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Week of May 7th, 2020

Our Global Healing Crisis

OUR GLOBAL HEALING CRISIS could turn out to be revivifying and invigorating in ways we can't even imagine yet. It could motivate us to get very clear about what our life's purpose is, and who our most important allies are, and what are the things and experiences and ideas we need most if we want our lives to be meaningful and fulfilling for the rest of our lives.

My Expanded Audio Horoscopes offer suggestions about how you might thrive by doing that interesting work.

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We've all seen many pictures of the coronavirus. Now here's a picture of healthy white blood cells.

Let's focus on giving love and strength and cheer to our immune systems so that they work in just the right way to ensure we don't get the virus, or if we do, that we purge it gracefully from our beautiful bodies and remain healthy.

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Here's a link to my free weekly email newsletter, featuring the Free Will Astrology horoscopes, plus a bunch of other stuff. It arrives every Tuesday morning.

Read past issues of the newsletter.

Sign up here for your free subscription.

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If you can sit quietly after difficult news; if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm; if you can see others succeed without a twinge of jealousy; if you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate; if you can fall asleep after an intense day without a drink or a pill; if you can always find contentment just where you are: You are probably a dog.

—Jack Kornfield

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You are worth so much more than your productivity.
—Nicole Em

See the meme

Also see this.

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by James Parker

Dear Lord,

In this our hour of doorknobs and droplets,
when masks have canceled our personalities;

in this our hour of prickling perimeters, sinister surfaces,
defeated bodies, and victorious abstractions,
when some of us are stepping into rooms humid with contagion,
and some of us are standing in the pasta aisle;

in this our hour of vacant parks and boarded-up hoops,
when we miss the sky-high roar of the city
and hear instead the tarp that flaps on the unfinished roof,
the squirrel giving his hingelike cry, and the siren constantly passing,
to You we send up our prayer, as follows:

Let not heebie-jeebies become our religion,
our new ideology, with its own jargon.

Fortify us, Lord. Show us how.
What would your saints be doing now?

Saint Francis, he was a fan of the human.
He’d be rolling naked on Boston Common.
He’d be sharing a bottle. No mask, no gloves,
shielded only by burning love.

But I don’t think we’re in the mood
for feats of antic beatitude.

In New York City, and in Madrid,
the saints maintain the rumbling grid.

Bless the mailman, and equally bless
the bus driver, vector of steadfastness.
Protect the bravest, the best we’ve got.

Protect the rest of us, why not.
And if the virus that took John Prine
comes, as it may, for me and mine,
although we’ve mostly stayed indoors,
well—then, as ever, we’re all Yours.

Until further notice,


—by James Parker

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When you go out and see the empty streets, the empty stadiums, the empty train platforms, don't say to yourself, "It looks like the end of the world."

What you're seeing is love in action. What you're seeing, in that negative space, is how much we do care for each other, for our grandparents, for our immuno-compromised brothers and sisters, for people we will never meet.

People will lose jobs over this. Some will lose their businesses. And some will lose their lives.

All the more reason to take a moment, when you're out on your walk, or on your way to the store, or just watching the news, to look into the emptiness and marvel at all of that love.

Let it fill you and sustain you. It isn't the end of the world. It is the most remarkable act of global solidarity we may ever witness.

These words are from a video that was made by the Upper Springfield Covid-19 Community Response Team in Belfast, Northern Ireland:

Here's the video.

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Let's normalize saying, "I don't know enough to have an opinion."

— Cecil Yongo

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Strong, compassionate souls reach
the plateau of the heart’s new capital.
Tears enhance their eyesight through the dark.

They're not afraid to suffer. They learn to give back
heaviness to the churning weight of the Earth,
its mountains and seas

—adaptation of a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke

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The important thing is to tell yourself a life story in which you, the hero, are primarily a problem solver rather than a helpless victim. This is well within your power, whatever fate might have dealt you.

—Martha Beck

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The criteria for success: you are free, you live in the present moment, you are useful to the people around you, and you feel love for all humanity.

- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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Last week I celebrated the anniversary of the luckiest and most monumental turning point in my life. 32 years ago today, I first met the love of my life.

She has been crucial in my quest to become my True Self !

More info—plus photo.

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How do you get yourself into a sacred state that rejuvenates your emotional life and expands your mind beyond its monkey chatter and customary habits and same-old-same-old beliefs?

Some people go to church, synagogue, temple, or mosque. Some wander out into nature. (Very few hop onto Facebook to get into arguments.)

One of my reliable ways to slip into the holy dimension is to sing songs that stir me with righteous passion. (The lyrics must be exalting; can't be trivializing or dumb.)

Another is to feel the joy of my body exerting itself while I walk alone up hills.

The best is to sing righteous songs while walking up hills.

And you?

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Richard Tarnas, one of the best astrological thinkers on the planet, offered his views on this "grave and astonishing moment." Here's the youtube link.

Excerpts: "This is a time in which there are volcanically intense evolutionary pressures for the radical reconfiguration of all life structures."

"We're in the midst of an encounter with a collective mortal emergency that completely focuses our attention."

"Our agency, as humans, plays a role in how these archetypal energies express themselves. The more courage, imagination intelligence, compassion we can bring to bear on these events, the more free and skillful we can be in shaping the expression of the archetypal energies."

Quoting Greek philosopher Plotinus, Tarnas says, "The stars are like letters that inscribe themselves at every moment in the sky. Everything in the world is full of signs. All events are coordinated. All things depend on each other. Everything breathes together."

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David Talbot offers the following thoughts:

The bad news is that it's end of the world as we know it. The good news is that it's the end of the world as we know it. And we can use our imaginations to dream up a better world.

I've begun jotting down some notes about how civilization can emerge from this catastrophic pandemic in more socially decent and healthy ways.

1. A climate crisis turning point. The skies have never seemed cleaner and brighter. My city has never seemed so quiet and placid. Do we really have to return to a fossil fuel-powered, frantically acquisitive way of life?

2. There is a new appreciation for the daily heroism of health care workers and the fragility of our public health system. Isn't it past time for America to join the rest of the civilized world and move to Medicare for all?

3. There is a new appreciation for labor in America, especially those who are keeping the country running at warehouses, markets, delivery services. Isn't it past time for employers like Amazon -- run by the richest man in the world who's now getting richer by the minute -- to treat these workers fairly, increasing their wages and benefits and allowing them to join unions?

4. Crime is down and people are shooting each other in America with much less frequency. Does our society have to be so weaponized?

5. We have to think twice or more before reflexively making purchases these days as the ranks of the unemployed swell and the economy crashes. Let's convert our society from its enslaving consumerism to cooperative networks and reduce our wasteful dependence on the latest fashions, cars and electronic gadgets.

6. Now that it's dangerous to vote (black Americans can tell us all about that history), we have to reinvent democracy. How about if we we completely convert to a mail ballot system -- which would not only make the election process safer, but also more inclusive?

How else can we imagine a new post-plague world? Your thoughts?

More from David Talbot.

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Make yourself alert for
small miracles,
beguiling surprises,
marvelous tweaks,
inexplicable joys,
and subtle changes
that inspire quiet awe

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Pronoia doesn't promise uninterrupted progress forever. It's not a slick commercial for a perfect summer day that never ends.

Grace emerges in the ebb and flow, not just the flow. The waning reveals a different kind of blessing than the waxing.

But whether it's our time to ferment in the valley of shadows or rise up singing in the sun-splashed meadow, fresh power to transform ourselves is always on the way.

Our suffering won't last, nor will our triumph.

Without fail, life will deliver the creative energy we need
to change into the new thing we must become.

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Act natural. Act like all of nature. Act like the entire cycle of life and death and change and rebirth.

—"Welcome to Night Vale" podcast

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Some of my songs conducive to seeking bright spots in the pandemic:

World Kiss

Shadow Blessings

You Taste Delicious

I Want Everybody

In a Crisis

Many more of my songs here

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This *%&^#@ pandemic is really inspiring our resilience and resourcefulness!

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Hummingbird nest on a peach

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Make a voodoo doll of yourself and then give it a backrub

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In the *Washington Post*, Zoe Marks writes: In a global emergency, women are showing how to lead. Among the countries that have seen early successes in the fight against the covid-19 pandemic, female leaders stand out.

Germany under Angela Merkel boasts one of the lowest fatality rates in the world and is gradually reopening. Women-led Switzerland and Norway have both launched multimillion-dollar multilateral relief funds — alongside their own preventive measures — to support poorer countries’ pandemic recovery.

And what do success stories such as Denmark, Finland and Iceland have in common with Hong Kong and Taiwan, halfway around the world? They’re all run by women.

The public response to their efforts is striking. Merkel gets high marks for “reasoning rather than rousing.”

New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern earns praise for her “clarity and compassion.”

Commentators commend Canada’s numerous female chief medical officers, who have taken the lead on health policy while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in quarantine, for their calm and consistency.

Such perceptions owe a great deal to gender stereotypes, which affect both how people perceive women and how women behave.

Decades of research show that female leaders are more likely to be democratic or participative — and less autocratic — in their leadership style, meaning they invite subordinates to participate in decision-making.

Equally, women more often lead through motivation, engaging followers’ shared interests, while men tend to rely on incentives.

Some comparisons are illustrative. On March 13, President Trump addressed the nation in the Rose Garden. As Trump stressed deals with countries and corporations, Vice President Pence called companies “synonymous with communities.”

Three days later, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg convened a very different news conference, directed at children, not shareholders: “It is okay to be scared when so many things happen at the same time,” she said.

Then, she went on to offer simple and straightforward answers to questions, still ostensibly aimed at children, that many adults are also confronting as the disruptions to their lives multiply: Can I visit my grandparents? How long does it take to make a vaccine? What can I do to help?

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Fred LaMotte writes: Almost all conspiracy theories can be dispelled by applying the principle known as Hanlon's Razor: "Do not attribute to malice that which is more easily explained by stupidity."

However, I admit to having my own conspiracy theory, and you may feel free to use it.

For hundreds of billions of years, in fact, from the birth of time, every black hole at the center of each galaxy, the gravity of every gazing star, each hydrocarbon and chloroplast, each photon of sunlight, atom of breath, and even shy colors like brown and green in the meadow, have been conspiring to guide me to this very moment, when I have no choice but to fall in the dust on my knees, to spread toward wind and sky my arms, useless as they are as wings, and here confess: "I don't know what the fuck is going on!"

And only now am I capable of praying, "Forgive me. I love you. Thank you. I'm sorry."

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I'm pretty much breaking into tears at least seven times every day. How about you?

The most recent crying session rose up in response to this story: Farmworkers risk coronavirus infection to keep the U.S. fed. "If we’re essential, we need help, because we’re the people feeding the country,” says Eugenia Gonzales.


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Jason Hine writes: "Some folks now are trying to design open source ventilators, some are providing food to older people, some are protecting fragile people, some are digging their gardens to grow food, some are connecting more deeply to the earth . . .

"Some are going deeper into ritual to work with viruses, some are reading multiple scientific papers, some are staring down a microscope, some are engaging in activism . . .

"Some are gathering herbs, some are designing new economic systems, some are struggling in difficult or painful circumstances, some are providing comfort for those who are struggling.

"All of these responses are valid. What is important is perhaps this: When the time came, the world turned and things began to fall apart, did you fight imaginary enemies, or did you stand up?

"Now your true character will be revealed. Did you arrive? Did you do those sacred tasks which you know you have to do? Did you do those things which were given to you by some invisible power or by your soul or by your conscience?

"Did you do that which you know you have to do: did you do what you must? Did you listen to the call? Did you turn up? Did you report to do what you are here to do?"

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In honor of the fact that you're evolving into a higher octave version of yourself, I hereby give you the nickname of "Miracle Player," or else—if you like one of these better—"Sleek Cat" or "Giant Step" or "Fate Whisperer."

You may hereafter also use any of the following titles to refer to yourself: "CEO of My Own Life" or "Self-Teacher of Jubilance and Serenity" or "Fertile Blur of Supple Strength."

Feel free, as well, to anoint your head with organic virgin olive oil, fashion a crown for yourself out of roses and shredded masks, and come up with a wordless sound that is a secret sign you'll give to yourself whenever you need to remember the marvelous creature you are on your way to becoming

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The "Kumulipo" is an old Hawaiian prayer that poetically describes the creation of the world. The word literally means "beginning-in-deep-darkness."

Here darkness doesn't connote gloom and evil. Rather, it's about the inscrutability of the embryonic state; the obscure chaos that reigns before germination.

A key word in the Kumulipo is Powehi, a Hawaiian word meaning “the adorned fathomless dark creation” or “profound dark source of unending creation.”

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I like to remind myself that the coronavirus is REAL. It's not just a fleck or speck in our imagination. It's not a tiny pretend gob in a movie or a simulation in the virtual realm. It is composed of actual bodies.

I've heard it said that the coronavirus is not alive in the same way as, say, a badger or a milkweed plant is alive. But I think that's misleading. Because the virus clearly has agency. It is imbued with a purpose, which is to propagate its kind and spread far and wide and be as abundant as possible.

The virus has sly mechanisms that it uses to get itself born over and over again, and it has figured out how to use people so as to travel all over the planet and increase its intense presence.

Perhaps the virus doesn't have intelligence or sentience in the same way that we usually understand creatures to possess. But how can we know whether it does or not? It certainly acts as if it does have intelligence and sentience. It is, after all, currently the most powerful force on planet Earth. Its ability to transform human civilization is unprecedented.

One of my wise mentors, Richard Grossinger, suggests the virus speaks a language we don't understand. But I wonder if some of us could come to understand it. For example, might there be indigenous shamans who have experience conversing with animals in their own language, and who might ultimately be able to extend that talent to conversing with the intelligence of the virus in its own language?

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My Expanded Audio Horoscopes from last week offer suggestions about how you might make best use of fear and worry as you navigate your way through our Shared Healing Crisis. They're still very useful. When you log in to buy the horoscopes, click on "Last Week (Apr 14, 2020)"

Excerpt: Now is one of those times when at least some fear is valuable—because it motivates us to do what's necessary to stay safe; to protect ourselves and others.

But I also want to let you know that the coming weeks will be a favorable time to diminish and dissipate your everyday fears about other matters in your life: not the concerns activated by the virus, which are warranted, but rather the chronic anxieties that you routinely carry around with you, which are often overblown or imaginary.

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One night recently night I dreamed that I had caught the virus. It hadn't made me sick—rather was like a psychedelic drug that had profoundly altered my consciousness.

I was under its spell. It wasn't an unpleasant feeling, but neither was it pleasant; not light or sweet or "fun," but very demanding and consuming. I was grateful for the chance to raise my courage in response to its relentless teachings.

To succeed at this initiation—and it did feel like an initiation administered by tribal elders—I had to work very hard to keep monitoring and registering the new ways of understanding reality that were surging into my awareness.

I periodically told myself, "Stay awake and alert as you live through this ceremony of transformation."

A certain feminine elder I respect appeared now and then to offer comments and support. At one point she said, "The center of the world is changing location."

PS: This is an abbreviated version of my dream. If you'd like to read the full version, go here.

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My daughter Zoe and her boyfriend Mario and their roommate Joel live in Brooklyn, at the virus epicenter. As part of my therapy to quell my worries, I've been arranging for various online stores to send them supplies of comfort food.

My zealotry has inspired their creativity—as we can see in the photo, showing the performance art installation piece Joel created on their living room floor, using the 22 boxes of Triscuit crackers I sent.

I approve of this artful response! And the humor of it helps take the edge off my sheepishness about being so extravagant in my fatherly concern.

View the photo here.

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I like it best when the creek that runs near my home is wide and abundant. It gets that way at high tide, when the moon shepherds in a surge of water from the bay. As I gaze out at the swollen cascade, I feel full and fertile; everything's right with the world.

Inevitably, though, the tide goes out and the flow turns meek and narrow. Then my mood is less likely to soar. A slight melancholy may creep in.

But I've learned to love that state, too -- to derive a poignant joy from surveying the muddy banks where the water once ran.

From a distance the mud looks like a wet black desert, but if you get up close you'll see it's covered with tiny furrows, pits, and bulges. This is evidence that many small creatures live there. The hungry ducks and egrets know exactly where to look to find them.

PS: I know it's only a matter of time before the tide shifts and the cascade returns.

See the photo.

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I had the good fortune of being asked to do an interview with the brilliant Amanda Yates Garcia, author of the book
Initiated: Memoir of a Witch

Listen to our conversation here.

Here's what I wrote about Amanda Yates Garcia as I prepared for our interview:

It's rare I find colleagues with whom I am aligned in so many different perspectives: sacred political activism; psychospiritual commitment to dealing with the darkness as well as reveling in the light; moral integrity based on an unselfish celebratory love of and care for all creatures; valuing the mandates of the soul over the demands of the ego; regarding beauty and joy as essential ingredients in a well-lived life.

Amanda Yates Garcia is one of those colleagues! Speaking in behalf of all of creation, I say thanks for your service to the greater good, Amanda!


Here's what Amanda Yates Garcia wrote in response to my testimony about her:

"Rob, you inspire me in your decades' long pursuit of love; service to the Goddess; stewardship of nature; cultivation of curiosity; allegiance to truth, justice and kindness; devotion to joy . . .

"your humble acknowledgment of struggle and the deep wounds in our culture; amplification of the voices of those who are most impacted by the injustice of our culture; and your effortless commitment to your Bodhisattva vow.

"You give me hope and you always have, and you do so for so many. I am grateful you're in this world."

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In the country of Bhutan, astrologers have played an important official role. Before each year begins, the king's favorite stargarzers determine the least and most cosmically propitious dates coming up in the next twelve months. The calendar may then be altered accordingly.

If April looks not-so-good from the astrologers' point of view, for instance, it might be eliminated altogether, whereupon May will be observed twice.

Borrowing from their tradition, we are skipping both April and May in this cycle, and instead instituting the new leap-month of Maprilay.

For those who have lost track, today is Blursday the fortyteenth of Maprilay.

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Dan Albergotti

Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days.
Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires
with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals.

Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices.
Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way
for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review
each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments
of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you.

Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound
of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart.

Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope,
where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all
the things you did and could have done. Remember
treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes
pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.

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Adrie Kusserow was inspired by Mary Oliver's poem "Wild Geese" to write a coronavirus version of that poem:

You do not have to become totally zen,
You do not have to use this isolation to make your marriage better,
your body slimmer, your children more creative.

You do not have to “maximize its benefits”
By using this time to work even more,
write the bestselling Corona Diaries,
Or preach the gospel of ZOOM.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body unlearn
everything capitalism has taught you,
(That you are nothing if not productive,
That consumption equals happiness,
That the most important unit is the single self.
That you are at your best when you resemble an efficient machine).

Tell me about your fictions, the ones you’ve been sold,
the ones you sheepishly sell others,
and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world as we know it is crumbling.
Meanwhile the virus is moving over the hills,
suburbs, cities, farms and trailer parks.

Meanwhile The News barks at you, harsh and addicting,
Until the push of the remote leaves a dead quiet behind,
a loneliness that hums as the heart anchors.

Meanwhile a new paradigm is composing itself in our minds,
Could birth at any moment if we clear some space
From the same tired hegemonies.

Remember, you are allowed to be still as the white birch,
Stunned by what you see,
Uselessly shedding your coils of paper skins
Because it gives you something to do.

Meanwhile, on top of everything else you are facing,
Do not let capitalism co-opt this moment,
laying its whistles and train tracks across your weary heart.

Even if your life looks nothing like the Sabbath,
Your stress boa-constricting your chest.
Know that your antsy kids, your terror, your shifting moods,
Your need for a drink have every right to be here,
And are no less sacred than a yoga class.

Whoever you are, no matter how broken,
the world still has a place for you, calls to you over and over
announcing your place as legit, as forgiven,
even if you fail and fail and fail again.
remind yourself over and over,
all the swells and storms that run through your long tired body
all have their place here, now in this world.

It is your birthright to be held
deeply, warmly in the family of things,
not one cell left in the cold.

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Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew.

This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

—Arundhati Roy

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Testing Our Love

Anne Lamott writes: When a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born—and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.

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There was once a poor farmer who could afford to own just one horse. He cared well for the animal, but one summer night, the horse escaped through a weak fence and ran away.

When his neighbors discovered what had happened, they visited to offer their condolences. "What bad luck!" they exclaimed. The farmer replied, "Maybe. Maybe not."

A week later, the fugitive horse sauntered back to the homestead, accompanied by six wild horses. The farmer and his son managed to corral all of them. Again the neighbors descended. "What great luck!" they exclaimed. "Maybe," the farmer replied. "Maybe not."

Soon the farmer's son began the work of taming the new arrivals. While attempting to ride the roan stallion, he was thrown to the ground and half-trampled. His leg was badly broken. The neighbors came to investigate. "What terrible luck!" they exclaimed. The farmer replied, "Maybe. Maybe not."

The next day, soldiers visited the farmer's village. Strife had recently broken out between two warlords, and one of them had come to conscript all the local young men. Though every other son was commandeered, the farmer's boy was exempted because of his injury. The neighbors gathered again. "What fantastic luck!" they exclaimed.

"Maybe," the farmer said. "Maybe not."

—Source: an old Taoist folktale


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Guidelines for Loving the Catalytic Abyss at the Heart of the Luminous Nothingness

• Empty yourself out gladly and completely

• With blithe daring, lower your expectations all the way down to the Zero Point of Unexpected Healing

• Cheerfully surrender every remnant of delusional hope that might blunt your brazen courage

• With jaunty nonchalance, assume that since you have nothing to lose, you might as well channel your pure soul wisdom from the dark, fertile depths

• Open a howling welcome in your heart for the messy, unpredictable mystery of life exactly as it is

• Say "Fuck yes!" to the confounding and regenerative beauty of ambiguity and paradox

• Free yourself to recognize the strange truth of every person and every situation on their own terms

• Regularly unleash this triumphant and celebratory proclamation: "I don't know—and that's one of my superpowers!"

• Redefine and reclaim what it means to be wild

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"Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end.

"Our divided, schizophrenic worldview, with no mythology adequate to coordinate our conscious and unconscious — that is what is coming to an end.

"The exclusivism of there being only one way in which we can be saved, the idea that there is a single religious group that is in sole possession of the truth — that is the world as we know it that must pass away.

"What is the kingdom? It lies in our realization of the ubiquity of the divine presence in our neighbors, in our enemies, in all of us."

- Joseph Campbell, "Thou Art That"

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Normal human responses to a global pandemic that do not need to be pathologized or treated as abnormal,
according to Sarah Mariann Martland

• Food and eating challenges & difficulties

• Resurgence of compulsive or addictive behaviors

• Obsessive or intrusive thoughts, memories or fears

• GeneraliZed fear, anxiety, panic & overwhelm

• Depression, dissociation, shutdown, freeze, hopelessness

• Feelings of abandonment or loneliness or isolation

• Sense of loss of control or powerlessness. Feeling confused

• Anxiety around money, shelter, food, and other survival needs

• Past traumas being triggered, activated or re-experienced

• Health anxiety heightened (about COVID-19 and otherwise)

• Feeling unheard or unseen amidst the flood of stories

• Feeling like existing chronic needs are being ignored

• Thoughts and feelings about death and dying

• New and old grief surfacing

• Feelings of anger, irritation and frustration

• Caring for everyone to own detriment. Compassion fatigue

• Feeling exhausted, fatigued, unmotivated, lethargic

• Hyper-focus, surges of energy, keeping 'doing' to distract

• Immune system depleted, other illnesses starting, chronic flares

(list not exhaustive)

AND if you do need support with any of it, that's okay too.

—by Sarah Mariann Martland

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A friend named Pat Bradley has compiled a list of things she’s grateful for:

I give thanks for STORY. The stories we create, the dreams we make real. Shared stories, vulnerable stories, human stories. Stories that define us, change us. Even our body tells us a story through the language of symptoms. Life is an ever-evolving story.

We are all authors of our own unique story. Here is to our creations!! Be proud of your story!!! Listen carefully to the stories of others. Story is a gift of self. THaNk yOU stOrY!!!


I am grateful for ATTENTION. There is so much out there vying for our attention, that often it feels like we are surrounded by advertisements, billboards of the actual or virtual kind. Facebook is the perfect example of the “look at me, pick me, pick me.”

So it is a rare gift to attend to what is right there before us at any given moment. And a precious bit of humanity to sit with another soul and be there, undistracted and fully engaged in what is being conveyed. May you have such moments. Today I am thankful for ATTENTION.


I am thankful for SONG. I am reminded of the Maidu’s idea that everything has a song, a vibratory signature. Our song is the sum of all the vibratory patterns of our organs and our emotions – our

When we find another song that resonates with us, it not only is uplifting but truly healing! Go out and give your own special song to the world. I give thanks for SONG!


I give thanks to PORTALS. The gatekeepers. Those moments of discernment of what to keep in, what to let go. Those doors we unlock within ourselves to reveal the shadow we do not want to face. I give thanks for the courage to turn and knock on the doors of our greatest fears.

I give thanks to those who have given me the gift of welcoming me into their vulnerable places with trust and with love. I thank the portal between the seen and the unseen, the known and the unknown. Today I am thankful for PORTALS.


I am thankful for MYSTERY. That thing that enshrouds us and binds us – the viscera of all life. I know I am lost when I do not recognize the wonder around me and use that compass to return to mystery. Quiet and abiding vision to bring it all back into my field of awareness. Thank you MYSTERY.


I am grateful for my being alive. No matter what comes my way, I am constantly learning and graced with many gifts. Breathe in, inspiration, gather all that is offered. Breathe out to clear and cleanse in readiness for whatever is next. Today I am grateful for the gift of a life. I shall try my best to live it well.

—By Pat Bradley

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I went shopping for key necessities with my new tiger-enhanced protective head-gear

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At 101 years of age, Naomi Replansky, a poet and labor activist, has survived the Spanish Flu, the Depression, World War II, and the Holocaust. Her 95-year-old wife, Eva Kollisch, missed the flu, but experienced the rest.

Read news stories about how our Shared Healing Crisis is bringing out the best in some people.

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To those of you
who can't hear the sea
to those of you
who are cooped up,
locked away—

I pray your muses will arrive,
addressing your shrouded hearts,
transmitting the starry echoes of the wave,
the soft crackle of foam and sand,
the rustling sparkle of salt,
the grey songs of the sea-birds

and the sea well be reborn in you,
throbbing, dying,
throbbing, dying

—my adaptation of a Neruda poem

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In 1963, the authoritarian government of the Soviet Union decided that feisty, rebellious young poet Joseph Brodsky was not making sufficient contributions to society.

He was sentenced to exile in an unheated farmhouse without plumbing north of the Arctic Circle, where his job was to break rocks and shovel manure.

Those 18 months turned out to be wonderful for him. Every night he spent hours reading great poetry, learning English, and honing his craft.

It was a key phase of a career that eventually won him a Nobel Prize for Literature.

Do you have a comparable opportunity in the works?

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The taverns are full of gadabouts making merry this eve. And though I may press my face against the window like an urchin at a confectioner's, I am tempted not by the sweetmeats within. A dram in exchange for the pox is an ill bargain indeed.

— from the diary of London-based Samuel Pepys during the Great Plague of 1665

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