Singing Alive

Human Flowering Creation-Song

‘He who does not imagine in stronger and better light than his perishing mortal eye can see, does not imagine at all’. – W. Blake

What follows . . .
is a journey thru the Creation-body, aka the microcosmic earth (Gaia) within each of us, as its exists in the nested patterns of resonance that compose our universe.  This journey culminates in a flowering of consciousness beneath, and inseparable from, the Sunlight of our opening Hearts.  It is a gesture of mythic renewal in a time when many of our meaning stories have become depleted, dis-ordered, and even toxic.  I call it a Creation-song as it allows us to re-witness our essential bio-lineage, our evolutionary heritage, thru sound;  to know the potentials of this heritage thru the feelings, inspirations, imagery, and embodied understandings that are evoked by chants, songs, breathing practices, spirit-languaging, prayers, and such.  We do this to recall the arts (shamanic, yogic . . ) native to this lineage, to then utilize them to build visionary experiences strong enough to manifest the great personal and planetary transformations necessary to navigate us thru these challenging times.

I often call it a meditation in the Sanskrit or Tibetan sense of the word, which primarily means ‘union’.  What are we unifying with?  In the larger sense, our divine nature, now engaged in awakening to itself thru the play of Creation on this planet.  More specifically we are unifying with the impulse to radically self-transform, the same urge that crystals, flowers, butterflies, birds, angels, and other such radiant beings surrender to, and find themselves revealed and reborn as higher vibrational expressions, as ‘ascensions’, of their former selves.  For us this means dispelling the dream of separation which has for so long defined the usual human experience, so that we may birth into our maturity as a species, into the promise of Self-realization, the Whole becoming conscious of Itself.

The groundwork for this self-transformation has been laid in the karmas, or ‘merits’, of our other incarnations, bleed over from timelines of parallel lives, and activate in how we live this life;  in such things as how we fertilize the soil of our incarnation (vitality practices), tend the garden of our relations (love thy neighbor, and thyself for that matter), attend to the weather of our emotions (surface and clear), improve the climate of our mind (imaginal hygiene), and keep the seasons in balance (mindful equanimity).

Such tending the temple of the world, of living life as ceremony, deepens the roots of our self-awareness and quickens the flowering of its creative potentials.  This is in a feedback relationship with the human collective, the earth itself, the myriad extra-celestial, and other-dimensional beings here to engage their own development in this work, all to the purpose of breaking a new dawn of conscious co-creation upon this planet.  This meditation can therefore do much to help you participate more effectively in this great evolutionary adventure!

I suggest you go thru this in a seated position, cross-legged if you can, upright and comfortably planted on a cushion, with your eyes closed or unfocused whenever possible.  It is a very internal process, a path thru an imaginal world that you both make and follow.

Though I draw on a wide variety of therapeutic and spiritual traditions to progress this experience, Taoism is a major influence in the beginning, in areas relating to the physical form and the life force that animates it.  Those familiar with tai chi chuan, chi gung, TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), should therefore find familiarity.  For example, we will use the concept of tan (pronounced ‘dahn’) tien.  Tan tien means ‘elixir field’, and describes a locus of energy concentration in the body.  In the Taoist cosmology there are three, the lower tan tien, located just below the navel, the middle tan tien in the center of the chest, and the upper tan tien, found above and between the brows, at the ‘third eye’.  They correspond to a number of traits, including the physical, emotional, and mental bodies, and instinctive, intuitive, and insightful ways of knowing.  The latter part of our journey brings in more of the Vedic and Buddhist traditions, in the forms of mantras, nondualistic perspectives, metta and bhakti (heart-based) practices. . .

. . . Begin . . .
by placing your right palm on your head top, and showering yourself with divine grace.  Allow this grace to radiate out from your body and into the world.  After 15 seconds or so, drop your hand, and begin breathing from your abdomen.  Feel your verticality, your uprightness.  Allow your weight to drop, spirit to rise;  weight to drop, spirit to rise.  Feel yourself stretch a bit from the pull of heaven (sky) from above, the pull of earth from below, as you let go to levity, let go to gravity.  Feel an expansion of space open between your vertebrae.  Allow your chest to expand with the openness of a clear blue sky, your heart to beam as a noonday sun.

Filling the sea of ‘chi’
Now begin a deep inhalation.  Audibly draw air in, fill the lungs, and expand the chest.  You should feel this as a stretch thru your sternum and out your ribs, drawing the shoulders back in a kind of ‘roostering’.  When you have reached your apparent capacity, begin to snuff, or sip, even more air in.  When you have reached a yet further capacity, hold your breath, swallow, and drop the energy down to your lower tan tien.  The lower tan tien is often described as a ‘sea’ of chi, a reservoir of life force.  Fill this sea until you feel it drive the turbines of your solar plexus, then allow it to overflow into and thru your meridians (channels of chi), to irrigate and charge your entire body.  You need to greatly relax and release your abdomen for this, so round it out.  When you feel this influx of life force has permeated your body, exhale thru your mouth and squeeze out as much breath as you can.  Repeat this breath cycle at least three times.

Face work
Briskly rub your palms together until they are well heated.  Place your palms over your closed eyes, and gently press in.  Relax your eyeballs, and allow them to sink into their sockets.  You might even want to thank them for all the work they do.  Allow them to relax and release to the point where they begin to ‘melt’ down your face.  This makes space for us to blink, blink, blink, open internal eyes, aka ‘etheric discs’, those that endow the physical eyes with vitality and fire, yet can function independently, and are able to perceive the subtleties of the imaginal journey to come.

Another way to activate the internal eyes, and to clear and charge the external (physical) eyes, is as follows:  Begin by inhaling thru your external eyes.  Bring your head back, let your eyeballs rest in their sockets, and sink the energy down to your lower tan tien, and yet further into the ground.  Then, with reverse momentum, exhale and allow the energy to bounce back up and out in an intense, wide-eyed glare.  After a few rounds of this open-eyed charging, vary it by now closing your external eyes as you breath out thru them.  This will help you to feel out your internal eyes, thru which you will begin to exhale and ‘open’ with some deep blinking.   You then fully switch to breathing  in and out thru closed external eyes, further activating your internal eyes and getting you used to looking at the world thru them.

Following the eye work, drop your hands and begin to massage your cheekbones with the heels of the hands in circular motions.  Slowly and continuously move them apart to the temples, then across the forehead to the brows, and back down the sides of the head to the jaw joint and together to the chin.

You can if you wish do a second round with the following variation:  Drop your hands, rub and heat them up again, and now place your left hand over your lower tan tien and with the palm of your right hand, gently rub your nose, your chi antenna.  After a few seconds, bring your hand down and rub the space between your upper lip and nose with a back and forth motion, using the inside edge of your horizontal right palm (index finger to the root of your thumb), and keeping your elbow out away from your body.  Repeat this on the area just below the lower lip.  Then with the backside of the hand, rub the area between your chin and neck, back and forth.  Again, keep your elbow out.  Then go to your ears, and with both hands, pull on your earlobes, and the edges of your ears.

Finish with a vigorous shaking of the hands, arms, shoulders, and upper body in a release of energy, like shaking off water.  Now is a time to shake off a few things, such as where you think you’ve been and where you think you’re going, to better allow you to be here, in the moment . . Now.

Opening the Body Tube
With hands at rest, begin to move every muscle in the face that you can find.  This means working the plasticity of the face, scrambling identity patterns held there, getting past all the English language (or whatever language(s) you speak) fixations that inhibit us from the using the diversity of facial muscles we have available.  As you work this, you may be aware of self-limitations keeping you from fully expressing your face’s potential, conditioned inhibitions about looking weird, crazed, or funny.  Ignore them.  Remember your eyes are closed and so are everyone else’s, and who cares anyway.  Lips, cheeks, tongue, eyebrows, chin, temple, on and on, crackling the cartilage, moving everything, including things your didn’t think you could move before.  You might get into a face dancing enjoyment during this.

Eventually, you may get a sense that a deeper face is wanting to emerge, one more real, more conducive to the expression of your more authentic, or Higher, self.  This birthing is signaled by the sense that the skin of your face is getting to tight to contain the movement underneath it, that something pink, shiny, and new is pushing to surface.  When you get this feeling, summon the primordial molting response we all carry, and like a snake writhing out of its skin, ‘shed’ your external face.

You’ll likely find that this shedding action defines a bilateral split down the center of your face.  Move into this opening with symmetrical expansive movements, especially as coordinated by the mouth.  You in fact want the mouth to energetically extend up the center of your face, awakening a latent whole-face orifice function.  Once you’ve contacted this, move your face as an orifice, as a ‘topside anus’.  Release thru it, as an opening to move out psychic detritus, and draw in thru it, as a portal of life force.  In and out, in and out, releasing and absorbing, ‘deixa o mal sair, deixa o bem entrar‘, ‘out goes the bad, in goes the good’, breathing with your whole face.  Allow this rhythm to extend to your throat, which spreads wide like a cobra, and then down into your torso, into your hip joints, and lower anus, thus effecting an undulating motion that opens up the hollow tube, or worm-like structure (fleshy canal open at both ends) of your physical form.  Once this tube is activated, the undulations become full-body peristaltic and enact yet deeper absorption, assimilation, and release, yet greater opening and clearing of the tube.  At an energetic level, this has the effect of exercising the ‘pranic tube’ that extends thru us vertically, and of thawing the frozen light known as ‘matter’, releasing the force of an inbody, or internal radiance.  Once contacted, we can creatively shed and molt, let go and surrender, our various densities and resistances before the Shine of this light.

Head Clearing
After the face begins to give way and open, you have easier access to the inner head, and can more easily move the palate, inner ear, skull joints, and brain.  You begin head clearing by bringing an invisible hand(s) thru the skull, and down and around the brain.  There you gently massage this ‘head marrow’.  Feel how the stimulation moves thru the nerves and conduits of the bones to lightly electrify the rest of the body.  Slowly begin to squeeze the brain, as if wringing dry a sponge.  You may feel areas of hardness or heaviness, lumps and impactions in this medium of brain-mind, often drawn to the left side due to the usual dominance of that hemisphere.  This is mental garbage, not unlike unevacuated residuals found in the intestines.

To loosen and flush the brain, further ‘wring the sponge’ with some prolonged full-faced winking and squinting, alternately compressing both sides of the head, and moving it from side to side in a kind of defecating action out each ear.  This uses the orifice function of the ears to reverse their usual role as receivers to eject what often comes into them in the first place.  So back and forth you go, shaking the head sometimes to dislodge stuff, working the aural sphincter, breathing thru it all, occasionally letting out grunts, and out it goes, bad radio, messy arguments, boring lectures, government lies, impacted attachments and avoidances of all kinds . . . and so on.

Going deeper into mental constructs, you might find large knots of stringy information, the long cause-and-effect kind that is usual to academic education.  When we study books to pass tests and so on, especially under duress, we often stuff our heads full of this kind of information, to the point where energies kink, bind-up, and nothing ‘digests’ well.  Years of feeding ourselves in this way can create mental constipation.  This, by the way, is often confused with high intelligence, a common occurrence in universities, and wherever their graduates migrate en masse, such as corporate management, and various tiers of government agencies.

After a good head dump, your brain-mind should feel light, spacious, and even fluffy like a cloud.  At this point imagine anything left in your head to dissolve into a clear blue sky.  Extend this clear blue sky thru your entire body and being.

Breathing Heaven and Earth
Now see yourself as completely hollow to contain this sky.  Be a vertical tube-like bamboo, bendable yet strong.  From each end, open to the sky (heavens) above, and to the earth below.  The goal is to breath these two polarities thru the hollow body.  This allows the great organizing forces of heaven and earth to sweep the vehicle clear of petty human-centered concerns and obsessions, dramas and traumas, and reconnect us with larger evolutionary forces, processes and perspectives.  I sometimes preface this with the following ‘hollow bone’ prayer from the Lakota:

Oh Great Spirit, help me to transform all resentments, anger, fear, guilt, and selfishness in the light of self-understanding
Help me to remove from my day all thinking that stands in the way of my usefulness to you
Grant me Your peace, and make me a hollow bone so your power can flow thru me.

Begin by looking up into the sky with your internal eyes, seeing the stars, planets, comets, and such, and then ‘swallow’ these forces thru the head-top with a long inhalation.  Feel free to reach up with your hands as though pulling a rope down thru the center of your body (aka pranic tube).  Then with an exhalation, and possibly a push with your hands, release the breath down, down, down to the center of the earth, to the crystalline core of light.   From there, inhale up the earthly forces, the magma, minerals, fertile soils, and such, up thru your hollow body, and exhale from above into the sky.  Now inhale from both directions, above and below, bringing the two energies into the lower tan tien.  There they meet, merge, circulate, and are released in an exhalation that extends out 360 degrees.

Now reach to the sky, and breath down and stream the colors of the upper chakras, the blues, purples, and indigos.  Then with an exhalation, release the breath down to the center of the earth.   Now breath up the reds, golds, and oranges of the lower chakras.   You then breath in from both directions, from both ends of the rainbow spectrum, and allow the two streams of colors to meet in the middle tan tien, where they merge and become as white light, and exhale this all around, giving space to dissolve a bit in this luminosity.   Now inhale a purifying (choose your color) flame of ascension down from the center of the galaxy, breathe it thru, touch in with the center of the earth, and then up and out  thru the head top.   The two aspects of the flame from both directions are then breathed into the upper tan tien, the third eye, and their union is then exhaled all around.   Feel free to vary the meeting point(s) of these polarities in the body.  E.g., you could do just one, or all three, thru just the heart area.

Playing the Three-Hole Flute
After the above breathwork, stop and imagine the three tan tiens as glowing, radiant spheres suspended within your body, charged and well-balanced with the marriage of heaven and earth.  Now its time to tone these spheres, not unlike playing your body as a three-hole flute.  A tone is a long, extended, steady, single sound.  Be aware of the hollow spaces in your body that align with each tan tien, the intestines and stomach, the heart and arteries, and the nasal cavities and sinuses, as these are resonant chambers that can more fully capacitate your tone.

Begin with a deep inhalation, expand the chest, and snuff or sip more air in to give maximum drive to the tone.  Then go to your belly, and let out the deepest low-end bass tone you can for as long as you can.  Rest.  Then take another breath, stretch the sternum, and repeat with a middle tone.  Rest.  Then an upper tone.  Really flare the nostrils to get a good rebound thrust to the sonic bloom of this area.  People will have different sounding tones, but what is importance is the depth, clarity, steadiness, and length.  These are qualities that develop over time.  Tones not only clue you into the range of your voice and how to parse out the breath, but get you used to feeling your body as a musical instrument.  A good tone can also act as a ‘spindle’ upon which to straighten out tangles in your energy field.

After toning each tan tien, you can move up and down the scales.  For example, with one breath start with a middle tone, move high, then low, and end in the middle.  I usually finish with a rising tone, one that sends the breath down into a low-end tone which rebounds up the body in increasingly higher pitches until its released in a whoooosh out the top of the head, which then completes a thorough reaming out of the flute-tube of the body.

Soning (aka free-form voicing)
Now its time to move into ‘soning’, the wild, wonderful, whirled that exists between toning and singing.  Soning is a free-form expression of voice, a primordial broth of sounds, of melismatic syllables, languages twists, melodic thoughts, audible breaths, animal utterances, plant whisperings, and elemental fluctuations.  It is a composting of language, and provides great nourishment for the Creation-body.  Practice with soning excavates deeper layers of coding in language and culture, surfaces intuitions and bodily understandings, clears blocks, cleanses the vibrational palette, and gets you on the ‘felt’ wavelength of communication shared by all of Creation.

Soning begins with the usual long, deep, further snuff or sip-deepened, inhalation.  You might want to imagine inhaling up a great wave of energy, down which you surf with an extended exhalation, developing sonal skills by riding high and straight, or criss-crossing, or in complex flourishes that include: rapid or extended stops and starts, ups and downs thru the sonal range, and creative last minute use of unexpected reserves of air/vitality.  Similarly, the breath may take on the dimensions of a controlled avalanche down which you can slalom, each time turning on a diamond and sending up glistening sprays of energy.  However you work it, it is useful to sone with your whole body, to stretch your face, gesture with your arms, move your torso, open your hip joints as energy releasers, even get up and walk around.  The goal is to become voiced by your body.   Practice at this allows the development of rhythmic symmetrical movements (‘body mudras’) that add power and grace to your voicing.

You are free to work off anyone else’s stronger or weaker riff if you wish, and an entire group harmonic may spontaneously arise, however remember that this is largely for you to explore your voice in (relatively) unimpeded circumstances.  Be open to the socially unacceptable sounds, the intestinal roilings of the vomit daemons, the guttural gnashing of unrelieved distress, the keening of despair, of grief, and so on.  In fact angelic melodies often follow such sounds, as life force formerly trapped in associated judgments, can become acknowledged, redeemed, to rejoin one’s incarnational presence as a kind of ‘soul gain’.

Often soning mutates into inter-dimensional dialogue, a conversation, or declaration, in what can be described as spirit or star language.  I’ve also called this ‘tribal talk’.  Done well, it is the art of being very articulate in speaking words with no meaning, i.e., no apparent meaning, for all the nuances of intonation, phrasing, timing, the give and take of speaking and listening, etc., all that makes for good conversation, are highly present, for they carry the stream of meaning.  This allows space for these ‘words’ to birth into greater definition, a play of the genesis of languages.  Tribal talk is evocative of novel frequencies of communication, allows other beings to converse with us and thru us, and best of all is good, mystical fun!  And one wonders . . . is there an infinitude of languages, or just one language with an infinitude of expressions?

As you continue to sone on, at some point, anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes is the usual range, it is time to bring the diversity, or chaos, into order, into unity.  The facilitator moves into a single sone, voices it repeatedly with increasing strength, draws the other voices into this sphere of focus, and then begins to rise it in pitch.  I often use the sacred syllable ‘om’ for this, and sometimes (just my preference) the sound ‘song’ (pronounced ‘sohng’), with a strong nasal action to it.  This latter syllable in Mandarin Chinese can mean ‘aliveness with no tension’, and is often used to describe the ideal state of your body while engaged in tai chi chuan, and in everyday life for that matter.

When the single sone climaxes in pitch, it is released in a series of deep, full-body breaths, sometimes rapid-fire, sometimes slow rhythmic pumping.  Feel free to move to intensify and deepen the breaths, to really go off with this and shatter what’s left of derelict or overly rigid energy patterns.  Use the opportunity to breathe the body openings created by the work so far, to infuse and charge them, to express and knead them.  A minute or so of this is good, and then come to rest.

Birthing the Creation-Body
As you come to stillness, allow the stirred-up energies to fall softly to earth, like drifting, sparkling snowflakes.  Exist in an expectant stillness.  Bring your awareness to your lower tan tien, and breathe from there.  Get a sense of activating the umbilical breath, like an infant in the womb.  Feel a primordial wave-like motion rise up from within, and allow it to slowly rock your body in gentle, fluid motions. Back and forth, an ebb and flow of vitality lapping the shores of Being . . then Nothingness, Nothingness . . then Being.   Undulate like kelp in a sea swell, and create a breath which travels these undulations thru the length of your hollow body, so that you are breathing thru both ends, your anus inhaling and exhaling in concert with your mouth.  Earthly yin energies are pulled up from below, heavenly yang energies brought down from above, and they are together breathed into and out of the lower tan tien.  There they repeatedly draw closer to one another, build in attraction, and then, like two live wires, touch, complete a circuit, and let off a spark.  Fan this spark.  Grow it, brighten it, until it illuminates your entire body with, and as, a pure, cleansing, white light.  Breath as this light in soft pulsations.  Radiate.

Notice that each cell of your body has now awakened to its own inner light, its star nature.   This lead us to possibly our first song ~

StarLight is our Home

See each cell as a star in the galaxy of the body-mind.  Become this galaxy, and abide in its utter vastness and potent emptiness.  Now breathe open the universe, so that each cell becomes a galaxy.  As the universe, connect with the cosmic intelligence and its rhythms.  Allow yourself to be extinguished with each inbreath, recreated with each out-breath ~

Every Moment

A final exhale creates this universe, and you become a streaming outburst of primordial elemental star matter, doing its swirling, fissioning, forming, exploding, imploding, and re-forming dance of molecular creation!

Breathe as this primordial developing star matter, and allow the elements in your body to connect with their origins, to refresh, revitalize, and re-know themselves.  Allow the focusing, concentrating power of the will to act as gravity, pulling the starlight into a vortex that coalesces into a glowing sphere, a star, a sun.  Absorb and partake of its brightness, its warmth.  Reanimate yourself with its power.  Charge your cells.  Continue to breathe until it condenses yet further into the solidity of a planet, into the form of the planet . . . earth.

Drop the earth, this ‘smoky rock’, or later ‘blue-green jewel’, into your belly-womb.  With this you have the opportunity to be as a creator God/Goddess, one given the sacred task to protect and nurture all emerging life on this planet, to attend to the myriad evolutions into greater self-awareness that collectively flower the earth into its with Oneness.  You feel as all these beings, realize them wrapped and encoded in your DNA, each a gene of the planet revealing itself thru you, dreaming your existence, awakening you to their stories, awakening you to yourself.  Breathe this richness of life, breathe its fecundity of purpose. And as you do the earth condenses yet further into a sacred seed (or egg if you wish to do an animal-originated Creation story, or a spore . .  ).

From this seed germinates the inherent Power, the ‘medicine’ of our being.  It is the seed of our spiritual life, our awakening, of the Buddha nature, the Christ light, within each of us.  It grows as a tree of life, branches into the depths of our communion with the world, blossoms into wisdom and compassion, fruits into divine sweetness, and re-seeds itself as works of selfless service.  In the Vedic tradition, it is the soma plant, that which sprouts spiritual awareness in humanity.  This seed contains the spark of the divine which seeks to come home to itself in the Sunlight of the opening human heart.

What follows is the story of its cultivation in the garden of the divine family of Creation, its growth beneath and ultimately as, this Light of the heart.

Singing Alive the Creation-Body
Just as the voice now evolves more fully into singing, and human language, so the seed of spirit now awakens, and begins its journey of growth into the world within and without, into the cultural life of the society of nature.

To spark this initial germination, rendezvous we may call upon Great-Grandmother-Growth with simple melodic invocations of manifestation  Such as ~

Ma Hey Hee Hum

We may call upon the Vedic deity of transformation Shiva, as Shivoham (I am Shiva), segueing into Dasoham (I am a servant), to deflate ego identifications, or Shima, meaning mother in Navaho, love in Hopi.

Here are more sprouting / birthing songs ~

Sprouting the Buddha
Bengali Birthing Song
Seed Song
Belly/Bella Mama

You can also invoke the spirit of a plant, to resonate with specific qualities you wish to have as you grow, such as the strength, wisdom, and fragrance of a cedar tree ~

Cedar Tree Song

And a couple songs to remind us of the trails of glory we tread into incarnations ~

Return Again
As Old as the Universe

This is a song sung by the devoted mother Madalasa, chronicled in the Vedic literature, to her sons in the cradle to develop their spiritual awareness ~

Suddhosi Buddhosi

After each song, it is good to take a breath and exhale with a soft shhhhheeewwwwww sound.  This sends the song to spirit, and cleanses the vibrational palette (and palate) in readiness for the next melodic expression.

Let us now take some time to feel into the internal landscape.  Visualize the rocks and mountains of the bones, the rivers, seas and rains of body fluids, the breezes, gales, and still air of breath, and the fires of spirit that warm and animate this world within.  And give this garden of ‘Inden’, the space, the permission, to express its native metabolic intelligence, to transform, flow, and find balance with the heartbeat of Creation. . .

As the seed sprouts, allow it to drop your weight.  This is also a time to let problematic emotions and life issues drop into the earth as well.  Make compost!  Some of the best compost comes from dropping judgments about the sins of empire, the transgressions of modern civilization, the poisons of politics.   To do so, move into expansive perspectives.  Examples include: holding the paradox of needing to right an injustice, yet recognizing that all is as it should be;  seeing both the illusory nature of dualisms, of good and evil, right and wrong, and their reality in the world;  knowing that without illness there can be no healing, without a fall from grace there can be no redemption.  Here are a couple songs to decompose and release some of that pent up life force trapped in identities of self-importance. ~

Taking Root
The River is Flowing (New Millennium version) 

Now feel the seed sending roots down thru your body and into the soil below you.  Feel it come home, feel yourself come home as it connects with the great Gaian innernet and the many kin-doms that both compose it, and communicate thru it.  Its good to really ‘dock’ with the earth by stretching open the hip joints to facilitate the connection.  With an extended inhale, draw these forces up and thru your nervous system, your meridians, which then light up with a streaming of the terrestial hive mind and its cultural life.  Now more receptive to the Gaian dream, know it as your dream, and suffuse yourself with its guidance, its ‘original instructions’, and the power that upwells thru it.  A feeling of gratitude begins to activate, and you release this feeling down as nourishment to the earth.

Now allow your spirit to rise wth an exhalation, an expansion up and out, surrendering to the skyward polarity, and touch into the starry cosmos, to the star tribes.  Then inhale this communion down thru your head-top, and into your nervous system, meridians, and feel the circuits light up with this info-energy.  You then respond with a buoyant sigh of appreciation, of thankfulness, and radiate this frequency upwards, in a circulation of open-hearted harmonics.

This opens up an opportunity for a gratitude song ~

Thank You for it All

and a song for working the heaven / earth polarities~

The Grounding Song
Earth and Sky Harmonize

As you work the polarities, allow yourself to stretch and grrooowwww.  Feel into a ‘spirit fiber’ running vertically thru your being.  Allow this fiber to conduct these forces and strengthen itself, yourself.  Move with the support of this fiber, with the bend-but-don’t-break qualities of a supple sapling.  Feel the ‘power of the green’ stir within your loins, your ‘hara’, and explore your flexibility by circling and swaying from this pivot ~

Flower Power

Allow this new found freedom to help loosen the egoic hold on your sense of self, your self-perception. Tap into some primordial shedding and molting functions, and move to give more space for this power of creation.   Test the waters of trust and surrender, and feel the current run thru your vertical axis, the ‘pranic tube’ ~

The Power of Creation

We may at this time want to put some attention into brightening the sunlight of our heart.  To do this we reach up into the sky and inhale down some starry luminosity and shine the heart with an extended ahhhhhhhhhh.  Reaching down into the earth, we inhale the subtle light of the Fairy realms up and into the heart and shine out with another extended ahhhhhhhhh.   The little plant within is drawn to light of the heart, and the heart is likewise drawn to it.  Feel into this magnetic attraction as a force that guides our narrative, as a gradual coaxing of potential into expression.

At this point we may want to invoke some fertilizing energies.   For example, the elephant-faced boy, little Ganesha, may appear walking over to us from a distance.  When he arrives, he graciously drops his purple silk pantaloons, squats down, and gifts us with some Holy Dung.  We may then dig the dung into our ‘soil’, to fertilize our Kundalini coil, while singing ~

Holy Dung

We can also nourish ourselves with a kind of ‘rainfall of blessings’.  We do this by thinking of people who have wished us well in this life, those who have helped and supported us.   We thereby cultivate appreciation for those who have so loved and cherished us.  We can raise the level of appreciation by bringing in those people or situations that have challenged and even disturbed us, for what is problematic at one level of awareness often catalyzes positive change at another.  Furthermore, we can embrace yet more players in this game by revisiting our decision, if we have so made it, that the universe is a friendly, benevolent place.   If so, then the universe if always on our side, and you can then be appreciative of EVERYTHING  ~

Blessings All Around

The soma within by now has grown stronger and sturdier, wider and taller.  What variety is it?  It could be anything, though I have found that it often becomes some sort of ‘tree of life’.  Practice will likely identify a totem plant within, which you will come to know and work with.

Meanwhile, here are some ‘medicine songs’ to connect the plant within to plants without.  The vegetative community is elder to the human, and carries much guidance to help us thru our current adolescence as a species.   These songs honor the teacher plants, the maestros, those with a special affinity to humans.  They offer this guidance as ‘healing ways’. ~

Gran  Espiritu
Icaros Sunarye
Medicine Hymn
Cura Cura
Flores en mi Camino

Plant Medicines, the original ‘greenprint’ of all that we today call medicines, work by natural laws of healing.   E.g., their therapeutic action will often surface dis-orders in order to fully clear them from the system.  In such situations, things tend to get worse before they get better.  This worsening, a  journey of self-purification, is necessary for the plant within to get access to higher octave nourishment it needs to flourish.  This is a song of encouragement during such times, to keep faith in these Ways, the Ways that nourish our roots with truth, so that our soul may rise and flower. . ~

Faith in these Ways

and to let go of all that no longer serves  ~

Letting Go 

Somewhere in this stage of our story, the plant within becomes increasingly aware of the rhythms and cycles of the world, and the potentials of conscious entrainment with them.  We can embody and further active this awareness by breathing thru the seasons.  And so ~ with an inhalation spring arrives.  The energies ascend, sprouts emerge, sap rises, some early flowering is happening, bees are buzzing, and there is freshness in the air, an awakening.  With an exhalation it is summer.  The energies expand, branches extend and leaf, roots spread, birds come to nest;  it’s the height of growth, of the yang energy aspect, and sunny days light the ways.  With an inhalation it is autumn.  Energies withdraw and concentrate, fruits ripen and drop, leaves turn color and fall, grain grows heavy, frost is on the ground;  its time to reap what we sow.  With an exhalation it is winter.  Energies descend, the roots receive and store, and all comes to rest and is silent.   It’s the depth of the yin aspect:  cold, dark, wet, waiting, dreaming, dreaming, dreaming . .  its time again for spring. . .

Earth is Turning

It is good to move with these rhythms, to raise and stretch your arms / branches, to fan your fingers / twigs, to open and extend your legs / roots, and wiggle your toes / rootlets.  Feel into your bilateral symmetry and get a stretch down the center of your torso, especially at the sternum to allow deeper, expansive breaths from that place, and to let the light of the internal sun shine yet brighter.

And so we breathe a few times around the seasonal circuit of vitality.  This can be varied by engaging the many correspondences suggested by this circuit.  For example, inhale to the east, its dawn and a time of freshness, of new beginnings;  exhale to the south, its midday, a time to get things done, to be active;  inhale to the west, its sunset, a time come in, to repose;  exhale to the north, its night, a time to sleep and dream, dream, dream  . . .  we are a human again, and inhale into birth, exhale into adulthood, inhale into the elder years, exhale into death, and dream, dream, dream we are . . .

This world is but a dance of the elements in ever novel choreographies of creation.  Our rhythmic breathing and movements have entrained us with this dance, and like a spiritual compass they lead us deeper into the realm of the elements, to the sylphs (air) of the east, salamanders (fire) of the south, undines (water) of the west, and gnomes (earth) of the north.  I encourage you see these forces as beings, as Devas and elementals, and to imagine their faces, sizes, and shapes, their activities and purposes.  This to help you befriend them, to know their personalities, and qualities of intelligence. ~

Fairy Directions Song

Here are some well-traveled element songs. ~

Air it Flies
Los Cuatro Elementos
Circles of the World
Earth and Ocean
One Spirit
I Come From the Spirit

We can now go thru breathing and visualization practices with each element, often (depending on time and inclination) accompanied by a song.  For example, to begin with water, we introduce the rivers, rain, lakes, mist, and so on, often with their associated deities, such as Yemanja or Oxum. ~

Grandmother Ocean
Kai Kai Kai Yemanja
Mama Jurema
Oshun Bailo

This world flows with many river songs . . . ~

Stand in that River
Down to the River to Pray

We may want to let the sunny heart effect some alchemy by ‘evaporating’ water from the sea of the belly.  This is then drawn up the spine with an inhalation.  Now allow it to cloud up in your head, possibly storm with the lightening of creativity, and then release as rain down the front of your body with an outbreath, running thru rivers and waterfalls to return once again into the great ocean of abdominal chi .

The following songs address this water cycle ~

Sister River Giver
Wheels in the Water

The metaphorical richness of the elements reveals various correspondences with the human life experience.  For example, air is good for the activation of such things as lightness, touch, inspiration, gestures, clarity, and reasoning powers . ~

Breath Here Now
Breathing the Earth
Breathing Love and Peace

We may want to create a cleansing and clearing current of air and blow it thru our inner landscape.  As this wind sweeps and aerates, you’ll likely run into areas of resistance, and hard-to-get-to places of stagnation.  There dwell, among other things, judgments, guilts, grudges, feelings of victimization, and addictions to the beliefs that affirm such things.  We may then call upon the winds of forgiveness to soften the defenses surrounding these areas, to allow them to more easily release and let go.

Ho’o pono pono 
Hawaiian Forgiveness Song

An ‘earthquake’ created by some radical yogic opening, complemented by breath, could also be of assistance in breaking apart some of those energy fixations.

All this vigorous air circulation has also fanned the fires within.   Fire is the premier agent of transformation.  It has aspects of the digestive fire, which allows the growth and maintenance of the physical, and the sacrificial fire, which encourages spiritual growth by destroying our attachments.  Fire transitions us.  In acts of surrender, it burns up everything that stands in the way of Nature’s abundance, all that inhibits us from living well on the flowing edge of life.

From deep within the groin we can touch into this fire, and from there we inhale it up the spine, and throw into its flames all that we wish to let you of.  Cleaning out the closets and trunks, the garages and back yards of our lives, we can let it all go: negative karmas, worn-out relationships, compulsions, traumas, dramas, and such.  These then become as ash, which then falls down the front of the body with an exhalation.   This becomes as earth once again, fertile soil from which we can grow new experiences, fruit potent insights, and feed yet deeper relationships ~

Holy Fire
Fire of Love
Burn Fire Burn Bright (aka) The volcano song

You might . . . at sometime during this journey of growth, notice some clouds gathering in your minds sky.   These soon begin to obscure the sunlight of the heart.  You may feel a resistance to this, and a resultant change of mood.   If so, feel yet deeper into this shift and you may realize a reactive pattern at work.  Bring self-inquiry to this pattern.  Ask yourself how much this is a reaction stemming from past conditioning, from social influences.  Bring discernment to bear on the inquiry, a self-honesty.  Such investigations lead, invariably, to the bare-boned spiritual principles that underlie Creation.  In this case, the great teaching ‘all things must pass’ may suggest itself.   This might allow a ray of light which beams to us the feeling that, ah yes!, clouds are the mother of life gifting rain.  This insight, like the rain, then washes away our pain, cleansing us, and the power of the storm helps us to be reborn ~ 

Spirit of the Rain

You might then ask to deepen your respect and reverence for what you ‘see’ around you, to move into a wiser and more empathetic relationship with the society of Nature, the garden within and without.  Here are two songs to help cultivate this deepening:  a Namaste song (Namaste is a Vedic greeting which bows us to the shared Light in all beings), and a Hebrew ‘Golden Rule’ song  ~

Hareini Mekabel

The wonderworld of the Creation-body flourishes as we continue our conscious cultivation of the soma within, for in this spiritual ecology everything is transparently connected.  We may notice our body as a landscape of ancestry.  Organs may reveal their lineages with planets, colors, flavors, and animals;  emotional tendencies their history in the climate changes of our past;  family disorders as swampy miasms of unresolved conflicts passed down thru the generations.  We begin to better understand the genealogy of the great kin-dom of Life we embody, both within and without our skin-enclosed self.  We tune to the body intelligence, and its amazing powers to flourish despite the confusing signals we often give it.  We can see how Nature raises us as family if we allow her to do so.  She teaches us the ways of the world, and of our destiny to continue her creative work in increasingly conscious ways.  Here is a song that sings of these understandings ~

The Teaching Song

And where do these teachings lead?  Nowhere else but the wellspring of Nature, the creative Source of All, the essence we’ve all been ‘Oming’ for, the God within and without!  Sooner or later, we all hear it, the call Home, and the longing for Union that it kindles in our lives.  We are always being called home, we just need to open the door, and listen! ~

Oh My Lord

Now is a time to sing deeper devotional and heart-opening songs, especially invoking the divine mother, as the impulse to flower is nigh ~

Beautiful Mother

And some heart suns ~

Long Time Sun
We are the Rising Sun

We might also shine down some celestial clarity from the third eye star of the Christ light, maybe with a chant like ~

Pineal Power Prayer

We may at this point notice a concentrating of life force in the ambient space around us, and further, a curious synergizing of this force into suggestive sparkings of manifestation.  This has been generated by our work of vibrational purification.  As the impulse to grow ‘physically’ has by now matured into an internal process, a raising of frequency, we feel moved to permeate ourselves with this higher hum of energy, to draw it into the core of our being.  To do this, we partake of the plant’s ability to thru its pores by breathing thru our pores, thru the external, or ‘third’ lung, the skin.  In this way, a full-bodied inhalation takes us deep into the center of our bones, the physical endpoint of such a breath.  It is there, in the crystalline caves of our marrow, that we draw in and anchor the vital forces around us.  As these energies flood the marrow, the crystals pulse, shimmer, flush, flash, and radiate a rainbow of colors.  We breath in and out in this way, charge ourselves, work the creativity that comes of this charge, molt and shed yet more egoic armoring, and prepare the vehicle for its surrender before the emergence of a higher octave version of itself, a flowering.

For such a momentous and holy task, it is wise to ask for assistance.  We therefore call upon the lineage of such self-transformation that runs thru the tribes of Creation in the forms of crystals, flowers, butterflies, birds, dolphins, angels, and such.  The following songs call upon this ecology of beings ~

Butterfly People
Mardi di di (calling) Icaro

It is now time to connect with and exercise the primordial instinct we all carry to ‘flower’, to rebirth oneself out of the bud of the lower vibrational self and into a subtler (yet still physical) form.

This process can be aided by the following practice:  Stretch out your arms and legs as stalks and branches in front of you, then open the face, palms, and soles as five gateways of life force, together called wu hsin in Chinese.  These become as buds, blossoming portals, and you stretch open the fingers and toes as flower petals, with those on the face existing in the astral.  Breath thru these five areas as energetic body ‘orifices’.  Inhale, draw the arms and legs towards the body, close the finger and toe ‘petals’ until they come together and touch, and scrunch the face inward.  Energy sinks into a brief nighttime resting.  Then dawn breaks, exhale and extend everything out in front of you, opening wide the petals, and  . .  BLOSSOM!   In and out you go with each breath, pumping the process, sometimes fanning the petals, sometimes shaking the pollen off the nose, wiggling the stamen of the tongue, brightening and enlivening the face, and always dilating the wu hsin ‘orifices’.

Here are four Garden song to tune us into the world of flowers ~

Night Garden
We All Come from the Garden
Gardens of Bliss
Feeling very Open

And a rose song.  The rose carries some of the highest, most heart resonant fragrances of the flower kin-dom ~

Light of the Rose

When it is time to flower, stretch open and breath deeper into your five budding portals.  Open your chest and feel the sunlight of your heart grow more radiant as it attracts a descending stream of compassion from above, an ascending flow of wisdom from below.  Allow these two forces to merge with a deep abiding trust in the Universe.  Feeling an expansion rise thru you, reconfigure to accommodate it, and unfurl before the power of Creation.   Gloria in Excelsis Deo.   Infuse your being with the essence 0f this flowering.   Witness the delicate contours of form transparent to a strong, pulsing, underlying energetic.  With internal eyes behold the pristine, vibrant colors.   Sense the fragrance of virtues waft thru your being.   Strengthen with the generative power of this Vibration, and rise with its buoyancy.  Bask in these qualities.  Allow them to permeate your cells, so that each cell flowers, and you surrender yet further into blossoming bliss.  You may feel the big bud of the brain open its petals to higher function and purpose, your speech transform into honeysuckles of clarity, poetry, and helpful words, your traumas become mud out of which the lotus of forgiveness blooms, and soma on.  As your body opens before these expansive forces, be careful to attend to whatever crumpled parts of the flower(s) remain by moving and breathing into those spaces.

Here are a couple Buddhist offerings to help yourself release before the power of the flower, to let go of attachments to the un-flowered (uncomfortably comfortable) self still hanging on to egoic identities ~

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha ~ (when all is gone, gone, gone, only ultimate wisdom remains)

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha ~ (asking goddess Tara to help us let you of all that restricts our freedom)

The surrendering of attachments can be attended by grief, and sounds of keening, crying, and declarations of amends or intentions.  These can arise spontaneously during any time in this journey.  It is useful to work with such blessed opportunities for release, and it is intended that space be held for their safe expression.

As you continue to flower, it is wise to, as before, anchor the vibration in the bones, and keep deepening your roots, so that you don’t get overly astral.  Breath in the light, breath out the love, breath in the love, breath out the light;  allow all that stands in the way of unity consciousness to melt away, revealing a refreshed kindness and tenderness towards life.

At some point, come to rest, and ‘look’ around you with internal eyes.  You may have the feeling of being reborn into a new world, as a new being.  All is softly lit with the presence of Spirit.  This is a song to receive illumination, from the sun, moon, stars, and queen of the forest ~

Me Illumina

As all things must pass, the petals now begin to fall away.  Slowly, gently, until they reveal a luminous Jewel, a crystalline gem of eternal, incorruptible, and always present divinity, found in the heart of the proverbial lotus of Insight ~

Om Mani Padme Hum  

It radiates a pristine spiritual light.  We allow our inner eye(s) to be filled with its radiance, and blink open a yet deeper clarity.  As we merge with this light, it arcs as a rainbow across our being, and we suffuse ourselves with its glow.  We allow the purifying colors to run thru each of our organs, and permeate our body.  The astral lights up with the flush of a new dawn, and our auric field sparkles like stained glass.  Things of lower vibration in our energy field can no longer adhere or stay in orbit, and therefore either move to another place of like vibration, or ‘risk’ being transformed by this light to a more elevated energetic.

We allow this rainbow to continue to arc, and on its path to becoming a full circle, it crosses to the ‘other side’, the realm of the ancestors.  This connects us to bloodlines, lineages, and traditions, many spanning countless generations.  It includes the ecology of souls that make up this great family of Creation, such as our descendants, extra-celestials (star beings), the devic realm, the angelic, and extra-dimensionals of all frequencies .  We invite into this circle all who wish a healing, and all who can aid in such healings, to receive, or further activate, the spark in the blossom, the light of the Jewel.  We acknowledge those on the other side who work for our well-being, knowing that we too may be doing their jobs after we cross, doing our best to help the bumbling incarnates who so easily ignore the guidance given in dreams, accidents, illnesses, and bang-on-the-head synchronicities.  We may also at this point bow to a yet deeper appreciation of how much the light of the human heart is a great blessing to Creation, and how the vibration of love connects all realms, all beings, in One all-inclusive unified existence ~

Ancestor Star People
I am my Family I am
One Big Family
I and the Father are One
I am Guided

We now gather up the petals, and begin to shower ourselves with them as a self-blessing.  This is a time to honor and give thanks to ourselves, to give self-appreciation for the work it takes to deal with the human condition.  Also to recognize that, according to Buddhist teachings, it takes a lot of merit to be born in a human body, for it is an ideal vehicle for practicing dharma, the path of liberation.  Especially in these most catalytic times!  We may give ourselves a hug, some kisses, and a promise to be easier and gentler on ourselves in the future, for we often, while being so kind and generous to others, are much harder on ourselves that we realize ~

Never Shaken
The Child Song
To Call Myself Beloved

We continue to shower petals as we now move out into the world.  Begin with friends and family, neighbors and others in the community, and then expand across the local environs and beyond.  Ride the light of the Jewel as it forms a bridge of rainbows arcing across the world.  Allow it to bless thru you as you tune into the planet and feel into where the healing needs are greatest.  As flowering humans we run an energy that is as ambrosia to a spiritually hungry world.  To share the wealth, we can practice metta, a Buddhist term which refers to the practice of prayer for the happiness of all beings.  Sebaka mangala is a phrase that in Gautama Buddha’s language of Pali means ‘may all beings be happy’ ~

Sebaka Mangala

Or a version of this in Sanskrit ~

Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu ~ (May Eternal Peace & Goodwill Prevail in the Whole World)

and a version in English ~

Mother I Surrender

Metta practice is praying for peace.  We are blessed with many peace songs in this world, and as the call for more mature and compassionate ways to resolve human conflict intensifies, they are incarnating in droves.  Likewise, ‘brought here by our prayers for peace, the angels of light come here to teach’ . . .  Om shanti

This is also a time, if you feel so moved, to practice the Tibetan Buddhist meditation known as tonglen.  We can reach out as our blossomed soma-self, maybe thru the aspects of an enlightened being with who we feel an affinity, to whatever suffering we feel drawn to connect with (including that of ourselves), and breath in the dark, heavy energies.  We then transmute them in the cleansing light of the heart, followed by an outbreath of positivity, of calmness, clarity, and well-being.  By reversing our usual tendency to seek pleasure and push away pain, we can reduce selfish attachments and develop loving kindness.  Poisons taken in this way can make the strongest medicines.

We may now notice that the Jewel has undergone a transformation.  Its light has withdrawn, congealed, and become the flesh of a fruit.  This fruit feeds the spirit with its divine sweetness.  It is soul food, not ego food.  It provides the energy we need to endlessly give back yet more than we have received in this world;  it gives us the sustained nourishment, the truly satisfying well-being, that comes when we devote our lives to acts of selfless service, to seva.  It is what gives untiring dedication, and holy innocence to the lives and works of great saints, of beings of high virtue.  We partake of this fruit to help us in such endeavors.  Yum yum, we eat it up, and the juices stream as ambrosia thru our being.

Intentions to enact the spiritual life, the ways of ceremony, in service to others, calls for songs of offering ~

Offering Song

We then have an opportunity to plant the seeds of this divine fruit.   This may be understood as how we choose to enact this Vibration, these Ways, in our lives.   For every act of karma yoga, we are planting a seed of ‘shanti’(peace).   To go out and plant many seeds of shanti, we create gardens, forests, lands, and cities of shanti!   ‘Shanti here, shanti there, shanti shanti everywhere!’

Seeds of Shanti 

One of the noble truths of Buddha’s teaching is that the world is subject to impermanence, so when it becomes time for the soma within to surrender its form, we would do well to let go to this.  This is another opportunity to release anything you’ve been carrying that has outlived its service to you.  The train is leaving the station!  Load up while you can:  attachments and aversions, griefs and gripes, let it all go, and if it comes back, eat it up and transform it in your belly of bliss!

And so the soma within, having fulfilled its structural destiny, comes to the end of its ‘season’.   It releases and composts itself into our field of being.  Its presence enriches the soil that feeds our continual growth into the light.  We feel enlivened with the nutrients of its guidance, the imaginal bliss of its life, of our life.

We can at this point feel into any specific needs that may suggest themselves, of how to use this energy for some immediate healing, on self or others.  Or we may use it to tonify and strengthen the wei chi, the ‘protective chi‘, that surrounds the body like a sheath.  To do this, stretch open the ‘gates’ of the arm pits and hip joints to pump the energy thru the body and out into this sheath.  Then flex it like a muscle, and pulse its strength deep into the immune system.  This is also a time to survey the psychic space around you, to become conscious of what is there, of what to keep and what to clear.  Ask to notice any lower astral ‘stickums’, such as orbiting (un)conscious habits and addictions, and forgotten, yet still operative, boundaries and barriers, sometimes left over from childhood.  Breathe them to know them, breathe to take charge of them, or dissolve them.  We flex our wei chi to set the changes, and may even use our physical hands and breath to sweep our perimeter clean and free of such things.  Sweep and clear, sweep and clear. . . And since you are out there in the periphery, this is a good time to yet further brighten and sharpen the colors of your auric field.

We might now pause and feel the power of Creation coursing thru our being like a mighty river of life force, one that solidifies the mountains of our bones, deepens the winds of breath, and fans the flames of spirit.  This feeling honors us with gratitude. We extend this gratitude to all aspects of our life, and at least attempt to recast our (assumed) negative life experiences in a framework of blessings in disguise.  For in a benevolent universe, one that guarantees our eventual reunion with the Source, there are ONLY blessings and blessings in disguise, and as we emerge from our ignorance (attachments to impermanence) and unmask the disguises, we find we are blessed in ALL ways in this temple universe ~

Temple Universe

Here are some more gratitude songs to finish the journey ~ 

Gratitude Song
Healing Ways

We can now savor the home-coming, a return from long, arduous travels, and how this strengthens the desire to live well by the hard-earned lessons.  This gratitude feeds and nurtures the kind of world in which we wish to live.

Feel your skin and its boundaries, and ground into this physical definition of self.  The breath and awareness now sinks to the lower tan tien, a center of gravity from where we may appreciate the lesson of the ball which cannot be toppled. . !  Our root is heavy with gravity, and sunk deep into the earth;  our spirit is light and bouyant, and our spirit fiber is strong and flexible.   This gives us grace under pressure, skillful passage thru life.  And there we abide in the incarnational existence that allows us to do this good work, and for this we are thankful, grateful, to Spirit, to be Alive.  Om shanti, shanti, shanti . .

We in our now highly tuned state, we can more fully receive the following ‘Blossoming Prayer’ ~

May I be in peace
May we all be in peace

May I be well, in body, mind, and spirit
May we all be well in body, mind, and spirit

May my heart be open, fully giving and receiving
My all our hearts be open, fully giving and receiving

And may I be aware of the beauty of my own true nature
And may we all be aware of the beauty of our own true natures

For ours is the power and glory of heaven as earth
A blossoming together, forever and ever

And .  . I sometimes transition the end of the human flowering Creation-song with a beginning;  hence, you might rise to meet the whirled with ~

Born Anew

 . . to grow once again from our deepest lesson, the separation that attends all births.


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