific Northwest Indian art woodcarver. He worked in the engine rooms of ferries and ships and was a union activist. He then went back to the University of WA in his 40s, earning a degree in botany, forestry minor. He was not raised with religion, but became formally Eastern Orthodox at 50. Except that being trans and gay didn't go well with traditional religions. So he went independent. Now (he says) he's old (71) and very low income, yet with lots of experience that I hope to share.
When the World Hated Them
By Marijo Grogan

When the world hated the Jews I prayed with the Baal Shem Tov following him
into the forest of forgetfulness where he lit the fire. He taught me to remember.

When they came for the Moslems I discovered Rumi and Hafiz - found them
weaving tales of wonder in the marketplace, carrying their pain and love like
                  wings folded in on a dark night.

When they told us to fear the Chinese, I recalled the mountain tea house where
a sage opened the door. My tired body slid inside, peace slipping around my
shoulders like a golden robe.

When they jailed the water carriers, the ones who found you in the desert
they who cursed every sorrowful migrant crossing invisible borders,
I heard your poets singing cantatas, your grandmothers clutching their rosaries
calling on the mothers, the ones who pray, cook,
           sew and clean now standing
firmly arm in arm, feet rooted in mother earth.
You are the Madre Dolorosa,
the one who cries for her lost children,  
the one who embraces the orphan in each of us.
by Norbert A. Wetzel

HEAT – I can still see the flames bursting from the houses that had been hit by the bombers in Berlin towards the end of World War II. Very scary to the little boy watching from the neighborhood. I could feel the heat, not only the temperature, but the destructiveness.

HEAT - the high temperature of our climate brought back memories. Again, the recent heat felt destructive. And suddenly my experiences then and now connected with my professional work.

As a professional psychologist I had been moving for many years beyond looking mainly at individuals with little planful attention to anything beyond the individual. My focus had been the inner world, the soul of the individual.

Then, together with many in the professional community, my attention turned to people’s relational involvements. We looked at couples relationships, at families, and at family histories, at clients’ ethnicities, and many other relational aspects, including racial and gender identities which were often determined by others. We developed “Relationship-oriented Therapy”.

We learned to become sensitive to trauma, especially to the ways in which early life trauma determined bio-physiological changes. We understood that we are “embodied” beings. What is called mental illness, we understood as responses to early trauma and to our vulnerability as beings who exist as bio-physiological, not only as soulful creatures.

So, we began to talk about “Relationship-oriented and Context-sensitive therapy” because it is very often the social and military-industrial context that contains the factors traumatizing us. People come to us now for assistance, for healing, and for creative steps out of their traumatizing environment. Their life context becomes part of the process of recovery and healing.

Now the HEAT teaches me that we have to take a fundamentally new step: Our earthly home is burning, and we all have to run to take care of our Earth home. Looking at the history of mankind, this is a “second order change” (G. Bateson) compared to all previous centuries. We have to take responsibility for our Earth home, something never before required. We are accountable for our home. With burning minds, we have to cool down our environment - for the sake of our children and all future generations. The icebergs are melting at an unexpectedly high rate; one of the lungs of our planet, the Amazon forest, is rapidly being cut down, the Earth’s atmosphere continues to be heated up by industrial and fossil productions.

As a psychotherapist I am beginning to hear from couples and families how they are concerned about the fate of the Earth. People teach us through their experiences that they see the health of the Earth as part of their own healing. My therapeutic work has become not only “Relationship-oriented” and “Context-sensitive”, but also “Earth-conscious”. We are part of the Earth. And the Earth (Greek: Gaia) is part of us. We cannot heal ourselves without contributing to the health of Gaia. And any contribution to the health of our Earth home will improve and change our lives.

Let’s all turn actively toward “Relationship-oriented, Context-sensitive, and Earth-conscious” lives!

Norbert A. Wetzel
Princeton Family Institute
by S. Michele McFadden

facing  the sun this morning
i sing
to the cosmic christ
to the ancient of days
to “the newest thing there is”

standing  in my golden circle
i chant the psalms
“oh give thanks to the lord
his mercy endureth forever”

i chant john’s vision
“in the beginning was the word
and the word was with god
and the word was god
the same was in the beginning with god”

a kirtan facing east
a curtain thrust aside

S. Michele McFadden lives in Prescott, Arizona, where she edits novels and spiritual books and writes plays under the name Micki Shelton. She is the mother of two and a contemplative Christian interested in the path of the Christian mystic. 

We are All Connected
By Evan Mecham

I am sitting on my bench, and the sun is radiant. Light is streaming through the trees and illuminating the dust particles in the air. There is a slight breeze, and the aspen leaves are quaking. The sunlit maple leaves appear transparent and seem to glow as they wave casually to me. The venation pattern stands out boldly against the luminosity of each leaf. I am bedazzled by green and begin to count the shades that dominate my vision. I soon waiver, tire, then cease the attempt for the shading and position of the sun keeps altering my perception of color, and hue.

My eyes close, the sounds and fragrances of nature fill my senses. My face warms as the sun shares a bit of itself with me. I welcome this deep embrace by nature. My thoughts trek back to a phrase that I cannot let go of. What occurs inside doesn’t belong to you, but rather is a part of the larger world . As I pulled these words once more through my mind, a memory of a recent experience, I am still sorting through was tied neatly to the heart of that phrase.

It was also summer in my reminiscence, and I was nearly 13 years old. I was living with my family in a small apartment in Southern California. It was one of those short-term places where people going somewhere else soon could stay for a few months while the particulars of their lives were worked out. I had made a new friend and caught in that uncomfortable place between man and boy was playing uneasily with my companion in the apartment while my mother engaged in her daily labors.

The usual sounds from outside suddenly changed, there was a scream, crying, and people began calling for help. I stood up abruptly and walked to the window. People were running and panicked. My companion called to me to sit back down, my mother appeared not to hear anything going on outside. For me, it was as if the cry for help was somehow directed exclusively to me. I walked quickly to the door, opened it, and went downstairs. I have no memory of walking or running, it was as if I were being taken someplace by an unseen power. There were adults everywhere, the crowd was thick around the swimming pool area. I heard a voice call out, does anyone know artificial respiration? Then another voice responded, I do. When the crowd parted for me, I realized the last voice I had heard was actually mine.

The door to the pool enclosure opened, and I walked to a woman who was crying profusely and seemed terrified. She was holding a little girl; I took the child in my arms and laid her on the concrete surrounding the pool. Her eyes were fixed and dilated. Her lips were cyanotic. I clicked through each procedure and process as if I had done them a hundred times and placed my mouth over the tiny one’s nose and mouth. Within a few moments, she was breathing again. The color returned to her face, and she began to cry. A few more moments and I was replaced by the fireman that had been sent for, pushed back by the crowd of first responders and other adults, I made my way back to my temporary abode. My new friend wanted to know where I had been, and my mother told me not to run out of the apartment without letting her know where I was going.

The tiny girl who had drowned that day was 3 years old, her name was Jacqueline…her parents were very kind to me while we lived in the same apartment complex. My family soon moved to a new home in a different city, and the memory of that day was quickly filed away and forgotten. Then 6 months ago, while working at my computer, I received a phone call. The person on the line was cryptic and careful. She asked me many questions and was hesitant to tell me why she was calling. "My name is Jacqueline," she finally said, and a long time ago you did something beautiful for my family and me. My mother had told me about that day I had fallen into the pool, every year of my life on my birthday until she passed several years ago. I have been trying to find you for a long time so that I could say to you thank you for my life.

We talked for some time as she told me about herself and her family. She asked if we could connect by Facebook so I could see how her life had unfolded. One tiny little girl had a wonderful childhood, had become a mother, with beautiful children going to college, falling in love, having babies. Her husband, a brave soldier, had served for 20 years in the military. The extended family fills a picture with dozens of smiling faces.  What occurs inside doesn’t belong to you but rather is a part of the larger world . And, in that larger world, we are all most certainly, and deeply connected.
Because I Grieve for Them
By Rabbi Ben Leinow

Today I learned I had brothers and sisters in El Paso and Dayton, 
Because I Grieve for them.

In twenty-six moments my life has changed,
Because I Grieve for Them.

My heart stopped when the bullets cut into them,
Because I Grieve for Them.

Loving wives, sisters, daughters, husbands, brothers and sons are relatives,
Because I Grieve for Them.

I want to stop the life robbing deaths,
Because I Grieve for Them.

I want to shut off the TV but the room feels empty without the comforting voices,
Because I Grieve for Them.

I want to be strong, but I cannot hold back the tears,
Because I Grieve for Them.

All of you who grieve have my love and support,
Because I Grieve for Them.
My Grail Journey
by Marijo Grogan

When I discovered MD Chenu’s books in the college library and later Matthew Fox and Creation Spirituality, I finally understood my unending fascination with the mysterious realm of the Middle Ages including the Black Madonna, Green Man, labyrinths, and the Grail Legend. Lately, I’ve been recording life stories and finding a connection to Grail themes. Surprisingly I discover the 4-Fold Path of Meister Eckhart emerges in these Grail tales of spiritual initiation.

When my mother dresses me in a red coat so that she can see me walk up the hill past the woods on the way to school, I remember Parsifal growing up protected by his mother who disguises his royal heritage under a patchwork jacket (Via Positiva). When I come across a family living in a bomb shelter display, somewhere in my child’s psyche I understand the horrors of empire. Parsifal’s father and brothers have died in wars fought in the Middle East (Via Negativa). When my life is threatened, I take an unfamiliar path leading to New Mexico. When I am lost in the desert one night, the appearance of a shooting star reminds me of Sojourner Truth (my Black Madonna). Peace of mind and heart are restored. The next day I magically encounter a woman who tells me it is safe to return home (Via Creativa). I am reminded of Parsifal who wandered many years on an inner/outer journey aided by the intervention of a wise old woman and a solitary hermit who encourage him to return to the quest humbly accepting surprises along the way.

I ask myself how the Via Transformativa lives in me today? It is Parsifal’s destiny to free the wounded Fisher King and hence the wounded world and Wasteland by asking two questions: What ails Thee? and Whom does the Grail serve? If the Grail is Gaia, and she is always there for us, then how do we serve her? First we must reach the Grail Castle, our communal and planetary family. Parsifal must travel with his half-brother from the Middle East. Here is more proof that our treasure is found in the underworld of the psyche - that part of us, or our culture, that we most fear or despise.

Finally, the Grail breaks into my life once again. A friend calls to invite me to a vigil on behalf of asylum seekers. In the last two years of living in the Wasteland, sadness and anger have left me, like Parsifal, feeling despair. I seem to have lost my voice. I am not the activist I used to be. Under a canopy of summer stars we light candles and sing “ If I had a Hammer .” People look into each other’s eyes and smile. Many speak the truth that lies in their hearts. We commit to calling our congresspersons. For the first time in a long time I feel at peace and energized at the same time. My voice is back! The Grail lives!
Cradle Song
By Tim Cronley

My soul 
as an infant cradled in its crib
looks out at the larger world
from between restraining bars
that keep it safe within … 

My heart 
stripped now of all desire save one, beats
against the interface of want, and reaches
no longer for the world outside, but for the 
the certitude of Grace that lies within… 
Mystical Activism
Transforming a World in Crisis
by John Robinson

Global warming, an existential crisis of monumental proportions, is rapidly descending upon us. We don’t know where this escalating apocalypse is going and we can’t instantly stop or reverse it. Science is working on it. Countless enlightened governmental and grass roots organizations are mobilizing for action. The news cycle is finally admitting the crisis is real. Will this concerted effort be enough? In consideration of this critical question, there is, yet, one more avenue we should pursue: mystical activism. This article explores the questions: What is mystical activism and how might it help us find our way through this time climate reckoning?

What Is Mystical Activism?
Mystical activism flows from mystical consciousness: the intentionally awakened, thought-free, sacred awareness of the mystic that transforms our experience of self, work, and the world. In its fullness, mystical consciousness reveals the exquisitely beautiful, infinitely precious, and timeless reality known as Creation. Permeated by the divine Presence, everything is perceived as sacred, including us, for the Beloved now manifests as the world and everything in it. This transformation of self and consciousness leads naturally to mystical activism for we instinctively love and protect that which is sacred to us. In the process, we co-create the kind of world we want to live in. 

Matthew Fox Has Always Been About Mysticism
I want to connect this material directly to Matthew Fox. Matthew Fox has always been about mysticism. In his profound and seminal book, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ , Matthew Fox argues, The reason human civilization is tired, depressed, unimaginative in dealing with unemployment, pollution, youth despair, injustice, and inequality is that we ‘do not even know who we are. But who are we? Fox answers, Every one of us is a mystic. Every one of us is a prophet. And addressing our escalating climate crisis, Fox more recently observed, An absence of the sense of the sacred is the basic flaw in many of our efforts at ecologically or environmentally adjusting our human presence to the natural world. What will it take to heal this disconnect? Fox responds, I believe the answer lies in a deep mystical awakening the likes of which the planet has never witnessed before – a mystical awakening that is truly planetary…

How Does Mystical Consciousness Change the World?
The dualistic mind created by the evolution of the split-brain fools us into believing that there is only one world and one way to fix it. It says we live in a physical reality properly described by thought, that reality is what we think it is, and that logical thought processes are the best ways to improve the world. This is the left-brain approach to problem-solving and western science, technology and industry are extremely good at it. But when we name and explain things with intellectual constructs only, we lose touch with the magic, mystery, and wonder of the divine world and the sacred fabric of existence fades from awareness and memory. In fact, we may not believe it even exists. Jewish mystic Abraham Heschel explained, As civilization advances, the sense of wonder declines. Such decline is an alarming symptom of our state of mind. He added that the greatest hindrance to an awareness of the sacred is …our adjustment to conventional notions, to mental clichés. The answer? Wonder or radical amazement, the state of maladjustment to words and notions, is therefore a prerequisite for an authentic awareness of that which is. And Heschel warned, Mankind will not perish for want of information; but only for want of appreciation…

Mystical consciousness is a powerful antidote to the conceptual mode of problem solving. In mystical consciousness, we temporarily leave the left-brain’s thought world, heighten sensory awareness, experience reality in a consciousness free of thought, expectation, agenda and self, and then open the transformative power of pure consciousness. With practice, we discover that nothing is what we think it is, everything is literally sacred, including us, and that consciousness is not just in me, I am in it and it is the consciousness of divinity. This is mystical consciousness, offering us a revelation of the infinite beauty and perfection of Creation and the untapped power of mystical activism. It’s not that we would ignore the left-brain’s prodigious skills but we imbue them now with sacred consciousness so our work benefits all of Creation. Left-brain planning with awareness firmly planted in the divine consciousness would make a huge difference in healing the world at both individual and collective levels.

Mystical activism means waking up to the firsthand, timeless experience of Creation and sensing what our work is in the present moment. It is a hands-on, action-oriented mysticism - mysticism in action, art as meditation, the Cosmic Christ awakened. Creation becomes the source of our work and our creativity. In this awakened consciousness, the mystic becomes the artist and prophet, revealing - and defending - the divine as the nature, source and purpose of life against the destructive forces of the patriarchal false world. We sense that reality is alive, conscious, love-drenched, and always brand new, an experience so precious and profound that we defend it with our lives. The illusory dualities of sacred and profane, divinity and humanity, Heaven and Earth disappear. Experiencing the inner divine Self, we always know what to do; we dwell in Garden consciousness and care for it as like a new born baby. In sum, mystical activism is about returning to - and embracing - the divine world as our very self.
Of course, people will want to tell you that this mystical “woo-woo” is a waste of time and that you should be doing something more important, but here is the counterpoint: the most authentic doing comes from divine being. In conscious being, we know in the moment what to do whether that means driving and flying less, avoiding plastics, filling our gardens with drought-resistant plants, planting trees, or simply being kind. When we fall in love with a Creation, we do everything we can for the Beloved. Yes, we absolutely must heed the warnings of science and make huge changes in civilization, but all that comes more easily when we know who and where we are: divine beings in a divine world. Explore mystical consciousness, step into the divine world, and then do your work. In Mystical Activism, we hold the power to perceptually change the world right where we are. Who can do this? The answer is anyone who tries. Maybe not all at once or all the time, but as a spiritual practice, Finding Heaven Here will steadily open our eyes to the real world we are meant to live in.

The Ultimate Choice
We stand at the threshold of the divine world and the ultimate choice of humanity: the choice of which world we want to live in. Warring thought-driven worlds always perish in time despite their terrible carnage; Creation as imminent divinity always survives and flourishes in eternity to welcome humanity anew. Let us choose the latter and restore thought to its rightful place as a divine gift in service of Creation. At this moment in human history, our greatest work is to wake up to who and where we really are and birth a new flowering of civilization.

The documentation behind this work can be found in the forthcoming book, Mystical Activism: Transforming a World in Crisis with a forward by Matthew Fox, and throughout my writings. See www.johnrobinson.org for details.

Note also that Gail Ransom, Peggy Andrews and John Robinson will be hosting a new program at CSC in the fall on Creation in Crisis. Stay tuned for details.
Upcoming Events
New CSC Website Launched!
Please come visit and update your bookmarks!

Here is our new address: www.cscommunities.org

Come and visit us soon!
Sacred Work and Community
Social enterprises! an opportunity to raise funds and participate in NSF research study
Are you a social entrepreneur — working in a company or organization that’s dedicated to addressing social problems and making the world a better place? Are you looking to raise money to support this work?

If so, you may be eligible to be part of an upcoming crowdfunding cohort headed by UCS graduate (2006) and former CSC board member, Diane Wolverton Sontum. Participants in the cohort will receive training and coaching, create crowdfunding campaigns (usually up to $15,000), and have the opportunity to have platform fees waived if they meet specific campaign goals.

For the past seven years Diane Wolverton Sontum has been working on a way to use crowdfunding to support communities, people and the environment. To that end, she co-founded the company, The Local Crowd (TLC), which specializes in funding social enterprises and community based projects.

This platform has been recognized by the National Science Foundation for its capacity to educate communities about social enterprises and the emerging 4 th Sector of the economy. (For more information about the 4 th Sector, check out Diane’s video https://thelocalcrowd.com/about-us/ ). TLC received an NSF grant to research this idea.

The research grant means extra benefits and savings for social entrepreneurs raising money with The Local Crowd this fall. They will receive coaching, education and networking with like-minded entrepreneurs, plus the standard 5% platform fee will be waived for those crowdfunders who follow best practices and meet specific goals.

As part of this research project, participants will also have an opportunity to help shape and build a robust ecosystem for 4 th Sector companies (social enterprises) by providing feedback in surveys and interviews. Data collected will enable TLC to develop educational tools, programs and services to support social enterprises.

TLC is currently recruiting participants for the fall cohort. If you have a fundraising project or would like to support development of the 4 th Sector, please contact Diane Wolverton Sontum .

Diane Wolverton Sontum, along with her co-founder Kim Vincent, were recently awarded a University of Wyoming “Women in STEM OWN IT” award for development and implementation of The Local Crowd community crowdfunding platform. 
Reclaiming our Body as a Blessing
The body is a blessing. It is the altar in the temple of life. Yet 89-94% of women are dissatisfied with their bodies.

The Dalai Lama says it is western women who will save the world. Yet, the number one goal of western women is to lose 10-15 pounds.

Strong, powerful, successful, shamanic, wise women of every shape, age, and size struggle to love their body. While there are real reasons for this epidemic, it is up to us to change it, and NOW is the time. Together, we can learn to unwind from the internalized corset, which steals our birthright to be embodied as we live our passions, purpose, and power. Because the world needs us to show up, to come to the place where our great gladness and the world's deep hunger meet. And worrying about our bodies shouldn't get in the way.

So take the radical (and political) act to love your body. Join ParaYogi and Jubilee! minister Jacquelyn Dobrinska for the five-week series for women Body Wisdom: Reclaiming your body image and your personal, creative, vibrant power. Starts September 16th . Meet by Zoom Video call. Capped at 20 women
Grief's Journey Now Available
It is my hope that this book will prove to be a timely resource, offering practical support to you and others who seek companionship as you grieve your way through the demanding and refining aftershock of having lost someone very special.

My decade of therapeutic work while writing this book took me through countless confrontations into my own depths, leading my soul on a voyage into the center of my sorrow before accompanying me towards clarity, illumination and wisdom.

While there are no shortcuts in our grieving process, acknowledging that we all grieve quite differently, I share my story and how I benefited from time-tested guidelines that made a difference in my journey.

Grief is our master teacher. The wisdom Grief bestows comes from a hidden and intimate place, unreachable and usually misunderstood by the rational conscious mind; like dreams, Grief comes from the Spirit of our Depths, transcends ego and does not succumb to the cultural whims of our time.

And in the end, after Grief's good solid work is perfected, we salute her magnificent harmony with nature's Way as we discover ourselves embraced by healing love and a great gratitude.

GRIEF S JOURNEY: A COMPANION FOR FRIENDS WHO MOURN is available on  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1590565908/ref=rdr_ext_sb_pi_hist_1  ( “Look Inside”)   and Kindle, Apple’s i-Tunes, Kobo,  ebooks.com , the Sony reader and B&N’s Nook. It is also purchasable directly through the publisher at  www.lanternbooks.com   

To arrange for an author's interview, or book signing, or workshop/seminar/ conference using the book as a springboard for group participation, contact Hal Edwards at  halspoem@gmail.com  or phone  847-471-1342
The Multifaith Storytelling Institute invites you to join them for a week of intense immersion in the use of storytelling in preaching, teaching, and chaplaincy. All interested storytellers regardless of experience are invited to participate in their 3rd cohort. February 23-27 at the Franciscan Center in Tampa, FL.
Some scholarships are available. Full information at:


Or call 202-362-3270

Rabbi Mark Novak
Founder/Spiritual leader Minyan Oneg Shabbat, Washington, DC
Fire Meditation
Welcome as the sunlight travels across the earth to bring us this day, given to us by the rotation of the planets. Receive this gift brought by ancient forces.

Such immense force comes in silence. All the hot fury of the sun muted not by distance, though perhaps by clouds, arrives here quietly. Join the silence of the sun, muted or not, and melt into your meditation…

Soak up the coming energy with your body; let it into your pores, into your skin and muscles, down to your very marrow. Receive this day’s fresh energy, fill and fill yourself until you have accepted all you think you deserve, and accept more.

Receiving so much will likely spark a feeling. Breathe into this sign of life, kindle and protect this tiny flame so that it burns away cobwebs and reaches for more air. Fan the flames of your feelings so they crackle quietly or roar loudly.

When the smoke clears what remains is burned pure, a core, miraculous. What not only can survive but also can strengthen is spirit. When I follow the fires in my life, the vocabulary of my life changes. My spirit teaches me a new language.

May your travel today, whether a few inches or across the continent, be full of sparks.

Your gift today is fire.


You can access recordings Enso Morning: Daily Meditation Gifts on the Insight Timer app -- check out https://insighttimer.com
What is Creation Spirituality Communities?
Creation Spirituality Communities, Inc. (CSC) is a network of individuals and communities who are grounded in the sacredness of all creation and seek to connect to the spirituality of creation through mysticism, creativity, and cultural transformation.

CSC includes people from many spiritual traditions, cultures, races, sexual identities, and ages. They come to Creation Spirituality through the writing and speeches of Matthew Fox, through articles and videos, through conversations with friends, and through study at one of the Creation Spirituality universities – now the Fox Institute of Creation Spirituality.

Creation Spirituality Communities provides avenues for gathering together, being inspired, and embodying the CS message of compassion, co-creation, and transformation. We are led by a nine member board of directors and supported by our members.
Roxanne workshop
Below are the Creation Spirituality Communities that we are aware are meeting on a regular basis. If you are participating in a community or CS circle that is not included on this list, please let us know by writing to contact@cscommunities.org.

If you are the convener or leader of a CS community, you are invited to an online conversation on the first Monday of every month at 11:00EST. Please let us know if you are interested!


Creation Spirituality Communities
contact@cscommunities.org | www.cscommunities.org