The year of the body--Week 43
in which we realize that before we can create a beautiful life, we need to uninstall the patriarchal thought patterns planted deep in our psyches
Friends, soul writers, mystics, and lovers of prayer,
For 11 years, mystic souls around the world have gathered in mid-November to complete and integrate all that has happened in the year coming to a close in my annual intensive, The Lotus and the Lily.
Each year we go deeper and deeper into mystical magic in this radical event, but this year we’re dropping into a whole new floor in the Mystic packed full of wild magic, including several new experiences.
But before we can get there, we need to first uninstall insidious vestiges of patriarchal thinking that lurk deep in our psyches.
In today’s Notes from the Field, I’d like to tell you the background story of The Lotus and the Lily, talk about how you can begin the process of uninstalling patriarchal patterns, and close with an invitation to join me in The Lotus and the Lily. (Do please take the invitation now. This event always fills.)
Thousands of you have read The Lotus and the Lily and participated in previous gatherings, but many subscribers are new to these Notes from the Field, so let me give you a short introduction.
By the end of 2009, I was facing bankruptcy and desperate to figure out how to turn my life around. I had read dozens of manifestation books but sensed something was missing, something was wrong. But I couldn’t figure out what.
After intense deep soul writing throughout December of 2009, I resolved on January 1 to do something new, something that would somehow create a beautiful 2010. That morning, I picked up Thich Nhat Hahn’s You Are Here and didn't stop reading until I got to this sentence:
“The Buddha said when conditions are sufficient, there is a manifestation.”
Wait. What? You don’t focus on the manifestation; you focus on conditions! I had to know if this was true. If it was, then surely Jesus must have said something along the same lines. But all the manifestation teachers were talking about ask, ask, ask, ask, and attributing that admonition to Jesus.
Nobody was talking about living your conditions.
I wondered, could the Buddha be wrong?
To find out what Jesus actually said, I opened Blessings of the Cosmos by Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz, the great translator of Jesus in his original Aramaic. To help modern English speakers hear Jesus with 1st-century Semitic ears, Dr Klotz offers a glorious 17-line translation of what we hear as “seek first the kingdom.” At the end of his translation complete with a deep dive into Aramaic root words, Dr Klotz writes this summation:
“Here Jesus says that when we pursue a right relationship with the Universal One and allow this relationship to realign our lives, we produce a condition of receptivity in which anything we need to help us complete our purpose in life will be supplied by the universe.”
That’s some kind of promise.
Shift from asking and wanting to allowing a rich relationship with the divine to realign your life. And magic will ensue. Whether you asked for it or not.
That is so not what the manifestation books said.
I was shocked to discover that these two men associated with two radically different religious traditions said the same thing. Shift your focus away from what you think you want—the core premise of the law of attraction and the relentless drumbeat of patriarchy—and toward creating conditions for an intimate relationship with the Sacred.
And the Sacred will take it from there.
Well, I decided then and there to stop worrying about what I thought I wanted in 2010 and focus my attention on living in a relationship of loving trust with my Beloved.
But what would that look like? What were my personal conditions?
I dove into deep soul writing and surfaced twenty minutes later with my six conditions. They felt right to me, but I was afraid I might forget them. So I drew a six-petaled lily at the center of a simple colored pencil mandala and wrote a key word for each condition on the petals.
That was January 1.
On January 2, I stood in front of my mandala and renewed my commitment to not focus on my wants but on living in vibrant, loving relationship with the Divine by speaking aloud my six conditions.
I repeated this simple prayer practice every day in January and on into February. In mid-February, I met the bankruptcy attorney. He asked me a few questions then walked me to the door saying I had made so much money in January, I no longer qualified to declare bankruptcy.
I went home, threw out all my manifestation books and resolved to tell everyone I knew about making a mandala. I offered the first The Lotus and the Lily event that April and have offered it every year since. And oh, how you love it!
The book came out in 2012.
Uninstall Patriarchal Programming
I have now made 11 mandalas. Each year, they invite me to learn something new about their magical properties.
I’ve known since that first mandala that a mandala is not a circle drawn on a piece of paper. It’s a prayer. It’s alive. It’s a sphere. And it spins out into the quantum field gathering people and ideas and situations to nourish the life that wants to be lived in and through and as me. If you’ve been reading these Notes from the Field for several years, you’ve watched a lot of magic unfold. And heard me say over and over again that I didn’t plan any of it.
Well, it just happened again. And in a rather peculiar way.
Last week, I started reading When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut. This astonishing book tells the stories of several groundbreaking mathematicians. Now, I barely passed Algebra my freshman year in high school, so you might not think learning how mathematicians made their discoveries would be a topic a prayer artist would love.
I got the book simply because Sophie Strand recommended it. (Sophie was Mary Magdalene’s champion in The Return of the Witches and is a wild magnificent writer with two books coming on the sacred masculine and the Magdalene next year).
From the first chapter, I felt something happening. By the third, I swear the floor opened and I fell into a strange but glorious room in the Mystic where I began to see the interrelationship between prayer, mandalas, natal charts, and more.
It happened as I read this sentence by Shinichi Mochizuki who created a whole new mathematical system to solve an equation that had never been solved. His fellow mathematicians couldn’t comprehend his solution. Mochizuki wrote:
“If researchers want to apprehend my work, they must first deactivate the thought patterns that they have installed in their brains and taken for granted for so many years.”
I stopped reading and stared off in space as my inner world rearranged itself. It was a moment just like “The Buddha said when conditions are sufficient, there is a manifestation.” Mochizuki may have been talking about mathematics, but I heard “deactivate thought patterns” as the first step in solving the unsolvable problem of patriarchy.
So what has been installed in our brains for thousands of years?
The list is long, and I invite you to ask this question for yourself, but here are a few high points or, more accurately, low points that immediately sprang to mind:
- competition, goals, ambition
- hierarchy, status
- power over, domination
- winning at all costs
- obedience, compliance, conformity
- silence in exchange for safety
- greed, profits
So how do we even begin to uninstall this programming?
This will be a profound exploration for me all next year and beyond, but as soon as I asked the question, these ideas began to surface in deep soul writing:
- shift your experience of time from linear to circular, solar to lunar
- shift your perception of the body from sinful and dirty, to holy and beautiful
- move with the awareness that everything is alive and conscious, nothing is an “it”
- shift from using the active voice to experimenting with the magic in the passive
- shift your attention from achieving goals to allowing yourself to be surprised by what wants to happen
- shift from shopping and acquiring to letting things go, simplifying
- shift from doing and achieving to stopping and allowing
- shift away from time wasted in mass culture to time richly spent in silence, nature, deep soul writing, prayer, deep soul reading, sleep, music, dancing, creativity…
And more, but I hope this short list inspires you to go inside and begin to explore the subtle—or not so subtle—programming running in the background.
This is not a quick fix.
You were born into patriarchal programming and it can be a lifetime’s work just to recognize it. But once you decide to begin, things and ideas and possibilities come your way.
One of those might be The Lotus and the Lily this year. Because we are going to do all 8 of those shifts and more in our intensive.
- We are going to begin to use a moon calendar, a gift from April McMurtry, founder of The Moon is My Calendar.
- We are going to sanctify our bodies with daily full-body anointing.
- We are going to experience the unexpected messages and insights that emerge walking a finger labyrinth.
- We are going to look back at 2021 to uncover what really happened.
- We are going to consciously embrace the radical possibilities in celestial events throughout November and December.
- We are going to learn how to locate and understand the profound soul wisdom of the MC on your Natal Chart. It holds the key to moving in peace through the chaos ahead.
- To create space for a beautiful 2022, we will cleanse and release 2021 with the Hawaiian shamanic prayer practice of Hana I Ka Pono with Kahu Lahela.
- And it all culminates in making a magical mystical mandala that holds our conditions for the life that wants to be lived in 2022.
And through it all, we will explore the truth of prayer: you are not praying, you are being prayed.
That is about as anti-patriarchal as you can get!
When that mystical wisdom of prayer really lands in your body as real and true, you will discover that you have unplugged the patriarchal programming you were supposed to swallow whole.
And with that obstruction out of the way, a radically different and beautiful 2022 can and will walk in the front door.
Join The Lotus and the Lily
This intensive gathers on 5 Mondays at 7-9:15pm Eastern starting November 15.
For our UK/Europe members, there is a Watch Party on Thursdays at 7pm UK/8pm Europe.
There is also a special Hana I Ka Pono event on Saturday, Dec 4 at 2pm. And a Mandala celebration on Sunday, January 9 at 2pm Eastern.
Be sure to look at all the delightful new bonus videos.
All the details, schedule, introductory video and registration are on this page on my website.
to welcoming the magic that comes when patriarchal programming is no longer in control