The Root of Climate Crisis

November 4, 2014

It is Election Day as I begin this writing. What are we thinking, and not thinking?

The top 2 issues for the American people according to NBC news on Sunday night are 1) jobs and the economy and 2) gridlock. The list of other most important issues include healthcare, social security and medicare.

Earlier in the same broadcast was this report. “Climate Warning: A major UN report out today gives a dire warning about inaction on climate change. The world’s top scientists say that unless nations agree to drastic reduction in emissions we’re facing a future with intense heat waves, storms and flooding of major cities. The report says that the risks are so profound that they could undermine global food and water supplies.”

For 40 years I have been listening to dire warnings from environmental scientists. They have known and stated clearly that this is coming if we don’t radically reverse our behavior right away. All these years, since I first started tuning in during my 20’s, I have sat in awe as the apparent denial about our situation seemed to prevent any general reporting of this or any real effort to change direction. Only in very recent years have issues about climate change been mentioned to the public. Climate warnings were, and are, considered by many a left wing conspiracy to interrupt the progress of our rabid consumerist economy.

I have asked myself all along the way, “Shouldn’t having air to breathe, water to drink, top soil for planting and a healthy biosphere to sustain life on our planet be at the very top of every list of concerns?” What will it matter if there are jobs or social security or medicare or even human rights if we don’t have air to breathe or water to drink? It has been unbelievable to me that this priority seems to be so hard to establish.

A brilliant writer for The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert, has just published a book entitled The Sixth Extinction. This is a very readable book intended for a general audience, outlining ways that human behavior is causing mass extinctions, disrupting earth’s balanced and interconnected systems to the extent that it is “putting our own survival in danger.” There are YouTube videos of interviews with her that are very much worth viewing. In one of them, Canadian environmental scientist David Suzuki explains that we must have a radical shift in our economic system in order to save the planet. His words:

We need to shift that to a better understanding that we are part of a vast web of interconnected species; that it is the biosphere, the zone of air, water and land where all life exists. It is a very thin layer around the planet. Carl Sagan told us that if you shrink the Earth to the size of a basketball, the biosphere, the zone of air, water and land where all life exists, would be thinner than a layer of saran wrap. And that’s it! That’s our home. But it is home to 10 to 30 million other species that keep the planet habitable. And if we don’t see that we are utterly embedded in the natural world, and dependent on nature — not technology, not economics, not science — we’re dependent on Mother Nature for our very well-being and survival. If we don’t see that, then our priorities will continue to be driven by man-made constructs like national borders, economics, corporations, markets. Those are all human created things. They shouldn’t dominate the way we live. It should be the biosphere.

Kolbert and others suggest that we have to look for the root cause of the problems we have created. Environmental programs are needed, but they are working on the surface of the problem, not investigating what as at the root in human consciousness. That is where our study and reflection needs to be directed.

Carl Jung said “The world hangs on a thin thread. And that is the psyche of man…  We are the great danger. Psyche is the great danger.”  “We need psychology. We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself.”

My years of living with this concern have led me to some strong convictions about what went wrong with humans that we could create the catastrophe we have created without even realizing it. Eco-theologian Thomas Berry puts it well when he says that we have broken “the great conversation,” the conversation taking place among every other thing in the world around us — human, non-human and spirit alike. Animals, plants, rocks, trees, rivers, bio-systems all have a language, they are all talking to each other and to us, but we have stopped listening. We are only talking among ourselves, only listening to ourselves. Berry believes we have entered a “profound cultural pathology,” and thus we are killing the planet and ourselves without even hearing the death cry.

How do we re-enter the conversation, revive our capacity to hear, understand and re-join the urgently necessary dialogue? I am presently writing a book of my reflections on this, with a working title of The Gifts of Your Indigenous Mind. I will say simply here, though, that I believe the solution is to re-enter the Dreaming — that state of awareness that aboriginal and indigenous peoples inhabited while awake as well as during sleep, which we have let slip into the unconscious so far that it primarily now only visits us during sleep. And we have even lost the language for how to understand our dreams. In the Dreaming the great conversation carries on. Our survival, and the future of the planet for our children, depends on us to remember and recover. Soon. Now.

The main thing is to listen. Listen. Listen. Listen to Nature, to the in-between spaces, to the natural mind, to the place beyond thought, to the body, to the Earth, to the whispers coming from every cell on Earth and in the stars.

I have recently read two books that I highly recommend to assist one to revive the Dreaming. In Dreaming With Polar Bears, Dawn Brunke recounts a powerful series of lucid dreams in which she meets the spirits of wise and loving polar bears. They communicated to her about themselves, their minds and their understandings of humans and the paths we have taken. And in Songlines of the Soul,  Veronica Goodchild shares astonishing information and stories about her investigation of what she calls the Subtle Body and Subtle Worlds. Her book is scientific and scholarly, as well as dreamlike as it guides the reader into the subtle dimensions of reality, even now being discovered by physicists and scientists, as well as mystics and dreamers.

I was fortunate to have known Buckminster Fuller through my childhood. Our family spent time with him and his family every summer at their island retreat off the coast of Maine. What Bucky taught me during those years has been guiding me powerfully ever since. One of the last conversations I had with him stands out, and haunts me still. He had recently published his book Critical Path, describing his understanding that humanity has entered its “final exam” as to whether it qualifies for continuance in Universe or not. Bucky looked distracted, maybe not feeling well, as I sat across from him at a restaurant that day. I asked him if he felt alright. He looked straight into my eyes and said, with an expression I won’t forget, that he was not sure that we humans are going to make it. I don’t know where Bucky stood on this subject when he died a few years later. However that moment was one of the most defining moments of my life. I have committed myself to this inquiry ever since.

Einstein famously stated that “you can’t solve a problem at the same level of thinking that created the problem in the first place.” All of our tinkerings and efforts to solve the climate problems we have begun have to be looked at from the “other” mind, I believe, the dreaming mind, our archaic or indigenous mind. There is a “2-million year old man,” Jung says, that resides in every one of us.

“Go to bed,” Jung wrote. “Think on your problem. See what you dream. Perhaps the Great [Hu]man, the 2,000,000 year old [hu]man will speak. Only in a cul-de-sac do you hear his voice.”


When Invisibles Become Visible

July 5, 2014

I’m going to take a risk here. Many a skeptic, rationalist and psychologist would be instantly dismissive, maybe even concerned, about these little accounts. I have a life full of them, and I generally keep them well under my hat, but for some reason these two stories just pressed forward to say, “Tell me. Go ahead. Just do it.” So I’m gonna. Maybe I need to show up, come out of the closet slightly more than I have been willing to.

Since I was a little girl I felt quite sure that fairies, gnomes, leprechauns and the like are real. I never outgrew sensing them. I always “saw” in the eye of my imagination their little kingdoms under the leaves and bushes and branches, all through the forests, and out on banks of the Mississippi where I grew up. When I was in my 20’s the woman who was my spiritual teacher visited my home and said there was quite a colony of fairies living in my back yard. She told me “One day you will be able to see them.” I always wanted that to be true, and frankly felt the truth of it, as if I had always known it would be so. And so I have waited. Never turning skeptical about their existence just outside the edges of our perceptual capabilities, I have wondered when, if or how that expected vision would arrive for me.

Well, it happened one day in June. I was sitting on my front porch with a visiting friend having coffee that morning, chatting away, thoughts of such magical visions far from my mind. Suddenly, a little ball of light, maybe two-inches in diameter, otherworldly but clearly visible with my physical eyes, flew in an erratic pattern across the top of the bushes directly in front of me. A little figure was slightly visible inside the glow but the sight was mostly light. I jumped from my chair to see if I could follow where it went but the vision was gone. It took a moment to register what in the world this could have been, but suddenly I knew beyond any doubt that I had just seen a fairy. I saw one! I have questioned myself a number of times since then and simply can’t deny it. It happened!

I wasn’t sure if or when I might make this report in a more public forum. But just now I ran into a little quote by Doreen Virtue that says, “Helpful strangers who appear suddenly and disappear without a trace are often angels in human form.” I had an experience a few months ago where I thought this had just happened to me. It has stayed with me, and seemed more and more as though I could believe it. When I read this quote I felt something like angel wings flutter all over my skin and inside my right ear with the memory of that encounter flooding in, seeming to affirm my perception of it and whisk away any doubt. I was sitting at my computer so I decided to write both of these tales right now in this blog.

This event happened at the gym, of all places. I had been trained on using the weights on all of those many machines, but was finding it hard to remember how to adjust all of the several knobs on each piece of equipment. It felt beyond me. Suddenly a fellow came up to me to show me how to adjust one I simply couldn’t remember. He stood and watched quietly as I fiddled with some of the others, and showed me a thing or two more. As I moved on to other machines, he seemed to appear and show me whatever it was I couldn’t figure out, just as I couldn’t figure it out. After the second or third time I wondered, “Is this a weird dude that follows women around the gym?” But his energy felt very clean, his demeanor quite soft, and his manner seemed only to be helpful. He showed up a few more times as I made my way through the hour-long workout. I thanked him kindly. I thought, “I think that guy is an angel.” But I didn’t give the thought too much power. I did realize afterward that between the moments of his arrival to help me I did not notice him sweating it out on the equipment anywhere else in the gym.

Over weeks at the gym the various characters who come and go start to become familiar. I enjoy the familiarity. But I had never seen that guy before, nor have I seen him since. As I now adjust the machines I remember him standing there teaching me, and have thought each time, “I think he was an angel.” The thought just comes in, it never changes.

Just now I saw the quote about helpful strangers who appear suddenly in human form often being angels. When the sensation of wings moved all around me I decided to tell these stories. There it is. Angels and fairies. I have thought I needed to protect an academic reputation as the good Doctor of Psychology. Even though dream analysis is my specialty, and maybe even especially because of that, I have not wanted to sully my credibility as a rational person with a clear mind. There you go. Sullied. My gay daughter once told me, when I was fiddling with the wording on my brochure trying to maintain respectability in spite of my activities around the margins of things, “Mom, you have to come out of the closet.” She knew whereof she speaks, and her courage emboldened me.

I’m out.

Archangel Gabriel and the Girdle

June 26, 2014

Recently I had a dream experience that continues to haunt and fascinate me. I’ve been recording my dreams for nearly 40 years and never have had one with an angel in it, nor have I experienced the apparition of an angel though I am regularly aware of them and their guidance. This dream is utterly unique. Archangel Gabriel came to call.

In the dream I am in bed in my huge, spacious house (not a house I have lived in in waking life). My daughter Arlene comes in, somewhat annoyed that Archangel Gabriel has come to her and asked her to tell me that I am to go pick up my girdle as the angel wants to visit me. The girdle will tell her how to find me. Arlene had been busy doing other things in her room and had to get up to come deliver the message. She expresses an attitude like “Your people are bothering me, Mom.” They know they can get through to her. She’s a bit exasperated. It’s cute.

I go into the next room to look in a drawer for my girdle. Routing through it, I pick up a plug adapter and the room suddenly fills with the angel’s presence. A crystalline light is everywhere, with rainbows. My cells are filled with this power and energy, another dimension has come upon us. She stays for a short bit, and then she’s gone. No words, just presence. Shortly afterward an unnatural darkness fills the room and a threatening presence comes. I know it is a response to the light of the angel.

I don’t know why Gabriel came to me. It has been haunting me. I wait and hope to know more.

I did what we do these days – I googled her. Apparently one of her consistent missions is to inspire writers. Good God I do need a miracle there, I have been quite challenged in the last months with this. It is said she appeared to Muhammad and delivered the Koran to him with the news that he was to write it down. He was annoyed with her. One of the articles mentioned that she has had an annoying effect on some of those she visited, which tickled me since Arlene was annoyed by her in the dream. When I worked the dream in my dream group we focused on the girdle. What? A girdle? I haven’t worn one in decades though I did buy one before my daughter’s wedding thinking that the dress I had gotten would look nicer on me with that. It would have if I had remembered to wear it. I didn’t.

“Gird your loins,” one of the dreamers suggested. This is the idea that has stayed with me. Googling that phrase, I found that it means to prepare oneself for battle, for action, for difficulty, for hard work. In an earlier era when loose garments were commonly worn it was necessary to gather them up and tuck them in tight before battle or difficult labors.

Maybe my energy systems are loose and need tightening? What are these flowing garments that need girding? The loins are our generative organs. I feel pregnant with a book, am I guided to gird that area for safe delivery? What will that look like? How to respond… The dream said only to hold the girdle, not necessarily to do anything with it. Hold it until the angel finds me. I hadn’t even found it yet when she did come. I did find the one I never wore since the dream though. It is under my pillow now hoping she’ll know where I am. I wait.

I am worried about the world as I write. I’m worried about the horrors in Iraq, about the immigrant children coming into the U.S., about the refugee crisis in the Middle East, about GMO’s and the environment, and about many things troubling my heart that are much closer to home.

Are these worries the flowing energies to gird up? Gather them up, hold them close, and act.

Don’t know. Maybe it’s about none of these.

When angels come to us in dreams, what do we do? Ponderings are welcome.

Dreams, Oracles and Mandalas

May 27, 2014

Dearest blog readers,

A favorite client gently pointed out to me recently that I haven’t posted a blog since February. I winced. I think the last one I wrote was an announcement and description of the book that I am committed to writing this year. The challenges involved in finding time for that project have caused me to shy away from spending time with my blog, which for me involves a different style, intention and satisfaction as a writer. I intend to regain the rhythm of writing about more daily and current insights describing my depth psychological insights into life and dreams, as I value the regular articulation and interaction with readers.

Since many of my blog readers aren’t on my mailing list I’m going to insert here the newsletter I sent out today. It is a sort of post for this day, but more blogs will come soon.

Hello dear friends and colleagues,
Warm greetings to you. It has been awhile since I have written a newsletter.  After the sale of my Mountain Retreat Center a year and a half ago, the work of Bridging Worldshas been mostly private sessions with individuals. In my sweet office in downtown Asheville I offer sessions by telephone and in person for dream analysis as well asoracular consultations. Please take a moment to read the following short descriptions of the work. I composed them hoping to elucidate their profound value and to pique interest. Call me if you want to discuss or to make an appointment, and please pass along this information to others who may like to know.
I am also offering a six week course, along with Marie O. Davis, on Dreams and Mandala Making from June 15-July 20th in Asheville. See the description below for more information. Or use this link:
I will be teaching a workshop on Reviving the Indigenous Mind at a Journey Conferences event in Stoneville, NC, October 30th to November 2nd. The main presenter at this conference will be Dr. Michael Conforti, Jungian Analyst and Director of the Assisi Institute. Dr. Conforti is a pioneer in the field of psyche-matter studies, and of investigating the relationship between the new sciences and Jungian psychology. Use this link for information about the conference:
There was an op-ed piece in the New York Times recently about sleep and dreaming that I just loved. I wanted share the link with you.
I send love and blessings to each of you and would love to hear from you to know how you are.
Why do Dreamwork, Consult the Oracle, or make alchemical mandalas? Read on.
Our dreams are nightly visions whose symbols offer the conscious mind necessary information coming to us from the vast terrain of the not-yet-conscious, or unconscious, realm whose wisdom is both personal and transpersonal. For millennia, in every culture and religion on every continent, in every scripture and mythology, messages in dreams are considered to have essential guidance for waking life. How modernity managed to step away from this resource and become dismissive of it is a study in itself. Recovering the forgotten language and potency of dreams has been a passion of mine during my entire adult life. My waking life has been actively informed and guided by dreams for 40 years.
I help persons to understand the valuable information in their dreams both in telephone sessions and face-to-face in my downtown Asheville, North Carolina, office. Some of the people I work with prefer a regular schedule for dreamwork to keep a steady connection with their dreaming psyche. Others call when a life event or a particular dream activates the desire to take a deeper look.
Oracular Consultations:
Oracles are messages that come to us from the matrix of love and intelligence that sees and knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. More than two decades ago a dream lead me into the study of oracles, and from that I experienced a sense of being consistently seen and cared for by an invisible “other” beyond anything I had ever imagined. It has assisted me since then in daily practical as well as mystical ways. The meanings have shown themselves to be reliable, non-judging, deeply compassionate, clear-seeing visions regarding what will be most helpful for me to know in the present moment.
I worked with oracles by myself for about 10 years—verifying, validating and calibrating their uses—before offering to use them to assist others. Over the last more than a decade of reading for others, for the most part using the symbols in the tarot, I am consistently grateful and amazed at the right-on-point clarity of what comes through. People leave the experience sometimes saying thing like they feel a foot taller, or like they are breathing rarefied air. The sense of realizing that we are utterly known and cared for is as useful as the specific information supplied.
Dreams and Mandala Making:
This endeavor has been created in collaboration with Marie O. Davis, a Licensed Professional Counselor in Asheville, NC, who has a graduate degree in Expressive Arts Therapy. Marie uses a method of alchemical mandala-making that is a collage process. Found images expressive of soul processes are placed in representative sections of the circle. Powerful transformative and healing energy is activated as the mandala is created. Using this technique in combination with the images presented in dreamwork with Tayria promises invaluable curative experience and revelation.
The next six-week series is offered on Sundays, June 15-July 20th in Asheville. For detailed information use this link:, or call me to register.


February 14, 2014

With the ice storms moving through the Southern and Eastern part of the United States this week, everything feels frozen. Lives are frozen in their tracks. Something uncontrollable has taken over, again.

I have been thinking about the term I heard on the news last night as it described the economic impact at such times, “frozen-omics” they called it. Many are hard hit by the loss of a week’s work. I’ve had to cancel a week’s worth myself and I know that is small compared to businesses with more traffic and overhead. But when I hear it said that people aren’t out at the malls shopping, with a lot of anxiety being felt around that, I feel a gut concern rising. It reminds me of the consumerism that is at the core of our economics and I feel sad and worried for us. Suddenly I see us as a mass of folks scrambling about to make a dollar and then spend the dollars. My dark imagination suddenly sees us collectively as earning, spending robot zombies, with a loss of deeper human values as fall out.

I would love to hear equal reports on the news about  what is being gained everywhere by people figuring out how to be with the situation. Families are suddenly home together. I sat close to my fire all week. What if we deeply, even sacredly,  listen to this call? Maybe like a sweet Mom, Nature wants us closer to her heart. Maybe she wants us to stop and listen to that beat. I have been very moved listening to her beat this week; it is certainly a different rhythm than our lives generally call for. Maybe She is gathering us up to feel her big love, and wants us to realize that she cares about our too-busy lives. And maybe she does not want us to worry about the frozen-omics.

There is a great love here I’m feeling. An economics of love. That is the real provider.

Olympic Dreaming

February 8, 2014

I felt as though I had fallen into a dream the minute I switched on the TV last night planning to watch the news but finding that I had tuned in, almost miraculously, at the very second the coverage was beginning for the Opening Ceremonies at the Olympics in Sochi. Not having realized exactly when the ceremonies were being broadcast nor having planned to watch them, suddenly there I was. In the dream. I fell in, watched it all through.

Born in 1951, I grew up with the notion of Russia as a scary, worrisome, possibly evil “other” – almost like a myth of the wicked, evil one who might eat a child, in this case one who might blow us all up. Over the years of maturing and the dynamics on the world stage shifting, Russia became in my mind that mysterious other, haunting the imagination with her literature, art, architecture and seemingly unknowable enigma; her strong soul bravely enduring unthinkable hardships.

I was extremely moved when in the very opening moments of the ceremonies they showed a young girl’s face, saying her name which I couldn’t catch, but the name means “Love.” The commentator said she represents the feminine soul of Russia. What a way to start! Immediately she lifts off the ground and begins to fly, fly high, a brave little girl. They explain that “She will tell the story of Russia through a series of dreams, as Russians see themselves as dreamers.” The history of Russia as told through the dreams of a child! How beautiful. I thought the story was magnificently told in brilliant artful display. This is certainly a unique opportunity for Russia to bare her soul on the world stage. The music, the ballet, I was entranced.

I don’t want to talk about Putin in terms of politics. I will say that when I heard that last week in a zoo he was seen “cradling a leopard, which you rarely see politicians do,” I thought “Yep, never heard of a politician doing that one before.” I would love to cradle a leopard! Who is this man? What must be the dreams of Putin? Russia covers 9 time zones, it is that vast. They explained that in an essential sense the source of many of Russia’s most basic problems is that she is so isolated and alienated from the rest of the world; they were isolated from the Renaissance, isolated from the Enlightenment. What longing Russia’s soul must be expressing now to bridge that gap. Isolation and alienation are cruelly painful states.

I could go on about what I am feeling regarding the dream of Russia, but it is the dreams of the athletes that are most glorious to watch, like catching a fire just to look at their spirits. I have a daughter who is training for the Olympics in 2016, hoping to make the team in Women’s Weightlifting. I know in a personal way how hard these athletes work, how much of their life is given over to their sport, how much heart it takes to keep on with their efforts and training, to take defeat, to never lose vision, to keep their dreams alive and their spirits strong.

I appreciated what Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee, said: “The Olympic Games are a sports festival embracing human diversity in great unity. Therefore I say to the political leaders of the world, thank you for supporting your athletes. They are the best ambassadors of your country. Please respect their Olympic message of good will, of tolerance, of excellence and of peace. Have the courage to address your disagreements in a peaceful direct political dialogue and not on the back of these athletes.” I’m pretty sure that was, at least in part, a jab at Jimmy Carter for his decision to withhold our athletes from Russia’s previous Olympics, but I do feel the point is well taken and well spoken. My daughter and her teammates are the most glorious ambassadors this country could hope for, no one works as hard as these athletes do.

These days ahead are mythic time. Dream time. Please to the gods, may great blessings of peace protect and lift these events. May they unify our hearts as a global community and bring courage, pride and love to each athlete, each nation, and all of us as one on this beautiful Earth as she spins through the galaxies leaving such splendid sparks and trails of glory.

Finding the Natural Man Again

January 28, 2014

Our task is to return to Nature, not in the manner of Rousseau, but to our own nature; to find the natural man again. Instead of this, there is nothing we like better than systems and methods by which we can repress the natural man which is everywhere at cross purposes with us. ~C.G. Jung

I have begun in earnest writing the book that I have been pregnant with for several years; it’s the thing that feels like the rest of my life has been on hold waiting for me to deliver. I thought I had to figure out how to support myself better before I could give such time to writing. I’m abandoning that logic. If I don’t deliver this baby I’m gonna explode. It continues to feel more urgent rather than less.

I want to attempt to summarize here what the message of the book is. If I can communicate that in this short writing then maybe the longer one will unfold more simply. Certainly any reflective response would be welcome. Is this a book that you, my blog readers, would want to take in?

To set the stage will be a personal story that explains what brought me to a strong concern about finding the natural man again. Briefly, I was a minister, a wife and a mother when the unraveling of former frames of mind began. This led to my resignation from the ministry, a horrid trauma for me, for my family and for the people who were my extended family in the ministry. Not long after this, my youngest daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which was a trauma beyond description for me. I speak for myself here and do not want to speak for her. She is astonishingly brave and smart and amazing about it. Some time later came the third and final blow that at last felled the tree that had been me – revelations that led to the dissolution of my long and previously much loved marriage. It was a cosmic one-two-three punch, barely any strength regathered before the next blow came. I was completely shattered, lost 40 pounds, didn’t know up from down, in from out, or who said what for a very long time.

Only in nature did I feel sane and at peace, sometimes miraculously as if nothing had happened. There, an ancient part of me knew exactly what was going on. The architecture of my own civilization, the person I had become through education, enculturation and religion was gone, seemingly without a trace. I barely recognized myself or the world around me. All of the training and assumptions from that former world had not even remotely prepared me for this. Who is this being who survives? From whence emerges this archaic, natural (wo)man?

I said aloud to myself, before I had ever heard it said by any other, that an indigenous person dwelt inside of me and had been awakened. That person, like indigenous people the world over, has modes of perception, ways of knowing and being that had never been taught to me, they were just there. Innate. The messages of birds, wind, rock, stream, trees were coming in. The non-human world is full of intelligent, lively communication that speaks a very discernible language. I experienced myself as a thread in the fabric of everything, a cell in the big body of the cosmos, one with all things, awake to the song emitting from the stars. It was mystical, but not; mostly just natural. I knew that this indigenous person inside of me, like indigenous persons the world over, had been conquered, colonized, marginalized, shamed and suppressed; yet here she was, surviving.

Outwardly during that period it seemed like I had lost my mind; my daughters said I kept repeating things, and asking the same question over and over. I have suspected that I might have had a stroke. Inwardly, however, it felt like I was finding my mind for the first time. This mind I have come to call “the indigenous mind.” I developed a conviction that over centuries of developing the thinking that has produced our modern world we threw the baby out with the bathwater. The primal mind was over-ridden, considered unnecessary, outgrown. Because of this loss, we now upset the balance of nature; toxify our water, air and food supply; destroy personal, social and planetary health and well-being without even knowing what we are doing, why things have gone awry, or imagining what we might do to rectify damage when we do recognize it. As Einstein said, “a problem cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that produced the problem in the first place.” Another level of thinking entirely, another mind, is needed.

Just last night, January 27, 2014, on NBC Nightly News in a light-hearted little piece about ice-fishing in Minnesota words were used describing “man against nature”, humans proudly declaring themselves as “conquerors” of nature. Language is a powerful tool. Such wording concerns me that collectively we unthinkingly separate ourselves out and forget that we ARE nature, nature is us, and by such posturing and language we place ourselves at war with our own self, and in this may lose the possibility of our own survival. This is a war we are not going to win.

Recovery of the indigenous mind may be imperative. How to integrate it with the mind we have developed is difficult work.This is a rigorous journey that I have committed myself to utterly. I completed a doctorate in Depth Psychology, my dissertation topic being “Reawakening Indigenous Sensibilities in the Western Psyche.” I have worked extensively with shamans from a variety of indigenous cultures, as well as engaging in-depth and long term work with gifted Jungian analysts. In 2004 I moved to a wilderness location in the mountains of Western North Carolina where I started a retreat center to work with people around these concerns – leading retreats, vision quests and sweat lodges. I lived alone in nature for more than 8 years.  

Now I am down from the mountain, in town, ready to write and to begin a new phase of my work. I do dream analysis and depth psychological work with private clients in my office in downtown Asheville. My commitment to continue personal work as well as work with others around recovering the indigenous mind continues unabated. I await further insight – what does this work want from me going forward?

Regarding our future on this planet, I continue to be concerned and want to do whatever I can to assist. The human psyche is my study, finding the natural man again my quest. Jung articulated his concerns clearly, and I am with him in the following statements: 

We need more psychology. We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself. He is the great danger, and we are pitifully unaware of it. We know nothing of man, far too little. His psyche should be studied because we are the origin of all coming evil.

Can we not understand that all of the outward tinkerings and improvements do not touch man’s inner nature, and that everything ultimately depends upon whether the man who wields the science and the technics is capable of responsibility or not?
~C.G. Jung

My book will speak of my own journey of awakening, offer research, describe ideas and methods for recovery, and will add my voice to the body of literature being written now addressing a broad mutual concern over the future of our planet, the human’s relationship with the natural world and with our own natural selves. I share with you now this focus and intention.

The Path to the Center, a Story

December 9, 2013

As a holiday gift I decided to impart a deep story that I hope will inspire your musing during this season of going into winter’s darkness to create a cave for reflection and the birth of something fresh and new, divine and human. This is a look through a portal, a view into the deep mystery that we live in this incarnated life.

It happened at about this time of year in 1993. I was completely awake but it was like I was in a dream. Some friends and I were having dinner in a restaurant, a lively conversation taking place. Suddenly, unbidden, I slipped between worlds. A story much longer, more intricate and complicated than War and Peace, one that took aeons it seemed, unfolded clearly. I saw every detail, every character, plot twists, deaths, births, meanings, outcomes. It was as if I was reading the record of ages of time, all in an instant, not one tiny element left out. At the conclusion of the vision I heard inwardly the words, “the only path is the path to the center,” and I saw how the movement of the entire story demonstrated this point.

When I slipped back into the conversation at hand I don’t think I had missed a word. I was still on track with what was being said, not even distracted from it, yet acutely aware of what had just taken place. Though I could bring back no details of the saga, the clearly demonstrated message was solidly with me. Strangely, I felt more centered and grounded than almost any other time I can think of in my life. I was not stunned or disoriented. There was a calm, like now I know, and I’ve always known, and always will know, knowing happens. There was a profound sense of peace and solace.

After that I realized more than ever before that my long quest for discovery of spiritual truths, which had taken me all over the globe and back, and my very busy life of running from point a to b, then to c and d, and back and around – none of this was “the path.” The path is within. It is always here. Never over there. It is where I am. I am the center, God is the center, the center is everywhere, in every one, in every thing. The words of Jesus recorded in the gospel of Luke came to mind: “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Certainly the immense story I had witnessed in my dream-like vision, with its profound meaning, was within me – always there in the space between the frames of perception in outer conscious life.

And so I feel moved to offer this story to you hoping that in your moments of stillness during the joyous and often stressfully busy days of this time of year you will find connection to the profound mystery of our existence, that you will feel peace and solace, and gather strength in this. I wish for you every blessing of grace and abundance, and that all of your deepest dreams and desires will manifest sacredly and beautifully.

I love being in touch. Please write to me when you feel moved to.
With love,

The Sanctity of Silence

December 3, 2013

Is there anyone out there who can help start a campaign of awareness to notify the billionaires who are now planning drone delivery of our packages within 30 minutes of an on-line order that the noise pollution they will inflict might be the absolute end of our very thin sanity? As I watched this story on NBC Nightly News tonight I don’t know when I have ever had such a sinking feeling. Within the next few years they hope to work out this delivery system. The horrible little devices make huge noise and will be filling the air in our neighborhoods so that people won’t have to wait a single extra minute to have their shopping urges satisfied. As those entrepreneurs being interviewed discussed the kinks they are working out it was all about air traffic and making sure no one gets hit on the head when the drones come to our porches, not a word about the fact that any quiet left in our home life might be forever eradicated. I felt so helpless. How can we make our protests heard? Literally, I’m not kidding, for the first time I truly understood the monks who burned their own bodies in protest.

Who ARE we now? What have we become that we can’t wait more than a few minutes to have our consumerist needs met? Use the drones to deliver medicine urgently needed, or to bring food to the starving – but please, NOT to drop off our latest Amazon acquisition. This is what they are preparing to do as I write this.

But I don’t want to go on about the ravages of consumerism. I want to talk about the deep need in the human soul for silence, a sacred value that is not being protected. How can we pay attention to what really matters, to that which speaks to us from the innermost sanctums of our lives and beings when our senses are bombarded with these chaotic, manufactured noises? People who meditate are searching for that inner tonic that silence provides, but silence is also an attitude that we gather and move out into the commerce of life. There is a reservoir of silence that when we tap into it we will find answers to life’s real questions and the satisfaction of our truest needs, as well as healing, refreshment and recovery from damage created by an over-busy existence. If we lose this value we may just be doomed I feel.

Noise pollution is as serious a pollution as any other. It threatens our spiritual, psychological, emotional and physical health. How can we ask those who are making these plans to care about the rights of those who will be profoundly affected by this assault on our quiet? I do not know how to make myself heard by those who are creating these changes. Do you? 

Interesting how defending our silence may mean we cannot be silent. About this.

Holiday Vision Quest

November 24, 2013

Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly.
let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you
as few human or even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight
has made my eyes so soft
my voice so tender
my need of god
absolutely clear.


With the unprecedented consumerist freneticism of the holidays amping up right now, Thanksgiving Day itself suddenly having become a big day for shoppers, something mournful in me is taking hold. I want to go down and in and stay still, be quiet, unplug, listen, pray, think, pray, feel, pray, hear, pray, fast, pray. While the culture explodes out into the fray, I feel the need to counter the movement internally, the bigness of what is going on out there feels threatening to sanity. I keep seeing in my mind’s eye the image of a developing fetus – that little bean shape in which the head is connected to the gut and the heart, the spine not having yet straightened to launch the head above it all. The bean shape is the shape I feel the urge to take right now, psychologically and spiritually. Plant my ears inside the gut, see what wisdom comes from there.

I have decided to do a three-day indoor Vision Quest over Thanksgiving – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A silence fast. Unplugged. I will do as I do with outdoor vision quests and put stones around my property, which will be my questing circle, saying prayers to the 7 directions (North, South, East, West, Sky, Earth and All My Relations). I’ll seal the property line prayerfully with corn meal and offerings to the ancestors and spirits of this place. I’ll stay. Pray and listen. Be with the fire. Call in the images and visions that will prepare me for this next stage of life. Repair broken places in the heart and the wounded land here so recently deforested. Hunker down with spirit and re-commit. Make space for something new to be born. The miracle of life and the mystery of death hover together. I will be calling on ancestors asking them to commune with those of us in bodies and with those spirits yet to be born.

The quest will have form and be formless. Only a slight formula will be applied – like silence, eating only fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, a little wild meat. Other than that I want to allow for whatever is ready to grow in and emerge from this womb space. I feel connected to St. Ignatius of Loyola who prayed long his cave (which I have visited) in Northern Spain, Thomas Merton who wrote from his monastery cell, and the Kogi people of Colombia whose shamans gestate for 9 years in a dark cave. All of these traditions run deep in me.

Trees have mothered and mentored me profoundly in my life. The way a child grows in the primary images imprinted by Mother, trees have imprinted on me. I am moved to root deep, stay still, be Here, present, quiet, strong, immovable yet ever bending like tree. I want to be like that presence you can always find, visit, enjoy and be comforted by.

And so it is with me this season. I hope each of you are deeply nourished through these winter months and that what joys await you will find you easily. My love goes out to you.