Category Archives: Spiritual Tribe

Spiritual Tribe: A 93 Million Mile Perspective

river view after rainThe question before my two co-workers and myself  was: what music shall we next play via the bluetooth speakers displayed at our technology shop.   We had maxed out “best hits of the 70’s” and “folk instrumentals”.    Classical got six thumbs down.

“Try Jason Mraz,” my 20 something sales rep suggested.  Having no better idea, I found the album “Love is a Four Letter Word” on Amazon Prime and pressed play.   Upbeat.  Pleasant.   The work day went on. The lyrics of progressive songs faded into the background.

Until 93 Million Miles.

93 Million Miles: the distance from the Sun to the Earth.

From that perspective, can the human family appear anything other than a  whole, a single tribe, infused with the Natural colors and tones of our planet?

Walk on Earth, however, and polarizing ideologies and vocal viewpoints (at least here in the United States) can overwhelm the senses, fracturing and isolating us from each other, even if we’re just meters or inches apart from each other.  All this has long left me with questions more difficult to answer than which is the next album to be played.

“Is it possible to talk with a stranger about anything other than the weather without stirring discomfort or igniting a firestorm?”  “What can help a sense of common ground emerge?”   “What type of everyday interactions can nourish, if not a 93 million mile perspective, at least an inkling of togetherness and a feeling of person to person real-ness?”

What answers do you have?

One approach I’ve been trying out on some of my customers is to invite conversation about cherished places, during lulls in the technology sales process (seems like we’re always waiting for some data to back up or download or some email password to be reset). It’s an easy transition from generic weather comments or “how was your weekend” to “On summer evenings after the rain, I love looking out over the river . . . ” which can easily evoke “I know a place like that . . . ”

Seems that nearly everyone has some landscape, vacation spot, back yard, or secret hideaway that stirs the Heart and imagination.   In these memories, I see a coherent mosaic and hear the notes of an earth-love song that I’ll sing and play any day.  Here. 93 million miles from the sun.



Spiritual Tribe: Water Lovers

forest and lake

Black Bass Lake hides down a steep gravel road, off the beaten tourist track.  Just a few minute “detour” off my usual route home.   The walking paths are well tended and generally easy to navigate, leaving the heart and mind free to wander (except for the usual need to keep up the watch for venomous snakes).

snake note This warning note was left on the entrance picnic table  

Some days the lake sparkles with such intensity and welcoming joy that all that can be contemplated is the water’s beauty and biological imperative.  Not to mention its literal and symbolic linking with Love  – flowing, essential, powerful, quenching, sustaining, sometime seemingly in short supply, unifying, worth sharing and preserving .  sun black bass lakeBlack Bass Lake once served as the primary source of drinking water for the City of Eureka Springs.  Current signage, even at its flowing springs, warns against drinking the water.  I pondered these juxtaposed realities, as I circled the Lake one recent brilliant afternoon, and recalled many of the people and groups I’ve been reading about who are intent on defending  deep aquifers and surface waters.   These Water Lovers are a diverse group, spread out in geography, differentiated by language, and circumstance, but united in their overarching wisdom and commitment to preserving this vital Natural element.

Have you participated in actions to defend waterways near you?   I would love to hear your story.

Your might appreciate this  article highlighting the wisdom and efforts of the women of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Band in North Dakota, who chose and fought for clean drinking water over the supposed financial benefits of fracking.    And won.








Spiritual Tribe: Be Moved by the Naked Truth of our Togetherness

Belladonna and ButterflyAmidst summer’s challenging heat, when nearly all other flowers have faded, the Belladonna Lilies (a.k.a. Naked Ladies) burst forth in gardens throughout the Ozarks. Their soft pink flowers entice butterflies, and rivet the human eye, proclaiming: “yes, beauty lives!”

But it is perhaps the plant’s leafless stalks that send the loudest message, boldly reminding that flourishing depends on and rises on simple, Heart-rooted truths.

Is there any more essential, urgent Truth today than the Truth of our Togetherness on Earth?   And the corresponding Fact of our Intimate Relationship with our Planet’s Biology?

Pope Francis gave voice and shape to these practical Heart Realities in his encyclical this week. And locally many friends sang their praises in concert with the Blue Moon in Aquarius. But it was when kneeling on the Earth, quietly weeding around the Naked Ladies that I felt and heard these compelling Truths most profoundly and was moved to re-commit to local and personal efforts to stand up for the Earth and live more lightly.

While it may be ridiculously naïve to believe in a salvaging, worldwide awaking to the Naked Truth of our Inter-Connection (although I do like to visualize this), I am already convinced of the dynamic, motivating power of the Togetherness Truth, individually realized via whatever Heart-Sourcing, Earth-Touching experience or Lighted Path.  Thus, in the heated midst of melting glaciers, record forest fires, and super storms, I have faith that the flowers of Togetherness: the Will to Protect, the Love to Care and Wisdom to Act will flourish and bloom  . . . spreading here and there, more and more  . . . perhaps enough for us to eventually proclaim “yes, Earth and the Human Heart live!”   It depends on us, Together.

Spiritual Tribe: Communing Beyond Clicks (Cliques)

PrayersA friend and I recently started a weekly Personal and Planetary Prayer Gathering. She and I have shared an interest and resonance around practical heart-full living for several years. Ironically, hard endings cleared the way for our current cooperation. Each of us left behind once-cherished spiritual circles. Suddenly we both had the time and space.  Finalities spiral to beginnings; it all works out.

The Prayer Gatherings flow gently from silence to sharing to affirmation and radiatory blessings and back to silence. It’s a rhythmic ritual that welcomes and employs the Heart, blending organization with invitation of that spontaneous creative Chaos which evokes cooperation, commitments, contributions and compatibilities so Genuine and Embracing they must be rooted beyond rationality and predictability. You know the feeling.  It’s that outflowing, inflowing collaborative Grace.  It’s serving with one’s Spiritual Tribe.  It’s pushing the edge of the known and offering something together.

Group effort can bring immense challenges and sometimes disappointments.  Believe me, I know. There’s a certain safety in confining one’s participation to global online petition clicks and hanging out within well-defined social circles.  But deep down I think many of us are searching for more meaningful face to face communion, communion that breathes the breathe of united interplay and giving.  For me right now it’s the weekly prayer group.  What is it for you?