Tag Archives: deep ecology

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.

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grand forest @2013 kimcrayton

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

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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Dreaming in the Forest

The forest is a rich place full of dream shadows and windows of light.  There is a fertile soil in darkness, and the shadow world is very much alive on and below the forest floor.  Once the life inside this darkness is revealed by light, we can appreciate the rich life in the shadows.  The shadow space is always working within us, and it is up to us to have the courage to delve in and shed light into the wisdom of the shadow.

With love, light and shadows, I honor the dance between my fertile shadow dreams and my radiant light body.

This is the dance of existence. The cosmic dance indeed includes light and shadow.

This is what I learn from the forest.

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Glow Trees

glow trees ©2012 kim crayton

 

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Close your eyes and imagine.

“An almost impenetrable primeval forest….”

I close my eyes and imagine what this land, from lake to lake, looked like in 1850.

This is a plaque embedded in the cement in front of a bench in Roanoke Park.

It is a tiny memorial to all the lost plants and trees.

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You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing.

You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing
that is more than your own.
Let it brush your cheeks
as it divides and rejoins behind you.

Blessed ones, whole ones,
you where the heart begins:
You are the bow that shoots the arrows
and you are the target.

Fear not the pain. Let its weight fall back
into the earth;
for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.

The trees you planted in childhood have grown
too heavy. You cannot bring them along.
Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.

-Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus I, 4

Mt Rainier from Tolmie Peak fire lookout tower

To the Forest!

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Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

“This is a dark time, filled with suffering and uncertainty.  Like living cells in a larger body, it is natural that we feel the trauma of our world.  So don’t be afraid of the anguish you feel, or the anger or fear, for these responses arise from the depth of your caring and the truth of your interconnectedness with all beings.  To suffer with is the literal meaning of compassion.

Out of this darkness a new world can arise, not to be constructed by our minds so much as to emerge from our dreams. Even though we cannot see clearly how it’s going to turn out, we are still called to let the future into our imagination. We will never be able to build what we have not first cherished in our hearts.”    -Joanna Macy

I am always so inspired by the life work of Buddhist and Deep Ecologist Joanna Macy.  Read more about her and her amazing work here.

To the Forest!

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Farewell, Winter Trees.

winter trees in vermont

It’s kind of funny. 

This is my first blog post and instead of saying “Hello to you!” I am saying  goodbye, for now, to the winter trees.

Although I adore spring, summer and fall trees, winter trees always hold a special place in my heart.  When I returned back east this January to visit my mother, I visited Vermont, and also the Wellfleet Wildlife Sanctuary.  While driving down to these gorgeous places, I could not stop commenting on the trees, with their branches reaching into the crisp blue sky like arms, bent elbows, wrists, and thin fingers.

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I often forget the beauty of deciduous trees during New England winters. Western Washington is full of lush evergreens year round which often block the silhouettes of bare branches.

Farewell, winter trees.  See you again soon!

To the Forest!


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