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TAO/MITAKUWE OYAS'IN  Vol. 39 (Aug/Sept 2012 Issue)



From Denean: Shaking the Tree (Part One)

This Issue's Featured Song: "The Tree"

Breath Focused Meditation

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Shaking the Tree (Part One)

A ficus (fig) tree in Galilee at the entrance to the grounds of the Church of the Primacy of St Peter

Photo credits: TANKA/Kibbutz Maagan Michael

Several years ago I did a newsletter called "Fruit From the Tree" with excerpts from a little book I was working on at the time of the same title (still haven't gotten around to finishing that book).  Trees have played a big part in my life and have been a wonderful metaphor for my spiritual journey.  As a child I would talk to the trees and sometimes they would talk to me too:-) 


In the beginning of this path...the path of leaving Nashville and following the calling of healing music, again trees played a very significant part.  In one of the most difficult and challenging times of my life, trees gave me strength, teaching me to stand rooted in my be true to who I was, whatever that proved to be. In the featured song section below you can read more about that story.  But first, here is an excerpt about trees from "Fruit From the Tree" (Poems and Ponderings of The Tao) by Denean (A work in progress):



The Wu Wei Tree

I danced upon the spiral of life to find my way to this this this time. 

Patterns, beliefs...flesh and bone...a sturdy tree...

with years of challenge and adversity that have allowed me to grow in my own way...

in the Creator's arrive at this place of my Divine Destiny...

changing patterns, re-arranging beliefs, stripping away all that is false

to reveal my authentic Self...

All found on the path of least resistance...the path of acceptance, and of virtue... 

The path of wu wei (woo way)...doing non-doing.

So come rest awhile in my shade...and listen...

Partake not merely of the fruit that is offered

but plant its seed deep in your heart, that it may grow there...

and nourish your soul.

Teachings From The Tree

"That which is rooted is easy to nourish" Ch. 64 Tao Te Ching

This also implies "That which is not rooted is difficult to nourish."

A strong tree  has deep strong roots. 

Being "rooted" means being centered in oneself. When our energy becomes "other-centered", the flow that was meant for us is going to wherever or whomever we have given ourselves up to.  The more off-centered we are, the more our energy is scattered.  The blocks to our "flow" stem from this "other-centeredness". 


The center of one's being is like the connecting point or opening through which the universe is able to nourish.  If we place this "center" with another being, then the energy goes to that person instead.  Actually it doesn't have to be a person.  It can be a memory or pattern from our past or childhood, or it can be concern and worry over the future.


Anything that takes us out of present-time...this taking us away from our center, thus dispersing our energy flow and making it extremely difficult for the universe to nourish us in the way we were intended to be nourished. 


It is inner calm and stillness that give us strong root within ourselves.

Contemplate the stillness of trees...

In contemplating and re-reading these years of newsletter articles recently, it occurred to me that this tree that I am has continued to bear fruit and that it would be nice to collect some of those teachings in this series.


So let's "shake that tree" and see what we find:

What Is Faith? (from Vol. 1)

Faith is knowing that what you pray for from the heart of your being is taking place now.  It is understanding that you are one with that which you have faith it must be!

Desire, on the other hand, is placing that which you pray for outside of yourself as something you are reaching for. This separates you from God. It is a position of "not having", so it creates that same lack and obstructs you from that which you desire.

The prayers of faith are for the broader understanding of what is right and good;  peace, harmony, justice, and wisdom...

Faith is a receptive state.

Faith accepts "what is" without resistance.

Faith accepts in humility.

Real faith is the alignment of the soul with its Source.  When we align our soul with its Source, we come to understand ourselves as spiritual beings in an organic temple.  From this place we come to know ourselves as Sacred and Holy Beings of Light...and here we begin to understand our Divine Nature.


Allow faith to disassemble the resistance and obstructions in your conditioning and genetic memory, that you may experience the harmonious flow of life!



Keys to Forgiveness (from Vol. 2 and 3)

So many times we say we want to forgive, but the truth is we may be more invested in holding on to our emotional judgement than in letting go.  The instant we become angry, we have allowed the principle of darkenss into ourselves.  As human beings, we all have our moments of anger.  But the real problem occurs when we continue to indulge in these emotions, considering them harmless and inviting...and finding a sort of "delight" in our indulgence.  We may think that by such dallying we will come to no harm, so we do not consider it dangerous.


It is because we do not consider it dangerous that we yield to temptation and lend it power. If we resisted the temptation to indulge from the start, the darkness of negative emotion could never gain such influence.


By our indulgence, the darkness grows in its momentum within our mind, body and emotion, darkening the light within.  It casts its shadow over our clarity, leaving us in ever deeper states of mental/emotional disturbance and confusion.  Thus peace and innocence are lost to us.


So when we find ourselves in such a state, how do we make our way back to the peace that was lost?


Here are the keys that were presented in this original two part newsletter:


Key #1: Recognize and own the need to forgive.


Key #2: Take responsibility for your part in the situation.


Key #3: Acceptance.


Key #4: Commitment to yourself (willingness to forgive).


Key #5: Practice non-judgment.


Key #6: Stay in the present moment.


Key #7: Understand the true meaning of virtue and live it:

(Recognizing the distinction between emotion and Truth is absolutely critical in true spiritual development.  Clarity in understanding this distinction and making a clear, conscious decision and commitment of will to stand in the Truth and to act on that Truth when faced with the choice...this is the true meaning of virtue.)


Key #8: Understand that "forgive" is a is an act of maintenance.


Key #9: Align words and actions. (If we wish to influence others we must first influence ourselves.  Our words must be supported by our entire conduct.)


To read the full original issues with more on each key:  

Keys to Forgiveness Part I           Keys to Forgiveness Part II




Until next time when we "shake that tree" some more...

to be continued...




Nothing has taught me more about coming to stillness than trees.  Just go out into the forest and sit silently amongst them and listen.  That is all you need to do and you will understand what I mean.  If you cannot do that at the moment, then just imagine yourself there and come to quiet as we do the following:


Sit in a comfortable position with your feet on the floor and your back straight (it can be supported) and your hands in your lap.  Close your eyes, relax, and simply breath.  As you do so, focus only on the rise and fall of your chest or belly. Focus only on this movement of your breathing.  Sit quietly doing nothing but this.  Try to remain perfectly still as you allow your body and your mind to come to quiet.  If thoughts arise, simply observe them.  Label them if you wish, then just let them go as you gently return your focus to your breathing (use general labels such as thinking, emotion, itching, pain, etc).


Try to do this first for short sessions of 10-15 minutes gradually increasing your time to 30 minutes to an hour or whatever is comfortable to you.


Doing this once or twice daily will greatly enhance your awareness and your ability to be present to your Divine Self.


This Issue's Featured Song:



This song will be available for listening until the next newsletter issue (approx. Oct. 1, 2012)

Well, of course, what other song could it be than "The Tree" from Fire Prayer. Although I have featured this song before, it should certainly have an honored place on this page. The particular oak tree referred to in this song was located at a very special place that was on the same land as a healing center I was frequenting at the time.  It was a crisis threshold point in my life...dealing with matters of life and death...where the decisions I was about to make would impact the rest of my life as well as the music I was to create for the future (I was making headroads in the country/pop scene in Nashville at the time).  This was the turning point of realization regarding my true purpose and the meaning behind the musical gifts I had been given...what they were really meant to be used for.


At a particular low point...actually I can say the lowest point of my life...I went to this tree, which was my favorite place.  As I prayed and the tears fell, I asked for the strength to stand tall like that tree and the ability to surrender completely the past I was to leave behind...the ability to be rooted and centered like that tree.  As I prayed, there were very real "invisible arms" that surrounded me and embraced me in the most beautilful and unconditional love I have ever experienced.  I really have no words to adequately describe that experience.


Some time later, I was called by Spirit to return there.  As I began walking up to the place where the tree had stood, my heart sank.  My beautiful tree had been cut down.  I was in shock to say the least.  As I cried for my friend, I was guided to stand up on its trunk, so I did.  I stood, with my arms wide open and just allowed the Creator and the tree to speak to me.  The message was that the tree had given its life to gave me the strength, the courage, the lessons of complete surrender...all for me to take out into the world and share through the music that I was destined to create.  The tree said it was immobile and could not move from its place, but that I could.  It heard the deep yearnings of my soul.  It gave itself to me and I know in my heart that it helped me to live and to make it through those deeply challenging times.  (Note:  I later learned from a friend, who went back to investigate the circumstances behind why this tree was cut down, that it truly was dying.  That is why it was being cut it down.)


To view the lyrics for "The Tree" click on this link.

Current News & Announcements

As I believe is likely true or all of us these days, my plate is very full at the moment.  I'm making some progress with the new album but having a few personal "side roads" demanding attention along the way.  As the saying goes "If you want to make God laugh, show her your plan".  I'll keep you posted :-)




Thank you for your continued support of this website as a vehicle to nourish the spirit of the people.

Mitakuwe Oyas’in (Translated "All My Relations Included"),

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