Tonight Ini & I had a heart council. New Moon in Taurus. Time of earthy, grounded, materialistic beginnings. We follow in the tradition we learned at OUR ecovillage by a teacher from the Ojai Foundation. It opens us up, lets more mystery into our conscious awareness, usually heals & clarifies. Tonight we did it in the bath. Bright blue skies transform after the rain. The grass is bright green. The sun sets casting a mysterious hue.

We hold a talking piece in our hands throughout the council. It signifies, this is my turn to talk. Tonight we used a big chunk of citrine. Inherent in heart council is speaking from the heart as well as not planning what you’re going to say before the talking piece comes to you. This way container truths are able to rise organically, informed from one person to the next. And how easy is it to truly listen when we know what we are going to say? In this way, council encourages the inherent value of each person’s wisdom in the moment. As I said, magical, simple & profound truths can come from this.

As I held the large chunk of citrine, I immediately went back to the thought of where I got the stone. In the town of Pisaq, Peru, there was a shaman-man-meditating-in-his-store around a huge pile of rocks. I walked by this store each day as I was going to the market, the internet cafe, around town, etc and I eventually kept hearing from an inner whisper that I needed to go in there. I didn’t know why, but I knew, for whatever reason, that I was being called to. So one afternoon I followed the call, went in and sat down under the auspices of buying some stones.

Of course I also told him I felt a pull to come into the shop. This was a real stretch for my spanish, as we then started having a spiritual conversation and hitherto I’d only had conversations about food and other basic things in spanish. Ah yes! to describe and hear of spiritual path in a second language! Nevertheless, I mentioned I was going to the jungle to engage with ayahuasca. Then he said – and this is the reason I believe I was led to talk with him- You will find nothing outside of yourself. Everyone (as he points outside his door to the busy street) is searching outside of themself for peace, for happiness, for something to make their life worthwhile. You will not find it. You can only find it inside. Peace is found within. Only you can have this. You will never find it outside. And ayahuasca will not show you yourself; you will only be meeting a plant.

I was taken aback by this as he had many ayahuasca symbols around his shop, as many of the shamanic vendors in Peru do, yet I also knew the truth in what he was saying. Hadn’t it also been my experience that I cannot find peace outside of myself? I cannot find lasting happiness, either. Or anything, really, to satisfy me inside for long. This had been my experience, too. I thanked him. Told him I was glad I had listened to my spirit guides and visited him. We prayed. He blessed me. And I blessed him, too, and still bless him now. I’m thankful for the reinforcement that he shared with me.

Ini & I are setting off to find land. It is a little crazy. To us, even. We have two dowsing rods made from a coat hanger and two bic pens to help us find our way. I was inspired to do this after reading Helen and Scott Nearing’s story of them finding land in similar fashion (plus this method also confirmed/led us in our journey to Peru). We are led on our journey through belief in our finding it. And did you know that last last year (2012) when I set off on my bike trip up the coast from LA to BC, Canada, that I was also looking for land then, too? Instead I found a partner, which is good for homesteading too. And you know what else is true: if we are on our path it is more likely we’ll meet people to collaborate with us in similar vision than if we are not living our dreams.

So now, from the peace-within crystal-man I hear & integrate the old wisdom,  peace is within you- you cannot find it outside, & the balance of this which is, for me, making home (creating external space for peace to manifest) in external realm. As I am speaking this in the bathtub facing Ini, citrine in hand, I see two bottles behind his head with the word Grace on it (you know, the bodycare product line), and I think, Aha, the two graces: the balance of inner & outer home. Home without is complemented by home within & neither can exist or grow without the other. Like yin/yang they flow in continual mutually supported/informed embrace. These are my two graces of this journey.

We do have many options to join things that we already know about: land shares, ecovillages, intentional communities, yet there is something that presses us to set off on our own. To create the land project- collaborating with local community, yes- that wants to come through us. To grow plants, start nurseries, make fucking awesome soil, build straw bale structures. To make home. We set off with a complexly simple dream, realizing that failure is possible. But, after all, failure is only failure. Where as to not try is to allow something to sit inside of you forever maybe. To not try is to allow dreams to stagnate & possibly die. And we all know that the world needs more active dreamers. Why not give it a try? All of life is an experiment. The worst we can do is start again. And the best… well, that’s currently only in our dreams. And there’s a chance…

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