Tag Archives: Enlightenment

You Always Take Yourself With You

In response to the news about my upcoming pilgrimage to Delphi, my friend Gary suggested that there’s ‘no need to travel to the dusty realms of the world’ to find enlightenment. I’m sure this is true. In cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension, neurosurgeon/rock star/superhero Buckaroo says, “No matter where you go, there you are.” And my former boss at Tiffany & Co. used to say, “You always take yourself with you.” I think the idea here is to look within instead of running around trying to find what seems to be missing in our lives.

But what of desire? When I graduated from high school, my best friend and I jumped on a Greyhound Bus headed for California. I can’t remember what inspired this trip, but I think it may have been my cute second-cousin Jeffrey whom I had met on a road trip with my parents. What I hoped to accomplish by seeing him again, I have no idea. But no matter; I think my friend and I just needed to experience the world outside our conservative Midwest suburban environs.

Charlene and Karen

At the Claremont

So after saving a dollar each week for four years, we bought our tickets, packed our bags and were off despite parental admonitions. I don’t think we even met up with Cousin Jeffrey. But we learned that we could take care of ourselves and we found out that we could do it without much money. Having spent almost all our savings on our tickets, we decided to bring Carnation Instant Breakfast, powdered soup, and crackers with us. I remember gazing through a restaurant window in Denver at chickens turning slowly on a rotisserie longing for a hot meal that didn’t include soup. But we didn’t starve, and we returned with our virginity intact in spite of our encounter with two cute guys we met at the Claremont Hotel in Oakland.

I guess I could opt for hours of meditation instead of traveling to Delphi. Who knows? I may come back having felt nothing. If that happens, dealing with disappointment will be an adventure in itself.


The Journey Begins

I’ve felt a blog coming on for a very long time. I’ve managed to avoid it until now, but at last I feel I have something I want to share.

Let me start by telling you about the Blessing Moon. In Scott Blum’s book, Waiting for Autumn, a homeless man named Richard introduces him to a ritual that involves breathing in the energy of the moon. Our agrarian ancestors called the full moon in July the Blessing Moon because it’s the time of year when the earth begins to yield her bounty. According to Blum’s homeless friend, the Blessing Moon is the perfect time to begin a spiritual journey.

And so it was that I found this story on the very day of the full moon in July. I was entranced with the idea of breathing in the moon and I wanted to experience this ritual myself, perhaps because my own ancestors farmed land in Minnesota and in Norway. That night when the moon began to show itself, I positioned myself on my back porch and watched as it rose slowly over the treetops. When it was in full view, I raised both hands up on either side of my head, palms open, facing the moon just as Richard described to Scott. Then I lifted my head back and squinting at the moon, I breathed in the cold, crisp air.

I wish I could tell you that I experienced instant enlightenment, but of course, it doesn’t happen that way for most of us. I did feel slightly invigorated, though, and I vowed to revisit this practice each month. Since then, I’ve begun a meditation practice, I started a course in hands-on healing, I’ve begun working with my animal spirit guides, I’ve started writing down my soul, and I’ve booked a pilgrimage to Delphi. I have much to tell you about all of these things and more. And I have to tell you that at times I’m terrified! But that’s a good thing, right? As Duane Garrison Elliott, my former boss at Tiffany & Co. used to say,  “Do what terrifies you most––everything else is boring.”

So please join me on my journey. And as we go along, I hope you’ll share your stories with me.