Below you will find a brief description of some of the tools I use both in my own spiritual practice and with others. [In alphabetical order… save for that first notable exception!]
Being: Doing is highly over-rated. It is a spiritual discipline in and of itself to allow ourselves to simply BE, preferably in nature where our souls can be healed and our Luminous Energy Field restored. Yes, it takes discipline to DO NOTHING save perhaps watch a sunset, listen to the waves, birdsong or cicadas, notice the scent of jasmine or feel a warm breeze on our skin. I sometimes hesitate to even use the phrase “spiritual practice” if it distracts one from simply being with oneself… something we often avoid when we don’t want to feel our feelings or reflect too deeply on those changes we know we need to make in our lives.
Astrology: From time immemorial and across cultures humans have sought guidance for their lives from the patterns of the night sky. While the validity of astrology may be in question for some, for others it is a source of great illumination for their lives. I make use of evolutionary astrology which assumes the immortality of the soul and thus implies that we incarnate again and again bringing with us baggage (both favorable and unfavorable) from the past and soul-growth goals for the present.
Biodanza: Biodanza is a system of psycho-spiritual growth that uses music, movement, and group interaction to deepen one’s knowledge of and connection to self, others and the Earth. I am currently a Biodanza facilitator-under-supervsion and team teach, with Zora Coeur de Roy, a weekly class at Songbird Community Healing Center in Cotati, California. For a more complete listing of weekly classes, special events, and links to the international Biodanza communities see the websites of our local SF School of Biodanza and our sister community on the east coast of the U.S.
Dream work: Another timeless, cross cultural source of spiritual guidance is the experiences within the dream lodge. In many indigenous cultures regular sharing and interpretation of one’s dreams are a routine part of one’s daily life. I can hardly imagine how much healthier our society would be if we made more conscious use of that material!
Journaling: Few things can be of more help on one’s spiritual journey than the consistent keeping of a journal. It serves as a record of struggle, growth, patterns both helpful and not and is priceless when one makes use of a spiritual director.
Shamanic practices: Perhaps the most important step forward in health in our time is our look backward to the ancient wisdom of our shamanic/indigenous healers who never forgot quantum physics’ insight that matter and energy are simply flip sides of the same coin… healers who knew that most if not all physical illness begins with a disruption of the energy field, or the “light body” as the Laika would say. There are many sources of information on shamanic techniques and teachings but I am most impressed with the work of Dr. Alberto Villoldo, founder of The Four Winds Society.
Tarot: Tarot cards are a divinatory tool from Europe. Mention of their use dates back to medieval times. The images are of the great archetypes, a word meaning “original pattern”, e.g. the Mother, Father, Spiritual Teacher, Priestess, Sage, Seeker, Alchemist, etc. The cards chosen in a reading are chosen by virtue of Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity. As the Laika, the ancient shamans of Peru teach, time is not just linear. Synchronicity can be thought of as the future circling back to guide us to our soul’s deepest purpose.
Wisdom Literature: Whether one reads the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita… Sappho, Rumi, Mary Oliver, or Thoreau, reflection on the timeless wisdom within can be a tried and true source of comfort and guidance. It is whenever a scripture becomes the source of repression of one’s authentic self or the oppression of others that a fresh look may be in order!