Category Archives: Living Spirit

We’re Just Passin’ Through

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Unexpected Loss

My two oldest children lost their father to cancer this weekend. He was 61. Divorced over 30 years, we’d come to a peaceful place with each other. To the point where we could sit and have a conversation about our lives, the kids and the state of the world. You know, everyday stuff.

He didn’t know he was sick until about two months ago. So this was an unexpected leaving. The kids visited with him, and he was happy in his last hours. As happy as one can be in a dying state, I suppose. I grieve him. I grieve that he lived with illness and pain and that there was nothing that could be done for him. I am very sad that our children are grieving the loss of this gentle soul. Because that is what he was above all else. Gentleness in a world that is not often seen, or offered. No matter the differences that eventually pushed and pulled us apart in those early years, that gentleness was the reason I married him. He was the reason I am gifted with the presence of two amazing people on the life path. Thank you for that gentle soul.

My son and I made arrangements with the funeral home. I wrote his obituary. I wish now that I had said more about the gentle-man who had attempted to live and thrive in such a harsh world, but I didn’t. Seriously… he was almost too innocent for this world.

We Are More Than This…

My own esoteric experiences have taught me that this reality is meant to be a place of experiences, where lives can be lived well. Or not. It’s really up to each one of us to decide. Me? I’ve made some incredibly naive and not so great choices, pushing myself and this body through events and drama I would tell my dearest friends to run from, to steer way, way clear of. And the results? I wore out my vehicle. My body crashed.

Hey, but you know what? The crash that came with being the overachiever, the fixer, the mommy, the best wife I could possibly be, the one everyone could count on? It forced me to sit. Well, lay down at first. For months. Chronic illness is a bitch.

Some time has passed and an early form of recovery is happening, albeit snail’s pace slow. I sit in awareness. In beauty, in breezy, sunny days, or listening to the rain, or playing with Frankie, the long-haired chihuahua trusty side-kick, and appreciating my adult children who pop in and gab, or bring me a surprise bunch of sunflowers. I sit doing work I love, writing or editing novels or articles on finance and travel. Lots of super-present moments, mindful awareness, moments I had not experienced before the crash. I was lost, running on autopilot. Despite all of the meditative knowings, lucid dreams, despite knowing we are more than this… I fell.

Conscious Connection With All That Is

The crash brought me back into conscious connection with Spirit, to the soul Collective. And my ex’s transition from this world to the next reminded me yet again that this is not our home. He is gone home. He’s left the vehicle behind. Individual expressions of Spirit, we are graced with experiencing incredible, vibrant life, exploding into diversity and life-paths filled with cosmopolitan personal stories that ignite passion, hardship, sorrow, joy, and love, shooting off, weaving through and into the canvas of time.

So now? What. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to sit for a moment and watch the sun sparkles come through the rustling leaves blowing in the trees behind your house. Or close your eyes and listen to the cricket song as the sun falls away past the rooftops and the trees become shadows against the last flash of red light. Maybe watch the woodpeckers dig into the trees for bugs, or the blue jays fight over their territory. Listen to the squirrels complain because you’re too close to their stash. Smell the fresh-cut grass. Hug your loved one and breathe. Just stop. Be now. Feel the connection.

We are more than this…

Adventurer on the edge of the cliff by loutpany

Dedicated to HWT. Save me a seat at the edge, we’ll dangle our feet for a while before the next adventure.

 

 

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Visions of Destiny

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Katherine Dinger Art

 

It’s been years since I recorded this meditative experience, imagining and capturing the colors as I moved step to step.  I was honored when asked to share with an online Writers Salon, and share it here with you today.  It’s as fresh in my mind today as it was nearly 15 years ago.

Meditative Journal Entry – October 23, 2003

I woke at 8:30 today. Mmmm….Sunday, how delicious to sleep in, soft sheets against my skin and warm comfy blankets, stretching long and hard first, then curling up into a ball, I  sink deeper into the pillow soft mattress…“I think I’ll doze instead of pulling myself out of this heaven.” Pulling deeper into the warmth of a body heated cocoon, I doze, reaching inwardly to my healing room, downward, a step at a time imagined.

Breathe in…Swwww, “Red.” Breathe out. Whwww…Image of my now familiar staircase descending to the unconscious mind, each smooth step a vivid color, a railing to guide the hand of my spiritual body. Stepping onto the first step, a lipstick red, the kind you’d see on Marilyn, yeah, Monroe…the Charm lollipop cherry smell, mmmm…yum. The color rises from the step, enveloping me in its vibrancy; I am encased in a red haze.

Breathe in…Swwww, “Orange.” Breathe out, Whwww…Another step down to orange, tangy, tasty orange like the oranges at the Farmer’s Market, split open to sample…the color rises from the step, enveloping me in its sparkling juices, I am sheathed in a cloud of orange energy.

Breathe in…Swwww, “Yellow.” Breathe out, Whwww…glide to the next, yellow sunshine, lemons, lemon drops, sweet and sour all at the same time, yellow buttons, yellow raincoats, yellow shiny slicker boots, the color rises in swirling ribbons closing over me, holding me in a armor of golden light.

Lightness of being, I have an itch, “No not now, I’m meditating, go away, let me be, I love my time away from burden, life, matter.” Breathe in…Swwww, “Green.” Breathe out, Whwww…down again, green, clean green, healing green, blades of young grass against tender arches, scents of climbing trees, hot days, willow branches, children’s laughter, “Higher Colleen, come on you chicken!”  Brother Bruce shouts to me. The color rises, a transparent mist closing over me, healing.

Down a step, Breathe in…Swwww, “Blue.” Breathe out, Whwww…turquoise hues, ocean water against beaches of broken, jagged, “ouch” hurt your foot shells. Ahhh…but the comfort of blue, Easter eggs waiting to be found, just behind the bushes, “Look, look Colleen, there…no don’t give up. Ah! You’ve found it!” Filling my basket now with hues of blue. Come now, time for sleep, comfy stuffed lamb blue on the cheek, open mouthed Hhhhhhhh, deep, deep into sleep…breathe out. The color rises, a cloud of blue, I am at peace, such quiet peace.

Breathe in….Swwww, “Indigo.” Breathe out, Whwww…Crayons! Purple crayons, waxy smells in crisp, clean coloring books with glossy new covers, don’t let the cover get wrinkled. Deep Indigo hippie 1969 skirt with glistening mirrors around the hem and small jingle bells tied to the waist, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jethro Tull, Purple Haze, Deep Purple, Indigo girl, that’s me. The color rises, purple haze towers over my head, and I’m nearly there, one more step.

Breathe in…Swwww, “Lavender.” Breathe out, Whwww…Lilac’s lavender outside the window, now inside riding the waves of warm air streaming through transparent sheers, childhood memories of lilacs in Ball jars all over the house, in the kitchen, family room, bathrooms, everywhere…mother’s favorite. Her lavender lotion, lavender walls, mother’s room, mother’s arms, mothers love, the color’s aroma rises over me, surrounded in comfort I’ve arrived, the landing, double doors before me.

Feeling at peace, doors open before me, “Now to the dream center. Wait, what is this place?” I stand at the railing of a terrace, cement like, and spindles every few feet…before me a landscape of small mountains, with a forest of many greens. I stand gazing about, “How beautiful. I wonder where I am.” And in that moment of beauty and wonderment, there appeared beside me a woman, my guide and companion while I am waiting. We are both clothed in gauze flowing gowns, simple lines, comfortable in the heat beginning to radiate with the mid-morning sun.

She knows me. She knows this region. I understand I am on another continent, a very lush area. Out across the prairie, reaching the forests that lay before the mountain foothills, there the wild animals run. Across the acres, all manner of animals wander. I would go closer to watch them. I feel a deep desire to explore the fields and towering forests. But the elder guide reminds me, “This area belongs to the wild, not to us, and it is not tame. No my girl, you must stay here within the walls of the compound.”

“Yes, I know, I am to wait for Alexis, my life partner, the man I am to marry.” Still standing against the railing, I’m drawn to the wild. Feeling its pull, I have no desire to stay within the confines of the spiritual teachings compound.

The white haired, gentle woman beside me touches my sleeve, “We are protected only up to these barriers,” pointing out a protection device that shields us from the wild beasts and creatures who roam the natural setting before me. With a rustle of robes, she turns. I follow reluctantly heading back to what I can only describe as a complex, a collection of small square buildings. “It’s quite a walk my lady, I will call for transport assistance to bring us back to the fortress.

“No. I can fly back.” I tell her, hesitating, not wanting to belittle her, knowing she cannot do as I do. My companion is reverent of my skill, respectful, and so she allows me the space to move on, and upward. I fly easily to the next level of steppes, away from the grassy terrace, up the slopes to the compound. Landing briefly, I glide to the yet another level, and then soar high into the vast sky just for the sheer pleasure. I know I will be settled into the compound soon, I am pleased that I have allowed myself this little bit of joy, the small treasure of free flight.

Just a little longer…a little bit longer,” I rise from this blissful meditation, a place unlike our own reality, a place of visions. I stretch again and know it’s time to move into the day. But not before I record my vision experience and the images of the wizened woman who was my guide.

Image by Katherine Dinger

Step into compassion, step into the face of witness

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There’s an angel hovering in my window. Ok, maybe it’s just the sun’s reflection, but maybe it’s reflecting the aura of what I wouldn’t normally see. I was in the moment. And Spirit knew I needed this on the life path right now. A reminder, the assurance that I’m not walking alone.

My intuition, dreaming, and lucid meditation experiences have proven that we are more than this. We are just the tip of incredibly intricate beings, experiencing life stories together. Choosing each moment how we’ll perceive what’s happening at any given time and realizing we walk together, and not alone makes life easier. If you’re on autopilot, well, you’ll miss the opportunity to make that choice, or see the hidden treasure of witnessing manifested living Spirit.

Ya, life is incredibly difficult sometimes. Hmm… maybe more than sometimes, maybe all the time on some days. Still even in the painful, or exhausting, or oh-my-God why is this happening days… if I just stop. Stop completely. Breathe in, breathe out, become a Witness, observe what’s happening, and look at the different perspectives, weigh options, think about next steps… and then choose a way to see, to act, to realize there are resources in centering, in sitting into quiet observation, to feel the presences of Spirit, it’s easier. Life hasn’t changed. The experiences are still there, but it’s easier because I’ve stopped for a moment to be a witness to the experience, to have compassion for myself and others, to wait quietly with respect, to listen to the treasured whispers of Spirit’s knowledge.

Occasionally, I will just react. No thought given to anything happening. Just give in to the emotion, racing thought, the why-why-why me attitude. Spirit guided sculptures and paintings scattered throughout the house are good reminders to remember that we are more than this. Spirit inspiration in form, like the sculpture I bought some years ago created by the artist dreama j kattenbraker, “Witness”

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“Step into compassion, step into the face of witness…” She is a hollow vessel collecting knowledge through life experiences, outwardly reflecting memories across her worn and weathered body. Eden’s snake of knowledge is around her neck, and the key to her heart still hanging as she’d left it when she opened the door to physical being. Arms extended, Witness welcomes all life, all creatures, all spirit manifested, gazing upward knowing she does not exist alone. Her wings imprinted with words of wisdom…

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“When I become the witness to another soul, I move out of judgement into a place of compassion I am given the senses to taste touch, smell and hear – to collect knowledge. Knowledge demands me to actively care for those I know. Knowledge teaches me to actively love. Please grant me the grace to use knowledge with care and compassion.

Why was knowledge warned against in Eden’s garden? Once I learn someone’s story, burdens, vulnerability, fears, talents – I cannot be ambivalent anymore. I carry this knowledge in my sack. It is both a burden and a paradox. Knowledge demands right action. When I pretend not to know the weight bears down on me like a mountain, a glacier. Thus the warning, “Don’t taste this fruit from the tree of knowledge.” ~ Dreama

“Once I learn someone’s story…” even my own, I can’t be ambivalent anymore. The door to knowing is open and now right action is the only way. “Choose,” life says. The autopilot is off, I’m in the moment, clearly observing.
Becoming aware is a way of life that can’t be undone once you know, once you’re a witness to the unfolding of your life, as well as others. You might slip once in a while, but it’s always there, the knowledge that we are more than these experiences. It makes living so much more interesting.
But answer me this… If you’re not your experiences… Who are you?

Trust Without Borders

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Wow what a ride!  This life journey sure is a blast.  Took a minute for me to get to this place of acceptance and yep, discovery.  It’s a whole new world for me (I sound like Jasmine from Disney’s Aladdin… wait let me get my flying carpet out).  

Didn’t think I had it in me to make such major life changes, especially being 63 and all.  But who says we can’t do, learn, become more than this in the senior years of our lives? (and what’s considered senior nowadays?)  No one.  It’s our own perspective and the limits we set on ourselves.  

Health challenges pushed me out of the comfort zone into the unknown.  Oh no!  Let me just say, this Pollyanna chicklet was freaking out.  (and maybe sometimes I still do a little, for a few seconds when I wake up in the middle of the night and think what the he**)! 

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When I relax into the web of knowing, into trust of Spirit and All That Is, I do OK.  So far, every need has been met.  Every.  Single.  Thing.  The right doctors, the right tests, a work-from-home job I can do in my p.j.’s.  And not just any job, it’s a job that not only uses my writing and blogging skills, but allows me creative freedom (this is very cool).  I work in the sunny south windows with my trusty sidekick Francis aka “Frankie” the long-haired chihuahua, sipping hot chocolate from Penzy’s (the best) and snacking on tasty Envy apple slices.  Oh yah. 

Let it Be (John Lennon), Be Here Now (Ram Dass), Que Sera Sera (Doris Day) and of course my favorite We Are More Than This…  Trust without borders. 

Myriad of Things

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God

Disguised

As a myriad things and

Playing a game

Of tag

Has kissed you and said,

“You’re it—

I mean, you’re Really IT!”

Now

It does not matter

What you believe or feel

For something wonderful,

Major-league Wonderful

Is someday going

To

Happen.

~ Hafiz, “You’re It”

 

Tag. You’re IT!  Do you believe something wonderful, major-league is about to happen?  I always have.  I want to keep believing.  These days it’s meant believing with a whole bunch of challenges.  Health challenges, financial challenges, life-purpose challenges, all abounding around.  In the midst of it all I see and feel God, as a myriad of things, encircling me.  In the presence of the people I am with daily, in the winter sunshine pouring through my home office window, in the trees wearing the winter snow, in my pup’s wiggly butt as he brings me his favorite toy for playtime, these, each and all living God.  So maybe someday is not here yet, and the major-league wonderful is still coming.  In the meantime, the myriad of things gives me joy and keeps me going. Tag “You’re IT!” Living God.

 

Conscious Decision Making

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Life By Design nl

 

In February 2013, I had a lucid dream experience where I was consciously creating in the fabric of space and time. I was present before the canvas of matter creating images with thoughts and gestures. Since 2013, there have been many mornings when I’ve actually awakened with my arms and hands up in the air gesturing as if I am still creating from the “other” side of the fabric, spirit body on that side, physical body on this side. I know that with regular practice through meditation, lucid dreaming and conscious awareness, I can change day-to-day physical reality creating a more desirable, joy-filled life-path. As a mystic, I know that we are, we live, simultaneously as both source-self (spiritual being) and the physical manifested self, experiencing life. One might look at the physical self as an avatar of sorts, a vehicle that allows us to experience living out all sorts of adventures through a physical body! In short, we live between two worlds.

Naturally and unconsciously through choice, we have created daily experiences using thought and action. However, many of us are thinking, acting, and creating experiences running on “autopilot,” allowing life to occur, to just happen… and as a result, often left wondering why things aren’t quite the way we’d prefer. How do we create change?

The simple answer is to turn off the autopilot. To be mindful of thoughts and consequent actions. To take responsibility for, and examine the choices made… and then choose differently where possible. We can create a new reality, with conscious mindful thought, conscious mindful decisions, conscious mindful planning, and conscious mindful action.

Will daily life then be picture perfect? I can say from experience that it will not because some of the choices made up until now have resulted in the experiences each of us are currently living through. However, I can say it will be better and that circumstances can be changed. Life is better because you will have become fully engaged. Daily life events are no longer just happening to you because you will have become a conscious, mindful, active, participant in its creation.

How to start? Over the next couple of months, each week I will introduce a set of self-exploration exercises to assist in becoming mindful of current life situations, where your focus has been, where it’s at today, how to make time for self-nurturing, and how to manage time and plan mindfully. These simple no-nonsense self-discovery activities are meant to be used over and over as you cycle through decisions, discover new facets of self, choose goals and take steps toward change. These activities have been used in workshops for over twenty years, basic, tried and true.  They are focused, personal, and will nudge you toward self-nurturing, as well as personal and spiritual growth. Next week: Module One – “Primary Caretakers.”

Never Broken, She Persisted

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Centered

I am a vivid dreamer, able to fill dream journals with pages and pages of dreams, many about myself, sometimes about others, and still other dream stories are about the country or world events.  When I have a particular dilemma or question about life, I will write it in my dream journal and wait for an answer.

Recently without prompting or questions, I dreamt that I was working with a team of people creating life experiences for a woman.  The events were meant to challenge her in every way, experience after experience, one after another, sometimes more than one occurring on top of another.  Layer after layer, one upon another, complex and highly intense. Each experience meant to peel and pull, to break away the characteristics of the woman… Until she was clean… Until she was clear and transparent… Ready to begin again.

The woman was never broken, instead she persisted.  She allowed and accepted.  She went through the experiences one after another, layer upon layer from the beginning to the now. Throughout the peeling and pulling breaking down process she came to be free… Free from the burdens each experience had brought forth in memories.

Now, she appeared before us all like calm waters, crystal-clear and accepting… Childlike in that she was now a vessel for what newness would begin. As I rose from the dream feeling indifferent, I thought it was just a dream about a woman.  But it wasn’t about just a woman.  I realized it was me.  I am this woman.  I am naked, clean, soul stripped bare, transparent, empty and calm, ready for the new beginnings that lay ahead.

Yes, I am — Let it begin.