As I write this article, the sky is obscured by a smoke-filled haze due to forest fires burning in Washington State and BC. There is a dull orange hue that is settling on everything, including my mood. I’ve been noticing that most people are in a brain fog, dulled by the blanketed sky and poor air quality. So, a comment made by a close friend really caught my attention. He said, “The sun is painful with the green burning up and the sky covered in smoke and ash, but what a beautiful world we live in. I am so happy and sad at the same time.”
There is such sublime beauty in honouring the dance of life – the happy and the sad, the fragile and incredibly strong, the pain, the sorrow and disappointments, the tenderness, the joy and deep satisfaction. These are the many facets of our life-experiences that co-exist as a whole. By seeing the beauty, all these facets coalesce into a kaleidoscope of feeling, intention and prayer.
The present offers you so many opportunities to shift and adapt.
Masiandia: “The forests are on fire, homes ablaze and communities displaced. Change is inevitable, yet the mind persists in its judgements, fears and projections of hardship into the future. Be here now! The present offers you so many opportunities to shift and adapt to the rising tide of heat, dry weather and profound transformation.
“Fire is an alchemist: a catalyst for new beginnings. When you project discontent and malaise onto the current weather patterns and mass burnings, you miss out on the potential to shift energy and engage with a new reality. Join the spirit of fire and become a catalyst for change.
“You all have the power to change reality – you have the power of prayer which rebalances energy, and therefore returns weather patterns into a balanced state.
“Join us in a meditative relationship with the Earth where you become a molecule of water and coolness. Embody change to witness it take shape.
Water Meditation: Shifting energy – Imagining the seemingly impossible
Masiandia: “Begin by forgiving humankind for accelerating global warming; forgive those who take from the earth without reverence; forgive your own unconscious behaviours – the ways in which you take the beauty of life for granted. Forgive the land for its uncompromising need; forgive your own unmet needs – all the ways in which you neglect yourself.
“Please stop pleading for rain or for change from outside of you. Change exists within you. Cease seeking externally for salvation; go inside.
“From within, bring your attention to your breath and body awareness. Reach in to connect with your own needs, such as the need for love, balance, nourishment, water, fulfillment. And now imagine that you are the Earth that is thirsty for rain. Feel the Earth’s need for sustenance. Tap into the quality of urgency for water within your own body – your earth body. Imagine a voracious hunger for moisture, sense into the dry land, the air, the sky. Be the dryness, the cracked earth, cracked skin, dry sinuses. Be the fruit tree, the forest floor, the birds seeking refuge.
“Now you can imagine a source of water and joining with that source, such as standing under a waterfall or stepping into a cool lake, or simply imagine drinking a tall glass of water. You are the body of Earth drinking and being replenished
. Absorb the water, be submerged and renewed. You are the Earth – the Earth is you. Together you are whole. Together you are renewed.
“You can connect with the reality consciousness you truly yearn for. You don’t have to keep struggling against the way things are or seem to be. There is a vast universe of energy consciousness – fluid expressions of truth, forgiveness, surrender and trust. Even if you are one of the unfortunates who have experience loss due to the fires, please let change unfold and guide you to where you need to be. Life awaits your acceptance and patience, but mostly your forgiveness.
“God, Goddess, and All That Is has brought you to Earth to give your ‘presence’ to the Earth, and to gift you the generous life-experiences that Earth has to offer. Reject nothing, for everything is a gift. You are a gift – your blessing, the time you take to pray and be whole is a gift. Life is meant to be explored and not harnessed, opened up to, not controlled. Let go, let in the Divine.”
When I did the water meditation, I found myself in a sacred pool of water and completely calm in a way I hadn’t felt for days.
I stepped into the water and was enveloped in deep reflection. I breathed more easily and felt completely still. The mist and the surroundings brought my attention to the tension in my body, in my face and neck. My body had been reacting to the poor air quality; I’d been getting allergies and ear congestion.
In the meditation, the tension was replaced with an over-lighting image of Hathor – an Ancient Egyptian Goddess of the sky who personifies joy, beauty, feminine love, and motherhood. I felt strong and taken care of, and the Earth was equally held in profound sacredness.
New Beginnings: Out of the ashes life is renewed
I need the solace that Hathor brought to me in the meditation, and the encouraging perspective that wildfires are regenerative. “Many forests cannot sustain themselves without natural wildfire.” … “They require canopy fires to regenerate because the trees in the forest are adapted to only produce seeds following a major fire event, explains Dr. Mihuc in an article written by Will Donavan. “Wildfires … are regenerative for the forest, revitalizing for the watershed, renew the soil, and reset the clock for the ecosystem.”
This perspective helps me trust in the life and death cycle of Earth’s natural ecosystem and in our own cycles or regeneration. Change is inevitable, as Masiandia says. The wheel of life keeps turning and renewal follows. That is the essence of nature. Nature surrenders to change – it doesn’t suffer. We need to surrender also, and allow change to renew us, our land and our perception of reality.
A friend recently told me a story of two German women who fled Dresden, a city in Germany that was firebombed during World War 2. The story told to me is of two strangers who would later become mother-in-law and and daughter-in-law . The mother-in-law was a young woman when she fled from the bombing and she remembered watching the burning city from a long distance. “It was so bright it was like peering into the sun,” she told my friend. In her memories, she relived the terror of the bombs dropping around her. The daughter in law had a completely different recollection. She was just a little girl and she recalls that the fire bombs looked like Christmas lights.
What perspective is real, the horror that the adult experienced fleeing the fire or the child’s innocence? Both perspective are valid and both tell a different story; one of an old a way of life coming undone, and the other a whole new world waiting to be discovered.
We’re at a time on Earth that is calling for renewal and complete rebuilding of our sense of value and collective consciousness. It’s time for us to evolve our capacity to see and sense with greater compassion and forgiveness, and to accept. Something happens when we cease pleading with the universe; we let go of forcing our will onto the will of divinity and relinquish our fear of the unknown. We become open and awakened by the currents of change, loss and renewal.
I share this with humility and in prayer for the people who have experienced loss due to the forest fires. You may be one of those people. I received news of two persons I know who have had to flee their homes due to the fires in the Interior of British Columbia. Two clients of mine have been evacuated from their farms and have had to scramble to find new farmland for their animals. One women had to leave behind two wild horses and she doesn’t know if they have survived or if her house is still standing. All the food for her livestock may have been burned down. Still she counts herself blessed that she has a friend to go home to. These are difficult times that turn lives and communities into flux and push people beyond their limits into prayerful living.
“If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the
world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break;
its purpose is to burst open again and again, so that it can hold ever more
~ Andrew Harvey
Featured Image by Jonny Lidner