Lessons from the River

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lesson’s from Rivers – # 1

A river carves through rock,

not by force,

 but persistence.

cropped-home_background

Lessons from the river – #2

A meandering river creates curves in the landscape. On the outside of the curve the river runs fast, on the inside of the curve it runs slow. A river that has gold in it, has the gold falling and settling in the slower part of the river – the inside curve. The bank on the outside of the curve erodes away and the pace of the current means no riches are to be found.

Our gold, the riches of life, is to be found in the slower water. Our soul, our being, the, ‘who we are’, is enriched with slowness. To try to live permanently on the outside of the curve with the speed of the river, is to have our soul, our being, eroded away.

 

Two excerpts from Reflections from Quiet Waters, to be released soon.

All the elements in place

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today I can confirm that I have all the elements in place to be able to offer day or regular weekly workshops in some stunning places within the Tararua and Remutaka Forest Parks. I’m also open to groups who might want a tailored workshop or rewilding day together.

doc-approved-label-180I’m delighted to have DOC approval and consent to guide participants on nine consented tracks here in the Wairarapa – 8 are in the Tararua Forest Park and one in the South, in the Remutaka Forest Park. Approval also means I have passed the environmental standards set by DOC, as well as safety standards set by an independent auditor, and are now approved to operate in public conservation areas. The use of the logo also confirms that Live Like the River Flows pays fees to DOC to support conservation.

OM sms1Live Like the River Flows has a Safety Management System that has been audited and certified by OutdoorsMark against the Safety Audit Standard for Safety management Systems Document Review. It complies with Department of Conservation Guidelines 2014, Health and Safety at Work 2015 and all relevant activity safety guidelines.

I am a member of Outdoor Training NZ. Through OTNZ I have entered their comprehensive trainer courses. Through them I have also passed my Police vetting check tobe able to work with young people. OTNZ is both a pathway for my ongoing professional development and a place to give something back. And I’m first aid qualified through Red Cross.

I look forward to meeting you and being able to guide you into some beautiful spots to be able to find a slower rhythm and reconnect with the sacred.

Haunted Dreams

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today 150-200 species of plants, insects and animals went extinct. And if that is not frightening enough, the same is going to happen tomorrow and the next day and the next. Most ceased to exist because of human destruction of habitats or just plan wiping them out. What the f _ _ _ are we doing?

it’s 3:23 in the morning

and I’m awake
because my great great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep
my great great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?

surely you did something
when the seasons started failing?

as the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?

did you fill the streets with protest
when democracy was stolen?

what did you do
once
you
knew?

From Drew Dillinger’s  poem hieroglyphic stairway

I don’t often reflect much on dreams, or their meanings, especially the weird ones. What creates those? But this weekend I celebrated my granddaughters 14th birthday. It seems like it was only a few months ago that she was turning 13. Not that long ago when I could hold her and have her overcome her baby reflux and fall asleep in my arms, while I sung Rod Stewart songs to her.

That night of the grandparents afternoon tea celebration, I dreamt I was talking to an audience and I challenged the baby boomers in the room, (probably the whole room) about what were we doing about climate change?

I awoke with a start, and Dillinger’s poem filled my head and I found myself calculating  what the dates might be, not just for mine but the worlds’  great great children. I realised that my Granddaughter could still be alive in her late 90’s at the turn of the century. What world will she witness for her or the worlds’ great grandchildren? Will she thank me for me for having sung her to sleep as a baby or will she wonder what I did after I woke at 3.23 in the morning.

Connecting with the sacred is a step in the right direction. But if you are looking for a speaker to talk to your group so we can all wake up, let me know, because the call to do something is overwhelming.

 

 

Sacred work, sacred places.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is with a sense of delight and a realisation of the possible that I write.

Recently I applied for and was granted Department of Conservation (DOC) approval to access nine walking track sites, with permission to guide people on these, within the Tararua and Remutaka forest parks.

This means that the experiences I want to offer now have a close to home centring, allowing me to hold most of my workshops  and retreats, along with rewilding days at these sites, with the primary location being within the greater Taratahi (Mount Holdsworth) area. A place with lots of space and magnificent native trees, easy formed tracks and the beautiful Awa – The Atiwhakatu River. The last part of the formal process is underway with an independent audit of my safety plan being conducted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While DOC provides the authorisation, entering the ngahere (forest) for me has to be done with respect and dignity of the local Iwi – Rangitāne o Wairarapa and Kahungunu ki Wairarapa. Meeting with them to talk about the journey I’m on and the one I want to take others on, has been a very precious part of my own unfolding. I have learnt and have a deeper understanding and consideration, to do my best, to tell any of their stories and history in these locations, in an accurate and respectful way. To enter the ngahere with the reverence it and the people who have lived, died and passed through it, need to be shown.

I’m looking forward to meeting and working with those who attend workshops in these places  to reclaim a deeper connection with nature, to find their own sacred connections. The frist will be a pilot launch of my ‘Sacred Friday’s’ in late March. I might see you there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Side stream before entering the Atiwhakatu

 

Answer the Call

carters trees
In awe of the Kahikatea Carters reserve

Be still. Listen. Can you hear it? The cry of the earth? My journey to date has been to arrive at the point where I fully believe that the only way we can have a hope in turning the environmental collapse around, is to reclaim the sacred. Now, if I have to write an easy to back that statement up, then you and I are probably not the right audience for each other.

The book to read, Spiritual Ecology – The Cry of the Earth – a selection of writers and their essay’s edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, is a book I find myself returning to time and again, especially on these long summer delayed commuter train trips to and from Wellington.

One of the writers is Chief Oren Lyons – a native American and  Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan he has said,  “In the absence of the sacred, nothing is sacred. Everything is for sale.” Susan Murphy writes about the price of “indefinite expansion turns out to be the forfeiture of climate conditions hospitable to our Species.” That the earth is “mere collateral damage in the pursuit of a single-minded, self-entitled idea.”

There are twenty-three writers, including Thich Nhat Hanh, Bill Plotkin, Joanna Macey, Vandana Shiva, Thomas Berry, who says amongst many pearls of wisdom, “We have broken the great conversation… We are not talking to the rivers, we are not listening to the wind and stars.”

While the writers point out how bad we have made things, it is still a book full of hope. Read it and see how you might answer the call.

Upcoming retreat – Into your own Unfolding – March  22nd – 24th

Reclaiming the sacred in Aotearoa

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you live in New Zealand, are Pakeha or from the northern hemisphere this is a must read book. Juliet covers everything from colonisation of this land and the colonisation as Pakeha of our sacred and spiritual connection with nature. Through our realignment with the southern seasons of celebration for Maori and our Celtic past we can reclaim our sacred and spiritual connections. We can find hope and be on the right side of what Joanna Macey calls the great turning.

If you read nothing more than the chapter – The Meeting Point, then you will have made a great investment in buying the book.

Into our own unfolding

me into the unfolding photo by gaye

Photo by Gaye Sutton. Poem by Michael Woodcock

Even if the path ahead is not clear,

I create it with each step forward.

Knowing that behind me,

are ten thousand steps that have taught me to walk upright

into the unfolding.

I’ve finally updated my resource page with a few introductions to some of the writers and thinkers that influence my journey into the unfolding. Perhaps they will send you on a journey to learn more about their wisdom.

And if you are interested in my March 2019 retreat Into your own unfolding you can consider taking your next step forward.

Michael