Rooting the mind in the heart

As the days lengthen here in North America, and the trees are roused from their winter slumber into blossoming new life, wars rage around our world, including in Ukraine.

The stark contrasts of our lives are challenging to shelter inside the confines of a single heart, and yet, this is precisely what we are here to learn from the sacred journey of life.

I’ve been sitting with the trees a lot lately, seeking to learn from these, my elders. Trees know what it is to stand firm, sometimes for hundreds of years in a single place, come what may. 

The tree elders in my woods are teaching me a great deal about steadfastness and courage. They remind me how I run away when I am uncomfortable, how hard it is for me to keep silent, to listen, to witness, to be.

But I’ve been realizing that trees’ rootedness in a single place, in their own nature, in the ground of reality, isn’t only about holding firm in the face of difficulty. 

As I watch their branches sway in the winds of recent storms, as I touch the emerging buds on the tips of their branches, I am helped to remember the innate optimism that lives at my center, your center, and indeed at the center of all life.

The real challenge is that my thinking mind, rootless and restless, has a habit of overlooking the subtle, innate, and unspeakable joy that is a fact of being alive.

As I make time to root the mind in the greater realities of body, heart, land, and Spirit, I find that I am nourished, even in the midst of the storm. 

May we all learn from our elders, the trees, and grow steadfast, dance, and blossom forth in new life no matter how difficult the times.

Join us this week for the practice of journeywork in a circle of intention and community. You are invited to journey upon whatever intention feels right to you.

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If you would like to join us this Wednesday, March 16, from 4-6 pm PDT, feel free to email me at anna “at” gaiashamanism “dot” com.   All skill levels are welcome.

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