“Life and death are not opposites. Death is integral to the whole/holiness of the sacred web of all that is. In this experiential workshop with slides, movement, trance, song and sacred theater and whatever arises in spontaneity/gaiety we will explore a way of viewing death that actually comes from the realm of our pre-patriarchal ancestors. Very little is known or taught about how our early ancestors lived, and in this space together we will learn from them and bring forward a much needed shamanic integration about life and death for body mind and spirit. We will also learn what it means to “midwife” death in our current time and how to transform fear about death into pure love." Leslene della-Madre
“With tears and prayers and tender hands, Mother and sisters made her ready for the long sleep that pain would never mar again, seeing with grateful eyes the beautiful serenity that soon replaced the pathetic patience that had wrung their hearts so long, and feeling with reverent joy that to their darlings death was a benignant angel, not a phantom full of dread. “ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Death can be looked at as both the end and the beginning. I see it as part of the sacred cycle of breathing and expiring, combining and recombining, gathering and giving away. However, I tend to think we moderns like the birth process better than the death process. We can’t see any joy when a spirit leaves us as our ancestors did.
Many of the books I read as a teenager set the stage for death. The Victorians didn’t seem to have the same mindset as we moderns do. It wasn’t usual for the dying to be in bed surrounded by loved ones and friends. There were prayers and poems read, final kisses and words said all providing the dying one the support they needed to reach the place between the earthly plane and the divine. The gatherers were equal in volume as the gatherers at a birth.
This past Sunday I popped into my favorite bakery for a muffin and coffee. The baker had saved me a pistachio one; he knows it’s my favorite. When he went to pull it out of the case, he broke down with a deep sigh. Clearly he was upset and then quickly apologized. He told me he can’t look at the chocolate muffins without crying and thinking of his friend.
These past days have been rough for him. He told me his tenant who became his friend passed. The chocolate muffins were his favorite. He can’t not look at the muffins and see his friend.
The baker went to check on him and found him on the floor. He had suffered a stroke. The baker quickly called the squad. His older friend was admitted to the hospital. When his grand-daughters arrived at the hospital, they demanded all his things. The baker gave them his friend’s keys and wallet. The girls disappeared.
The baker stayed with his friend. Holding his hand and walking with him to the crossroad. The baker believed – it’s what friends do. He was sad in for his loss, but also sad that the grand-daughters were there to also say goodbye.
When the baker returned home to his rental building, he found that his friend’s apartment had been raided by the grand-daughters. They were looking for material things he didn’t have. The baker explained to me – they didn’t realize the wealth their grandfather shared abundantly were in acts of kindness over coffee, conversation and chocolate muffins.
The baker was a man who was working from his heart.
Deep Peace to You
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.
- Adapted from ancient Gaelic runes
This is John Rutter’s music set to the ancient words with the Edinburgh Singers.
My friends from Europe have asked me what is going on here. I’m asking myself the same. What is going on here? Why can’t my government get along? As a CCWWW, I know that things reflect each other. My government only mirrors what is happening in the general population.
I think we are not working from our hearts. We have lost sight of the abundance we have and focus only on what we don’t have. Many of us are living from scarcity. When we work from scarcity it is okay to not get along and put others down. It is easy to shame, laugh at or ridicule someone who‘s not doing as good as we are. It becomes easy for us to climb over another to get “X.” We have lost sight of compassion and love.
Think about it: How do you look at a homeless person on the street? How do you view a family living on minimum wage and going to a food pantry?
Recipe for chocolate muffin with chocolate chips was created by cooking Goddess Nigella Lawson – May you find time this week to share abundantly with a friend over coffee, tea and conversation.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons best quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup superfine sugar
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 cup milk
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Special equipment: Muffin tin with paper muffin cases
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, and 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips into a large bowl. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a measuring jug. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, remembering that a lumpy batter makes the best muffins. Spoon into the prepared muffin cases. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top and then bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are dark, risen and springy