Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Entering Into Life

The attitude we take towards any task or undertaking reflects on how we view our self. The completed task is the outward projection of what is within us. A task done with quality and completeness corresponds to a quality and completeness within while a task half-finished or done sloppily reflects a sloppiness within us. The importance of the task is irrelevant with regard to the quality and completeness with which we undertake it. Whether we are doing life-saving surgery, writing a book, washing a car, or tying our shoes, we need to focus all of our attention and concentration on that action. In effect, we want to enter into the essence of it.
By entering into the essence of something, we mean becoming one with the action we are performing. In Japanese there is a word shoshin which means “beginner’s mind.” As a beginner, the first time you do something you have to concentrate on it in order to do it correctly, but as you become adept at it you soon stop paying attention to the doing of it. The idea of shoshin is to retain the mindfulness of the beginner even as the task becomes routine. In this manner you are able to enter into the essence of what you are doing and that makes all the difference. Doing anything without entering into its essence is pointless and empty. However, the more fully you enter into something, keeping mindful of it, the more point or meaning it has and the more alive you feel by doing it. Musicians, dancers, or artists who are able to enter into the essence of their art, become their art - they transcend the doing and are just being. By entering into the essence of your daily tasks you can begin to wake up to the great secret of life – living. The quality of living that results from entering into the essence of everyday life is profound. By entering into the essence of things, it is possible to feel a connection to the creative principle of the universe. But only by actually being mindful of what we are doing can we reach that goal.

By remembering to be aware of ourselves, we begin to learn how to engage in living life as it occurs. By slowing down and experiencing each thing we do to the full extent we beginning to gain a calm sense of control over our lives. By entering into the essence of something and concentrating on the quality of our actions we begin to sense a true feeling of peace within the self. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Threshold

We stand on the threshold of a profound shift in our world. Industrial civilization has led us down a destructive, all-consuming path that has compromised our soil, food, water, and atmosphere. This way of life has fractured the idea of community and instilled selfish values in the people. It is quickly becoming apparent that our way of living has reached the point where going forward in the same manner is no longer feasible. The time has come to either do something different, or face extinction. 

A growing sector of the population is starting to realize the degradation of the Earth can only be halted when the majority of people feel deeply that the Earth is sacred and should be revered and cherished. The Earth is not ours to ruin and destroy. As more and more people begin to understand what is happening to the Earth, the need for a fundamental shift becomes apparent. An environmentally-focused spiritual transformation is underway. Reverence for the Earth is becoming a sacred calling. 

Wandering Sage Wisdom is part of this process of evolution. We need a better way of living that is connected to the whole. We cannot hesitate any longer.


Most humans are alienated from their vital individuality — their souls — and humanity as a whole is largely alienated from the natural world that evolved us and sustains us. Soul has been demoted to a new-age spiritual fantasy or a missionary’s booty, and nature has been treated, at best, as a postcard or a vacation backdrop or, more commonly, as a hardware store or refuse heap. Too many of us lack intimacy with the natural world and with our souls, and consequently we are doing untold damage to both.
--- Bill Plotkin

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wakeup Calling - Poetry

Wakeup Calling 

humanity rages
destruction in stages
of everything under the sun

the birds and the bees
the rivers and trees
it seems like the end has begun

a population of people
turned into sheeple
conditioned to crave more and more

life based on greed
want, desire and need
leads to nothing but war

the planet is dying
the animals crying
the forests all being cut down

the climate is hot
except when it’s not 
and some say we’re all going to drown

living in fear
something is near
now we are all scared to death

chaos and change
can often feel strange
please just take a deep breath

we eat poison foods
take meds for our moods
we’re so ill we cannot take action

to keep us asleep
the tendrils run deep
with all manner of lies and distraction

we cut the tops off the hills
down below oil spills
for us to progress, it is said

it’s hard not to believe
if we do not grieve
soon we all will be dead

so what can we do
just me and you
to turn this whole thing around?

one way to recall
our connection to all
is to put our bare feet on the ground

now feel the Earth
remember its worth
let the energy run through your soul

look deep in your heart
that’s where you start
to connect yourself to the whole

this cannot be solved
if you don’t get involved
start now, there’s no time to wait

change how you’re living
stop taking, start giving
please, before it’s too late

and so there you are
if you’ve made it this far
three last things I will say if I may

begin with a bow
stay here in the now
and remember to breathe every day

Aaron Hoopes

April 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Self-Healing on the Vernal Equinox

March 20 is the Vernal Equinox. 
In many traditions the Vernal Equinox is the beginning of the Awakening Time. It is a time of emergence from the long dark hibernation of winter when everything comes back to life and awakens. The Vernal Equinox marks the beginning of spring, a balance point of time when energy starts to rise just as the sap begins to flow upwards into the branches of the tree. 

In the cycle of the seasons, spring is a wonderful experience of rebirth and expression. It is important to take a moment and immerse yourself in this process. The natural world has so much healing energy, yet we almost seem to avoid it these days... This is a very powerful time of year, a time of exhilaration.

In Chinese 5 Element philosophy, springtime is associated with the element of Wood. Wood represents growth. It is the element of expansion. Wood is the lifeforce that exists within all things. In the body, the sacred point of Wood is the lower dan tien, a point approximately three finger widths below the navel. By practicing deep breathing into this point we can access the energy of the Wood and connect with the inexhaustible source within our being. 

The color of Wood energy is green. Wood energy provides confidence and the ability to persevere in times of difficulty. It enhances physical strength and stamina. Balanced Wood energy is rooted and decisive. Unbalanced Wood energy brings anger and confusion. 
The increasing power of Wood provides us with the ability to recognize our higher purpose in life. Connecting to Wood energy brings us into alignment with nature. 

The Wood energy flow is facilitated through the Liver. The liver is the yin organ which stores blood and facilitates the flow of blood and energy through the body. The liver is responsible for the strength and flexibility of muscles, ligaments and tendons. The gallbladder is the yang organ that balances the liver and is responsible for storing and excreting bile. Cultivating Wood energy can help with subduing anger and irritability as well as banishing indecisiveness. It also helps with blood flow problems.

After a cold winter it is always beneficial to take care of your liver. 
Care for your Liver:
1 - Drink water 1st thing in the morning - this supports the liver's natural detoxification process
2 - Eat green vegetables - green is associated with the liver and veggies provide chlorophyll, which is the energy of the sun.
3 - avoid refined sugar
4 - eat more sour tasting foods to enhance bile flow, or drink Apple Cider Vinegar.
5 - reduce alcohol, nicotine and caffeine consumption to ease the pressure on the liver.
6 - schedule time for self-care. Get a massage, take a hot bath, meditate!
7 - Breathe, move and relax daily.
8 - Practice Zen Yoga! - http://www.artofzenyoga.com 


Wishing you much peace.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March Snowstorm Poem - Still Winter


Still Winter


I snowshoed up the mountain
Yesterday afternoon
Two feet of snow
I couldn’t see the moon

The wind blew cold as I stood there
And soon the snow grew deep
Apparently, from what I heard
The trees still want to sleep


- Aaron Hoopes 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Snowy Owl

I saw a Snowy Owl while out snowshoeing the other day. 

Snowy Owls are beautiful creatures that symbolize true strength. They conserve their energy and are continually observant. They only go into action when opportunity presents itself.

When the Snowy Owl moves into a  new area, it does not proclaim its presence. It enters quietly and goes about its own business.

The Snowy Owl acts non-threatening in spite of its power and ability. It accomplishes its tasks with timing and skill, not intimidation.

The Snowy Owl teaches us that … True Strength is Gentle.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Future Shocked


In 1970 Alvin Toffler wrote a book titled Future Shock. In the book, Toffler defined the term "future shock" as a psychological state of individuals and, indeed, entire societies. It refers to what happens to people they are no longer able to cope with the pace of change in their life and the world as a whole. It is basically having too much change in too short a period of time. The consequences of future shock included all sorts of symptoms and maladies, ranging from increased susceptibility to disease to depression, erratic behavior and even total emotional breakdown.

Back in 1970 Toffler believed that society was undergoing an enormous structural change from an industrial society to a "super-industrial society". The accelerated rate of technological innovation was leaving people disconnected and suffering information overload.

That was forty three years ago. It was a time before iPhones and tablets, cell phones and PDAs. It was before there were laptops and wifi. It was more than twenty years before the internet. It was even before personal computers, windows, DOS and the invention of the 8-inch floppy diskette.

I think it is safe to say that the rate of technological innovation has accelerated exponentially since then. Yet, while the pace of change is ever increasing and expanding into more and more areas of individuals' lives, the capacity of human beings to adjust to this torrent of change they are experiencing, is finite and seriously limited.  

So here we are in 2013 trying to make sense of a world that seems to be changing faster than ever, much faster than we seem able to react and adapt to. Everywhere people are facing major physical, psychological, and social pressures that are threatening to overwhelm them.

We are in shock.

Shock is a state of being which occurs when we are thinking about, or being subjected to unsettling events. It usually manifests when we encounter the undeniable prospect of long-term changes in our life. We can be shocked when we lose our job, have a car accident, or contract a life-threatening disease. In addition, the perception of growing old can create this feeling, as can a divorce or the death of a loved-one. These changes place a new set of limits on life that can be quite unsettling.

I think it is safe to say that we have entered a time of profound shock. We have reached a conflagration of stress and disorientation, not only from information overload, but from a critical mass of chemicals in our food, toxins in our bodies and destruction of the Earth that is unprecedented in the history of our planet. There is no going back to simpler times. There is no more space to maneuver around these problems. There is no avoiding it. We have to go forward through whatever darkness lies before us. 

The primary thing to remember, as we navigate the difficulties ahead, is that shock can be a good thing. It reminds us that if we keep our mind open disturbing events can be positive and constructive. Instead of reacting blindly to shock, or worse - spiraling downward into despair, we need to adjust our attitude to accepting, even greeting, the challenges imposed by the new circumstance. It is a time to find our center, maintain our inner balance and stand up straight.  If we look at the challenges that face us as the necessary impulse to find a new, more correct way of dealing with the difficulties we face we will be able to make it through these dark times with a minimum of hardship. We need to align ourselves with the greater good in all things.

Finding this answer often requires that we undergo some form of deeper spiritual development. Many of us believe we live spiritual lives, but often are quickly swayed by shocking events. Now is the time to put our faith and power into what is right. It is easy to start making compromises when times get difficult. Yet this only leads to trouble. In truth, the only way forward is to maintain peace and balance in our lives as we adapt to the ever-changing world.

Of course there are times in everyone’s lives when it is difficult to stay on the path. Events and circumstances often conspire to shock us in ways we never could have imagined. However, if we are sincere in our desire to be of service to others, we must get our house in order. Without a sincere core of integrity within, it is impossible to offer pure, positive energy to those we come in contact with.

The time has come for each of us to walk along the path of what is good and right and true. The time has come for us to become the true embodiment of the spiritual essence that exists within the core of our being. We have reached the point where our only option is to truly evolve.

As we become aware that there is a cosmic structure to the universe to which we are meant to relate and that we are meant to find our life’s meaning in relation to a higher form of consciousness, we need to find the truth within ourselves.

The road ahead may seem dark and forbidding. There are new shocks at every turn. We may have doubts as to our ability to continue. But the shocks are meant to help us recognize our natural limitations and wake us up to the higher consciousness of the universe. This is the time for each of us to step up, open our hearts and shine the light of truth and love out into the world.

Do not be discouraged. Now, more than ever, this world needs you. We are entering a future of uncharted territory. Everyone is experiencing shocks. Be compassionate and let the light of the truth within you be your guide.

Wishing you much peace.

Please visit my new healing website: www.mountainqi.com

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