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Harvesting Quinoa at Amura Village during our Women's Journey to Peru, May 2013

Harvesting Quinoa at Amaru Village during our Women’s Journey to Peru, May 2013

The shamans of the high Andes dedicate the first twelve days of August to honoring Pachamama and dreaming the world into being for the year ahead, a time known as Pachamama Days in Peru. The 1st of August represents August 2014, the 2nd, September 2014 and so on, with the 12th being July 2014. Days are filled with people offering despachos to Pachamama, sweets and flowers in gratitude for her gifts of harvest as they prepare the soils for the next seeds.

Even if we are not in Peru we can use these energies to connect more deeply to Mother Earth and be mindful of what we are creating. Can we listen more deeply to what needs tending? What needs clearing?

Spend time each day in meditation, contemplation. Journal. Create intention. Make offerings to the Earth, to the waters. Be mindful of spending time in nature. What arises by listening, by turning in?

Inspired by the Pachamama Days of Peru, let us imagine a world.

I invite you to write below what you imagine a world to be. Let us create a collective prayer to offer in ceremony. Your prayers will be written on violet paper, the color of creation, and added to a despacho that I will create and share later in the Pachamama days.

I imagine a world where each day we greet Pachamama with a song, a song that rises from our love for our Mother Earth, a song that sings our gratitude to her.

How would the vibration of our world change if each and every soul sang the song of their heart? It is through imagining we create a new world.

May we open our ceremony with a song to our Beloved Mother. This song was birthed by Tracey St. John at Empowerment Camp on June 20th at Feathered Pipe Ranch this summer. I have not stopped singing it since. Click on the picture below to hear the song and sing along!

Earth Mother Prayer Song

Earth Mother Prayer Song

 Photo by Anne Jablonski

I bow in gratitude for adding your voice,
your prayer to our collective vision.

May generations to come be able to look back
and say thank you for what we are creating today.

Tibetan Singing Bowl

We offer our collective hearts to Spirit.
We let go of the attachment of how our visions and dreams 

will manifest in the kaypacha. 
We cultivate trust in the divine order. 
We surrender to the great mystery 
so we are no longer guided by the voices of fear, 
the limiting belief systems 
and old paradigms that have laid false imprints in our minds. 
We deepen our connection to Nature 
and open the channels to Spirit 
as we fearlessly step into the guidance 
that is so willingly offered to us.

AHO!

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Our ideas about a daily practice can often be an obstacle to practice. We may think that a daily practice must look like our yoga class. Or we must be able to assume a certain posture in order to meditate. We think conditions must be perfect before we start. We need a special space or certain equipment or the right clothes. Expanding beyond our ideas can liberate the impediments to practice.

If nothing else, practice is about change and adaptability. I practice yoga but rarely use a mat. My cushion has been with me for years but I am often meditating without it. What my practice looked like 10 years ago or 5 years ago is vastly different than what it is today. A sense of fluidity and flow is necessary in establishing a practice.

My daily practice has always included some form of work with my body. If I strip my physical practice to its heart what lies within is the practice of meditation. The physical form may vary but the awareness that I bring to that form cultivates practice.

We do not meditate to become good meditators. We meditate so we can show up in our life with the qualities we cultivate in practice. When we cultivate the mind of meditation, this presence and attention naturally spills over from our mat into our life. The parameters of our practice blur. Our practice is no longer strictly defined by the time we spend sitting on a cushion. One of the most important qualities we establish in a daily practice is that of showing up. This is no small feat.

I recently took part in a workshop at the Shambala Center in NYC; Running With the Mind of Meditation.

A group of like-minded souls gathered on a Sunday afternoon. For this brief moment in time we became a small sangha weaving our way through the chaotic streets of Manhattan, running with the mind of meditation. Running has been a practice of mine for 25 years. Most of my running is done alone. Running in community fed my heart, not just as some cardio workout, but through the spark of devotion in every heart I ran with that day.

It was that spark of dedication from each heart that showed up that fed my soul. Each one of us took time out of a Sunday afternoon and made the effort to meet in the heart of the city to run and meditate. We showed up. And that touched my heart.

And that is what a daily practice asks of us. To show up.

To show up when we don’t want to. To show up when we are tired. To show up when we are pissed off. To show up when showing up is the last thing we want to do.

But is this not the same thing that life asks of us? That we must ask of ourselves?

What inspires a daily practice?

Show up and find out.

AHO my friends! AHO!

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

If you would like to delve deeper into the art of practice show up for the Empowerment Camp at Feathered Pipe in Montana next summer where Michael Lennox and I are soulfully collaborating to Awaken the Inner Teacher.

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“We must shift from competing with one another
to cooperating, collaborating and co-creating with one another.”
Sacred Lodge Sister Carla Goddard
Shaman Medicine Woman

My grandparents grew up during the Great Depression. I remember as a child closets and basements stocked full of household cleaners, paper towels and assorted sundries. Items bought because they were on sale and would be needed “someday”. Hoarding was the consequence of not having enough. Unraveling the deep rooted fears of scarcity from a collective consciousness can take lifetimes to extricate. And it starts by facing the fears that strangle the life force of our own hearts.

Most of our societal infrastructures have been built on ideologies of lack and fear, a fertile breeding ground for greed, competition, control and co-dependency. Structures are held in place by egos driven to insure survival on the limited beliefs of not enough.

We are in the midst of a spiritual awakening. The cognizance of the plight of our planet is increasing. Grassroots discontent is slowly arousing from apathy. The foundations of financial infrastructures are quaking. Life as we know it is breaking down. And what underlies these breakdowns are the belief systems that erected them in the first place.

Nearly everyone I know is experiencing a breakdown. From mechanical breakdowns of machines and plumbing, to the grief and loss of security and finances, physical breakdowns of body and health or the heart wrenching breakdowns of intimate relationships, life as we know it is shape shifting. Large and small we are all effected as a new world order is making itself known. As prophecies profess, we are living in times of great change.

As life threatening as these breakdowns may feel, what if we could see them as paving the way for a new world order? What if these breakdowns are the gateway to our heart? What if we could learn to ride these turbulent waters with faith and courage?

For what is breaking down are the outdated structures and old paradigms that have prevented our hearts from thriving. For with our heart at the helm sharing and generosity are our watchtowers.

When we are riding turbulent waters from the breakdown of all that we know, when the ego itself is deconstructing, the waters can feel terrifying. We do not know when the shore will arrive. What do we hold on to when all we feel is lost at sea? Old strategies and coping mechanisms no longer operate.

This is when the faith of our heart is fortified. The internal compass is the wisdom of our heart. It takes tremendous courage to keep our heart open while we face our fears of the unknown. What new tools do we need to ride these waves?

A divine doorway has paved the way to the sanctuary of Feathered Pipe. Along with Christian de la Huerta and Joe Weston I will be part of the Empowerment Camp this June to develop the skills and fortitude of the heart as we learn to navigate these unknown waters of our times. As we retreat from the demands of our schedules and routines we immerse ourselves in the call of our heart. We release the bondages of fear through the purification of breathwork and pave the way to mastering respectful confrontation to maintain an open heart to greet life and its challenges with compassion and steadfast resolve. Both Christian and Joe are masters in their respective circles and I am humbled to join them in this life changing experience.

With honor I have been given the opportunity to offer Earth based medicine practices to weave our hearts to the heartbeat of our Mother Earth as we learn to walk in intimate conversation and reverence for all of Nature. As this retreat occurs during both the Summer Solstice and the New Moon we will journey to the Shaman’s cave in the oldest once-inhabited cave system in North America for ceremony. My heart is bowing in AWE.

An invitation awaits. A divine doorway opens. Do you hear your heart beckon?

Dive deep into your most courageous heart.

AHO my friends! AHO!

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

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A few weeks ago I received a message. Melissa McNair, Co-Executive Director for the Feathered Pipe Foundation had called. She wondered if I would be interested in being part of a week long retreat led by Christian de la Huerta and Joe Weston on living from an open heart at Feathered Pipe. Feathered Pipe is a well respected retreat center located in a pristine mountain setting in Montana. She wanted me to weave ceremony, hold space and offer healing bodywork sessions during the Empowerment Camp.

I have been holding an intention of bringing my work into the world more deeply. An intention creates a reorganization of our energetic alignment with the infinite matrix of the Universe. We are setting in motion our desires. I like to call this a “conversation with Spirit”. In response, an arrangement of circumstances and opportunities begin to line up as part of that conversation. We engage that conversation with gratitude, prayer, action and ceremony.

The magic is that what shows up when I surrender my intent to Spirit is way more than what I could have achieved through will and manipulation, another method of creating what we want. If I decide I want to bring my work to the world I could contact retreat centers, send out resumes or whatever one does if they are looking to be on a teaching circuit. It is possible that something would have come up that way, albeit with a whole lot of effort.

However a process of creating through a conversation with Spirit allows things to come to us. That is not to say that effort or action is not required. We must act on the opportunities that come our way. But opportunities that arise from Spirit have a flow and synchronicity. Spirit opens a doorway. It is up to us to walk through. Spirit never demands a decision. We are always given a choice.

Another indication that an intention is manifesting through Spirit is AWE. I had never met Melissa and our first conversation lasted an hour. Independent rhythms of heart cells will begin to beat in unison when placed near each other. This is what our conversation felt like, two hearts beating in unison. People that show up in your life begin to resonate with your heart. Your conversations are deep and meaningful pretty much from the start because of this vibrational sync. I hung up the phone in the most amazing space of gratitude and AWE at the gift that Spirit had bestowed upon me.

And I love the intention of this retreat. Many retreats are prolonged workshops chock full of information. Those are wonderful and enriching for many reasons. But what the heart longs for, what the heart truly needs to be heard is SPACE. So the mornings of the retreat are structured with life tools to engage and empower our hearts through meditation, theory, practice and interactive exercises. Yoga followed by a facilitated breathwork session will take place in the late afternoon. And beyond that there is…space. Our hurried lifestyles and heavy responsibilities often leave no time to give space to our heart. To wander aimlessly, to rest if needed, to be in communion with Nature, to be alone or with others as our heart feels called. Slowing down is essential to listen to the needs of our heart. And that is what this retreat offers. This is what sings to my Soul.

We are at a unique place in our human history—a time when, in the midst of dramatic global upheaval and change, many are being compelled from within and urged by the “news on the street” to define what they hold true, standing without retreat. These times require nothing less than a spiritual revolution: a shift in relationship to power and an unwavering commitment to maintaining an open heart regardless of the  circumstances.  Now, more than ever, we need to acquire the skill to look within and listen attentively for guidance, fortifying ourselves to face the challenges we presently face within our own lives, society and world.  (Feathered Pipe Foundation)

When Spirit aligns with our intentions a path opens. Connections are made that feel right. Something lands in our body that says YES. We start the conversation, bring love to what we do and leave the rest to Spirit. This is how intention works in real life.

AHO my friends! AHO!
Find out more about Waking the Open-Hearted Warrior.

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

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