This beautiful quote is usually attributed to Chief Seattle, pictured above in the only known photo of him, taken in 1864. However the folks over at snopes tell us it was really written by Ted Perry, a screen writer, in 1971. Regardless of the author or era, these profound words remain true today, and always will.
"Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves"
I believe the opposite is also true:
Whatever we do to ourselves we do to the web
So be compassionate with yourself. Make compassion your connecting thread to the web. Weave it over, around and through everything you do for yourself.
Take time for yourself. Do the things that feed your soul. Yes, you can. In fact, you have to. It's like the flight attendant says before take off - you have to put your own oxygen mask on first, before you can help anyone else.
當明中有暗 In the light there is darkness, 勿以暗相遇 but don't take it as darkness; 當暗中有明 In the dark there is light, 勿以明相睹 but don't see it as light. 明暗各相對 Light and dark oppose one another 比如前後歩 like the front and back foot in walking. 萬物自有功 Each of the myriad things has its merit, 當言用及處 expressed according to function and place. 事存函蓋合 Phenomena exist; box and lid fit; 理應箭鋒拄 principle responds; arrow points meet.
A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness and healing. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. Labyrinths represent a journey to our own centre and back again out into the world. They have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.
A labyrinth is not a maze. Mazes are puzzles with twists, turns and dead ends where many decisions are required to find your way to the centre. Navigating a maze is a left-brain task that requires logic and sequential thinking. A labyrinth on the other hand is a right-brain activity that invokes intuition, creativity and imagery. It's a more passive, receptive experience where there's only one decision to make - to enter or not. There's only one path in a labyrinth - the way in is the way out. Once you decide to walk a labyrinth you're on the path to renewing the mind-body-spirit connection.
Research conducted by Harvard Medical School's Mind/Body Institute has found that focused walking meditation such as walking a labyrinth is highly effective at reducing anxiety. Done on a regular basis walking a labyrinth can result in long-term health benefits including reduction of insomnia, reduction of chronic pain, lowering blood pressure and improved concentration.
If you're interested in walking a labyrinth in Canada or the U.S. click here to access the labyrinth locator.
Click here to see some beautiful labryinths and read a short history of labyrinths and mazes.
Working with the energy arts has lead me down a rather unexpected path. At least unexpected to me. Questions I thought I had answered for myself years ago crop up again and again. And each time the answers are different - sometimes subtly different, other times radically different. Leaving, I hope, my understanding more expansive and inclusive than before. One thing I have learned is that, while a lot of very smart people are doing a lot of impressive research, we really don't understand any of the interesting stuff. Stuff like: "What is the true nature of the universe?" or "Is there life after death?"
Tom Harpur's book "There is Life After Death" is a thought provoking and mind expanding journey through scholarly research and anecdotal evidence that leaves one wonder-struck by the possibilities. Though he was an Anglican priest, Harpur gives fair coverage to many of the world's faiths. In the chapter he calls "Amerindian Religion" he quotes Art Solomon, an internationally respected spokesperson for Native religion. Art is an Ojibway elder who explains that his people see "the continuum of life and the universe as a sacred, delicately balanced harmony and whole."
I don't pretend to know anything about Native traditions other than what I've read in the incredible book travels in a stone canoe. But the Ojibway prayer on page 235 of Harpur's book struck me as a something everyone can relate to:
In traditional Yogic chakra theory, there are 7 major chakras in the body. These chakras are like emotional and spiritual transducers that absorb and distribute life energy to various body organs and tissues. In the same way that physical toxins can produce illness, emotional toxins can poison the physical and spiritual body in many subtle ways.
This chakra, located in the centre of your forehead just above your eyebrows, is associated with your eyes, ears, and the parts of your brain where two very important glands reside - the hypothalamus and the pituitary. Together, these two glands regulate all the other glands in the body, controlling your body temperature, water balance, metabolism, intellectual functioning, emotions, sex drive, pain and pleasure.
Emotionally and spiritually your brow chakra is related to your ability to see your life clearly, your intuition and inner vision as well as the use of your mind for intellectual purposes. This is where we define our relationship to knowledge, wisdom and vision. It is said this chakra may become blocked when we do not allow ourselves to "see" what's going on in our lives, or when we relate to others and the world around us only through our emotions while entirely ignoring what our minds have to say.
Considered the seat of intuition, chakra theory suggests that as we start to mature spiritually and allow ourselves to open to new ideas and information, we begin to make a spiritual shift in consciousness. This shift may eventually allow us to see beyond the visible physical world into the higher vibrational world of subtle energy.
AKA: Shamanism, Taoism, Paganism. Goes by many other aliases depending on country of origin and placement on historic timeline. Intuitive approach to spirituality and healing, focuses on balanced interaction with the natural environment. Commonly mistaken for out-dated superstition, this wisdom is incredibly powerful. If found explore fully with an open mind.
Found: Healing energy arts.
AKA: Reiki, Qi Gong, Sound Healing, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine. Goes by many other aliases depending on country of origin and placement on historic time line. Intuitive approach to spirituality and healing, focuses on balanced interaction with the natural environment. Commonly mistaken as new-age mumbo jumbo, these energy arts are incredibly powerful. If not fully shared with an open mind see "Lost".