I love my spiritual path.
I was raised in an atheist household, which for me, was a blessing. I was able to explore and intuit for myself my own spiritual beliefs. I started down this path when I was twenty years old. I remember perusing the shelves of an ancient bookstore and finding The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. I opened and read its pages, and the words instantly made me feel full of love and connection. I thought I’d found the most secret and magical book. I shared passages of it with all my friends and carried it with me wherever I went.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
So I guess Khalil Gibran was my first spiritual teacher.
My spirituality widened, and from the age of twenty to twenty-five I read books by Buddhist Rinpoche’s and Lamas on liberating your mind. At this time I also read books on Indigenous leaders like Tecumseh, Sitting Bull, and Chief Seattle. Through these books I learned the importance of honoring the Earth and all of its inhabitants. I grew to understand how everything is connected.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
In my late twenties I schooled myself in Earth-based traditions celebrating the cycles of nature, learning herbalism, gardening and farming, and eco-sustainability. I had so many teachers but a few were: Starhawk, Zsuzsanna Budapest, Susun Weed, and Rosemary Gladstar.
I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me. For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe. From me all things proceed and unto me they must return. Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold – all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And you who seek to know me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.
Now I can firmly say that earth-based traditions and Buddhist philosophy are my foundation. With these teachings, I’ve carried onto to the path of new age and new thought movements. I think one of my first books was by Louise Hay – You Can Heal Your Life. From there I devoured every teaching I could get my hands on – Wayne Dyer, Cheryl Richardson, Don Miguel Ruiz, Esther Hicks, Brian Weiss, Anita Moorjani, Eben Alexander, Paulo Coelho, Alice Walker, Mary Oliver, Bell Hooks, Adrienne Rich, Julia Cameron, Iyanla Vanzant, Caroline Myss, Marianne Williamson, Annie Dillard, Thich Nhat Hahn, Pema Chodron, Oprah, Dalai Lama, Jon Kabat Zinn, Ram Dass, Braco . . . I mean I could go on and on. The list would always be incomplete.
Today I would say that the teachers that have guided me to the path of presence, which is the path of freedom and joy, is Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie. I’ve read all of their books and have put Byron Katie’s “The Work” to work and practice Eckhart Tolle’s “Live in the Now”. I’ve been blessed with being one of the first participants in The Eckhart Tolle School of Awakening, where profound shifts took place in my consciousness.
I am forever grateful to all of my teachers – my ancestors, earth, my daughter, parents, family, friends, community, my spiritual teachers, angels, and guides.