Since this will be the first of a series of eartheart reflections called The Peace of I, I started with a quote that talks about the first peace. I love this Native American wisdom and the cosmology of all indigenous belief systems around the world that sees the circle that connects all life to the self and the self to all of life. I feel so blessed having met a lot of mentors and guides from around the world who are guided by indigenous wisdom and practice. Words are not enough.The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes from within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men." - Black Elk
|Palawan : As Above, So Below|
Had I read it before, I wouldn't have taken it with this much resonance.
I could swear that I was ready to die while reading it. My body was in a state of lightness that I could just merge with the clouds and surrender to heaven as if it was these cloud formations artists and seers have rendered as the eternal place after death.
Fast forward to a month of deep questioning and peeling of layers, the chaos inside me prompted me to look into how I show up as a peacemaker in my life. A friend of 10 years challenged me about my work in peacebuilding for the last 4 years. All ancient teachings, religious and spiritual traditions teach the essence of peace. I should know this from my work in interfaith dialogue and sacred practices.
Yet, I still don't know. In the sense that knowing is wisdom in practice.
A month later since, I feel I am now about to dock port from a ship that sailed me through the eye of the storm of purging experience of letting go and forgiveness work. At least, I'd love to believe, I am in my next destination or trailmarker after dancing with Venus as she transited around the sun yesterday.
I dug through my box of journals (God knows how I'm going to transfer this big box to Maia) to find my journal from June of 2004 when the last transit took place.
I found a small notebook that I wrapped with black cloth and hand painted with a moon and a flower. By the cover alone anyone could tell that this was one of my dark periods. I was 21 about to turn 22 by this time and I was working at a prestigious museum about to open its new building at the business district. I was still in love with this artist whom I chose to stop seeing the year before and weeks later he would invite me to his exhibit opening which I will end up not going to.@ I was writing down ideas for new paintings. I tried yoga asanas practice for the first time and I was going to turn a year old as vegetarian the next month.
I found this in one of my entries and honestly felt this was the lightest writing so far. I don't even know if I wrote it anymore. It could be a quote that I copied from a book. But I remember the days I would climb up the roofdeck of the apartment building I lived alone in and stand up on the ledge to feel the breeze and write. Almost all of my entries in this journal wrote about the wind.
The winds howl like the sea. I woke up as if I lived right next to the ocean. The leaves dance as the wind tickles them. They make such beautiful noise. I feel like I'm on a ship and I'm sitting on my balcony - above deck. Perhaps time travels faster when the clouds run- as if the earth spun at a faster rate - dancing. I want to dance with the wind. I'm beginning to think that where I live is not too bad after all. I stood up for around ten minutes and saw an almost perfect picture of the sunset with a block of square in the middle. But it was 11 minutes of God. I'm going to try my best to fight sadness - instead, I will make each day extra ordinary.
|Walked around 3x around this stupa - like Mandala after the 17th Karmapa's lecture on the eve of the transit.|
All shamans know this.
The shamanic processes bridge the seen and the unseen realms. To access this, all shamans undergo transformation, at least all the shamans and healers that I know of who really undergo death and rebirth (even the actual physical death). Their participation in the relationship between the seen and unseen and what they have control of and what they do not is true alchemy. I'm no shaman but all of us who consciously go through our own transformation and the bridging of what has been to what is yet to be are shamans in some way or another.
I dedicate this to Bane Agbon and the ChildHeal Facilitators of Kids for Peace Foundation who invited me to share my learnings and ideas about integral well-being, expressive and transformative arts to their project with Save the Children. Up to now, I still cary this guilt that I could have done better or I could have just forced myself. It was a long process of self forgiveness after I wrapped up my contract early as consultant and battled with my deadlines that I so often missed. I realized, I couldn't work in a large INGO system with fast paced demands requiring the delivery of many key messages in a very short time in a mass produced scale. I have deep respect and appreciation for the staff for their dedication because they still did what was needed to be done with thousands of children in immediate need. I realized I was knee deep in my inner work process too be healthy enough to dive in to the heavy demands of their work and this caused my burn out. Was I too idealistic to integrate whole systems approach in a process that just needed one aspect addressed immediately? I still wonder. But right now, I am just so grateful for all the learnings that I realized about my idealism and about simplicity. Tailor fitting my crazy art ideas that were adapted from my work with small communities into a limited time table, materials, manpower, and energy - not to mention more than two thousand children was not easy for a first timer in a major post emergency situation. It was totally different from our arts relief work with Typhoon Ondoy as I was merely working as volunteer artist. This time, the task to oversee the entire design of the modules and its implementation with an integral well-being framework became overwhelming with the intensive requirements of the funders. I sincerely appreciate all the patience and trust this organization has given me. I still hope I can learn from this further and maybe prepare much better in the future for this kind of work.