NEW THIS ISSUE: What could possibly be newer! ITJ would like to welcome into its family Arden Lee, the newest member of River Lee's family (Loving Earth columnist) and Sloan and Seville Emmons, my first grandchildren.
I have just finished this issue of the journal and have the opportunity to write Inner Workings as I reflect on all of the offerings and gaze at these beautiful babies, how much better does it get? It does, next issue, when Curtis White's family (Reflections Of An Amateur Spiritual Spelunker columnist) welcomes in their newest member.
On our cover Ashok Nalamalapu is blissfully displaying his love in front of the Taj Mahal that was built as an expression of love. Love and compassion are not states of mind. They are outside of the mind as is spirituality. We keep trying to put into words the feelings that are generated deep within our core and my feeling is that this practice will soon slow. There are some things that are meant to be conveyed through the simple act of feeling. Nothing can take you out of your mind as quickly as being in the presence of these lovely new human-"beings".
NEW THIS ISSUE: Welcome to Starting Over... Again. How many of us are working on new beginnings, breaking old habits, patterns and looking for the birth of new enriching experiences?
When I opened my email during the process of this issue's creation I received this picture that was being passed through the "world wide web."
The creator Lisa Villa Prosen has a Facebook page where she has inspirational pictures and sayings that truly urge us to open, not hold back and feel the caring that she is expressing on her site.
Her expression ignited gentle, soft, loving feelings. It reminded me to honor all of the new beginnings that are taking place all through life at this time here in Connecticut with a new center, a new home to live in and in Massachusetts our family has been gifted the honor of welcoming twins into the world. I'm realizing that as you read this I now will be a Grandmother for the first time. Wow, talk about something new.
I have been reading about endings being the place that beginnings start, that it is never too late to begin no matter where you are on your journey. Is there ever a beginning or an end? Is it the way our minds reference so that we may process the experience?
Lately the more I continue to ponder the "idea" (word clue) of new beginnings and starting over, the more it feels just to be a tool of the mind so we may feel at ease within our selves somehow.
To "know" that there is an opportunity to change directions, within ourselves and to "what is," is very comforting.
NEW THIS ISSUE: Welcome everyone, to beyond what we know. There are so many things in life, almost all of them we don't know. We can feel them, we can touch them, and we know that they exist, but do we really know...
There is a saying that the more one experiences, the less one knows. I have found that to be my experience as well. As we journey our paths in life we awaken, open and re-experience time and time again something new and different in every aspect of life.
We are entering a time beyond what was calendared by the Maya people. This according to their calendar is an end as well as a new beginning. Most everyone has experienced the changes occurring in the world, some have felt it more deeply than others. Some still are not even aware of what is happening. They say there is "scientific proof" of the shifts that are occurring. Of late, I have heard many people state that you can prove anything that you want with science.
NEW THIS ISSUE: As we began our journey into the change of seasons during this past issue, the ITJ family has experienced an unexpected change. Our dear friend and columnist Norm Hirst, passed away on September 5th. Norm expressed his love and joy of life through his scientific research being dedicated to the evolution of humanity. I would always hear of experiences people would have sitting and talking with Norm as they felt his enthusiasm to share current findings in hopes of creating an opening in peoples hearts and minds to embrace a more expansive way of living. Time has passed so quickly, both Norm and Skye have been contributors and supporters of ITJ almost since the beginning of its creation. Our love and blessing are with Skye and their children and family to know that love is eternal and that love will contribute to the continued transition of humanity. I can imagine and feel that Norm will be our biggest cheerleader as we create the steps to evolve as "the way of life it-self."
NEW THIS ISSUE: Our theme this issue is initiation, more precisely initiation of "the way." My first response was; "What way?" To be initiated is to be accepted into a group, society or culture, but what does that really mean? Are you truly accepted for who you are or do you have to abide by the rules and guidelines of a certain "way of being" to be accepted? Is there anywhere where we accept without the stipulation of guidelines or rules?
Many societies and cultures create rites of passage, initiations into a certain "way of being." Within an initiation a person can be transformed or "reborn" into a new role. They are guided by a mentor, someone with more knowledge, who is willing to share this knowledge with the initiate. This process is to allow the initiate to let an old way of being release as the acceptance of the new role by the initiate continues to expand.
In its definition, initiation, at its core is acceptance. But can this acceptance be without conditions? Is the initiation or acceptance into a group determined by the guidelines or guidance of a initiator? True initiators are to be "the ones" of higher knowledge and to expose a person about to be initiated, to that knowledge.
Summer Solstice is upon us once again. As I was cruising around the Internet poking into Solstice nooks and crannies I found some great pictures of Solstice celebrations in other parts of the world. It reminded me of the opportunities that have been presented to the ITJ community to share our journal with many people, not only through the Internet, but also sending copies to readers in other countries. This helps us become aware of how we all are connected in the work we do and the lives we are living.
I know with all of the immediacy, which creeps into our lives, this awareness is rarely a blip on our radar. To even think that while we are sleeping someone somewhere in the world is reading ITJ.
A few of our articles this issue address meditation. When looking up meditation I was reminded of a teacher who once told me his life was a walking meditation. The definitions I found centered on meditation being an Awareness, Presentness, and Consciousness of everything that is in the present moment. Why is it so many people look for an "altered" state of being? Is the state of presence altered because we are "not there" in our daily lives? For those readers who practice some form of meditation, shamanic journeying, yoga, T'ai Chi, etc., remember, the optimum result of a practice is to bring that awareness out into the world to share with everyone the healing you have experienced.
Welcome everyone to "A New Generation!" Our community has come together this issue to bring to our readers articles expressing love, compassion and concern for our newest generation. We have our feature artist who six years ago, at the age of six, had her drawing featured in "Organic Lifestyles." This issue we are checking back with Danielle Cone to see how she has continued to express herself and her love of art and nature.
On page 16 there is a message from Inner Tapestry's friend and artist Rassouli, who shared himself as our feature artist last issue. The message contains a link that will lead you to a moving and inspirational video of children in California who are foster children that have been abused and neglected, being a part of the largest foster care system in the US. Rassouli has started a remarkable program and is looking for people interested in spreading this program of artistic expression, with children, across the country. I know personally, many of you, how committed and talented you are and thought that there might be some interest in this program.