Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sacred Space in the Digital Age

I'm giving at webinar called Sacred Space in the Digital Age on October 20th.

Here's the description:
Digital technology is transforming our encounters with every aspect of life. It’s also revolutionizing our relationship with the primal mysteries of dwelling in this world. For thousands of years, people in all parts of the world set aside sanctuaries to inspire their minds and heals their hearts. Each sacred site expressed the needs and dreams of its specific location and culture. Meeting the needs and aspirations of the emerging digital culture requires new forms of sacred space and fresh ways of engaging them.

Sacred Space in the Digital Age offers you knowledge and methods for finding, creating and experiencing sacred space within the new global society. During this insightful and inspiring webinar you will:

• Discover the practical power of sacred space as an ally on your human journey
• Learn where to experience digital age sacred space in daily life
• Gain tools for creating your personal sacred space in at home or in the garden
• Increase the sacredness and meaning of your travels around the globe.

Webinar Leader
Anthony Lawlor is author of The Temple in the House and A Home for the Soul. During more than 30 years of architectural practice Tony has received awards for excellence in design from the American Institute of Architects and Interior Design Magazine. His work has been featured on Oprah, National Public Radio and numerous other national media. He lives and works in Marin County, California. For more information on Tony’s work, visit his website
www.AnthonyLawlor.com and bloghttp://dwellingherenow.blogspot.com/

Date: Wednesday, 20 October 20, 2010
Time: 9:00 — 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, 6:00 — 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Place: Your Computer
Price: $25.00
Click Here to Register
"Your sacred place is where you find yourself again and again.” Joseph Campbell

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Whole Foods Hunter-Gatherer's Awakening

Standing in Whole Foods, I remembered my animal body. My senses ignited with the overwhelming abundance surrounding me. My cells recalled the thousands of years my ancestors had foraged and hunted to survive. I imagined what it would be for one of them to happen upon these overflowing aisles and behold the profusion of vegetables, fruits and meat. Maybe, she would have fallen to the ground, bowing low to whatever goddess had carried her to this heaven. Perhaps he would have grabbed a shopping cart and run through the store, piling it high with viands for a legendary feast that would extolled around campfires for generations. Most likely, my hunter gatherer ancestors would set up camp at the entrance guarding this treasure from invaders and eaten whatever was at hand until their stomachs ached with satisfaction.

We, however, wander casually passed the mounds of apples, the cases filled with milk and the shelves stacked with honey. We act as if whatever we need to fill our bellies has always been and will always be available. So, I thank my animal body for reminding me it hasn't always been this way. I send gratitude to my ancestors' eyes for showing me the astonishment that would have overtaken them at such a sight. And, I marvel at the bounty of the earth and the consciousness that has allowed us to bring forth such copious wonder.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Earth Speaks Its Secrets in Textures

Earth has secrets to reveal, but you have to know how to read the signs. The language of nature doesn't fit into human text. It uses countless varieties of texture to express the subtle, shifting dialect of the land, water, sun and wind. Wisps of fog and thunderheads describe the journey of the wind. A shimmering palette of colors relate witty repartee between water, surrounding hills, plants and light. The grain of tree bark narrates decades of encounters with storms and heat, insects and animals.

The miracle of Earth's language is that each being can only understand what is being said through a one-to-one relationship. Nature doesn't make universal pronouncements. That would be too simple-minded and disconnected from the immediate needs of billions of humans, trillions of birds, mammals, snakes, lizards, flies, trees, grasses and flowers. Instead, Earth's language—the gurgling of a brook, the arc of a branch, or the redness of a berry—simultaneously says what is relevant to the bird, bug or bear that is engaging it at any given moment.

So, the next time you walk out your door, even if you're in Manhattan, notice the textures you encounter. What patterns of light and shadow are the trees casting on the ground? How are the ridges and valleys forming a visual brail in the sky? Sense the expansion and contraction of space as your animal body passes down streets, through doorways into rooms. Ignore the story your mind spins. With your whole being, listen to what is being said. At first, it may make no sense. In time, you can open beyond human words and understand the Earth's poetic song.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What We Dream Today

Once we weren't here. There was only the rolling earth, the shimmering waters, the waving grasses, the stretching oaks, the soaring hawks, the dancing deer, the industrious ants, the rain, the clouds, the sun and moon. There was a day the first humans came, standing upright, carrying tools, sparking cooking fires, shaping clay into pots, weaving grasses into baskets. There was a day when each street, building, park and car first appeared.

There was a day when I rediscovered the land beneath the concrete. I remembered that everything humans make springs from a dream within the mind. The dream mixes into the earth, generating computers, smart phones, sneakers and T-shirts. That day, I saw that what was dreamed into one form can be re-dreamed into other forms. That day, my bones recalled that the beliefs separating humans from the land can be re-shaped to weave humans back into the land. That day, my flesh and blood and brain shimmered as currents within the shimmering energy and wisdom of the earth. That day, I moved from living on the land to living from the land. And that day, I sensed the earth's desires becoming human desires; that what humans had formed from division will be reformed from integration. I saw that what is here will be forgotten and what will be here will be the result of what we dream today.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Piercing the Media's Fearful Illusions

Our belief in the media is driving us crazy. Every hour the electronic buzz crackles us another outrage to get worked up about. But the view of the world presented by the screens and the radio is only a pinhole view of a vast reality. The wider world is much more sane, peaceful and loving. The narrow scope of the media view has one purpose—sell advertising time. For that, it needs a big audience. Conflict stirs our biological reaction to danger. It gets our attention and keeps us glued to the latest drama waiting to be told on the other side of the commercials.

What I see and hear on the media screen doesn't match what I encounter every day. Does it reflect what happens in your day? There are countless realities at this moment. The fearful horror put forth by the mainstream media is only one version. There is a universe of other stories to follow and live.

Reports of book burnings, war, and environmental disaster wound our collective soul again and again. How we react determines whether these are flesh wounds or deep gashes that cripple our psyches. Responding with dread and hatred to what we see only deepens the wounds. Speaking wisdom to this ignorance helps awaken the collective mind and heal its pains of duality.

The fearful story put forth by the media is not a conspiracy by any one group. It's the universal archetype of Illusion, the play of Maya enacting the same mind-deluding tricks it has played throughout time. Our task is to see through this primal pattern and find the light of consciousness shining behind the trickster veil. This Illusion is not dispelled with another Illusion, but with unconditioned, silent awareness seeing its unity shimmering on the other side of Illusion.

Those caught in the media's illusion making machine are conflict addicts, hooked on duality. They get off on the adrenaline rush of crisis. They fly high on savior fantasies of swooping in to rescue the world with actual solutions or insightful commentary. These conflict addicts thrive on the belief that the dramatic divisions weakening us are real. As long as the collective body appears to be in the trauma unit, they have a purpose an a way to make a living.

Notice how the media puts forth the same stories everyday with different names filling in the blanks—war, poverty, disease, chaos... You know the rest. Yet, the public buys the same dramas again and again. The core media illusion is the belief that we are safer in familiar limitations and conflict than in freedom and dynamic harmony. This core illusion speaks to the ancient, reptilian part of our brains. As long as that little lizard is threatened with the illusion of danger, it will keep running back to its hole in the rocks. Expanding beyond this controlling force is the true evolution that will allow us to survive in this age of global community.

The media is mostly a circus that entertains our reptilian brains for the sake of income. Beck, Limbaugh et al don't believe what they say. They are entertainers out for ratings. Allowing their words to shape our worldview is like believing that distorted funhouse mirrors are giving us a clear picture of the world.

Certainly there are dangers to deal with, but the greatest danger is selling illusion for income. How we see the world shapes the world. Seeing through the illusions of conflict & fear to unity and compassion shapes the world toward greater health and abundance.

In this regard, the power of art is its ability to show us how forms of illusion can be used to liberate consciousness from illusion. The art of being a patriot is not to reinforce illusions of fear and conflict, but to dispel illusions with understanding and insight. The art of leadership points the way through illusions of division and hatred to unity and love. The art of living dispels illusions by living your truth.

So, when the next news alert flashes across your screen telling you the world is falling apart, remember the voice that hums in the hollow of your heart. Listen to its timeless reminder—what appears to be divided is one life flowing on its mysterious course through illusions of itself on its long journey home.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

911—Let the Wound Become a Womb

Living carves a space in the soul, an ache longing to be filled. The mind races to restore what was lost. But the loved ones, the youthful spark, the glowing hope that were so real and suddenly disappeared cannot be retrieved. So the mind tries to pack the yearning cavity in the soul with explanations and stories. They fall short and leave gaps where hunger still throbs. Finally the mind searches for distractions, schemes to numb the pain. In its desperation, the mind insanely believes that the greater, self-inflicted pain of war, political conflict, economic domination, social hatred, brutal entertainments and other forms of violence will somehow soothe the wound. The mind rages through this nightmare until, exhausted, it surrenders to that space life has sculpted from the soul and gazes into its mystery.

Then the heart awakes. It's wise enough to know the cavity in the soul is not a wound. It's a womb longing to give birth. The heart knows new life is spawned from opposites, not separated, but joined in the joyous love dance that sends hot light shooting through every cell of the body. Within the soul womb, the mind sees emptiness wailing. The heart embraces its fullness of possibilities calling for opportunities to spring forth. Sparks of new life fly. Fresh forms of being and becoming take shape. New worlds dawn.

What appeared to be lost—the loved ones, youth and hope—were never gone. They merely changed forms. From individuals we could caress, they became forces too subtle for the aching mind to see. Through the opening in the heart, they long to take new forms and patterns of renewal. Make the simple gesture. Open your fists and let new life flow out.