Sacred Space

Seeking Sacred Space: Where’s Your Natural Cathedral?

Sacred Space

“The place seemed holy, where one might hope to see God.”
— John Muir, “My First Summer in the Sierra,” 1911

Conservationist John Muir was known for his ability to find spiritual connection in the natural world. Yosemite Valley was sacred space for him, and he called it “the grandest of all the special temples of Nature….” Is there a place in nature that makes your spirit sing? Maybe you love to be in the mountains, at the beach, or in a quiet garden filled with roses. Summer is underway as the solstice ushered in the season of greatest warmth and light. Summer brings more opportunities for us to get out and connect with the natural world and grow in spirit. Contact with Nature renews and refreshes us and gives us the comfort of knowing we belong to something much larger than our small selves.

It’s our nature to seek spiritual joy in the natural world. From ancient times, people have gravitated toward places on Earth that are graced with high-vibration spiritual energy. There are many such places around the world, and people often built their holiest institutions over such power spots, vortexes or places of spiraling spiritual energy. They recognized that bathing in these elevated vibrations was beneficial to raising consciousness and facilitating spiritual development. Sedona, Arizona, is a beautiful natural setting known for this kind of spiritual energy. Many visitors feel recharged and uplifted after visiting there. North America is brimming with places that have been held sacred by Native Americans for thousands of years. Some research may reveal a number of sacred spaces in your locale.

What Makes a Sacred Space?

Beyond natural places that communities of people have found sacred over time, each one of us has a personal sacred space in nature that we love. We know it by the joy it brings. So many of us love the peace we find swimming in the waters off the western shore of Maui. Here in the silent blue world of the ocean, we delight in meeting sea turtles and sharing swim space with them. My friend, Louise Hay, loved San Diego’s mid-city urban garden, Balboa Park, with its vast array of trees and flowers from around the world as well as her own backyard garden where she grew vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

Novelist Susan Straight finds beauty in her seemingly stark hometown landscape in Southern California. For her, the date palm trees of the desert city of Indio, standing in stately rows and catching the golden sunlight and silver moonlight, are beautiful. Lines of trees that make up the date farm landscape are “like a cathedral” she says. For many people, forests of any kind, whether palm trees or giant redwoods, are a natural temple. Our eyes are drawn upward by the great height towering above us. Looking at the sky our hearts open.

Great mountain peaks also draw our eyes toward heaven. Photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams was another admirer of the Yosemite Valley and its “vast edifice of stone and space.” President Theodore Roosevelt said of camping in Yosemite, “It was like lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man.”

Maybe the desert is a landscape you love. The desert has always been a place of spiritual connection and reflection, a place of open space and silence and starry nights.

Artist Georgia O’Keeffe loved the northern New Mexico desert for the pure light, the clear air, and the astonishing colors of the hills and the sky. The Grand Canyon is a place of pilgrimage for millions. Sunrise and sunset paint the desert cliffs for anyone who would like to watch.

If water is your love, Crater Lake in Oregon, the deepest lake in the U.S., is an especially beautiful site considered sacred by Native Americans of the region. The lake is used as a site for vision quests and other ceremonies. Lakes, rivers, and waterfalls may be part of your vision of a spiritual home.

How to Enjoy Your Sacred Space

From early childhood, I’ve had a special connection with Lake Tahoe, one of the deepest lakes in the world. The energy there is profound, and when I visit there, I sense that its water is sacred, coming from the original source. Maybe your beloved natural place is your traditional family vacation spot. Take a moment and picture your sacred space.

If you have a chance to visit a sacred space of your own this summer, intend to connect with your heart, mind, and soul. Experience the place with all your senses. Feel the ground beneath you (or the water surrounding you). Look up at the sky, the clouds, the stars, the mountain peaks and the treetops and give thanks for the beauty and the peace. Give thanks for the gift of life and the field of loving energy that all of us share.

Deborah's Elephant

A Baby Elephant – Just What I Always Wanted!

Deborah's Elephant

At a retreat last week, my advanced students presented me with the most amazing, loving, and life-affirming gift. On my behalf, they made a donation to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya. I am now fostering an orphaned baby elephant! I received a certificate from the orphan rescue program and will be able to follow my foster child’s growth and development in an online diary. His name is “Maktao” and he is three months old. I’m so thrilled and I hope I will be able to go to Africa soon to bond with him!

The Work of the DSWT

Best known for their work to protect elephants, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) operates the most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. They embrace all measures that complement the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife including anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness and providing veterinary assistance to animals in need. Born from one family’s passionate love for Kenya and its wilderness, the trust is one of the pioneering conservation organizations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa.

DSWT was founded in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, to honor the memory of her late husband, famous naturalist and founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park, David Leslie William Sheldrick. For over 25 years Kenya-born Daphne Sheldrick lived and worked alongside David, during which time they raised and successfully rehabilitated many wild species. At the heart of the DSWT’s conservation activities today is the Orphans’ Project, which has achieved world-wide acclaim through its hugely successful elephant and rhino rescue and rehabilitation program.

Orphans Welcome Here

The Orphans’ Project exists to offer hope for the future of Kenya’s threatened elephant and rhino populations as they struggle against the threat of poaching for their ivory and horn, and the loss of habitat due to human population pressures and conflict, deforestation and drought. When a tiny new-born elephant like my charge is orphaned, it is often because its mother and family have been killed to serve the brutal ivory trade. For an elephant, family is all important; a calf’s very existence depends upon its mother’s milk for the first two years of life. An Elephant Nursery now exists nestled within Nairobi National Park under the auspices of the DSWT. The nursery offers hope for any orphaned elephant fortunate enough to be found alive. They rescue and hand-rear elephant and rhino orphans, along with many other species.

Daphne Sheldrick worked for nearly three decades of trial and error to perfect the milk formula and complex husbandry necessary to rear an orphaned infant African elephant. Today, with support from many caring people world-wide, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is proud to have saved over 150 orphaned infant calves, which would otherwise have perished. More importantly, every one of these orphans can look forward to a quality of life in the wild, living free in Tsavo East National Park protected by their new extended orphaned family and friends among the wild herds.

Welcome, Maktao!

So my wonderful gift from my students of a chance to foster baby elephant orphan, Maktao, comes via The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s digital foster program. This program allows individuals across the world to support the trust’s field projects by fostering an orphaned elephant, rhino or giraffe in their care. All elephant, rhino and giraffe orphans rescued by the trust are available to foster, including those orphans living back in the wild. The DSWT’s Elephant Orphanage is open to the public for one hour every day, from 11 am to noon. During this time the orphans arrive for their midday mud bath and feeding. Baby elephants love their mud baths!

Welcome, Maktao, to the sponsorship of a caring human family—all of us here at the Deborah King Center. The Trust likes to name its orphaned elephants in a way that can identify them with their origin. The orphans come from all corners of Kenya and from many different elephant populations, so they are usually given place or ethnic tribal names, as was Maktao, where he was found.

The most precious gift is the gift of life. Thank you, my beloved students, for giving me this gift of life!

If you’d like to help a baby elephant, click here.

Astral travel

Fly Free with Astral Travel!

Astral travel

Have you ever had an incredible dream? One where you visited a beloved family member no longer here on earth? Or you had amazing super power to soar over the rooftops? Maybe you were exploring a new city. Did you wake up feeling peace or excitement, surprised to be back home in bed? And then ask: “Wow! Where did I go?”

The potential to have experiences like these—the stuff that dreams are made of—is completely within you. It’s your unlimited nature, your spirit and its connection to the Source that makes such dreams possible. What if you began to explore the access you have to your unlimited being and see where else your “wings” might take you? By strengthening your spiritual connection and expanding your consciousness, you can learn to choose and direct your flight plans. You can learn to astral travel!

What Is Astral Travel?

You actually already travel this way when you dream. Your astral body leaves your physical body sleeping soundly in bed and roams the dream world. With study and practice, you can learn to astral project deliberately—to leave your physical body consciously and choose to travel to certain destinations. Astral projection is an out-of-body experience you choose to embark on with the intent of traveling to many different “astral planes” that are shaped by energy and light.

With astral projection comes the undeniable knowledge that you are more than your physical body. Astral projection helps you gain a new level of access to the universe within you as well. As you explore your inner universe, you can also take advantage on the physical plane of the knowledge you gain from astral travel. Your astral experience can help you reach a higher level of consciousness.

What Are the Benefits of Astral Travel?

Astral travel can open a new world of knowledge and spiritual growth for you. Your energy body, your personal energy field that you’re sitting inside of right now, is your greatest source for healing on every level: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Mastering astral travel techniques is an important step in expanding your energy body, so you have even more opportunities for healing and growth

Here are some powers you may discover with astral projection:

Solution—Problems of every kind, challenges, and stress can be worked through and more easily resolved during astral projection.

Expansion —Whatever you would like to learn about or explore, a vast amount of knowledge is accessible on the astral plane.

Healing— Astral projection can bring you closer to the source of illness, disease or past trauma where active energy healing can take place.

Connection—Astral projection allows you to connect with deceased loved ones or others you would otherwise not be able to connect with in the physical world.

Perception—You can gain a clearer or “higher” perspective on your life situation by viewing yourself and your life from the astral plane.

When you learn to separate your consciousness from your body, you can experience firsthand what life is like beyond your usual physical day-to-day reality. You can see and feel things that will raise your consciousness, increase your energetic frequency, and minimize your negativity, uncertainty, and fear. And you will better understand your limitless potential and your spiritual connection with Source.

Where Do You Want to Go? 

There is no defined limit as to how far you can travel. Imagine flying high above the highest mountains and into the starry galaxies, visiting times and places from the past or the future, meeting with loved ones who have passed on to resolve old issues, and visiting the heavenly realms. You’ll get in touch with your innermost desires and learn how to use out-of-body experiences to design the life of your dreams. If you want to learn how to do it, check here for more info.

Chakra Health

Power Up Your Chakras!

Chakra Health

As the daily news continues giving us reasons to be nervous and worried, anxious and afraid, angry and confused, how are you doing in this struggle between fear and love? We know what fear looks like, and we know we have to rise above life-destroying fear and seek life-affirming love. Each of us has the power to choose and use the unlimited energy of love available from our Divine Source. Take a look within. Is your connection to your loving Source clear and open? Is the energy of your love at the ready, flowing and powering your mind, body, and spirit? For the challenges we face, taking good care of your personal energy centers, your chakras, can help you fight fear.

Your Chakra Power

As invisible but vital energy centers, your chakras are designed to move energy between your personal field and the universal field. Your wellbeing depends on the energy you bring in, and your life of joy, fulfillment, and service depends on the energy you give out. Love can’t reign when fear is blocking the channels. When clear and balanced, your chakras are the means by which you replenish your energy and maintain your health. Without the healthy flow of energy through your chakras, you might feel empty, depressed, and powerless. Each chakra represents an aspect of higher consciousness that is essential to your life. As a system, the seven basic chakras integrate your mind, body, and spirit; and each has a physical, emotional, creative, and spiritual component.

Your Chakra Gifts

Each of your chakra centers is important because each one allows you to call forth different skills and strengths and bring them into the world. Keeping your chakras clear and balanced allows you to access your highest gifts and talents—those powerful energies that are your contribution to the world! Here are some of the ways your chakras affect your life:

First Chakra – This foundational chakra located at the base of your spine keeps you grounded and rooted, firm and secure in the world. However, fear of destructive events like those we are experiencing in our world today combined with personal fears about safety, security, and stability can disrupt or distort the free flow of energy in the first chakra. Taking a walk in the beauty of nature, actually touching the earth with your bare feet, can bring you back to the foundation of your being, make you feel present and safe, and strengthen your first chakra.

Second Chakra – Located about half way between the base of your spine and your navel, the second or sexual chakra is the center of your emotions and desires, and your interactions with other people. In the work of moving away from fear and toward love, a balanced second chakra is vital to helping you enjoy healthy intimate relationships and overcome feelings of guilt and shame that may interfere. Bathing in the ocean or a bath of sea salt and baking soda strengthens your second chakra as it restores you to the purity of your true nature.

Third Chakra – Located at the solar plexus and the center of your body’s metabolic fire, the third chakra is the seat of personal power. This primary power center is the source of will, purpose, and action—that which “moves” you in the world. If managing your energy in a healthy way to reach your goals and fulfill your purpose is a challenge, you may need to devote some loving attention to your third chakra. Physical activities such as gardening, sports, T’ai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates can awaken and recharge this energy center, especially if performed outside in the early morning sun.

Fourth Chakra – The fourth or heart chakra is the bridge between the three lower chakras that connect you to the earth and the three upper chakras that connect you to the Infinite. When the heart center is in balance, you are content, caring, compassionate and forgiving. Heart chakra balance gives you the courage to give and receive love even when fear and anger threaten to close you down. How precious is an open and compassionate heart in today’s world! One of the best ways to boost your heart chakra is by giving and receiving love with a pet. Animals are great role models for the unconditional love that heals us.

Fifth Chakra – When fifth or throat chakra energy is free-flowing and balanced, you are free to speak your truth. You are empowered to express who you are, what you feel, and what you believe. Speaking for your beliefs and your truth is essential for you to express the love that can overcome fear in the world today. Writing down your feelings with total honesty can help clear and charge your fifth chakra. Take time to use your “voice” to write, sing, read aloud, and communicate your true feelings.

Sixth Chakra – The sixth chakra or “third eye,” located between the eyebrows, is the source of intuition. When balanced, this chakra helps you keep an open-mind and have faith in your inner guidance. It supports your sense of the interconnection of all humanity and helps you seek the truth in any situation. When this chakra is out of balance, you may feel out of touch with your intuition and struggle with fear-based negative thinking and narrow-mindedness. Daily meditation helps you awaken this chakra and lets you increase your inner wisdom and your ability to “see” clearly.

Seventh Chakra – The seventh energy center or “crown chakra” is located at the top of the head. This is your connection with spirit, your higher power, and the universe. Opening outward and upward, this chakra draws light energy in from above and fills you with an experience of transcendence. Meditation, prayer, and communion with nature are powerful tools for boosting the seventh chakra. Keeping this connection free-flowing, balanced, and clear is your key to bringing all-powerful love into our world.

Working to take care of your chakra energy centers is simply making sure that you have access to all the powers, the gifts, the talents, the energy and the light that is you. Get ready to share your gifts, to move forward in love, to inspire and encourage others, and to live a life of love and joy.

You can learn more about the health of your personal energy centers and how to supercharge them here in the Secrets of Chakra Wisdom Course.