Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, has represented a sacred time of celebration across the ages, and in honor of the solstice this year there will be a wisdom circle out in the Hill Country on Saturday, June 22nd*.
Many of you have heard me speak of my sacred space outside of Wimberley, Texasand I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to gather in the circle with me and with many of our sisters; many of whom, are from the Hilde Girls.
A small ceremonial fire will burn from dawn to dusk in the forest by the creek where there will be casual heart-centered conversation, prayer and meditation as you are moved to come in and out of the circle.
There will be many relaxed and spontaneous activities, as well as activities which will be intentional and honoring.
A few miles outside of beautiful art community of, Wimberley, you and your family can enjoy these 13 acres of Hill Country beauty known as Avalon, with its scenic views, wooded creeks near the Blanco River, and sacred spaces. Enjoying hiking, playing, picnicking, and spacious relaxing time in community with others who love Mother Earth and the seasonal cycles.
The wisdom circle (where we gather) with the 13 stones, honors the elements of Earth and water, and the energies of the Divine Feminine. The new circle will honor the fire and air elements, and the energies of the Divine Masculine. This circle will have a small fire pit for ceremonial use, and on the 22nd it will be acknowledged with a dawn to dusk fire.
Come for all or part of the day and evening.
At 1:30pm, a Wisdom Circle gathering will occur in the forest by the creek and ceremonial fire. We will share stories of historical and ancestral summer solstice wisdom, along with contemplative sharing and a guided visualization meditation.
At 7:30PM, a drumming circle will begin and continue until the sun sets. Bring your drums, rattles, and musical instruments to celebrate!
What to bring: All your food and drink, plenty of water, a camp chair, and sturdy shoes for the uneven terrain. You may also want a hat, sunscreen, water bottle, daypack, journal, and drums/rattles.
Love offerings will be accepted that day to defray costs of the event.
Please RSVP to [email protected] if you have any questions, to confirm your intent join us and to get specific driving directions.
For a list of other events, retreats and workshops I invite you to visit my website: clayboykin.com
* Note: While the Solstice is actually on June 21st, we decided Saturday, June 22nd, would be a better day for us all to gather.
“…Grace shows up in the portal of not knowing. When the heart is clenched tight, whether in anger or certitude, in fear or in grief, grace coaxes the fist open, looks into the palm and reads there a lifeline of a larger possibility. Grace is an open hand, extended to the stranger, to the loved one, to the wounded one within. It is the open hand of relationship, of kindness, of blessing.” – Karen Hering
Few words have stirred as much theological debate and division over the centuries while still arriving in the current millennium as untarnished, as frequently and comfortably spoken and as difficult to define.
Depending on who you ask and when, grace might be equated with salvation or with sacraments, with the presence of God, or with beauty or life itself. Grace is resilience. Grace is forgiveness. It is sin’s opposite. It is healing. It is revelation, the oneness of all being. It is enlightenment. It is light. It comes before faith. It comes after faith. Some say it is faith.
Mostly, it seems, what we know about grace is that it’s largely a matter of not knowing.
One of my favorite confessions of Augustine’s is about grace. “What is grace?” he asked, right away admitting in a nearly palindromic puzzle, “I know until you ask me; when you ask me, I do not know.” I concur. When I woke up this morning I knew exactly what to write about grace. It’s when I got out of bed and put my fingers to the keyboard that things got a little difficult.
Perhaps this is as it should be. Grace, after all, begins with beyond. Grace shows up in the portal of not knowing. When the heart is clenched tight, whether in anger or certitude, in fear or in grief, grace coaxes the fist open, looks into the palm and reads there a lifeline of a larger possibility.
Grace is an open hand, extended to the stranger, to the loved one, to the wounded one within. It is the open hand of relationship, of kindness, of blessing.
Grace moves. Grace heals. Grace dances. Grace is the sigh we release on the last note of a song or when the end of the poem becomes clear.
When a room is closed and stuffy, it is grace that opens the window and grace that then blows in.
“Grace fills empty spaces,” wrote Simone Weil in her journal. “But it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void.”
Grace can knock us off our feet when we stand on the shore looking out. Then it’s grace that catches us before we are washed out to sea.
Grace is given, and grace is received. It cannot be stolen, even by the best of thieves.
Grace is an opening. Just when we think we know exactly what’s going on, who we are, who everyone else is and what can and cannot happen next, grace draws back the bolt of our knowing, flings wide a new view.
Grace is the guest of humility. Rumi said it plainly but not unkindly:
You are so weak. Give up to grace. The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.
Grace never comes to the fully self- sufficient. But then, which of us really are? Grace comes to each of us in turn and to all of us unmerited.
Grace points to the possibility of more. At the end of the sentence, at the bottom of the page, in the heart held wide open, there is always more.
Salt of Grace
“Spill my tears into this sacred space,
and with a sip of compassion,
I taste the salt of grace.”
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13
Nate Phelps, in his TED Talk titled “Faith, Hope and Love”, explains that hope seems to be a rather benign condition, because it doesn’t actually promote action as it waits with bated breath for an outcome once action is taken. He goes on to explain that faith is belief not sustained by logical proof or material evidence. – Then he challenges faith, and the broad acceptance of the idea that faith is all good, by sighting events of 9/11 and the faith held by the 19 terrorists… But, this is not the end of his message. – a powerful message on love.
A powerful video short: Love is the Most Powerful Force in the Universe
Justin Baldoni wants to start a dialogue with men about redefining masculinity — to figure out ways to be not just good men but good humans. In a warm, personal talk, he shares his effort to reconcile who he is with who the world tells him a man should be. And he has a challenge for men: “See if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper,” Baldoni says. “Your strength, your bravery, your toughness: Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? Are you strong enough to be sensitive? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?”
And then a scholar said, “Speak of Talking.”
And he answered, saying:
You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.
And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.
For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words many indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.
There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone.
The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape.
And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand.
And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words.
In the bosom of such as these the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence.
When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue.
Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear;
For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered
When the colour is forgotten and the vessel is no more.
“…every single one of the major world traditions has highlighted — has said —and put at the core of their tradition what’s become known as the Golden Rule.First propounded by Confucius five centuries before Christ:“Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you.” – Karen Armstrong – 2008 Ted Talk
New Thought is an American metaphysical religious movement that is approximately 150 years old. William James called New Thought, “[T]he religion of healthy-mindedness.” And that’s really the truth! Don’t confuse New Thought with what is often called “New Age” in the media today, New Thought is actually a perennial philosophy, that thread of truth that is woven through all the world’s great spiritual traditions.
New Thought principles are found in Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Zen, Hinduism, African Traditional Religions and many other philosophical and theological works. There are several hundred New Thought churches world-wide, which include Unity churches, Centers for Spiritual Living, and independent New Thought churches like Open Heart.
Authenticity is a technical term used in psychology as well as existentialist philosophy and aesthetics. In existentialism, authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures; the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself. A lack of authenticity is considered in existentialism to be bad faith.
“Authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership. But a simplistic understanding of what it means can hinder your growth and limit your impact.” – The Authenticity Paradox – Harvard Business Review
Triangulation is a manipulation tactic where one person will not communicate directly with another person. Instead, they use a third person to relay communication to the second, thus forming a triangle. It is also a form of splitting in which one person manipulates a relationship between two parties by controlling communication between them.
Triangulation may manifest itself as a manipulative device to engineer rivalry between two people, known as divide and conquer or playing one (person) against another.
Perhaps this is a time to go within; reflect and remind ourselves of who we are, what our role is in the world and to hold ourselves to a higher purpose.
Some time back, Don Frick, the official biographer of the late Robert Greenleaf referred to the men in the Men’s Fellowship Network as Spirit Carriers:
“In my view of the world there are people whom I would call ‘Spirit Carriers’. Servants who nurture the human spirit are Spirit Carriers. They serve to connect those who do the work of the world, or who are being prepared for that role, with vision from both past and contemporary prophets. Those servants find the resources and make the intensive effort to be an effective influence. They don’t just make speeches or write books as the prophet does. They are Spirit Carriers; they connect the prophecy with the people so that it changes their lives. The spirit is power, but only when the Spirit Carrier, the servant as nurturer of the human spirit, is a powerful and not a casual force.” – Robert Greenleaf
“Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning