Indigenize!

Rekindle Your Wild Joy and sense of deep Belonging through spiritual ecopsychology and the arts, incl. bioregional awareness, animistic perspectives, strategies for simple living, & low/no-tech DIY fun.

What my students learned this semester December 6, 2015

Unknown

Start paying attention

The difference between me and you (or anything, for that matter)

is the thought that creates that reality.

 

I need to be radical in my love, my thoughts, my actions, my acceptance and surrender – to get to the root,

the seat of life and growth, which is the seat of quintessence.

That’s where i want to be.

 

[What I’ve learned has been] both extremely helpful and devastating:

How unconscious most humans are, but that it can change!

I uncovered some of my own self-defenses that keep me from action.

The application of psychoanalytical theories to understand the great complexity of our environmental situation.

I developed more clarity and compassion, for myself and others

Context for the madness

A lot less anger

At once, I feel the urgency to act and the need to be patient and not act forcefully

To learn to live with and through the earth, not just on her

Gratitude that I owe to my family

 

Humans’ connection with nature

A sense of oneness

Enmeshment within the natural world

Being an integral part of the macro interdependent-system that feels itself, knows itself, and heals itself

Ecological identity

This has forever changed my life

 

I look at all that is around me a little differently now.

Knowing it is all of the earth, and perhaps more importantly that it will go back to the earth, changes the way I operate in my days.

 

This sense was deepened and became more embodied

An exchange in breath: as the plant was breathing out, I was breathing in

Increase my awareness and widen my perception

Eventually feeling the reciprocal awareness of nature

How incredible these realizations have been for me.

 

Awakening has been the most beautiful process I’ve ever endured.

Thank you Earth!

Healing source

Never ending story

 

These are the truths that have become my mantras from being absorbed in ecopsychological concepts.

These are incredible supports that I rely on when feeling distressed, confused, and at times, hopeless.

 

I will continue to live mindfully in respect to nature.

Being conscious about what I purchase, what I waste, how and what I eat etc.

“No matter how big you get, don’t forget to take out your own trash.”

 

So grateful to walk this path with you

and share what I can with whoever will listen.

A challenging(!), engaging, deepening, fulfilling and respectful round of studies

I’m so grateful to be receiving wisdom

Like candy for my soul.

 

I bow out to a transformative journey

I and the moon bow in thanks

Your wisdom and beautiful hearts

 

Just bloom.

 

*********************************************

These words are from first-year students’ final self-reflections on their learning in my Ecopsychology class, part of Naropa University’s M.A. program in Ecopsychology, early December 2015

collated into a poem by professor Tina Fields

I composed this as a gift back to them, a lens on what happens in this program, and a reflection for teachers to turn to when times at work get rough. To help us remember that what we do matters.

Students whose words are in here: Katie Poinier, Thompson Bishop, Melanie Gajewski, Colleen Kirkpatrick,  Karen Delahunty, Lauren Mangion, Anne Gordon, Sierra Robinson, Erika Dearen, Bekah Turner, Tessa Stuart and Jakob Ledbetter.

I am extraordinarily fortunate as a teacher, so often getting to feel awe at the depth of my students’ thoughtful engagement with their learning, their passionate desire to care for the planet, and most of all, their souls.

-*-

 

 

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Happy Pi Day! March 14, 2015

Filed under: Spiritual Ecopsychology — BrujaHa @ 3:46 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Happy Pi day!

As you likely know, pi (π) is a mathematical constant found in all circles. Perhaps you remember the old joke from geometry class: “πR2? No, pie are round.” (Hardy-har.) Since pi’s decimal expansion starts off 3.14… and today’s date is 3/14, it’s the perfect day to celebrate Pi and to feel wonder at the mathematically amazing world we get to live in. 

Taking Pi’s numerical sequence further, we get the exact moment of 9:26 today. If you missed it this morning, take advantage of the 12-hour clock option and nab another chance this evening to eat cosmic pi.

Perhaps you, like me, tend more toward greater skills in the arts or humanities than in mathematics. Well, you need not be left out. Here’s a super nerdy-cool thing to do: play with the connection between math and poems by trying to write a “PIEM” – that is, a poem where the number of letters in each word yields the sequence of pi’s digits. 

This really exists!  Cadaeic.net tells us how to write in “Pilish”:

“The idea of writing a sentence (or longer piece of poetry or prose) in which the lengths of successive words represent the digits of the number π (=3.14159265358979…) has been around since the early 1900’s. One of the earliest and most well-known examples is the following sentence, believed to have been composed by the English physicist Sir James Jeans:

“How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics!
The first word in this sentence has 3 letters, the next word 1 letter, the next word 4 letters, and so on, following the first fifteen digits of the number π.”

Two longer examples of poetic Pilish offered by mathematician Nick Yates are Near a Raven, Mike Keith’s retelling of a poem by none other than Edgar Allen Poe (written in the more forgiving form known as “standard Pilish”), and this century-old piem

Yates also shared a recording of the sound of pi (this one uses pi in base 12 to match up with the chromatic scale). How cool is that?

Finally, you can play with your mathematical food visually as well. Look at this gorgeous example of secret geometry based on circles.

From the blog World Mysteries

 

Photo (c) Kenneth Vincent

 Pi can be found everywhere!

If you want to get it down to the second, celebrate Pi Day exactly at 3.141592653589793238462643383279.

The universe is full of so many wonders. What’s your favorite kind of pi?

Pi pie image nabbed from lbtimes.co.uk 

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More Sources

Pi mandala image (c) David Reimannn, found here

See more math wizardry from Nick Yates at nyates314.wordpress.com

 

Grist for the Mill August 15, 2014

Grist Mills*

(Reframe to stay AWAKE)

Not a pain in the ass,

not annoying miscommunication over incessant email,

not a nasty fight with stepfamily over money,

not a frightening illness,

not losing dear friends far too young, with yet more in the pipeline out; sadness unending,

not a super flattering compliment that makes me feel good

and could inflate my ego like a balloon:

Just more grist for the mill of enlightenment, baby,

Grist for the mill.

*

 

5:20 AM, another farewell July 17, 2014

Filed under: Adventures,Animism — BrujaHa @ 1:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Stars

 *

5:20 am

 

Another dear friend

lost to this world

 

Her last message to me,

with a continent between us, was,

 

“Can’t talk right now: I’m on my way.”

 

Did she confuse me with someone else?

Or was there a deeper meaning?

 

Just in case, I’m paying attention;

watching for

yet another familiar pair of eyes

looking back at me

when I gaze up at the stars at night.

 

 

 

 

Farewell, Pete – and thanks January 28, 2014

Filed under: Announcements,Arts,Singing — BrujaHa @ 10:50 am
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Pete Seeger's banjo

*

“To my old brown earth, and to my old blue sky
I now give these last few molecules of ‘I;’
And you who weep, and you who stand nearby,
I do charge you not to cry:
Guard well our human chain–
Watch well you keep it strong
As long as sun will shine.
And this, our home, keep pure and sweet and green,
For now I’m yours, and you are also mine.”

—Pete Seeger

*

Pete Seeger young singout

*

R.I.P. and deep thanks to our elder Pete Seeger, who just passed on at age 94, in late January of 2014. They say he was chopping wood just 10 days before he died.

Pete Seeger wielded folk music as a guerrilla tool to create a better world. His legacy spreads around campfires and along picket lines still, and on the sloop Clearwater (where a number of my students did environmental education internships). His powerful banjo inscription: “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender,” is, in my opinion, a sign of wisdom, showing a way to make deep and lasting change from a place of positive, inviting joy rather than from angry confrontation.

What an example of a life well lived.

Sing on, sir – sing on.  And we will too.

*

pete seeger walking banjo rr

 

Crush Their Butts June 1, 2011

 Following is one of my favorite poems. It was written by Gary Snyder at a Sierra Club wilderness conference in 1969, and depicts our favorite bear in jeans and ranger hat as the reincarnated Virocana Buddha.

Despite the problematics of putting out forest fires that might actually be beneficial, Smokey remains a powerful character in the American imagination. The poem came to my mind this morning after listening to the news. Oy, do we need this bear and his vajra-shovel now.


Smokey the Bear Sutra

by Gary Snyder

Once in the Jurassic about 150 million years ago, the Great Sun Buddha in this corner of the Infinite Void gave a Discourse to all the assembled elements and energies: to the standing beings, the walking beings, the flying beings, and the sitting beings — even grasses, to the number of thirteen billions, each one born from a seed, assembled there: a Discourse concerning Enlightenment on the planet Earth.

“In some future time, there will be a continent called America. It will have great centers of power called such as Pyramid Lake, Walden Pond, Mt. Rainier, Big Sur, Everglades, and so forth; and powerful nerves and channels such as Columbia River, Mississippi River, and Grand Canyon. The human race in that era will get into troubles all over its head, and practically wreck everything in spite of its own strong intelligent Buddha-nature.”

“The twisting strata of the great mountains and the pulsings of volcanoes are my love burning deep in the earth. My obstinate compassion is schist and basalt and granite, to be mountains, to bring down the rain. In that future American Era I shall enter a new form; to cure the world of loveless knowledge that seeks with blind hunger: and mindless rage eating food that will not fill it.”

And he showed himself in his true form of

SMOKEY THE BEAR

  • A handsome smokey-colored brown bear standing on his hind legs, showing that he is aroused and watchful.
  • Bearing in his right paw the Shovel that digs to the truth beneath appearances; cuts the roots of useless attachments, and flings damp sand on the fires of greed and war;
  • His left paw in the Mudra of Comradely Display — indicating that all creatures have the full right to live to their limits and that deer, rabbits, chipmunks, snakes, dandelions, and lizards all grow in the realm of the Dharma;
  • Wearing the blue work overalls symbolic of slaves and laborers, the countless men oppressed by a civilization that claims to save but often destroys;
  • Wearing the broad-brimmed hat of the West, symbolic of the forces that guard the Wilderness, which is the Natural State of the Dharma and the True Path of man on earth: all true paths lead through mountains—
  • With a halo of smoke and flame behind, the forest fires of the kali-yuga, fires caused by the stupidity of those who think things can be gained and lost whereas in truth all is contained vast and free in the Blue Sky and Green Earth of One Mind;
  • Round-bellied to show his kind nature and that the great earth has food enough for everyone who loves her and trusts her;
  • Trampling underfoot wasteful freeways and needless suburbs; smashing the worms of capitalism and totalitarianism;
  • Indicating the Task: his followers, becoming free of cars, houses, canned foods, universities, and shoes; master the Three Mysteries of their own Body, Speech, and Mind; and fearlessly chop down the rotten trees and prune out the sick limbs of this country America and then burn the leftover trash.

Wrathful but Calm. Austere but Comic. Smokey the Bear will Illuminate those who would help him; but for those who would hinder or slander him,

HE WILL PUT THEM OUT.

Thus his great Mantra:

Namah samanta vajranam chanda maharoshana Sphataya hum traka ham nam

“I DEDICATE MYSELF TO THE UNIVERSAL DIAMOND. BE THIS RAGING FURY DESTROYED”

And he will protect those who love woods and rivers, Gods and animals, hobos and madmen, prisoners and sick people, musicians, playful women, and hopeful children.

And if anyone is threatened by advertising, air pollution, television, or the police, they should chant SMOKEY THE BEAR’S WAR SPELL:

DROWN THEIR BUTTS CRUSH THEIR BUTTS DROWN THEIR BUTTS CRUSH THEIR BUTTS

And SMOKEY THE BEAR will surely appear to put the enemy out with his vajra-shovel.

  • Now those who recite this Sutra and then try to put it in practice willl accumulate merit as countless as the sands of Arizona and Nevada.
  • Will help save the planet Earth from total oil slick.
  • Will enter the age of harmony of man and nature.
  • Will win the tender love and caresses of men, women, and beasts.
  • Will always have ripe blackberries to eat and a sunny spot under a pine tree to sit at.
  • AND IN THE END WILL WIN HIGHEST PERFECT ENLIGHTENMENT.

thus have we heard.

(may be reproduced free forever)

*

*

*

 

A Toast to the Contra Community January 25, 2011

It doesn’t feel like winter in Sonoma County right now, with glorious 60-degree sunny weather and the hyacinth buds shyly considering peeping out. But as we know the wet is only on pause temporarily, the warmth feels even more sweet.

In winter, even a warmish one, pleasures grow smaller. We sit by the hearth (or far-lesser equivalent, the DVD player) and take in stories, go for walks, clean our homes of old cobwebs, and eat delicious fattening things – an ancient strategy to ensure our survival through the cold dark times of little food.

There are still mushrooms to be had. The other day I enjoyed a breakfast of wildcrafted Elfin Saddles scrambled up in butter with garlic, green onions, eggs and misc herbs, o yum. I found them along the irrigation ditch near my cottage. They’re black and gnarly and easily hidden in the dried grasses, so you’ve got to use sharp eyes to spot them.

And we gather together to dance. I especially love contradancing, both to dance it and to call the dances. I love the tunes too, and someday will get past the mediocre stage of playing musical instruments enough to play for dances. For now, though, it’s all about the feet and the voice and the deep connection to others through shared joy.

*

Here’s a toast written specially for the contra dance community, delivered at midnight on New Years Eve 2010.  The North Bay Country Dance Society asked me to give it. You likely didn’t, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

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A NYE Toast to the Contra Community

by Tina Fields

Gather together – the time is nigh,

The old year it comes to an end.

And we have could certainly done much worse

Than to spend it here, dancing with friends.

The skirts they flew; the notes danced too

As the fiddlers raised a tune –

It’s the dark of the year, but as luck’s with us here,

Our spirits feel bright as in June.

As we think on our lives, and all we’ve survived

We may notice some new aches and pains.

Seems with every year passing there’s some treasure lost,

But the joy that sustains us remains.

So let’s toast to the dance and this circle of joy

And the company gathered here – wow!

Raise your glass high; bid the old year goodbye

And the New Year, come in: Welcome Now!

(Everyone: Welcome Now!)

*

Bright blessings to you in 2011. May this year bring you wonderful food, friends, and fun.

And may you continue to receive such good wishes, even long after the official giving-new-years-blessings time is past.