What a weekend. With the rise of the full moon Friday night to Sunday mid-day, we put our desire to practice - to awaken, to live the most free, clear, and loving lives we can - into action. Groove Master Heather Winia, one of the Midwest’s funkiest movement teachers, kicked it all off, leading the lunar lit dance party. July’s Full “Buck” Moon comes from our Native American and Colonial past, when the moon was used to track the seasons, with bucks beginning to grow new antlers mid-summer. The Anishnaabe people of the Great Lakes dubbed this the Raspberry Moon, although in North America we missed the rusty, reddish hue of the blood moon given by the longest lunar eclipse of the century, hopefully enjoyed by Africans, Asians, Australians, Europeans and South Americans.
SooJin Kim, an equally standout Michigan movement teacher, made the trip from Detroit to help lead the second half of the weekend, our third yoga overnight. Accompanied by the girls I’ve dubbed the Soo Crew – Wellness Expert Jaclyn 1 and Jaclyn 2.0, Kaylee, Naomi, Shanon, Stephanie, and new additions Natasha and Zena (who pointed out she was a warrior princess way before the American fantasy television series), this group returned from our time together in mid-March, when we kicked off the Spring season. That Lodge was a bit arduous, filled with tears and talk of anxiety, loss, and a sense of misdirection. This time around the circle, however, the report focused on healing, wholeness, and a sense of recalibration.
More than one participant reported a lightening, an ease of burdens carried in the material world. Another voice out of the darkness reported they “feel like they’re getting answers”, flowing from the deepening of their devotion to the spiritual path. Now, as I write this, I hear an enthusiastic, “Aho! Grandmother at the door!” and can’t help cracking up. Word has it they hijacked my Instagram account in a good way - higherhavenmi - so please check that out. These women not only have the ability to help amend my Luddite ways, they possess the courage to get low tribal style and face themselves, benefitting their own lives as well as the lives of their families. A deep sense of satisfaction is certainly mine, knowing they’re touching upon the same experience that rocked my world almost 20 years ago. That's when a Tohono O’odham Shaman named Rupert lit a fire – both literally and figuratively – and blew my mind and heart wide open. I'm proud to pass the experience on and proud to be their teacher.
We always end Ceremony with a Wopila – a potluck buffet that celebrates life. I’ve seen my share of some uh, let’s say austere Wopilas over the years, and the best it got on the Rez was french fries and fried chicken. This group whipped up a phenomenal feast, including Dolma, a traditional middle eastern dish, Mujadara, a lentil dish with hummus, sautéed eggplant with garlic and onions, potato cauliflower soup with shallots, zucchini avocado salad, and a Turmeric golden milk latté, a healing, anti-inflammatory Ayurveda drink. Good friends, great food, practices that help us and heal us at the deepest level of our being, these are moments when nothing is missing from our life experience. We’ll be doing it again with this group this Fall in October or November, with some additional upcoming classes and a Barre exercise overnight lead by Jaclyn 1 in September. Consider joining us, as none of this occurs by happenstance; it requires a great dedication to realization, great love of truth, and great compassion for all beings. Bidding this crew adieu, the collective response was “we’ll be back!” With that, Toksha, until next time. Aho Matakuye O’yasin. Grandmother at the door!