VANCOUVER NEWSLETTER FALL 2004
EMBRACING THE MYSTERY – Sobonfu Some, wise, earthy woman from the Dagara people in West Africa, gave a talk here in Vancouver last week on African Mysteries. According to Sobonfu, mysteries have a life of their own and they bring our inner life into play so that that intrinsic life can be expressed outwardly. Pema Chodren said in an article in the Shambhala Sun, “A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not knowing is part of the adventure, and, it is also what makes us afraid.”
FEAR – of??? What do we do when we feel threatened? It is very much an unconscious, automatic reaction which often doesn’t even make logical sense in light of the situation which has created this fear. I do think that we are prone to our safe, known habitual patterns but I also know that this fear response can be triggered by a present situation that recalls a past event that is still unresolved. When this happens, we very much feel isolated, alone, overwhelmed and confused as to how to handle our response. The Somatic Experiencing model has been a welcome adjunct to the Continuum process in helping myself and others deal with situations like this. We do shake up the habitual patterns in our Continuum gatherings, sometimes deliberately and sometimes, it happens as we are delving deeply into our sensorial selves where the implicit memories are residing.
Listening to Sobonfu, I was reminded of my experiences in Bali. The Balinese people don’t hold much value (if any) in “individuality.” There is not a “evil person,” there is EVIL which to them is disconnection. When evil occurs, the village as a whole takes action in ritual, ceremonies and prayers to heal the situation. Sobonfu addressed issues like raising children, grieving for the dead, “mentally ill” and disabled people who act as messengers to the village that there is an issue needing to be addressed. I was struck once again with a society that is a real community, that holds and supports individuals and families so that spiritual growth, healing and day-to-day living can thrive. How we lack that in our culture and how we need to listen to those cultures who honour community as part of life so that we can create circles of community for ourselves in the midst of this culture we were born into, a culture that esteems individuality, achievement and success.
Reach inside, follow your deepest desires, embrace the mystery and let it flow outward, a bit at a time. August 18th, 2004 With love & blessings, Doris