Living from the EartHeart


Thank you for visiting. This site holds space for insights about living from the Earth's Heart.We are mirrors of each other. Whatever brought you here and whatever brought my words to you is part of a sharing of presence; an affirmation that we both exist in embodying our own journeys side by side.. an affirmation that we are One.

The EartHeart Journey is a sharing of my experiences from earth, heart, and art. My reflections have evolved on so many levels since I started journal writing when I was 11. What used to be a blog for my art projects and some public musings is now becoming a portal for sharing about consciousness, creativity, sustainability… of light, life, and love. Everything here is part of a sacred journey to oneness within and everywhere. However you resonate, may it reveal to you you inspiration, intuition, or insight for your own life journey.

Note: My new blogs can be found on my Portfolio Site.

Friday, May 4, 2012

EartHeart Space

"It's time to create new mythologies." 

Joseph Campbell said shortly before his death in 1987.

I saw this quote in my inbox while having lunch at the airport just after arriving from a 2 month travel to Bukidnon and Palawan. I find it amusing how uncanny old Joe is sometimes when his messages are brought about as spontaneous oracles.

It pretty much describes how I am going telling the story of my recent journey from the 492 year - old peace pact reaffirmation in Bukidnon to a gathering of a global community in the first intentional raw food community and ecovillage in Asia.

I could choose to document the stories separately but I am more interested at looking at the two beautiful experiences as sacredly woven together in the fabric of time. I would like to refer to a liminal space in between two circles that engage the Earth and Heart's meeting as the EartHeart Space in reference to what social scientists call Third Space or Third side. This space, usually diagrammed as the Mandorla, also referred to as vesica piscis, is an ancient symbol of two circles coming together and overlapping one another to form an almond shape in the middle. The meaning of the Mandorla depicts the interactions and interdependence of opposing worlds and forces. The symbol has its origins from the Kabbalah, before the Christian era. The early Catholics used the symbol as a way to describe the coming together of heaven and earth, between the divine and human.[1] For social advocates and change agents, this is the space where transformation takes place. 

I love this shape because it represents my personal philosophy and practice - to be weaver of worlds. 
It has taken me so much time to communicate with my inner self on how to bring my story about based on this journey. I have finally chosen to speak from this EartHeart Space, an authentic self expression aligned with universal language. 

While studying the role of arts in peacebuilding for my Masters program, I found myself very interested in the power of ritual in relationship to transitional justice and conflict resolution. Having proposed and developed the involvement of a ritual for the resumption of the peace talks last year, I could not miss the historic opportunity of a 492 year old peace pact's reaffirmation in my country. For the first time in a long time, the voices of the Indigenous Peoples or the Lumads in Mindanao get heard in the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). 

According to Lisa Schirch in her book Ritual, Symbol, and Peacebuilding, ritual helps to transform worldviews and enables people to make sense of the larger conflict. It can allow parties to create and affirm a shared view of the world and develop new ways of living and solving difficult problems.  At times when worldviews are crumbling, ritual can create new ways of thinking and dramatically alter the ways people see the world. On a biological effect, symbolic forms of communication such as ritual are thought to have the power to penetrate, integrate, and communicate between different parts of the body and brain which affects worldview transformation. 

Historian and former Chair of the Government Peace Negotiating Panel with the MILF, Professor Rudy Rodil affirmed the significance of the event: “This is an historic event that no historian should miss. We are writing a new chapter in the history of Mindanao.”

A report from the Peacebuilder's Community says: "For the first time in 492 years, 13 Bangsamoro tribes have come together with 18 indigenous tribes to reaffirm their shared ancestry and co-create a new ritual and new commitments on the principles of kinship. Despite conflicts in the past, these tribes have chosen to come together today to not only acknowledge their shared ancestry, but commit themselves to respect and protect one another. "

For many sacred traditions and practices, our deep connection to the life before and after shapes our personal life lines. Beyond the nourishment of my interest in this experience and learning, bearing witness to this event cultivated some faith that this heals past and future generations along the ancestral lines of all the individuals involved - including my own.

It all started with a story. The story of two brothers who promised not to fight when one decided to convert to Islam and one decided to remain in his practice of indigenous spirituality. This story evolved for almost 5 centuries with 2 tribes from the 2 brothers expanding into more than 30 ethnic groups with one common story: Kinship.

This kinship story also brought me to the next phase of my journey - to go to the Maia Planet Festival at Maia Earth Village in Palawan during Spring Equinox. The name Maia was derived from the ancient name of the Philippines called Ma-I which in reverse reveals "I Am." My friend Pi Villaraza organized a global gathering of healers, artists, advocates, yoga teachers, and people from all walks of life resonating with the transcending process of a healing technique called Inner Dance. The community was practically like kin or family as we spoke the same language born from the shared experience of the Inner Dance process. Pi tapped into this energetic process during his stay in isolation for 2 years on coconuts at an island in Palawan years ago. Since then it has healed so many people with physical and emotional conditions. Recently, it has expanded globally beyond its healing capacities. The Inner Dance is now a way of life wherein the deep observation of energy consumption, conservation, and conversion are applied in transformation of the self, community, and the earth.

My visit was also an immersion to prepare myself to move into this earth village. Maia is the first raw food intentional community in Asia. Maia uses raw food and permaculture as basis for energy conservation and conversion on many levels from physical, emotional, social, and environmental scales. The whole community believes in this practice as one of the driving transformers of personal and social problems in the world today. Having been in many different spiritual practices these last 8 years, I am at a point wherein  I am seeing how the evolution of spirituality from separation to union to oneness is being birthed by many new earth revelations and philosophy. Careful of labeling any practice including this one, I can only describe Inner Dance as a process of the experience of evolutionary flow and the wisdom of sacred simplicity as Pi would call it.

So this EartHeart space where I am now, which I am seeing from and how I am living my life speaks a new yet ancient and most often forgotten language - the language of the heart and the earth. From this point on, my insights will be expressed through this Mandorla, the liminal space of the union of past and future; ancient wisdom and new earth; body and spirit; heaven and earth. The EartHeart Space is the observer and seer of the perfection of our evolutionary journey as individuals and collectives. The "ear" in both Earth and Heart deeply listening and communing. The "art" in these words deeply expressing and attuning. 

Part of my own ritual work is to reflect on the journey from where it started from as I design my next steps. Here in the middle of packing for my move to Maia and finishing a manual for my recent arts relief project, the EarthHeart way of seeing is to weave past and present. In the union of this duality comes the space of reflection, reframing, and transformation. Before I can write about my new insights and revelations that are helping shape my future steps, I felt it was important to root back to where my journey has led me. 

Honestly, EartHeart speak is beyond words. I can never really eloquently articulate what I felt waking up with a roomful of 100 women from almost 30 tribes dressing up in their colorful and grand traditional garbs in preparation for a historical ritual; or seeing colorful orbs out in the trees every night while sleeping under the sky and trees outdoors at Maia. Harvesting shared meaning through this space and language, I am outlining a colorful visual montage of experiences as photographs in a dynamic storyboard that connects the essence of the two experiences: 

  • The deep reverence for the Sacred as a unifying entity deeply present in all ways of knowing, being, and doing
  • Respect for the earth and nature as source of life
  • The creativity involved in co-creating new rituals to affirm healing, transformation, and the re-imagination of the future. 
  • Life as a thread that weaves the individual with the collective; the inner and the outer selves and dimensions.
  • Healing the past in the present now paves the way for the new future to manifest.

Sharing prsence with the Babaylans, the local shamans/ healers many of them present during the peace pact. I have been involved in some initiatives to revive Babaylan wisdom for the last two years and it was a special experience interacting with some of them in flesh. 
My friend Pi Villaraza, a healer who uses an ancient and powerful healing process which he calls Inner Dance which he was able to tap into while living on coconuts in isolation on an island in Palawan for 2 years. Seers say that this healing technique was also accessed by ancient Babaylans and shamans from other traditions.   
Datu Vic Saway begins the pact re-affirmation with the acknowledgement of the spirits of the Gods, the guardians of the land, and the ancestors and descendants.

A creative gathering as part of a series of activities during the Maia Planet Festival

The new ritual reaffirmed the 492 year old kinship by declaring new agreements in a covenant witnessed by the ancestors and the gods during the sacred ritual. Here engraved in a symbolic sculpture of the original ritual with a jar of oil are the 5 pillars of Kinship established in the traditional peace pact of their ancestors: Co-operation, Mutual Sharing of Information, Mutual Protection of Life, Recognition and Respect, and Mutual Obligation to Help the Needy.  Despite tribal conflicts in the past, they have chosen to come together to not only acknowledge their shared ancestry, but commit themselves to respect and protect one another. 

Maia Earth village as an ecovillage is guided by the Maia Mandala and the Key of 7 developed by Pi Villaraza and Juanita Naidoo along with the members of the community. The codes are based on each of the 7 chakras and the colors of the Rainbow. 
Beautiful traditional dances that depict the relationship with nature with dance movements imitating the movements of  animals and nature elements.

While Inner Dance is not a dance per se, energy flows through the body prompting its parts to move as if in a dance. Many of those who experience it see orbs who are drawn to the good energies of those attuning.
Soil Painting on canvas by Talaandig artists.
(When I was there I took the chance to undergo a ritual to request permission and guidance in working with these artists for the intended community art project I was designing for the NGO I was working with on arts relief. Up to now, I still don't understand why the NGO started on it without me - but that's entire story to reflect on.)
A new story with soil - mud house making based on sustainable housing principles at Maia.
The sacred mountain Mt. Kitanglad
View of the mountains from Maia Earth Village
The intricately woven and patterned design of the different tribes present during the peace pact. No other event in history has assembled this much grandeur and heritage. 
The New Rainbow Warriors - 11 countries represented during the Maia Planet Festival sharing a communal way of life based on the principles of transcendence and sacred simplicity.

Gratitude to photos by : Pi Villaraza, Chai Cf, Hooi Betty, Mary Raynor, and Owen Yeoh, Celine Yuzon, Pusongbughaw Gonzales, Ramon Parica

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