two days

Death came a calling after she had said she would pass over

and she lingered awhile

and then

my friend was gone

lamenting the loss of what could have been

wishing that she did not have to suffer as she did

her offspring spoke

words of truth

of humour even in this the darkest of moments

and of love

a strong love

one that is born and then nurtured

authentic

lasting

deep

every eye in the crematorium moist

hearts pumping a spike of sadness to the throat

later we sat

in an old and ancient place

our old and ancient place

we burned wood

sang many a song

drank whisky

and talked and laughed and cried our sadness into a place that would live on

morning broke and a new day dawned

a journey North

a coming together of two tribes

a daughter of Erin

a son of Tili

here in the shadow of Death

life resurgent

joy and laughter

music and whisky

burning of wood

the throat swallowing a libation of love to the Heart

words of truth and beauty

their siblings offered

born of a deep love

authentic

timeless

circular

life she danced a dance this day

and as she looked

deep into the marrow of it

she bowed to her sister

and smiled a smile of knowing

Save

Rhythm Heals Part 2

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My ERS training in Kuala Lumpur is complete and so now I am free to attend other workshops leading up to the conference in Port Dixon and beyond.

A multitude of choices.

A sumptuous feast of rhythmical proportions.

I was about to get my fill.

Djembe, my first love in the drum world. A facilitation of love and nurturing by a gentle soul who allowed all of us to be. A group birthed and blessed all at once. Seeds sown that would reap beauty.

A time to see how Rhythm2Recovery would impact upon my own practice. A whole new paradigm opened up. Zombies in the drum circle!!! Rhythm waves. Emotional content. Safe space to be. Levels and layers of complexity. Deep stuff. All put together by a man of real integrity. A mountain of a program which I will endeavor to scale sometime. Somehow.

The conference called, as it had done before.  Awaiting me was another version of myself. One I had not discovered yet. This was a dance with emergence. Weaving of threads as a platform for doing nothing. The lesson here was to step back. Facilitate from the place of no facilitation.

I didn’t know I was heading there until the moment it emerged.

It all began with the truth. I could tell you my version but here is another view.

Perhaps it was his incredible vulnerability

his opening confession
and awareness of the power spot
he occupied
at the closing spot of the conference
or the way he explained
how to bow
to the group
and his mindfulness practice
that drew me in
into myself
allowing me to be a participant
in his well held space (@C.Stevens)
What emerged here was breathtaking for me. Another layer on the onion of affirmation. Self affirmation. There was a beauty in every moment and all I had to do was step back and it came into being. For the most part I sat and watched as a musical symphony arose from the silence and began a journey that played with my soul. I didn’t play. I didn’t want anything I did to be construed as facilitation. I just sat.
Such a breakthrough.
Do No Thing.

The conference was complete.

Three more rhythmical journey’s to undertake.

Health Rhythms came unfolding my new found understanding of stepping back. A protocol full of magic and which flowed in such a beautiful way delivered by a face from the past. A dance that had space and room for flow. Subtle yet powerful. More magic found it’s way into my world. Connections deepened.

The Arthurian was back. My Mentor, friend and long time collaborator in trouble making. This was another stepping back. For us both. For different reasons. Once again I was touched by the depth and the sincerity of this man and his mission. A powerful transition point. Watch this space.

The Doctor brought proceedings to a close. With skill and subtlety. With care and a smile. With a heart as big as the ocean. The Doctor brought us into a place of co-creation and collectivism. Moving as one. One rhythm. One heart. One Love.

We were complete. This was a journey. An amazing journey. I am once more Blessed by my life and my friends in the world of Rhythm.

Thank You with All of My Heart to John J Hagedorn, Terry and The Girls, Rhonwyn Hagedorn, Alison Surridge, Simon Faulkner, The presentation team from Port Dixon, Doh RayMee Music, Remo, All the workshop participants, Conference attendees,Christine Stevens, Arthur Hull and The Doctor, Jane Bentley.

Rhythm Family

Healing Now in the Circle

I am Emerging

Rhythm Heals: Part 1

I have just written a BLOG over at Rhythmbridge about my recent trip to Malaysia for a conference entitled Rhythm Heals. Check it out. It’s a good read😉

Here at ‘Scribbles’ I am more inclined to prose and poetry so I will endeavour to capture the essence of my experience in another form.

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The heat wraps me in it’s sweaty embrace as I land once more in the  home of the Orang Asli  I am returned again. Street vendor cooking smells float heavy on the air and the colour and texture of this vibrant city mirrors the diversity of it’s inhabitants.

I breathe deeply and am at once at peace here.

Hot but at peace.

The Nepali doorman at my hotel calls me ‘Boss’ as he holds open the door and I nod an acknowledgement and mouth a Thank You towards him as I pass through. It will be a daily dance. The same happens at the lift door. It makes me smile. Along with the two receptionists and the breakfast staff there are 6 people employed in this ground floor space. All full of smiles.

I’m here to drum. To tell tales. To experience transformation. If only I knew what lay in store.

My own program is a day or two away and so I chill, hang with my buddy John and his family and walk the streets of Brickfields or Little India as it is known locally.

It is hot and humid as I stroll around, walking much slower than my normal pace.

Almost mindful.

I am taken by this kaleidoscopic landscape in front of me.

Photographers heaven.

The contrast between the traditional and the modern rises up on every corner.I pass a happy few hours looking through a lens at the world in front of me.

Time passes. I sleep. I eat.

Training day is upon me. I am as always a little nervous, apprehensive. Am I ready? Have I prepared enough? Why did I use that razor? ( I have two deep cuts on my chin and don’t think I look ‘professional enough!!))

This is my third time. It has been an evolution so far. What awaits me now? One of my strengths, I am learning, is to get out of my own way and allow what might emerge to do so. This training is a platform for that. I open the day with an introductory exercise and I watch as a group begins to emerge. I notice what is present and I adjust my schedule, my plans ( cough),  to suit their needs and allow them to explore  the ideas present in the word EXPRESSIVE.

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“Well begun is half done” my meditation teacher used to say. So true. The day unfolds like a gently unfurling flower and we move effortlessly into our exploration of RHYTHM and I am once again amazed by this process. It meets the needs of the group and mine too as if it were planned this way. We are co creators. Stories await. It is pure flow. Magical.

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Day two follows the same pathway, tumbling like a waterfall over the rocks of our being and dancing a story into our hearts. We are moving as one now. Expressive, entrained, rhythmical and full of emergent STORIES. We fly together like a murmur.

It is beautiful to behold.

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As we come to our closing I am filled with a warmth that comes from a profound sense of completion.

A training has been birthed here this two days.

It feels right.

It feels good.

by leaning backward

it will all fall into place

i have done no thing

 

Doe, A Deer, A Female Deer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas

Wonderful blog…for Dear Deers everywhere xxx

gather

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In the ancient nature religions (in which the divine was often perceived as feminine) it was the female horned reindeer who reigned as the great goddess of the north and she was much associated with winter solstice. It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of winter, that the white bearded man i.e. “Father Christmas” was born.

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Today he chariots Rudolph and his steed of flying reindeer across our mythical skies and we have forgotten the power of the Deer Mother, the female horned Reindeer. Stronger and larger than the buck, it is she who leads the herds.

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And it is her beloved image that adorns the Christmas cards and Yule decorations we are so familiar with today. Because, unlike the male who sheds his antlers in winter, it is the Deer Mother, who flies through winter’s longest darkest night with life-giving light of the sun in her horns.

stag2 Image…

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Noticing

Today I am noticing.

Noticing the sadness I feel about the state of our world. Bombs being dropped in all manner of locations by the powerful elite to stave of terrorism.

Are these actions not the actions of terrorists?

The English Dictionary defines Terrorism thus:

1. noun; the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
Indigenous peoples battling for their and their lands survival.
Ecosystems on the verge of collapse.
Species dying out at an increased rate. A sixth mass extinction?
I am noticing how I feel that I want to find an answer. To look for a solution. To find peace in all of this. And in my noticing I am drawn to these words:
“The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you’re feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves. This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering—yours, mine, and that of all living beings. ”
Pema Chodron
It is not an easy practice. To sit with all of that which causes us to feel pain, which makes us question the very meaning of the world we are part of.
How can there be human beings who act like this? How can there be such lack of care? Such aggression? What can I do to change things?
I can choose to focus on all the beauty. The wonderful people in my life. The diggers and dreamers.The warriors who step into the world as a force for good.
That too is illusion of the same kind.
We in our totality, the good, the bad and the ugly, are planet Earth and This Is It.
this is it
That which we do not ‘like’ is perhaps a reflection of our Inner landscape…We judge from here. This is OK. This is NOT. Can we sit here? Be uncomfortable?
Not reach for a fix ? A cigarette? A drink? An hour of meditation? A heated discussion? A declaration of our position?  A blog trying to figure it all out?
“We awaken this bodhichitta, this tenderness for life, when we can no longer shield ourselves from the vulnerability of our condition, from the basic fragility of existence. In the words of the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, “You take it all in. You let the pain of the world touch your heart and you turn it into compassion.” It is said that in difficult times, it is only bodhichitta that heals.”
Pema Chodren

Is there a fundamental reality that lies beyond? A place of knowing that all of this is as it should be.? That there is no right or wrong? I believe that there is.

And I am not alone in that.

not rumi

wink-happy-face-ice-breaker

Paul John xxx

Artemisia Vulgaris

At a recent Gathering I took part in a Mugwort  Initiation ceremony. I have until now had no interest in plants or plant spirit medicine ( Ayauasca, Peyote etc) but something about this native plant, Artemisia Vulgaris, called me to attend.

I had a visionary experience. A coming together of many threads of my life, my consciousness…an alignment of things.

Having just completed DrumTrek and spent some time on the ancient land in West Penwith, Cornwall I attended a Gathering called ‘Reigniting Ancient Ways’ which saw Huichole Indians from Mexico, Kurukindi, a Shaman from the Eccuadorian Amazon, A Dogon Priest, an Origine Elder and Druidic representatives from these Isles gather together to share wisdom and lore. A very powerful truthful and enlightening few days.

During DrumTrek I had a growing sense of my connection to this land and as I passed through Scotland, England, Wales and into Cornwall it was as if the land was singing a song…an old song…timeless and beautiful…I felt blessed to be here now….to witness this connection…at times the beauty of these Isles moved me to tears….we do live on a magical Island…I recently attempted to pen a poetic description of my ceremonial experience…here it is.

Riding the green breath into a place of peace

the moment rises like morning mist over still waters

and then twists itself into a DNA like spiral

dancing

waving

beckoning

morphing into Wisps of tall Golden grass bending with the wind

a stag bursts forward

magnificent

proud

red brown and charging at me

no fear

only love

my totem calls

i open up

soften

and breathe deeply

shapes shift and a figure appears

swaying back and forth

sensual and feminine

a hand is offered

acceptance

a dance begun

a face as old as time

the crone

the green woman

smiles a radiant smile

touches my third eye

and my heart bursts

joy unbridled

i Journey into the land

deep into it

my land

a land I have traveled just

and always

deep Earth song awakens in my soul

my ancestors sing me to life

the pipes the pipes are calling

a song-line runs through me

past

present

future

one song

one line

a line meant

tears of gratitude fall

grace is upon me

i am blessed