Saturday, December 3, 2011


A spiritual seeker went to a renowned Master, asking to be accepted into monastic life. The Master consented and after agreeing to obey certain requirements, the seeker settled into a steady rhythm of meditation, contemplation, service and scriptural study.

However, early one morning the seeker heard that a fellow monk who had been studying with the Master for a number of years, had packed his bags in the middle of the night and fled.

Shocked and in a state of disbelief, the seeker decided to go to the Master and ask how this could be possible? Why, would someone intent on liberation throw everything away?

When the seeker offered these questions, the Master listened, nodded and sat in silence for several, long minutes. Then the Master stated,

“On the spiritual path what happens between a seeker and his or her Master is between them.

*Why are you concerned about someone else and his state?

*What about you?

*What about your state?

*Why are you so easily thrown off-center?

-These things you must always be willing to ask yourself. Until you do you will attain nothing.”


Excerpt from: 'BE YOUR OWN GURU' a transformational online course in conjunction with Daily Om. For details go to:

Monday, November 21, 2011


The Love that is,
Pours through,
This One,
A mighty ocean,
At your little house,
To break down,
The door.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Waking up,
Is nothing like we think it will be.

Thought has no part in it.

Letting go,
Into the profound silence,
Of who we are,
Welcomes us back,
To where we have always been,
And have never left.

Yet, here we are,
Gazing with wonder,
As if for the first time,
At the simplicity,
And limitless nature,
Of everything that is.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Since childhood, I have been graced with a colorful palette of other-worldly gifts, including out-of-body experiences and proof that life continues after death and beyond. However, I have also been challenged with having to learn whether, when and how to share these gifts.

One example of this dilemma occurred when I was nine years old. Early one morning, I floated out of my body, through the bedroom window and down into the back yard to find my grandfather standing between what appeared to be two angels. As I approached, I began to cry. Sensing my fear, my grandfather gently told me, "Don't be upset, I'm not going to take you with me. I have come to say goodbye." Then he whispered, "Take good care of your brothers and baby sister," before floating up and disappearing into a wide band of white light.

At school I felt the palpable presence of my grandfather and on arriving back home, I knew what to expect. My mother was there to meet me urging, “Be quiet, your father is very upset. Your grandfather died early this morning.” Although I wanted to comfort my father, I was afraid of sharing what I had experienced in case I had somehow been an accomplice to my grandfather’s death and would get into trouble. Later, as an adult, when I eventually shared this with my father, he said, “I wish you’d told me. I wish you’d told me. I wish you’d told me.”

In 1994, while living on New Providence Island in the Bahamas, dear friends lost their four-year-old son in a drowning accident. Blond, bright-eyed and bubbling with life, Taylor had been running around the perimeter of the pool while his parents were inside, unpacking after a day out boating. Taylor could swim well. He had been taking lessons ever since he was able to crawl and he loved the water, but that day he tripped over a hose, hit his head on the tile and fell unconscious, face down into the pool. By the time he was discovered he was close to death, finally succumbing a few days later.

The trauma of this event was overwhelming and his parents were understandably inconsolable. This time, having learned from the words of my father, I shared my experiences of life after death in the hope of offering solace. Then unexpectedly a couple of weeks later, Taylor came to visit with his own, more personal message. In a lucid dream, I found myself standing alone in a vast, light-filled space. Suddenly Taylor bounced in. Overjoyed, I said, “Taylor, how wonderful to see you! How are you?” Jumping up and down he replied, “Oh, fine. Tell Mommy and Daddy I love the tree.” With that, he turned and skipped away as suddenly as he had arrived and I was rapidly pulled back to waking.

A short while later I phoned Taylor’s father John. Making sure to describe every aspect, gesture and detail as accurately as I could, John finally drew a long, slow breath and then told me, “After Taylor’s funeral my wife Anne and I flew out to our home in North Carolina. It was a place Taylor absolutely loved. We decided to buy a small tree as a way of honoring Taylor’s life, planting it in the exact spot Taylor used to play. We found a carpenter and commissioned him to make a plaque inscribed with the words, ‘TAYLOR’S TREE.’

Taylor’s gift to us all was priceless. For his parents, here was authentic proof that Taylor was aware of their prayers, intentions and actions, and for me, Taylor helped me take a few steps closer to finding my authentic voice.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Early one Sunday morning in the early 1980's, I was running up a steep hill on the island of New Providence, in an area downtown near the elegant Governor General's house. It was a beautiful day in mid-January and cool enough to be able to run at 10a.m. Along with forty or so members of a for-fun running club, I was racing along, intent on finding a trail laid out using flour.

To my left, was an old, grey stone church. On the outside of the structure were white, slatted windows that swung out and were held in place by support rods. As I pounded up and over the arc of the hill, I suddenly heard a refrain of a hymn carried by the breeze. It was unexpected and sung with such force, it flooded my senses, instantly carrying me to a place I seemed to recognize but had not visited for a long, long time. In that moment, my legs wobbled beneath me, my heart opened and I began to cry wondering why the hymn would move me so?

In the mystical Sufi tradition, a moment like this is called Dhikr, the chanting of divine names in order to initiate remembrance of God. Although I did not realize it at the time, the power of the congregants singing was a beautiful gift that spoke to my deep longing and invited a 'turning of the heart' toward the divine. It was here, in this profound moment that my inner journey began.

Since then, there have been continuous turnings and openings of the heart which have had a three-fold effect: one an awakening to the consciousness of oneness, two a desire to do the inner work and three, a willingness to support and encourage others on their own inner journey.

Thich Nhat Hahn expresses this beautifully when he states,

"You are me and I am you. It is obvious that we inter-are. You cultivate the flower in yourself so that I will be beautiful. I transform the garbage in myself so that you do not have to suffer. I support you, you support me. I am here to bring you peace. You are here to bring me joy.
Knowing that we inter-are, there are simple self-inquiry questions we can contemplate to bring us back to the heart. Here are a selection:

* Am I working with the energy of the heart or against it?
* Am I trusting my innate wisdom?If not why not?
* How can I uplift myself and others at this time in my life?

By being willing to contemplate these questions again and again, we are continually aligning with the essence of our longing and giving voice to our own unique wisdom. In this way, we naturally find ourselves empowered to uplift, inspire and encourage everyone and everything in our world.

Monday, August 15, 2011


In January 2003, my husband and I were living in an ashram in upstate New York. We had been there for five months after leaving India and with only four weeks left on our U.S. visitor's permit, we still had no work and no idea where we were going to live.

During this period, I was reminded of something I had heard repeated ‘inside’ since childhood. The inner message was, “You will always have work.” As a teen and early adult I had not paid much attention to this because it seemed obvious. There was a childish assumption that work would always be available. Now with a more mature perspective, I appreciated the gift of those words and hung on to them like a lifeline.

True to the insistence of the message, a couple of weeks before we were due to leave the ashram, I received an unexpected e-mail from the Director of an International school. He told me he had seen a short description of our details on an education website, and wondered whether my husband and I would be interested in setting up a new school in Odessa, Ukraine.

Turning to a world map, we saw that Odessa on the coast of the southern Ukraine on the black sea, and that it could offer a world of opportunity for traveling in Eastern Europe. With that, we felt a surge of anticipation, sent off our newly polished resumes and waited. Less than an hour later, the Director replied, expressing a keen interest in our skills and experience, and requesting a telephone interview.

What followed; was a warm, lively, three-way conversation ending with an offer of two full-time positions. Although we allowed a day or two to contemplate the proposal, my husband and I knew we would accept. Throughout the unfolding of these events, from beginning to end, there was an unmistakable synergy and flow. It simply felt ‘right.’ I had initially acted on an inner prompt to post our details on an educational site ‘discovered by accident’- and everything had unfolded from there. It was what the yogic texts describe as- “The effortless effort.” I had listened to and acted on inner-tuition, and the universe had responded.

Many, many times in my life, I have witnessed the outer expression of this truth and, I have learned that having the courage to trust the validity of what I am hearing inside is key. Sometimes inner messages appear as a flash of inspiration. At other times, they appear to whisper an alert toward an aspect of life that is out of synch or that no longer serves a higher calling. In what ever form the message appears, it is given as a priceless gift in order for me to trust my own deepest wisdom, and re-align with the spirit.

We never know where the path of our lives is going to take us. Having the faith to hear and then follow the voice of our own inner wisdom is what makes life exciting, spontaneous and filled with grace. When we listen to the whispers of our own unique spirit and have the courage to act on what it is urging us to acknowledge and embrace our lives are transformed in ways we could never have begun to imagine……

An Awakened Life

Monday, July 18, 2011


On January 11th 2001, my husband Tony and I fulfilled a long-held dream of going to live and work in India, arriving in Mumbai at midnight. Sleepily juggling our way through the long lines, questions and organised chaos of customs and immigration, we finally stepped out into the night air and I was in awe.

Even at that time in the morning, there was a quality of sight, sound and smell which was unmistakable. It felt strange, yet deeply familiar as if I was coming home to a place I had always known and been longing to return to. My entire being seemed to be letting out a sigh of relief as if saying, “Finally, finally.”

We had prearranged for a minibus to take us to an ashram, which was a two and a half hour drive north of Mumbai. Bouncing along the highway in the musky darkness, we sat in silence taking it all in. As the sights and sounds of the night-time city fell further and further behind us, we headed off the main highway travelling down narrow lanes dissecting vast acres of fields, and past small villages with temples and oddly shaped shrines.
Pressing on, the driver cut more deeply into a valley taking narrow paths and bumpy twists and turns, until he eventually followed a long, sweeping bend and stopped with a jolt in front of the tall, serene, white domes of the ashram. Startled that we had finally arrived, I sat up with the intention of bringing all my senses to complete focus promising myself never to forget this moment. Though I had seen these compelling structures many times in photographs, to have them suddenly appear in front of me, was a sight to behold.
Gasping, I could immediately feel there was such stillness and profound peace emanating from every nuance and detail; it seemed as if the entire structure was breathing. Even in the darkness, the walls appeared to be moving and shimmering and sparkling with an other-worldly presence. Once more, I had the impression of being swept up into a memory of something long forgotten, but now being stirred to wakefulness.
Stepping off the bus at three thirty a.m. we also found ourselves in the midst of a compelling scene. It was ‘brahmamurti.’ In yogic texts, ‘brahmamurti’ is described as being the most auspicious time for meditation. This period falls between three and six a.m. During these hours, most people are sleeping, which means there is naturally less physical and mental noise, making meditation practices easier.
Outside the ashram, I was witnessing the truth of this profound stillness. Silent figures, with heads wrapped in shawls, were filing through a small door to the left of beautifully decorated, wide, pink lotus gates. Watching intently, I saw people removing their shoes, bowing to touch the step and then disappearing into the interior of the luminous, domed temple. From the doorway, incense was wafting out in huge plumes and hanging thickly in the night air before being drawn up into the atmosphere.
All at once, my entire senses were flooded with the fragrance, images and deep silence of brahmamurti. Taking everything in, I was being pulled into a familiar place of peace and contentment that was hard to define. My thoughts began slowing down until they disappeared entirely, leaving me standing in a quality of emptiness and fullness that I had simultaneously always known and at the same time, had always been searching for. This ‘place’ felt completely natural and totally right. It was like being submerged in and supported by a vast ocean.
It felt like home.......

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


A local artist asked friends to select a cutting tool which represented a painful experience. However, though I searched, I was unable to find anything.

I realized why. Many fantasize about going to an enlightened teacher, imagining that he or she will dispense illumination. It isn't like that. An authentic teacher forces a seeker to own the darkness within and withdraw projections.

The greatest pain in my life has been acknowledging that I am the one creating the depression, the anger, the frustration. This is why I couldn't find a knife.

Instead I found a mirror.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


October 6th, 2008 is a day I will never forget. My husband and I were packing to fly to Santa Monica, California to attend the wedding of a close friend. After years of what she termed as being, 'maritally challenged,' my friend had met a wonderful man and we were looking forward to witnessing their union.

However, on the eve of the trip, we turned on the television and with shock and disbelief, listened to a newscaster announcing that our bank had dramatically collapsed. It was surreal. Alongside the sickening awareness that our life savings were suddenly swallowed up, was the searing insight that I was looking into the face of my worst possible fear. As a child, I had inherited two things from my father, one a strong work ethic and two, the belief that,

"Money does not grow on trees and is hard to come by."

In the past, this kind of situation would have thrown me into complete turmoil and prompted an inner tsunami. However, after years of meditation practices and having learned to view everything as an aspect of my own consciousness, I knew what needed to be done.

First, I accepted the situation as a gift, immediately creating an intention to turn it into a positive, abundant experience.

Second, I wrote a statement in my journal declaring:

"Fine! If we have lost everything, then let this be a beautiful starting point. How do I wish to spend the remainder of my life? What is it that I have always wanted to do and never had the courage to initiate?"

Third, I began to work on the situation energetically.

When I sat quietly and asked:

"How does this financial situation manifest in terms of an image and a metaphor for my life?"

I saw a huge, dark pit, descending deep into the ground. It was potentially terrifying and I knew it had the power to suck me in, draining all my energy and resources. The title I gave it was:

"Bottomless Pit."

Now that I could 'see' it, I declared that I was choosing to respond positively and began directing light to the image, working on reducing the size of the opening. For days and weeks after, every time fear began surfacing in response to lack, I would visualize the hole becoming smaller and smaller until it was completely gone. In its place, rising up and out into the universe, was a strong web of light, like a vast tree, spreading golden limbs into infinity reflecting the truth that the universe gifts us with limitless resources if we believe we are the source of abundance, rather than believing in lack.

The gift of losing everything was amazing. I was finally forced to face my subconscious fears around lack and I had to access the courage to take ownership of what I most wanted to create in my life, centered around sharing my spiritual gifts, skills and talents. Since then, I have come to realize that when we have the courage to BE who we are, rather than hiding in fear, we become the embodiment of abundance and the universe can not help but respond in kind.

Excerpt of Lesson Two: 'From Turmoil to Transformation'-

in conjunction with Daily OM at:

Monday, June 20, 2011


What can be said of love?
That has not been spoken of,
In a million ways,
And on a million tongues?

In vain,
We try giving form,
To the formless,
Like attempting,
To capture light,
In a small glass jar.

Many moons ago,
I thought,
I knew what love was,
But thinking,
Has no part in this.

When I looked,
Into the eyes,
Of the Beloved,
I gave myself,
To infinity.

Once there,
I was captivated,
By the mysteries,
Of worlds,
Within worlds.

There is,
No hope,
For me.

You see,
I am gone,
Having realized,
I am drunkenly,

Monday, June 13, 2011


For one sweet moment,
Just let go,
Of the million thoughts,
Dancing around,
In your mind.

Though enticing,
They will wear you out.

In truth,
You are not,
The captain of any ship,
Deciding where to go.

You are,
The vast ocean,
Of limitless,

There is no need,
To try,
And control,
The stunning beauty,
And mystical nature,
Of who you,
Really are.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Moonson India is not for the faint of heart. Before the rains fall, marked by a sky slashed with fierce lightning and roaring thunder, moisture hangs heavily, pushing through skin, muscle and bone. The body feels as if it is submerged under the weight of an entire ocean and even the smallest movement requires effort.

In truth, I had gone to India with that intention in mind. I had gone looking for the limitless ocean of consciousness, which I was told I already was, yet I was soon challenged by the heat, constant diarrhoea and the rigors of having to admit I was filled to the brim with a slew of dark emotions. In short, Nirvana was not exactly the word I would have chosen to describe the state I was in.

One oppressively hot afternoon, believing I had twenty minutes grace before the heavens opened, I made my way to visit someone I admired enormously. Mr. Patel was a sinewy little man who had set up shop across the street from where I lived and for as little as three rupees, he would iron any item presented to him. Yes, iron! In unrelenting heat and humidity, he would energetically press wrinkles out of fine Indian cotton using a dense, skillet-looking iron.

Mr Patel greeted me with a broad grin, sideways shake and wobble of his head and the usual, "Very good! I am happy to be seeing you!" Then he took the scrap of paper I handed over, noting the clothes I had left with him and disappeared behind a dark curtain.

Several slow, long minutes ticked by interspersed with Mr Patel calling out, "Sorry! Looking, looking," until lightning began filling the sky, seconds ahead of ominous thunder. With that, rain began cascading down, bouncing knee-high off the dusty streets and rattling off cars and motorcycles as they raced by. A welcome and refreshing breeze blew in with the deluge, growing in such strength, the sound began shaking the room with deafening intensity.

Finally, Mr Patel appeared with an armful of beautifully pressed shirts, punjabi's and scarves dangling delicately from metal hangers. He carefully proceeded to take each one off the hanger, laying it flat and folding it with neat precision before placing it on a pile. Then gently wrapping the bundle in thick brown paper, he secured everything together with a length of fine string, knotted and tied in a pretty bow.

By the time he was done and I turned to face the door, the road was awash with knee-deep, dirty water, swirling and cascading in a torrent as it headed downhill toward a nearby village. Behind me, Mr Patel called out, "Monsoon! What to do! Must accept, must accept!" And that said, I realized, there was no option other than to take off my sandals, roll up my cotton pants and wade through the muddy brown river that had formed right outside the door.

Cautiously stepping into the flood, precariously holding my sandals under my arm, brown paper package in one hand and an umbrella in the other, I began laughing at the absurdity of it all. I had given up my job, my friends, family and the comforts of life to come to India and be with an Enlightened Master who I had hoped would show me God.

However, instead of swimming in bliss, my mind had been over-run with doubtful thoughts describing the physical, emotional and psychological distress of being outside my safe, comfort driven environment. Now, here in complete contrast, was a simple 'ironing dhobi,' happily embracing his lot, enjoying the challenges of his life and offering a profound teaching.

With the words, "Accept, accept!" ringing in my ears, I suddenly realized Nirvana was not to be found in exalted states beyond where I was right now. All that was required, was to accept whatever was presenting itself, to really welcome it in and let go of all resistance. Only then, would I be able to be at peace with all that India was generously offering, including intestinal amoebas, oppressive heat and the dramatic, unexpected and delightful wonders of monsoon.

Friday, June 3, 2011


What of success,
If you,
Do not know yourself,
As the limitless One?

What have you attained,
If you have never,
Longed for true freedom?

And what have you gained,
If you have never felt,
The joy of surrender,
And become,
A bamboo flute,
In the hands,
Of the Beloved.


Where I end,
And you begin,
There is no saying.

This is an ocean,
With no shore.

When the small shell,
Of understanding,
Is broken;
We realize,
Everything is You,
The I Am,
There is.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Listening to the thunder,
Thoughts dissolve,
Into the silence,

Right here,
Right now,
I find you,
And lose,
The small self.

This is how it is.

Even when,
I seem to forget;
You appear,
And present,
Your lovely Self,
As a world,
Of different faces,
And a world,
Of different forms.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


When the mind becomes still,
Trust the silence,
Flooding the senses,
Like a vast, limitless ocean,
Tearing down,
Who you think yourself to be.

After all, the wise know,
The doubting mind,
Has no part in this.

Are like pebbles in your shoes,
Which need emptying out,
Before you can take delight,
In a beautiful walk,
With the Beloved.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Why don't you,
Just let go,
Of the million things,
You believe yourself to be?

After all,
Can your thoughts,
Really contain,
The vastness of the sky?

Can your beliefs,
Embrace the ocean?

And can any judgment,
Filled with pride,
Ever love,
The limitless nature,
Of who you really are?

Saturday, April 9, 2011


The end of seeking comes,
When we embrace the courage,
To face the darkness within.

And, pouring light,
Onto what we once feared,
We can love,
All That we are,
In a million forms,
And a million faces.

In this way,
We laugh and play,
All-ways Being,
By every-thing,
And every-One.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Each brave,
Determined step,
Leads us,
Into the labyrinth,
Of our souls.

And though,
We might believe,
The path,
Has taken lifetimes,
In Truth,
We never really left,
The shelter,
Of your embrace.

At journey's end,
We turn to see,
The light,
In your lovely face,
Is the same,
Our own.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


In my little room,
When I light a candle,
And think of you,
I hear the ocean,
Crashing against the shore.

The pure sound,
Calls from afar,
Inviting me,
To let go of thinking,
And dive into the vastness,
That I Am.

Friday, February 11, 2011


There is a bird,
Calling out,
Before the indigo night,
Turns to light.

She knows my secrets,
This little one,
Having seen,
I was with You,
In my dreams.

She knows my secrets,
This little one,
Having seen,
I wake in Your arms.

How can I say,
Where she begins and I end?
When we dance and sparkle,
As one perfect,
Song of love.

Friday, January 14, 2011


When the mind is silent,
The soundless sound,
Rises up,
Through the gateway of the heart,
Rolling in like the ocean,
And flooding the senses.

What a delightful way to drown!
In my little house,
As I sip tea,
The ocean comes calling!

Who am I,
To refuse,
Such vibrant company?

Friday, January 7, 2011


You entered the sanctum of my soul,
Silently taking Your seat.

Were you invited in,
Or did your love,
Break down the door?

The latch easily lifted now,
Welcomes the Beloved,
Strange faces and forms,
They come and go,
Standing before these eyes,
Taking these hands.

Why did You do this to me?
And who have I become,
When all that's left,
Is You.