For blog readers who are not on my mailing list, I want to insert here the newsletter I sent today as it contains reflections deeper than the words can convey. The process of moving my work from wilderness to town is affecting at a cellular level. I respect and embrace it with optimism and curiosity, even as I can barely conceive of it.
I know I need to market the work I do, to inform people that I have been long trained and with all my heart am prepared to assist persons who are awakening to the wisdom of their own deep connection to the powerful intelligence courting them in their dreams. But to blog readers I will admit a certain confusion. I am thinking for some reason of St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila – mystics whose writings I have devoured, whose stories I hold dear, and whose sites in Avila, Spain, I have visited with deep interest and devotion.
Their lives of inquiry into the depths of their own spiritual natures were all consuming. They became writers and spiritual directors as a logical outgrowth of their commitment. They lived a life devoted purely to these intentions.
In the processes of selling my home on the mountain, I have referred many times to a desire to simply rid myself of everything and move into a cell — with bed, a cross and a bible — and forget about the “stuff” I drag around and any reasons for it. I feel like I’m experiencing a kind of cellular memory of a life unfettered by these concerns. Yet… I am a mother, maybe to be a grandmother, a citizen, a member of a social rather than monastic order. (Though an astrologer I recently consulted, who came to one of my mountain retreats, told me she thinks I am more like one of the Desert Fathers than an ordinary citizen.) But, I choose life in this exciting world outside the monasteries, and want to find the way to live my deepest intentions within this framework. Social and monetary realities prevail differently than in that cell I might otherwise imagine.
Spiritual directors in the time of John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila didn’t need a website, an office, an apartment, a brand, a logo, a marketing plan to let the people who they could assist know where to find them. I embrace this challenge.
Here is my recent newsletter, all of these concerns coming to bear in it. I had only planned to write the shortest of introductions to it, yet had more to say than I thought.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
A happy, holy holiday season to each of you. I want to share with you some of the strong meditations occurring due to the death of the first phase of Bridging Worlds, and budding visions for its regeneration into new life. These themes of death and regeneration are collective and personal, and timely as we come to the end of a big cycle in human history.
Death, in common experience, prompts a spontaneous life review. This occurs certainly not just in the process of physical death, but also in the death of relationships and eras or stages of life. So it has been with the dying phase of Bridging Worlds as a Mountain Retreat Center. Bridging Worlds is now operating from the 5th floor of the historic Flatiron Building in downtown Asheville, as opposite a setting as one could find. The work continues with new vision for the original intentions.
Original intentions: to bridge, in the individual heart and in collective bodies, culture with nature, conscious mind with the unconscious mind, waking with dreaming, the visible world with the invisible world, domesticated mind with indigenous mind. The purpose behind these intentions is to assist in our recovery as a species from a “profound cultural pathology” as eco-theologian Thomas Berry words it, that causes us to destroy the balance in earth’s natural systems without realizing what we are doing, and certainly without realizing how suicidal and homicidal our systems of living have become in spite of our generally good intentions. Witness the ravages we are experiencing constantly due to climate change, which have been warned about for decades by environmental scientists. Our recovery begins one by one; not in big corporate and governmental powers, but in the potency of power dwelling within each individual. Balance returns in our own hearts, relationships and lives and radiates into the workplace and the larger community from there.
For 8 years, with these concerns at heart, I have been conducting retreats in a remote mountain wilderness center where we worked on dreams, engaged in deep dialogue, connected with the invisible world, the natural world and each other. I led vision quests and held sweat lodges.
Now I am downtown. Bridging Worlds brings these intentions forward into a new incarnation, and all of these activities are, for now, funneled into deep listening into what the dream is telling the dreamer. Listening to dreams is an art, a science and a craft that I have been actively studying for nearly 40 years, working long with spiritual teachers and shamans, as well as earning a Ph.D. in depth psychology. I have been fortunate to work extensively and closely with some of the best of the best in terms of Jungian approaches to dreamwork. All these years I have daily worked with my own and other people’s dreams.
I work with private clients in my office and by telephone. In the new year I will start up dream groups again. Until the new vision for Bridging Worlds expands into other avenues, I am quite comfortable with this focus for addressing all of its original intentions.
If you have never done dream work before consider paying attention to them, writing them down and talking with me, or with someone trained in the language of the dream. Dreamers, come see me in my charming office overlooking the mountains and downtown, or call to schedule a time. For the holidays, I have beautifully crafted Gift Certificates so you can give loved ones the opportunity to work on their dreams, or to consult the wisdom within the system of tarot which I have been studying for more than two decades. These messages come from the same realm as the dreamtime, I find. Call or write to purchase Gift Certificates for this or any future occasion.
I look forward to hearing from you and invite your questions, feedback and dialogue always.
I send love to all, with hopes for a very prosperous and happy solstice, holiday season and new year.