Not MDMA (though I do understand that when used skillfully, it can be a healer). I’m talking about life. Transcendent moments are our birthright. Moments of everyday ecstasy and wonder.
Everyday ecstasy is why I do yoga. It’s why I meditate and why I enjoy/suffer through the ups and downs of these long-term contemplative practices as my body ages, coming back over and over and over again. To taste that nectar of a momentary unitive state. The sweetness, the soma that is our birthright. Mind-body practices like yoga build resilience, in part because of how good a moment of unitive consciousness feels.
It’s why I’m studying plant spirit healing and plant initiations. I learn about how plants heal through (in addition to the regular study of plant medicine) non-ordinary conscious connection. My apprenticeship in plant spirits taught me how to listen deeply to plants and nature. To find and follow the golden thread that connects us.
One definition of mindfulness is focusing on something (almost anything) to the point of complete absorption. We fall into deep wonder with whatever we are focusing on, allowing ourselves a moment of ecstatic clarity. When we practice mindfulness or communion with a moment, it gives us the ability to transcend. We can transcend the muddy muck of the day and see things in a different light. Transcending is excellent for supporting healthy behavior change. And it’s fun.
Ken Wilber says altered states become permanent traits through repetition and integration. I have journeyed in alchemical divinations and I have journeyed with the breath and music, with shaman and with plants. Each route is sweet and lovely and challenging and took me face to face with the wonder of this one wackily precious and miraculous life. No polluting drugs are necessary, and that’s a bit of a secret. You have everything you need to transcend right inside your own sweet little body. In fact, I find as I get older that I’m so sensitive to substances in general, that it’s just easier to go au natural.
Plant Spirit Healing
My shamanic study with plant spirit healing has been key to a certain awakening. Through this work, I’ve gotten to know a number of plants personally. To me, Tulsi is a red-haired woman with flowing green robes, a sister I go shopping with at the celestial power object store. To me, she is the full pantheon of goddesses of the yoga tradition. Yes, she’s Durga AND Lakshmi AND Kali and everyone else wrapped into one beautiful mega-goddess that if we give half a chance, might just save the entire planet, or show us the way. St. John’s Wort is golden light. If light could be a food, it would be St. John’s Wort for me. I can use the nourishment of this ally, particularly in the dark months of winter. Please be advised that what each of these plants is for me is not what they will be for you. I am not recommending them for all. This type of experience, however, getting to know a plant on a personal energetic level, bestows a different type of healing. It is a type of healing much needed today: earth-centric energy healing.
If this sounds a little “out there” to you, yes it is a bit. For many of you, sensation seekers and those who already talk to plants, for example, it’s not at all. There is a growing body of science to support the healing power of everyday ecstasy.
Later this year I will be offering an opportunity for you take a taste – to experience this work more deeply and see for yourself how it supports health and healing…stay tuned.
Happy Holidays and remember to fall into reverie whenever you get the chance!