Category Archives: post

Forest Yurt Retreat Day Two: Listening and Creating Ceremony

After sleeping to the orchestra sounds of croaking frogs all night, I woke up feeling refreshed.

Around mid-morning, I headed out for a meditation walk. Walking meditation is slower than regular walking.  And after all, I had nowhere to be, and was in no hurry to get anywhere.

photo-2

grand forest @2013 kimcrayton

I found some lichen, and slowly walked amongst the swordferns, cedars, and mossy big leaf maples.

lichenhand

lichen in hand @2013 kmcrayton

I went back to the yurt for lunch. After lunch, I went over to the Grand Forest and hiked around (That is what it’s called. Seriously. It’s truly Grand.) It was kind of a surprise. I had not heard of this forest, and I just happened upon this amazing treasure.

photo-4

the tall ones @2013 kimcrayton

While in the forest, I listened to the sounds of the forest floor, the earth and creatures slowly churning and growing. The forest floor is rich with diversity and complexity, it’s where nutrients that sustain the forest are created, so it is very nourishing. In every sound, texture, color and movement, the world at the roots of every tree is teeming with a quiet activity. The spirit of the forest is both exciting, mysterious, and soothing all at once.

After my walk in the forest, I went back to my yurt with the intention to create a ceremony.  Sacred-Ceremony-BookI wanted to create a personal ceremony to release old identities, energies, and beliefs that were not serving me, and to welcome the emergence and expansion of my present-time divine being. I also wanted to mark my dedication to my spiritual path; the path of the mystic. (The second card in my tarot reading for Day Two of this retreat was “Nine of Arrows: Dedication.”)

I gathered some small treasures to add to the altar I had set up with the tarot cards on a small table. All the earth and elemental energies, guides and ancestors were called upon to witness and assit with the ceremony. I used the book “Sacred Ceremony” by Steven Farmer to help with creation of the ceremony.

After the ceremony, I ate some maple smoked salmon, and then fell asleep to the sweet songs of the croaking frog orchestra.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Forest Wisdom, Healing, meditation, Nature, photography, post, tree

Forest Yurt Retreat Day One: Soaking in Silence

I decided to go on a three day/two night silent yurt retreat. I needed to get in touch with my inner rhythms, ie, eat when hungry, sleep when tired, walk slowly, sleep without earplugs, etc. As an introvert I normally need quite a bit of alone time to recharge. Relationships,work, and the general erratic buzz of living in a city takes their toll over time, so it is essential for me to silent retreat as often as I can.

When I arrived, the silence penetrated my bones. I soaked up silence like a dry sponge, dried out by the constant noise of modern urban living. And I live in a really beautiful, earthy-friendly city. I visit many wise old trees regularly, and wander through some amazing parks. But still, the freeways are all around, humming away at all hours. One wise woman I know always reminds me that at one time, rivers were the freeways and canoes were the cars. I try to think of the freeway as a river, but it’s the vibration of the noise that gets to me.

I really need silence.

In silence, I hear myself. A deep silence allows one to receive messages and information from the earth more clearly. Information can be gathered from anything; from observing a snail move across a log, to a revelation of the oneness and interconnectedness of all beings.

Silence is so very nourishing. It helps rebalance my urbanized system.

Here is a view from the yurt. It was pretty misty when I arrived:

photo-3

view from yurt @2013 kimcrayton

photo-5I also pulled a few cards and did a mini-reading for the retreat. Each card was for each day, so Day one is card one, Ace of Vessels.  Such a serene image with everything in harmony with nature, and such beauty and abundance.  Day one of my retreat was about simply enjoying a lovely, soul-nourishing silence, and reacquainting myself with stillness.

2 Comments

Filed under Forest Wisdom, Healing, Nature, post

Learning to Play the Folk Harp

It has been a dream of mine to play the harp.

I am a musical person, I read music, and music has big a large part of my life.  I read music, and mainly have been a vocalist.  I’ve also dabbled with learning drums and piano.

Over the past few months, I have been listening to several celtic harp artists.  I was talking about the harp during my clairvoyant group and a member said “I play the harp and build folk harps.”  He generously lent me one of the folk harps he built, and the book “Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp” by Sylvia Woods!  I am so grateful to be able to learn to play this beautiful instrument.

I have to admit, it does take a lot of practice to learn something new like this.  photo-13Although this smaller harp is relatively easy to figure out, my left fingers are not possessing the muscle memory yet to remember when to pluck the strings at the right time!  Learning  a new instrument at this age requires patience.  Everyday I can play something I couldn’t the day before, so at this stage,  it’s very satisfying.

It’s also nice to have another creative activity that is away from the computer.  The more creative projects that do not involve being in front of a computer screen, the better!

Off to practice the harp!

8 Comments

Filed under meditation, post

Bones of the Earth

agate beach2I really love beachcombing.  I can spend hours on a beach looking for treasures and interesting objects from the sea. These photos were taken one afternoon  at a spot where I usually take pictures of trees along the shoreline. But the stones called to me and wanted some attention.  How lovely and smooth each stone is here on this beach.  It is always a gift to be able to spend time here.  Each color and shape is so smooth and pretty.  Recently, I heard the saying “stones are the bones of the earth.”  It made me think of this beach and how with each step I gently walk upon the bones of mother nature.agatebeach1

 agatebeach3

agatebeach5

3 Comments

January 7, 2013 · 4:43 pm

Honor the Light within You

photo-9

honor the light ©2012 kimcrayton

5 Comments

January 3, 2013 · 12:24 pm

The Spirit of a Tree

photo-8I have been visiting this specific tree regularly for over a year now.
Yesterday, I went to visit this tree.  I asked if it would help me feel more relaxed and centered.  I stood with my back fully against it, and placed all my body weight onto the trunk.  I stood with this tree for about 20 minutes.  This tree was very kind to take my excess energy (ie anxiety) I was carrying, and bring it into the earth.
Once this tree asked me to bring it water during the drought season in September; it was really dry, as were other conifers around it.   I also bring it songs, as a gift of gratitude.
I think this tree is really beautiful.
It possesses a generous spirit I have experienced during many of my visits. I don’t have accurate words to describe how I experience the tree’s spirit, which I do sense, however, “generous” is the first word that comes to mind.
It makes me think of this exercise by William Bloom on how to sense a spirit of a tree:

Sensing the Spirit of a Tree

Stand close to a tree and let your awareness go down into the root system where it absorbs nutrients from the earth. Follow the flow up into the trunk, the branches and then the leaves. The leaves are open to receive the light of the sun. Hold your awareness of the whole tree and then expand your focus slightly to be aware of the whole energy body of the tree. Stay quietly with this sense of the whole tree, and its spirit may become quite clear to you.

-from Working With Angels, Fairies And Nature Spirits (p. 59)

2 Comments

January 1, 2013 · 6:47 pm

Gratitude and Love for 2012: Many Thanks, Many Blessings

On New Year’s Eve, I am reflecting on the past year in awe and wonder.  It has been a beautiful, gentle year, with a lot of my time spent on intuitive work and quiet listening of nature and spirit.

2012cards

My 2012 tarot year card was 18 “The Moon,” and my personality card for 2012 was 9 “The Hermit.”

The Moon Over Water (named in The Wildwood deck) speaks to my delving into my intuitive development. I prioritized my dreamwork, reiki healing, and shamanic journeying, strengthened my relationship with tarot, listened deeply to messages in nature, and cultivated relationships with some very wise trees.  You could say the moon and I were very close in 2012.

I am grateful to have experienced such stillness in my “hermitage” (and those who have seen my latest home know it has space for peaceful retreat!)  I call my hermit space “up in my nest,” as an owl’s nest of intuitive work.  I was indeed “The Hooded (wo)Man,” but at the same time, had time to take part in joyful gathering in celebration throughout the year.

I also had my first close encounter with an owl this year! A barred owl dropped out of a tree and landed on the grass in front of me.  I sat with that owl for about 40 minutes, and watched it and another owl up in the tree communicate with each other and just be owls.  As an amateur birder, this was so awesome.  I also visited wolves at Wolf Haven, and saw my first wolves, and heard them howl.  That was a sound I will never forget.

My two tarot cards for 2012 could not have been more accurate to my experience of 2012.  I experienced many quiet walks, a lot of grounding meditation, reading, and energy work.  I tuned in deeply to stillness, and I am so grateful for this year of rest and quiet moments.

 

I am truly grateful for the beauty revealed to me this year from spirit guides, nature, tree beings, wise human beings and angels. Thank you. I am blessed.

I wish many blessing to all in 2013.

Leave a comment

December 31, 2012 · 6:31 pm

Treasures of the Forest

P1080334

on the forest floor ©2012 kim crayton

Leave a comment

Filed under post

Tea with Trees: Pu Erh

This is a lovely ripe pu erh block I bought from Phoenix Teas in Burien WA.

It is delicious.

Pu erh teas are super healthy tea due to the microbial fermentation process and healthy bacterias that forms inside the cake during the fermentation process.   This cake is rich and dark, and when brewed, earthy and a bit malty, yet very smooth to drink.

It’s really a perfect tea to drink outside on a cool fall morning.  The smell of the tea compliments the fragrance of the forest. I can’t wait to take this tea with me on some autumn hikes.

Leave a comment

Filed under photography, post, Tea time, tree

Tea with Trees: Mao Feng Green Tea

Green teas are a staple drink for me.  I mostly enjoy green teas in the afternoon, since I can basically drink them until before bedtime and still sleep fine.

This delicious Mao Feng Green tea was perfect drink on a lovely sunny autumn afternoon.

Leave a comment

Filed under photography, post, Tea time, tree