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Archive for October, 2011

I love working with cards for divination. Nearly any deck will do. Cards bypass the mental circuitry of mind and head straight to the soul. Cards are a great way to have a soul conversation! As I ask to be shown what we need to see in our reflections on darkness, I pull the card COMPARISON from my well worn deck of Osho Zen tarot. (Check out this inspiring deck online at http://www.osho.com)

What does comparison have to do with darkness? And by the way, what is darkness anyway? For me, darkness is where I am hiding. It is somewhere inside that I do not want others to see because if they did, they would want nothing to do with me. I believe most of these hiding places, when stripped to their essence, are places where we are telling ourself we are not enough. We are not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not smart enough, not successful enough, not productive enough. We don’t have enough money, enough status, enough spiritual knowledge, enough faith, enough wisdom, well you get the point.

A few years ago, one of my intentions was to simplify my life. I was driving a leased car that was precariously close to going over the contracted miles way before it was ready for return. Every dime over the allotted miles would toll thousands of dollars from my pocket. I received a call from my Aunt in New Jersey. Her neighbor had died at 80 years old and his car, a ten year old Ford Taurus, was for sale. The car was mint from having spent a decade in a garage. Short exursions to shopping malls and grocery stores accrued 30,000 miles in its lifetime. Two thousand dollars was the price tag. I made a beeline for the New Jersey Turnpike. Even though I have doubled the mileage in the three years as owner, there are no regrets. The car is solid as they come and I thank Spirit each day for bringing me such a good pony! As grateful as I am for my car, there are moments when my car leaves me feeling that somehow I don’t quite measure up.

Parking lots here are full of SUV’s and BMW’s, letters that surely spell success. Most owners today start their cars from inside their home, have a GPS to steer them on the road and listen to commercial free satellite radio stations. Mine still has a slot for cassette tapes. How deeply embedded are the roots of culturally conditioned beliefs that determine success by how much money I make, by how old my car is or whether or not I own the home in which I live? My ’99 Taurus, parked next to a white Mercedes may not feel so good. If someone is riding a bicycle to get around, then maybe I’m doing OK.

In order to uproot these traps of comparison, we must be honest about their existence to release every thread from our fiber. Maybe your yardstick for success is not measured by a car although it is hard to completely escape the material measures of success. Look around at how our culture defines success. Skinny models wear expensive clothes, sexy women drive fast cars, real men drink imported beer. How do we end up measuring our success against these media messages? Look to find where you hold yourself or others in comparison. Maybe you feel someone with more education makes them better than you. Perhaps being able to drop the name of the college or university your child attends is a measure of your success. Maybe someone in a uniform or position of authority is above you in some way. Look at your beliefs about spiritual teachers, gurus and others you may put on a pedestal. Do you feel spiritually superior because you meditate or practice yoga? As a practice, begin to notice where you compare yourself to others and what belief systems are created as a result? This is where a journal works wonders.

As we prepare for our New Moon Despacho to release the victim, let us uncover the beliefs that limit us through our comparison to others. I was listening to an interview with Oprah the other day and a woman from the audience asked, “What advice would you give to young women that hope to have half the success that you do?” Her response was, “Don’t compare your success to mine because that is not what it is about. Each of us is here for our own journey and it is up to us to discover what that is.” (Please note these are not Oprah’s exact words but a paraphrase of what she said.)

“Who ever told you that the bamboo is more beautiful than the oak, or the oak more valuable than the bamboo? Do you think the oak wishes it had a hollow trunk like this bamboo? Does the bamboo feel jealous of the oak because it is bigger and its leaves change color in the fall? The very idea of the two trees comparing themselves to each other seems ridiculous, but we humans seem to find this habit very hard to break. Let’s face it, there is always going to be somebody who is more beautiful, more talented, stronger, more intelligent, or apparently happier than you are. And conversely, there will always be those who are less than you in all these ways. The way to find out who you are is not by comparing yourself with others, but by looking to see whether you are fulfilling your own potential in the best way you know how.” Osho Zen Tarot

Comparison is part of our darkness. Comparison is where we hide our own feelings of not enough. For when we meet from our heart, there is nothing to hide behind, nothing to make us feel better than or less than. Let us prepare to offer the roots of comparison in ceremony so we may blossom into the fullest expression of our being!

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit
http://www.karenchrappa.com

 

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Shamanic journeying is a tool, used for thousands of years, to communicate with Spirit and access information from non-ordinary states of reality. The shamanic journey is one of the first practices in A Structure for Spirit used to meet a Spirit Ally to serve as a spiritual guide. I will journey for myself, or others, when I am looking for clarity or guidance on a question, challenge or conflict. The intent of a journey is the energy that drives it. I was called to journey to ask what we, as a collective of visionaries, needed to see in preparation for October’s New Moon Despacho Ceremony, to step fully into our power and release the powerlessness of the victim.

Most of the journey was in darkness, and it was messages about darkness that came through. At first there was fear in this darkness. I was told to recognize darkness as an essential passageway or portal through which we must pass to emerge to lightness, awareness or understanding. Darkness allows us to fortify other dimensions of our seeing since we do not have our eyes to rely on. We must use touch, smell, kinesthetic awareness (a body intellegence that lets us know where our body is in space) and sensation to get our bearings. What would guide you through a tunnel without light? Darkness strengthens these other dimensions of our abitlty to feel, sense and know.

Darkness also cultivates stillness. Darkness does not allow us to rush. Sitting still in the darkness of this journey, a crystal of light emerges from the Earth. We do not need to run around out there to find what we need. What we need will come to us in the still of darkness. The Stone People are offering their medicine to us now. We were given the following practice to sustain us at this time:

Find three stones. Cleanse them in a sea salt bath overnight. Once the stones are clear they will be used to nourish and sustain our bodies on all levels. For the practice, lie on your back. Place one stone on your belly. Place one stone over your heart (the center of your chest) and one stone on your third eye, the center of your forehead. Let your breath start to deepen and slow down. Feel your body resting more deeply on the Earth. Let your self be still to receive the steadfast stillness of the stones. Let this absorb into your body as you lie quietly. This medicine is recevied in stillness. Stay quiet until you feel a sense of stillness in your body. This will deepen with practice. 

Thank you Spirit for the information you have shared with us to help guide and comfort us on this journey, to deepen our awareness and understanding of darkness. Thank you for the practice to reinform us at this time and cultivate the steadfast stillness necessary to travel in darkness. Tnank you to the generosity of the Stone People who so freely share their medicine with us. Thank you to the willingness and courage of the virtual visionaries to walk together through this tunnel of darkness.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit
http://www.karenchrappa.com

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I am excited to be stepping into this journey with you, a 12 month cycle of Virtual New Moon Despacho Ceremonies. We have just completed our first where we set our intention. If you missed the New Moon ceremony in September, do not despair. It is never to late to participate. Go ahead and set your intention for what you would like to call into your life, what you would like to create. We will be using many practices along the way to empower our intentions. We are a rich community of visionaries who all have medicine to share so I welcome any insights, guidance or teachings, as well as struggles or questions that arise.

In preparation for our next New Moon Despacho in October we are being asked to release our powerlessness in order to step into the fullness of our intention. Our definition of power is changing. I speak of it here as the fullness of our life force energy. This garment of power is one that I am still working my way into it as my understanding and awareness of my own power deepens. One of the biggest obstacles to our power is the belief that we are a victim. The victim is a universal archetypal pattern that is deeply embedded in our consciousness. We all know someone who is a vicitm, but do we know the vicitim within our self? This month we will explore where we play the role of victim in our life so we may offer it in ceremony to release.

One suggestion as we step into this practice is to begin to keep a journal. Keep track of your intention. Write down dreams, or intuitive knowings, insights, struggles, conflcts. Writing is one way to move energy from the invisible realm of thought to the visible realm of matter.

Our practice this month is to begin to cultivate awareness as to where or when the victim operates in our life. Perhaps there are certain relationships where we fall into this role. Or maybe there are certain situations or circumstances where the victim shows up. This is where a journal can be helpful to keep track of what you notice. The intent of looking for where the victim is operating in your life is not to condemn yourself for it, but rather to bring awareness so we then have more choice. We no longer have the luxury of playing the victim if we are looking to birth our intentions into the world. This requires us to step fully into our power.

Once we notice the victim, we then want to sense how this feels in our body. When we step into the role of victim, what sensations are present. Is there gripping, clenching, constriction anywhere in the body? I often notice a sense of collapse on my left side as if I am falling into that side of my body. Notice thoughts that arise that create the belief systems of the victim that tell us we are not enough, notihing will ever change, nothing matters, what difference does it make. Notice the hopelessness, despair, underlying anger and powerlessness of the victim. Become more intimate with this archetype. Begin to question these beliefs. Is this the truth about you? 

Let us start by increasing our awareness to where and when we are playing the victim. This requires us to be still, slow down and pay attention. Meditation is the medicine for this. If you do not meditate try to spend five minutes a day sitting still. Notice the difference it can make.

Here are some things to get us started:

  • Journal
  • Devote time to stillness, sit quietly, go inside, meditate
  • Increase awareness to how the role of victim is showing up in your life
  • Increase awareness to body sensations and holding patterns
  • increase awareness to thoughts and beliefs that create the victim

I will share more on ways to begin to loosen this attachment as we prepare for the next New Moon Despacho on October 26th where we will release the victim in ceremony.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit
http://www.karenchrappa.com

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I HAVE A MISSION.
TURN PEOPLE ON TO THE WAY OF THE DESPACHO!

The despacho is a ceremonial prayer bundle used for thousands of years by Shamans of the Andes for dreaming, visioning, prayer and healing. It brings the invisible realms of our prayers, intentions, dreams and desires into visible form through its symbolic creation. The offerings of a despacho are laid in wrapping paper, tied up like a gift and returned to the elements to align our intentions with Spirit. This powerful ceremony accelerates the manifestation of our dreams.

A community of support is rising in my neighborhood, one that I am coming to rely on for growing my dreams even bigger. No longer defined by street signs and county lines, our idea of community is changing as we cross global borders with a click. Spirit now calls me to reach beyond the narrow confines of my own mile square village as an idea for a spiritual experiment of sorts arises.

It is quite simple. In the darkness of a New Moon, the lunar cycle is ripe for setting forth the unmanifest potential of our dreams, that which lies in darkness, not yet seen. As the New Moon approaches each month I will send a reminder so you may align with your own intentions at that time. Each month I will create a despacho for our growing virtual community to weave our prayers and visions together to accelerate their awakening. I will post a picture so you may see where your dreams are held. The despacho will then be returned to the elements by being burned or buried.

There is power in community, especially community aligned with Spirit! I don’t know what will happen, where this will take us or what to expect but this is the path of Spirit. When we receive divine inspiration, we always have a choice whether to act on that idea or not. So I choose to act!

Ceremony works at the level of the energetic, a place beyond time and space so we do not need to sit together side by side but rather join our intentions energetically each and every month. I intend to commit to this practice with you for 12 New Moons starting with the first on September 25th. On September 24th I take my first steps to launch my book into the world and will be creating a despacho at the event. I will offer a qintu (prayer holder) for the dreams of all Virtual Visionaries who take part.

You may write your intentions before the ceremony on the page for A Structure for Spirit or not, however in my own life I have found writing down my intentions is another way to empower them. Some of the intentions I hold for this upcoming ceremony are to reach a wider audience with both my book and my fan page, align my book with the publisher Hay House (thanks to the visions of my dear friend Stefanie!) and step more fully into my own power. As I do this for myself, I do this for others so that we as a collective may hear the call of Spirit in our life and empower our destinies.

Let us join our dreams and visions as we create a virtual community of visionaries. I look forward to meeting with you in ceremony!

AHO my friends, AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit 
http://www.karenchrappa.com

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AHO my friends! AHO!

Welcome to the blog for A Structure for Spirit, my book on how to create a daily practice. Here you will find an amazing spiritual tool kit to inspire a daily practice, along with a virtual community of visionaries that meet each month in ceremony.

This book was first written back in 2005 after attending the Millionaire Mind Intensive. What stood out from a weekend of motivational pep talks and high volume marketing strategies were these five words: “Everyone needs a success journal.” Riding the high energy waves from a gathering of one thousand millionaire wannabes, I set to my computer to write, Success Journal: Daily Practices to Manifest Your Intentions. Along with the book I recorded a CD with guided meditations to offer all the support anyone might need to start a daily practice. The book was self-published on lulu.com. I burned every CD on my own computer. I applied every label by hand and pasted each package to the inside cover. After a year of labor intensive efforts, the fire that brought this project to life in just two short months lost steam. The work was just not worth the rewards. The Success Journal was relegated to the back of a cabinet where it sat all lonely behind closed doors.

A few years later I worked with a mentor, a teacher I met while studying in Peru. She posed the question, “How do you intend to bring your wisdom into the world?” I thought of this book gathering dust in the closet. Hmmmm.

The following day, a client I had worked with for over a year asked if I had any recordings of my work. Well I did make this CD a few years ago. Hmmmm.

In that same week, the sound engineer I recorded my first CD with, called to say hello and see how I was doing. I had not spoken to her in years. Hmmmm.

It was time to pull the Success Journal out of the closet.

Funny thing is, although I wrote the book, I never actually did the journal myself. I had a daily practice for years. This was not something I needed. I was doing this for all the clients and patients I saw who were not able to create a daily practice. My mentor told me, “You are blowing past your own medicine.” She was right. I did indeed need the medicine of my book. So, for the first time, I sat with my book. Through that process I discovered I LOVED it! The practices were fun and engaging and brought clarity and focus during a time it was lacking. The other thing that happened is the book transformed. In the six years since the seed of the Success Journal, much had changed from the original incarnation. From the practice of my life A Structure for Spirit was born. 

As I align with my intention to bring both the book, and myself, more deeply into the world, I offer this blog. An invitation to join me in a spiritual experiment of sorts. Along with the practices of the book, I invite you to ceremony at the time of the New Moon, to weave together our prayers and intentions through the despacho, a ceremonial prayer bundle of the Shamans of the Andes. Keep following for updates on practices and preparations each month.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit
http://www.karenchrappa.com

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