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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sacred Signals...

Last week we were visited by an Owl three times in 4 days. I cannot tell you the feeling of sacredness that it elicits in me to hear the sound of an owl hoo-ing overhead at 12:30 am in the silence of the night. One night it sounded as if it was sitting on our roof, or at least in one of the trees that overhangs our roof.

Last week was particularly challenging – and continues on into this week. I reached a low point emotionally and spiritually due to the pull of the unconscious family dynamic (despite dancing squirrels and chirping crickets) and found myself praying for some “assistance” – dare I say for a “sign.” Oh dear… a sign?! Fatigue had settled in, and the felt sense of Divine Presence within receded. Sometimes the unconscious seems to drown it out. I am amazed at how easily I fall back into the sea of unconscious habituated patterns and cycles. And in doing so there was an emotional “surrender” of sorts, where I knew I couldn’t continue to rely on my own ego-strength, all those wonderful coping mechanisms I constructed over the years, but must give in to the workings of The Sacred Mystery. I’m discovering that is actually a good thing, as painful as it is, as it returns my awareness to a more authentic place of “openness” – not just in words, or theory, but in the depths of my being; not that I am at peace, or without fear and anxiety. I continue to deal with these latent tendencies on a daily basis, but… How do I explain… There was, in that moment of surrender last week, just a simple sense of allowing everything to be as it is. And in that moment of surrender, there was a sense of relaxation - noticing that everything *is* the way it is anyway. Life just lives – just unfolds. I mean, if you look at nature you see that Life just lives ItSelf. I know I’ve mentioned this before. I begin to see this more clearly - and then I lose sight of it again.

I couldn’t help but feel that the Owl showing up was my “sign” - a kind of sacred signal, if there is such a thing– like when we find little stone hearts along our path, or we hear or read just the right “teaching” that addresses an issue we are struggling with, or read an inspiring blog, or find a feather. Maybe there is a Supreme Intelligence that hears – maybe Existence cares deeply and compassionately for life – hears every sound, sees every movement, like the owl - and answers. I would like to believe that, rather than the belief in an impersonal, uncaring Emptiness. But my beliefs don’t really matter. I’m just interested in seeing how Life communicates with ItSelf – because everything we encounter is Life communicating with ItSelf…

The Owl came two nights before, the night before, and the night after my sister’s surgery last Thursday. It was as if “The Beloved” ItSelf had shown up to sing Its sacred song… It was a haunting, yet comforting sound as it echoed through the night; crickets singing backup.

As I listened to the patterned “hoos” (not hoots) I thought of the owl just sitting up there, watching, observing, listening, hearing, seeing *everything* in and through the darkness, illuminating the darkness with her in-sight; seeing the totality of everything from her vantage point. Good metaphor in these hectic days of feeling more contracted than expanded, needing a little objectivity, needing to see the bigger picture, needing equanimity, needing to wait on inner wisdom from a deep place of knowing before acting. It reminded me that I *can* find that place of inner Stillness within, again and again, if I get really quiet and listen to it. I know I *know* this, but with each life challenge it’s as if I have to find it all over again.

Hearing the sound, my heart felt cocooned in the echoes of the Owl’s Sacred song… It was as if it was calling me to drop into the Heart of Being and wrap myself in the Mantle of the Mystery, to remember this space and “stabilize” there (was the word that came), deepening into the sense of the Silent Knowing within again. I hope she comes back… Am sure I’ll need more reminders…

I thought I’d share a little of the Owl’s song. We had to shorten the intervals between hoos because they were too long. Her hoo-ing lasted an hour.





~

“Trust that a thread of Love operates
in everything
and listen deeply for this Love…

Existence listens
when we connect
from the Heart…”

Adyashanti

~

Just be available
unbounded
unfettered
unencumbered
(a post-it note)

~

“Love lurks in the white water”
(of the rapids of life).

Leslie Read

~

“There is a spontaneous and
benevolent power
behind the unfolding
play of the world…

Whatever you are pushing against
flows in effortless harmony…”

Mooji

Read an interview with Mooji

~

Photo: I have no idea what bird this feather
is from. If you can identify it, please do!



23 comments:

  1. I feel the ebb and flow of life as I read your post. And I do believe in asking for help and that it comes sometimes in mysterious ways, that if we're not paying attention to, we can easily miss.

    So you asked and the owls spoke to you! I love to hear the owls and there is something really amazing and weirdly wonderful about those hoos!

    My friend the Zen monk used to remind me that life "was not out to get me", that it was indeed benevolent and friendly, something I sometimes had a hard time seeing!

    Looking forward to checking out Mooji.

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  2. life communicating with itself. i love that idea. indeed true but indeed hard to surrender when in the midst of apparent turmoil and when tired and over-stretched during crisis times.

    im so sorry you have been feeling down. but i do believe owl came to hoot his/her blessing upon you.

    dont know about the feather but it is gorgeous. blessings. your healing cloth is blowin' in the wind.

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  3. Timely musings for me; you've expressed so well some of the challenges I'm facing, too----mine, felt in a generalized anxiety that only contact with nature can soothe, and since it's blustery and cold here, with me holed up by the fire, I took great comfort in your buho's gentle hooing, too. Not only does the sound "cocoon" and anchor, but it also gives the greater perspective that one can sense from the overview of flight. Thank you for your writing (and images and sounds!).

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  4. Oh. . . Are there guinea fowls nearby? If the feather isn't too large, then that's a possibility. . . ;-)

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  5. ZDS ~ Yes, it does come in mysterious ways, and am always amazed at what comes! :) Yes, definitely the flow of life ~ ~ ~ Thanks :)

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  6. Suki ~ Yes, I know what you mean. When one is in the midst of chaos it's hard to see the forest for the trees (or is that the other way around :) Anyway, in this case owl came to illuminate; definitely lifted my spirits and helped me remember the Sacred. Ahhhh - thanks for the note about the healing cloth. Gives me a heart smile:)

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  7. Chris ~ I have general anxiety as well. Wake up with it every morning, and felt the owl was such a gift. May you feel wrapped in her comforting sound as well...

    Don't know if there are Guinea fowl here or not...

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  8. Dear Christine...Thank you for these sweet words...Sacred Symbols...I can use all those I can get, er recognize. Lord knows every atom in and around us is the sacred symbol. However, in this feeling of checkmate, every Sound of the Infinite (in this case some Chimes I call 'God')bail this heart from the sharp cliff of 'jump'.
    The only place I can hear and be with 'my' Dear is in Stillness. lol...yes personal AND impersonal.
    xoxo
    -L.

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  9. Thank you Dear Leslie ~ Yes, Stillness and hooing owls, and chimes called 'God' - love that! :) And, yes, recognizing and remembering the "Sound of the Infinite." Beautiful way to put it. Life humming with sacredness. :) Heart Blessings - C

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  10. Christine, I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling... but what a powerful thing - that you asked for a sign and it came.

    Your owl reminds me of a CD series I'm currently listening to by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, called "Mother Night". The whole series is symbolized by the owl, which Estes' describes as a creature that was a guide and helpmate to many gods and goddesses throughout ancient mythology because "it could move during a time when others could not see their way clear." The recording is beautiful and haunting... a sign indeed.

    Peace to you,
    Kristen.

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  11. Thank you Kristen... Well you know life is just that way sometimes - the ebb and flow of living, of emotions, and life experiences... Sometimes we "struggle" and sometimes we celebrate... We all have our "issues." And then the beautiful "sign" of the owl to remind me of the "bigger picture" and to take refuge in the Stillness and Inner Knowing...

    Thank you for sharing about Estes' "Mother Night" CD. Sounds fascinating! I will check it out. Peace and Light - Christine

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  12. So beautiful and so intense this journey is. You articulate it so well dearest Christine. I love you.

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  13. Dear Pema Mags ~ Intense indeed! And yet moments like these make it all worth it :) Love to you as well, dear Heart...

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  14. It was a pleasure to ride the wave with your here, Christine, and dwell in the essence of your insights. This really struck me, what you said: "I couldn’t continue to rely on my own ego-strength, all those wonderful coping mechanisms I constructed over the years..." We humans are good at those constructions, aren't we? I think after we put up the walls, the only thing we can do is bring 'em down again to get back to the essence that serves us better--that stillness inside. If only to rest more assured during our daily doings that that still pool is there, just waiting for us to dip our toes in to soothe us. Our most difficult and vulnerable moments can consume us though until we do. I love that post-it note: "Just be available
    unbounded..." I find huge inspiration in that elegant concept. Unbound... What relief and joy just contemplating that. ;o) It was a great treat to hear the owl hoots. Where we are now we don't hear owls, and I miss that. The majesty & mystery of owls fascinates. For a while now for some months now I've having visions of butterflies, and they are showing up in recent art work. I think of animals very much as being spiritual guides for us here on Earth. My the owl is your animal?! Wishing you peace, harmony and love, my friend ((HUGS))

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  15. Tracy ~ Thank you for your lovely comment...

    My experience is that when we choose to walk a "spiritual path" of any kind, *Life* has ways of deconstructing us, consuming all our wonderful ego constructs in Its Fire until the Essence of our True Being is revealed. Interesting process, if we are open to it, which isn't always easy. :)

    The recording of the owl made it sound like we are deep in the woods. We are actually in a residential area! But we are surrounded by big trees and we are fortunate to sometimes have the owls come and hoo. :)

    Am not sure if the owl is my "totem." But I'm going to start collecting them (not the actually owl, but you get what I mean :)! I've had different animal "totems" over the years. But it seems she was here to get my attention and help me to *see* in the darkness. :)

    Love and Hugs to you!

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  16. Something tells me the ability to *see* in the darkness is critical this month.
    xoxo
    -L.

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  17. Oh yes! Leslie - Daily... :) Love lurks in the darkness too :)

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  18. One of the many things I've been thinking about in these past few weeks is how we are all on a journey here, trying to make our way — yet sometimes the wind seems to be in our sails and other times we are simply floating along slowly. During the slow times I guess there is more time to enjoy the scenery and chart the next part of the course. But it's all a journey. I'm sorry to hear things have been difficult. May I recommend a 2,000 mile road trip? (lol, no, not really!)

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  19. Uma ~ You are too funny! :) I already *feel* like I'm on a "road trip" - to nowhere :) Have enjoyed reading yours along the way, and glad you are back home. What a ride life is, eh? Like you have mentioned, the difficulties sometimes are the mind constructs that get in the way... Time for a new way of *seeing*!

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  20. Christine, I hope you and your family are feeling better now. Your owl recording just "blew" me away! How wonderful! I've had an owl visit, too. A great white Snowy Owl staring into my eyes thru the kitchen window. It is an unforgettable experience, isn't it!? Those giant eyes. This one really grabbed my heart. It was early spring after a very hard winter. A flock of crows seemed to be harassing her. But she was sitting there in the tree, calmly staring at me. A kind of mystical strength and unafraid. I guessed she was hungry. Winter had been long. And while I felt awe I also felt my heart breaking, wishing I could take care of her somehow.

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  21. Kris ~ Wow - incredible that you actually got to see her eye-to-eye though the window! How special! Goosebumps. :)

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  22. You shared with us the little gift that came to you in the night. Thank you, Christine. (:

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  23. Hello Tammi!!! So wonderful to see you here! Thank you for leaving your lovely comment... Yes the owl has been a wonderful gift, to remind me to pay attention to my "instinctive life" :)
    Blessings to you! Christine

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