Thursday, November 25, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
The work we do related to dying well and "letting go" is deeply related to peace work, I believe. The more we can unload ourselves of the past and live more fully in the Present Moment, the more we will be able to create harmony in our world. The more harmony we can create in our individual worlds, the more harmony we will have in our collective world, etc.
During my presentation at Horizon House, I learned about a beautiful poem written by a Quaker leader and mystic named Douglas Steere. It relates to my blog last week, on the connection between the world where we go when we sleep and when we die. Here's the poem, offered to me through Paul Neibanck (who remembers it from many years ago):
The place I go when I'm asleep
Is oceans wide and fathoms deep.
Entirely (God's) from whom I take
My separate self when I'm awake.
I've discovered two fascinating links tonight, one related to "transitions" and the other to "memorial stones." The first one is Denise Le Fay's blog on "Peeling Off More Layers" at Transitions; the second is Morgan's Memorial Stones Tattvasgardenart.com.
Here's to all our letting go's and creating a lighter path along the way... and to connecting deeper with the Great Mystery, including our sleep and dream time! Dancing heart~~~
p.s. If you're wondering whether or not to see Eat, Pray, Love, you might be interested in reading my most recent article at Examiner.com.
Monday, August 2, 2010
At one point in our conversation Joseph burst out saying, "Therefore it's important how we prepare for the holiness of sleep!" The holiness of sleep -- what a divine concept. We do so appreciate that sweetness of sleep that is a mini-death and release at the end of each day. And sometimes those days are long and full, and leave their many and intense impressions on us.
Joseph's comment about the importance of preparing for a good sleep -- not unlike the need for us to prepare for a "good death" -- also reminded me of the bedtime ritual I had growing up as a child: Reading a bedtime story with one of my parents, singing our night-time prayer of protection, "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep..." This song seems like it is specifically meant to help children let go into sleep with a sense of security after making a connection with God and Spirit.
I invite you tonight, before you go to that sweet place of sleep (return to the realm of the Eternal Mystery), to take a few moments to prepare yourself for the Holiness of Sleep. As you let go into the Realm of Spirit where you will be rejuvenated and refreshed to continue this amazing adventure of life, honor and give thanks for the connection that you have to the mystery of life, death, and Life Eternal!
In God's Deep Grace and Loving Kindness, Dancing heart~~~
p.s. I also invite you to see my body-mind-spirit related articles at Examiner.com.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Dear Loved ones,
There may be a note in the books. "Happy Death Day". Some day you and your loved ones might find these books as useful as I did. ( Anyone can send a "Happy Birth Day" gift per AT Hill.)
Thank you, Buryl of the Awakening Heart, for your wisdom, courage, and adventuresome spirit. I love and appreciate you so much! May you have an amazing, glorious adventure when the time comes. As the prophet Isaiah says, "You shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace." (Isaiah 55:12)
Blessings of Deep and Abiding Hope, Dancing heart~~~
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Today was a particularly lovely day. Perhaps I was tapping into the powerful "unity consciousness" convergence that was going on?
One of the first things I encountered when checking my email in the morning was an order of six sets of my books! This was from a beloved friend and client of mine who's now on hospice. His name is Bus (or Buryl) the "Awakening Heart," and he had the bright idea that he wants to gift his children and niece and nephew with my books. What a lovely, pro-active idea. I was so tickled and encouraged by his foresight and generosity! (And I'd just been thinking during my morning meditation that I desired to see my book sales increase, too.)
Then, I met with a group of Amega Global distributors and we shared ideas on internet marketing and how best to get the word out about these wonderful self-care products into the world. Blogging was one of the ideas, by the way ;)
I want to briefly mention just one of the tools that Amega has to offer: The mighty little "Am-wand" or "magic wand." It's shaped like and looks like a pen -- see picture above -- and was developed by Japanese, German, and Russian scientists after 21 years of R. & D. It resonates at the Zero Point frequency that was discovered by Einstein in 1914. It's known to provide any living being it comes in touch with, the energy that allows it to come back into its Perfect Now imprint. [I think of a newborn baby as resonating to the Zero Point energy... Maybe that's why most people are so attracted to babies and newborns?!?]
If you're interested in learning more about this holistic company that has much to offer through their quantum physics products, please contact me. I will help you find a Wanding Party that you can attend. That way, you'll be able to experience the products for yourself; this is the best introduction to these products and Amega that's taking the world by storm as part of the Self-Care Revolution that's sweeping the world right now.
I trust that you are feeling the positive "shifts" that are taking place, too. Life will no doubt become easier to maneuver as we honor the Oneness that we are all a part of.
Keep the faith! And stay beautiful (keep shining ;), as my spiritual director used to say, Dancing heart~~~
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Reading The Most Important Day in Your Life: Are You Ready? is likely to benefit you by --
1. Bringing more joy into your life.
2. Allowing you to live more fully in the present, letting go of the past and future.
3. Assisting you to go deeper spiritually.
4. Helping you become a better partner and friend.
5. Inspiring you to delve into the mystery and magic of life.
6. Helping you to become a better caregiver.
7. Challenging you to know "who you really are!"
8. Allowing you to move through life transitions with more grace and ease.
9. Helping you to help your parents and elders face the aging process.
10. Showing you some of the best kept secret treasures of hospice.
11. Allowing you to discover what comes after life.
12. Showing you how to prepare to "start the conversation" with someone you love.
As you can see, anyone could benefit from reading my new book! It's affordable ($11.95) and an easy read -- only about 100 pages -- and no difficult words; I promise ;)
I invite you to go to my website now and pick up a couple copies of my book: One for yourself, and one for a parent, child, or a friend. It makes a wonderful gift for anyone facing change; and who isn't facing some kind of change in our shifting world right now?!?
Love and deLight to all of you, Dancing heart~~~
P.S. If you are in a position to support my work financially at this time, I would very much appreciate your help. You could purchase some of my books, some Soul Baskets/Bundles, request some of my services, or you could simply donate funds at my website.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
After I received the energetic healing from this healer, he wanted to talk with me about self-love. He eventually sat me down and continued to expound on the need for me to love myself. He said that it was very important that I love myself deeply and that I love and forgive everyone in my past -- all the lifetimes, and especially all the men in my life. He suggested that I practice the exercise (that I actually learned awhile back, and have mentioned in my new book, The Most Important Day of Your Life) of looking into the mirror every morning and saying to myself again and again: "I love you, Maria Dancing heart."
Mark also shared with me that many women are coming to him at this time. The women are the ones ready to heal -- and change -- right now, he said. The men, not so much. And he added that all women need to heal by releasing and forgiving all of the past, especially the men in our lives. This was not new information to me, but it was interesting to hear an echo of what I've been hearing, and a powerful reminder to continue to work with my own healing, loving, self-care, etc.
This makes me think of a conversation I had last weekend with Mary Lane, author of Divine Nourishment: A Woman's Sacred Journey with Food. During our conversation she shared re the powerful connection between the divine feminine and death. It makes complete sense that as the divine feminine rises on the planet, we are gradually learning how to accept and befriend death, not to mention the "shadow-side" of life. The two go hand in hand. Then, just this morning I was communicating with Betty Kovacs, author of The Miracle of Death, in connection with my new book and its beautiful cover, she wrote about the need for beauty to be associated with death. Again, it seems totally fitting that as the feminine aspect of life comes alive and we re-integrate death into life, we also see it in its full beauty!
Blessings of Joy, Beauty, Hope, and Love to you all in these times of facing and "embracing" the shadow sides of life, too, Dancing heart~~~
Thursday, April 15, 2010
1. Face our fears about death -- go deeper into our spiritual practice -- and find ways to overcome them.
2. Learn to embrace our experiences with grief. We can see them as opportunities to grow.
3. Develop more gentle acceptance and appreciation of the aging process in our own lives.
4. Start the conversation with our loved ones sooner rather than later, letting intuition and courage be our guide.
5. Find ways to be proactive about death and grief: Have the courage to speak and share emotions around these issues when they come up naturally -- openly, with love and gentleness.
6. Make end-of-life and funeral plans and share them with our loved ones. Visit sites like agingwithdignity.org and the Five Wishes Document, or my website. Explore aging, death, and the afterlife and ponder the unknown future and the mystery of it all. If your parents aren't planning for the inevitable, start planning yourself and share your plans with your parents. Then, they can be gently and naturally guided to explore something that's difficult for them to approach.
7. In whatever creative ways that we can, help hospitals to create a more gentle, loving space for death. This is beginning to happen, thanks to Palliative Care programs in numerous hospitals.
8. Get acquainted with local palliative care and hospice programs in your community; they are the way-showers for us in this area and can teach us a lot. Consider becoming a volunteer at a local hospice.
9. Become more knowledgeable about the death and grief rituals of our cultural and religious heritages. Then, broaden our horizons and become more knowledgeable about the same rituals of other cultures and religions that are different from our own. They may well have something to teach us.
May our creativity and imaginations guide our way! Blessings on our lives... and good deaths, Dancing heart~~~
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Meanwhile, I also attended a "Living with Grief" seminar last week, the 17th Annual Teleconference sponsored by the Hospice Foundation of America. This teleconference focused on "Cancer and End-of-Life Care" and was quite well done. I heard some helpful and wise comments being shared during the three-hour program. Some of these were:
1) Hospice should not be "brink of death" care!
2) No matter what the patient is dealing with, there is always something that can be done (to ease the person's suffering).
3) Uncertainty makes doctors and scientists in particular very uncomfortable.
4) As the cancer progresses, "com-passion" is key. Attentive listening -- being present and honoring all that is said -- and asking meaningful questions can also be helpful.
5) Hospice can often bring a calming influence into a difficult situation.
6) There is significance in the telling of and sharing stories, especially as the end-of-life draws near.
One question I might leave you with from the seminar is: "What is a good death?" What might you consider to be a good death? What would be some of the ingredients, if you were considering your own death, or the death of a close loved one?
If you're interested in learning more about what hospice is, I invite you to see my article, "What Is Hospice Care, Anyway?" that is available on the home page of my website.
Blessings on the journey, and have a most Blessed Easter! Dancing heart~~~
p.s. If you are interested in some titles related to end-of-life care, you might like to see the last two articles at my Examiner.com site.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
ANPO opens as a squadron of F-16 fighter jets thunder directly over local traffic to land on Kadena, the largest U.S. airbase in Asia. Ten miles south, the urban homes that crowd Futenma Marine Corps Air Station shake from the numbing drone of C-130 cargo planes whose novice pilots repeatedly practice “touch-and-go” take-offs and landings.
The U.S. base at Futenma is one of 30 bases in Okinawa, an island that makes up only 1% of Japan’s land mass while shouldering the burden of 75% of the U.S. military installations in Japan. That presence includes over 28,000 American troops. America’s military presence was negotiated in 1951 under the terms of the lopsided U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty, known in Japan as “ANPO.” Under its provisions, American soldiers who rape Japanese women and girls are seldom prosecuted. Prime farming lands have been confiscated from farmers to extend jet runways. Civilians are killed in hit-and-run accidents by drunken US servicemen with few held to account. In one egregious case, a woman collecting shell casings to sell as scrap metal was shot in the back and killed by a U.S. soldier who served no time for her death.
Protests by Japanese enraged by the onerous terms of the security treaty have generally been ignored by Japan’s ruling party. Yet for a brief window of time during the summer of 1960, shopkeepers, children, and housewives joined a coalition of artists, farmers, students, laborers, and intellectuals in a series of massive demonstrations to block the renewal of the treaty. Hundreds of thousands of protestors marched on the Japanese parliament to demand an end to the unequal partnership with Washington. Among the protesters were some of Japan's most talented artists. They used the creativity of their paintings, film, photography, manga, and music to give a powerful voice to the protests and to document the many ways in which the American military presence has intruded upon Japanese life and sovereignty.
ANPO showcases the resulting artistic treasure trove that has been largely locked away in Japanese museum vaults and film archives to take an unprecedented look back into a forgotten period of Japanese history, when a nascent democratic movement almost changed the course of an entire nation. The artists speak about how the events of that summer forever changed them and their art. We hear from a survivor of the Lucky Dragon, a Japanese fishing vessel that on March 1,1954 was in the path of deadly fallout from a 15 megaton thermonuclear test blast whose effects became a rallying cry for the Japanese protesting against nuclear armament and the U.S-Japan security treaty (see top video below). ANPO also incorporates film clips from Japanese classics and riveting archival footage that shows the passion of the protestors who flooded the streets to fight for democracy.
While memories of what happened decades ago during that summer of anger have faded, the legacy of the artists and the protests they captured is more relevant today than ever before. A new government has come to power in Japan, promising to confront Washington over its massive military footprint on Okinawa. A lawsuit by a small group of citizens to protect the Okinawa Manatee and one of the island's last coral reefs from destruction by construction of a new U.S. military base is making headlines and interfering with business as usual between Washington and Tokyo. Interviews with contemporary artists reveal the organic link between Japan’s political history and its broad creative culture and indicate that recent events could again spark a political upheaval not seen since the summer of 1960.
The film was shot in high-definition video by Yamazaki Yutaka, one of Japan’s most accomplished cameramen. He has filmed hundreds of documentaries, worked on the celebrated films of Kore-eda Hirokazu, and filmed the 1960 ANPO protests as a student. Playing a key advisory role is Dr. John Dower, Professor of History at MIT and the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Embracing Defeat, the definitive study of postwar Japanese culture and politics.
ANPO aims to entertain its audience with a fascinating look at an unknown period of Japanese activism through the eyes of the world-class Japanese artists who lived the experience. But its lessons about American overreach and the anger its unwanted military presence engenders can just as easily apply to U.S. plans for permanent military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. As we enter into an age of greater political transparency under different administrations in the U.S. and Japan, now is as pressing a time as ever to examine the complexities and limits of America’s presence on the world stage.
May Peace prevail on Earth, Dancing heart~~~
p.s. For more articles that Dancing Heart has written for Examiner.com, see this link.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
My forthcoming book will be titled: The Most Important Day of Your Life: Are You Ready? I hope to wake up the American public a little bit with this title; and I plan to include more personal stories and reflections in this book. After each of the chapters I will also have suggested exercises that readers can practice to help them go deeper spiritually. So it will have the flavor of being a workbook -- a companion book to go with The Last Adventure of Life.
If you are interested in being part of this process, I would very much appreciate your financial support. You can download my preview/pre-order sheet, or go to my website to donate through Paypal or by cc. I'm suggesting that you give $33, the mystical, magical, master number for infinite possibilities! And for those who donate $33 or more, I'll make sure that you receive an autographed copy of my book as soon as it is released -- early May.
You may also be interested that you can now purchase my mini-books -- both the small print and large print versions -- online. Just go to my home page and scroll down. You'll see the Buy Now button on the left side. These lovely little books make great gifts and introduce The Last Adventure of Life in a good way.
Thank you for your beauty, light, and courage! Keep shining in this sometimes very confused and fearful world. And Happy Girls Day (in Japan), all you girls and women out there ;) Infinite Joy and deLight, Dancing heart~~~
p.s. Please have a look at my Examiner.com articles when you get the chance. I have 221 articles posted there now...
Monday, January 25, 2010
I challenged myself to write only 500 words on what I believe about death. Here's what I came up with:
I believe that death is not the big deal we sometimes make it out to be. And I have learned this through the privilege of walking beside those who are preparing to die.
In 1989, I lost my own mother to cancer. Death was a pretty big deal to me then. Afterward, however, I knew on some level that my mother was just fine, probably in heaven. But I hadn’t yet sorted out what I really thought about death.
Then, a few years after mom’s death, I became a hospice worker. I never dreamed I’d learn so much by rubbing shoulders with the dying.
First and foremost, death need not be feared. Rather, when the time comes, death can be embraced with open arms. It is a time for reuniting with the spirit world from which we all come. It is a time for ecstatic celebration and home going. It is a time of connecting with the angels. As one woman posed just before leaving her body: “I see hundreds of angels!”
Secondly, the dying taught me “there is so much more than meets the eye.” I’ve heard about many mystical experiences while journeying with the dying. I have also had my share of such experiences. Once, I walked into a room of a man who asked me later, “Who was that woman who walked in with you when you came into my room?” I was speechless for a time, as I was not aware of anyone with me when I walked into his room. My own mother came to me once, too, through a woman who could read spiritual energy off of people. And mom introduced me to my unborn brother who was the one my mom had miscarried many moons ago!
Thirdly, I have learned that all of life is a kind of preparation for death. Shortly after my book, THE LAST ADVENTURE OF LIFE, was published, I met a young Buddhist volunteer firefighter in a health food store. We got to talking about life and death and my work. The young man exclaimed to me, “In Buddhism, birth is the hard part. Death is easy, because we have the rest of our lives to prepare for it.” Wow, what a concept: We could use the rest of our lives, especially our many goodbyes and farewells, as grist for the mill to prepare for the most important day of our life –- the day of our graduation from earthly life when we are free to release everything and everyone from our lives.
Finally, I’ve made the joy-filled discovery that all of life is interconnected. We are connected with all that is here on earth; we are also connected to all that is in heaven. The more we believe in this Magic of the Universe, the more it comes alive in our lives. The more we believe that synchronicity guides our lives, the more it does. Lastly, “Don’t die wondering," for we just may get exactly what we believe.
See a beautiful song I picked to go with this at my Examiner.com site.