spirituality

Reconnecting with the Rituals of Everyday Life

We are all connected, but only when we are following our own intuition and powers of imagination can we tune into that connection. Over the winter, I moved into a new office in town. A small space to work without subjecting my family to quiet times because mommy has a work call. I have always worked from home, but until our move to Wyoming I had a shared work space to escape to, be creative in, and just allow the ideas swirling around in my head a place to land.

I shared a space in a women’s creative collective when we lived in Texas. The women there were photographers, bakers, antique dealers, makeup artists, and yours truly. I took over the old kitchen space that had its prior life as a doctors office and before that a residence for the family who owned the pharmacy downstairs in the early 1900s.

I transformed my space from a kitchen into a workshop, with a farm table for a desk and old doors as a wall, and the kitchen became a place to be inspired with vintage linens, plants, and rusty garden decor. A vintage chandelier illuminated the space in a soft glow.

It became a place that everyone’s clients wanted to meet in to discuss creative projects. You could not help but be pulled into the space. It had a soul. You could feel the love of a space that spent almost a hundred years as the hub of home.

It will not surprise you as members of a connected community, that I received a message from a friend half a world away this week, that simply said “ ...I am feeling something inside of you needing expression…”

I had just started decorating my office earlier that very day. I needed that inspired space from my days at the collective and its energy back around me. I went in search of vintage furniture to bring life to my office. I am always drawn to pieces that have had a life before they reached me.

…I find too often the ideas of transcendence expressed on a cosmic scale rather than a human one, and in language which would need to be translated, or perhaps illuminated, just as ancient psalm books were illuminated by the monks throughout the Middle Ages and the earlier days of the Faith. - Dorothy Day


Our connections to our lives, past and present, often reconnect as we step back in time, and practice the rituals of life. I remember hearing the sound of the sewing machine as my mother created a softer, more beautiful home for all of us, or the sound of the lawn mower knowing my father was hard at work keeping nature in perfect symmetry.

Take time this week to reconnect with the rituals of life housed in your memory. Your efforts will ripple through the world of our connected community.


Shakespeare and the New Ideals - Rudolf Steiner

Receiving Shakespeare into our minds and souls might therefore be the very stimulus to give us men and women of today the power, the inner impulse to follow ideals, to follow real, spiritual ideals. We shall see our true ideals aright if we bear in mind how transitory many modern ideals have been and are, and how magnificently firm are many old ideals that still hold their own in the world by their effectiveness.
— Rudolf Steiner, APRIL 23, 1922

Education and the Moral Life

Today we have anthropology and we have psychology.

Anthropology’s main concern is the abstract observation of the

physical aspect of the human being, while that of psychology

is the abstract observation of the human soul and spirit as

entities separate from the physical body. What is missing is the

anthroposophical perspective, which observes the human

being—body, soul, and spirit—as a unity; a point of view that

shows everywhere how and where spirit is flowing into matter,

sending its forces into material counterparts.

- Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy Part 2


Education and the Moral Life

Rudolf Steiner

STUTTGART — MARCH 26, 1923

Everyone involved to any degree at all in social life will certainly feel that the moral aspect is one of the most important aspects in the entire field of education. At the same time, one realizes that it is precisely this aspect that is the most subtle and difficult one to handle, for it relates to the most intimate area of education.

I have already emphasized that educational practice needs to be built on real knowledge of, and insight into, the human being. The comprehension, perception and observation that I tried to characterize last night will give the knowledge necessary to train the child’s cognitional capacities. Practically speaking, knowledge of the human being, supported by the science of the spirit, will enable one to reach, more or less easily, the child’s powers of cognition. One will be able to find one’s way to the child. If, on the other hand, one wishes to appeal to a child’s artistic receptivity as described yesterday, which is equally important, it is necessary to find a way to each child individually, to have a sense for the way various children express themselves from an artistic comprehension of the world. When it comes to moral education, all of one’s skill for sensitive observation and all of one’s intimate psychological interest must be kept in mind, so that all the teacher’s knowledge of the human being and of nature can be put at the service of what each child brings forth individually. To reach children in a moral way, the only choice is to approach each child on an individual basis. However, with regard to moral education, yet another difficulty has to be overcome—that is, an individual’s sense of morality can only be appealed to through full inner freedom and with full inner cooperation.

This requires that educators approach moral teaching so that, when later in life the students have passed the age of formal education, they can feel free as individuals in every respect. What teachers must never do is to pass on to developing students the relics of their own brand of morality or anything derived from personal sympathies or antipathies in the moral realm. We must not be tempted to give our own ethical codes to young people as they make their way into life, since these will leave them unfree when it becomes necessary that they find their own moral impulses. We must respect and acknowledge the young person’s complete inner freedom, particularly in the realm of moral education. Such respect and tolerance truly demand a great deal of selflessness from educators, and a renunciation of any self-interest. Nor is there, as is the case in all other subject matters, the opportunity of treating morality as a subject in its own right; as such, it would be very unfruitful. The moral element must be allowed to pervade all of one’s teaching.

Materialism and Spirituality—Life and Death

Materialism and Spirituality— Life and Death Berlin, February 6 , 1917

Rudolf Steiner

Let us turn our thoughts, dear friends, as we continually do, to the guardian spirits of those who are absent from us, taking their place where the great destinies of the time are being fulfilled:

Spirits ever watchful, Guardian of their souls!

May your vibrations waft

To the Earth human beings committed to your charge

Our souls’ petitioning love:

That, united with your power,

Our prayer may helpfully radiate

To the souls it lovingly seeks!


And to the spirits of those who have passed through the gate of death:


Spirits ever watchful, Guardians of their souls!

May your vibrations waft

To human beings of the spheres committed to your charge

Our souls’ petitioning love:

That, united with your power,

Our prayer may helpfully radiate

To the souls it lovingly seeks!


And that Spirit, Who for the healing of the Earth and for her progress,

and for the freedom and salvation of humankind, passed through

the Mystery of Golgotha;

The Spirit whom in our spiritual science we seek,

to whom we would draw near,

May he be at your side in all your difficult tasks!

Let me first express the deep satisfaction I have in being able to be once more in your midst. I would have come earlier, but for an urgent need, that kept me in Dornach until the work on “The Group” had reached a point at which it could be continued without me. You have often heard me speak of “The Group,” which will stand in the east end of the Goetheanum and presents the Representative of Humanity in relation to ahrimanic forces on the one hand, and on the other to luciferic forces. These days, one needs forethought for the future, and it seemed to me absolutely necessary, considering what may happen, to make that progress with “The Group” before leaving Dornach, which has now been possible. Furthermore, the times are certain to bring home to us with particular intensity the fact that meeting with one another here on the physical plane is not the only thing that sustains and strengthens us in the impulse of spiritual science. Rather, we must be born up through this difficult time of sorrow and trial by coming together in our anthroposophic efforts, even if together only in spirit. And indeed, this very thing is to be the test for our anthroposophic efforts.

Since we were together here previously, we have had to lament the loss from the physical plane of our dear Ms. Motzkus, as well as other dear friends who have left the physical plane because of the current terrible events. It is especially painful to see Ms. Motzkus no longer among the friends who have shared our anthroposophic efforts here for so many years. She had been 1 These meditations were repeated at the beginning of each lecture in the series. Materialism and Spirituality—Life and Death 3 a member of our movement since its beginning. From the first day, from the first meeting of a very small circle, she always showed the deepest and most heartfelt devotion to our movement and participated intimately and earnestly in all the phases it went through, in all its times of trial and testing. Above all, through the events and changes through which we had to pass, she preserved an invincible loyalty to the movement in the deepest sense of the word—loyalty through which she set an example to all those who would wish to be worthy members of the anthroposophic movement. Thus, with our gaze we follow this beloved and pure soul into the spiritual worlds to which she has ascended, still feeling toward her the bond of trust and confidence that has grown stronger and deeper over the years, knowing that our own souls are linked with hers forever. . . . Read more


A Path Towards Contemporary Meditative Practice

Lessons of the Michael School

owen-rupp-759225-unsplash.jpg



Long unavailable to the general public, these “esoteric lessons and mantras” represent Rudolf Steiner’s final word on the appropriate spiritual path for those who desire to engage in a contemporary and initiatory meditative practice, a path of self-knowledge leading to world knowledge, enabling anyone earnestly willing to enter into the experience and understanding of the spiritual realities that surround us.

From his earliest days in the Theosophical Society, Rudolf Steiner, hoping to create a society of meditators, worked diligently toward this goal with a limited number of individuals in what was then called “The Esoteric School.”* In one form or another this School endured until the First World War, after which, except for a few meetings, it ceased to exist—until the re-founding of the Anthroposophical Society over Christmas/New Year 1923/24, when it was reborn, now under the aegis of the Archangel Michael, in a quite different form as The First Class. (There were to be two more classes, but Rudolf Steiner died.)

In his lifetime, Rudolf Steiner insisted that the Lessons not be printed in any form. But over the years, so many pirated versions containing multiple errors and falsifications appeared, that the decision was made to print an official version, but access to it was severely limited. Rudolf Steiner certainly believed, however, that esoteric knowledge and teaching should not be withheld from the general public but be made generally available to anyone who sought it—as this edition is.

These Lessons, given and appearing under the sign of the Archangel Michael and thus sometimes also called “the lessons of the Michael School”—or the “Michael Lessons”—must be reckoned as one of Rudolf Steiner’s deepest gifts to posterity. Though the path the Lessons present is “esoteric,” no one should for this reason feel excluded. Indeed, anyone who has found sustenance in earlier works such as “How to Know Higher Worlds” or “Theosophy” should feel themselves fully prepared and invited to enter the transformative world of the Lessons.

As Thomas Meyer writes in his introduction to the present edition:

The prerequisites for taking this path are a will fired by a healthy common sense and a healthy trust in the human capacity to develop and enter into the field of spiritual knowledge.

The path described here stretches over nineteen lessons, or levels, that will perhaps be challenging to many seekers. It is however a secure path. Those who enter upon this path strengthen themselves to meet the dangers of self-illusion, such as grandiosity and vanity.

What Makes a Great Teacher?

Drlakshmiprasannausteacherretreatjune2018

A conversation with Dr. Lakshmi Prasanna about her upcoming residential retreat in Sacramento, left me wanting to understand more about a spiritual path for teachers towards thinking and knowing.

As she described her event, I was struck that it was a beginning of a journey for the participants and their teachers. It is uncomfortable, intense and freeing at the same  time. There is no prerequisite to this training other than to be open and willing, but that does not mean it will be easy. As with any transformational experience, you will feel the joy of discovery and the fatigue as well.

As I asked her to explain the process of her retreat, I felt her words with great intensity and curiosity to understand more from this great teacher. I knew it was a new level of learning, not because I had read a study or found evidence in a scientific journal, but because my intuitive mind was open enough to receive it. 

Being open is unnerving and exciting. It is also the gateway to learning.

She like many great healers, speaks on a different level, not intellectually superior, but rather spiritually higher. It is a process that allows the ideas and sensations to come to you as your sleep and digest them. You will begin to unravel them long after the conversation or class ends. You will,  as I did this morning, have moments of 'oh...that is what she meant'.

As we learn from teachers like Lakshmi, we begin to exercise our patience muscles that we had in our first years of life. It is like being born into a new awareness, and as with any birth you must have patience, heal from the process of growing and birthing, and resting after your release. It is this resting that allows you to connect with her teaching and you begin to learn. You begin to learn to connect with the spirit of your inner knowledge and your personal beliefs, your intuitive intellect. This way of knowing that is yours and yours alone.  

To become a great teacher, you must be connected with your intuitive intellect, your way of knowing the world. 

It is the only way to teach, guide, and love.

To become a great teacher, you need a great teacher.

She’s doing the work, asking the questions, and doing that heart-thinking thing I’ve been hearing so much about. Reading this was like talking with a close friend. My heart feels warmed. People who went to see her lecture said that about her: she’s just embodied love, and you feel it in the room when she’s there. Hooray for love.
— Reader Review: Autism Meet Me Who I Am -Andrew via GoodReads April 2018

It is the space of love that she brings us her work and also makes the experience of speaking to her so precious. I felt like I was able to go to my village elder and seek guidance, wisdom, and love even though I never asked for any of those things. She exudes this essence, it comes from her as she connects to you.

Dr. Lakshmi Prasanna, is a true gift to the world and her retreats are a gateway into the question, what is it to be human?' something I believe Steiner himself would consider a creative force.

You can join Dr. Lakshmi Prassana in her US based retreat in Sacramento, June 18-22, 2018. Space is limited, so sign up today. You will begin a journey to a new way of knowing to guide the children in your care. A spiritual gift of a lifetime.