from the Spiritual Garden
a website for those around the world interested in the programs of Atum O'Kane

Deeper Story
Public Programs


"The Mandala Pilgrimage: An Inner Journey" — begins November 30–December 3, 2017 — Petaluma, CA, USA

Sufi Camp in Mexico — January 6–13, 2018 — near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

"Integrating the Human and Divine: Our Call to a Greater Consciousness" — January 26–28, 2018 — Ann Arbor, MI USA

International Gathering of the Spiritual Guidance Wisdom School — March 1–4, 2018 — Oaxaca, Mexico

"Oaxaca Pilgrimage" — February 26–28, 2018 — Oaxaca, Mexico

"Oaxaca Pilgrimage" — March 5–11, 2018 — Oaxaca, Mexico

"The Alchemy of Transformation" — begins March 22–25, 2018 — Charlottesville, VA USA

"Archetypal Dimensions of Spiritual Guidance" — begins April 12–15, 2018 — Spokane, WA USA

"Time of Transition" — June 24–29, 2018 — Hollyhock, Cortes Island, BC, CANADA

"The Gift of Grace In Life, Love, and Service" — June 29–July 4, 2018 — Hollyhock, Cortes Island, BC, CANADA

Pilgrimage — "Bhutan: The Land of Loving-Kindness" — September 6–22, 2018 — Bhutan

Pilgrimage — "Nepal: The Eyes of the Buddha" — September 23–October 4, 2018 — Nepal

Pilgrimage to Brazil, 2019


Atum O'Kane:
Stories of Encounters & Experiences on the Journey


"Zalman Schachter"

"Divine Feminine"

"Pir Vilayat Khan"

"Soul Dreams"

The Deeper Story #20, November 2017

"Frances Vaughan: A Gracious Wisdom-Holder"

The Deeper Story Archives

The Deeper Story #16, November 2016

“From Finite Disappointment to Infinite Hope”

Thomas Atum O'Kane

Audio Recording and Additional Resources for the Spiritual Guidance Community
in the Aftermath of the US Election of 2016

Blessings Dear Friends,

Shortly after the elections I was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to teach the final section of the Mandala Pilgrimage training. In the recording linked below you will hear our first hour of meeting together. Everyone arrived with overwhelming gratitude that we had our spiritual community to journey with in this dark time—we profoundly knew the reality of finding refuge in our Sanga. With this amazing community, we journeyed for four days—from shock, disorientation, fear, anger, and sadness—to deep empowerment. Underlying all of these feelings was a profound concern for the environment, minorities, women, the poor, the elders, healthcare, global politics, peace in the world, the example of lack of moral character being presented to our children, and especially the apparent setback to an emerging global consciousness. We journeyed from a kind of despair to a solidly rooted re-dedication to actively standing for our spiritual values. The Holy Fire emerged in us out of the ashes of disillusionment.

We were very aware to not demonize the people who voted for Trump, and sought to more fully understand their fears and desires. Michigan is a state with a large population of working poor, especially white blue-collar workers. One of our members read from the Facebook page of a long-lost friend who is a Trump supporter. She is battling cancer; her husband has worked two jobs for years as they faced vast financial problems; they are concerned whether their son, after he graduates from college, will ever find a job in the state. Ever since the collapse of several industries in Michigan decades ago, there has been a desperation among many from this background.

We have never so deeply appreciated what President Obama and Michelle accomplished, modeled, represented, and symbolized. One of our members found a quote from Martin Luther King that we all will carry to sustain us in the days ahead: "We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope." Remember, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over 2,000,000 votes and still counting. We are not alone. I hope this first hour of a journey that helped us move back toward our infinite hope will touch and help you as well.

Love and amazing gratitude to all of you, for being such a sustaining and inspiring community.


Audio recording: Opening Hour of the Final Session of The Mandala Pilgrimage Program Ann Arbor, MI, 10 November 2016

Additional Resources:

  • Video clip: Stepping in to Save a Man Being Beaten at Anti-KKK Rally

  • from Thomas Moore: Are You Anxious About the State of the World?, 2 Nov 2016

    Many people today are anxious about the state of the world. They find their global anxiety affecting their everyday lives. Here are some suggestions for dealing with that anxiety:

    1. Don't participate fully in modern culture. You can be an active, concerned citizen of your nation and the world without giving yourself entirely to the values of modern life. You can be eccentric, not fully part of the crowd. You could be part recluse or in other ways resist the enticements of the society,
    2. Get your news from a fresh, intelligent source. You can use the Internet for your own individuality by looking for penetrating news analysis from an especially good source anywhere in the world.
    3. Intensify your relationship with the natural world. Nature offers a stable base for your everyday life. Wherever you live, seek out a special place where you can retreat often. Nature gives a more expansive view of time. Part of this new world anxiety comes from not having a broad sense of history, which in turn might give you some peace, knowing that current conditions always change.
    4. Contemplate eternal things. Meditate or find other ways to stay in touch with the great universe of which you are a part. Participate in any spiritual rituals that suit you and give you a vast perspective. Anxiety comes in part from too narrow a point of view.
    5. Concentrate on your world—your work, your friendships, your home and activities that give you joy and relaxation. You can live a satisfying life even if the world around you is going through a transformative phase in which it is corrupting and falling apart.
    6. Make the arts part of your life. Any of the arts, especially those that suit you in particular, deepen your point of view and activate emotions that are timeless. They usually bring your attention toward profound issues that really matter, instead of the passive political scene.
    7. Make your own unique contribution, however small, to your times and your world. If your world is in trouble or going through rough passages, you can find satisfaction from getting involved in causes important to you. They don't have to aim at fixing the problem that makes you anxious but only make the world a better place. It may be important for you to do something constructive.

    Sometimes anxiety comes from feeling the victim of events. In that case it may be a form of masochism, not having enough power and letting leaders dominate you rather than lead. You may feel that you have no power to change things, but that feeling is probably an aspect of your habit of relating to power. You may typically give away too much control to others and feel world events as overwhelming you.

    If you are feeling victimized, the best thing to do is to two-pronged: Find deeper ways to submit: for example, to the will of God or to the Tao, the way things go in life. You can find effective power through greater submission. The second part of this is to get in touch with your own strength. Again, it doesn't have to be in direct relationship with the issue that is worrying you but with your own personal strength. Have some power in your own world, and anxiety about the world in general can find its relative importance in your life.

    Of course, you can always transform anxiety about the world situation into active efforts to make the world a better place. Whoever you are, you can always use your imagination to have an impact on the very issues that concern you. Maybe you haven't been active or used your voice to change what you see as negative and dangerous. Sometimes the smallest act that comes from deep in the heart can move people enough to initiate change.

    Throughout your anxiety you can cultivate a larger vision and dedicate yourself even more to values that you cherish. Hiding or being too quiet only makes the anxiety worse, because those postures are weak. Anxiety can express your weakness and failure to tap into your strength. Like everyone else, you have your own sources of power that can transform anxiety into action.

    Social activism has a broad range and takes many forms. Be active in ways that suit you, ways that may not always look so active but have the potential to change minds. Your passion, linked to your intelligence and expressed in ways that are natural to you, can change the world.

  • From Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

    My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

    You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

    I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

    Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

    In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

    We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

    Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

    What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

    One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

    Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

    The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

On-Line Teachings

Audio recordings and printed material from Atum's writings and workshops
are available for download from the separate website...

Currently available:

"Field of Consciousness in a Spiritual Guidance Relationship"
An 87 page book (pdf format), combined with Atums presentation: "Constellation of Archetypes in the Field of Spiritual Guidance" recorded in 2007 at the Boulder gathering of the International Spiritual Guidance Community (
mp3 format).

"International Gathering of the Spiritual Guidance Community, Los Gatos CA, April 21-24, 2011"
Recordings featuring Atum’s program on "the Four Worlds of Soul", and a presentation by Frances Vaughan (mp3 format).

Also available:

The Good Seeds Cards
The Good Seeds Cards have been created to accompany Atum's "Good Seeds Rosary Prayer Beads For A New Consciousness" program. They are not available to the general public. The proceeds of each set will go to the Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle. Each card carries an image rich in color and association. On the back of each of the forty cards is one of Atum's seed quotes. Cost: $20.00 U.S. How to order: By email through Jana Legat,

Atum O’Kane: In the Garden of Well-Being

If you experience problems or have suggestions for this website, please send email to These messages are read and answered by the person maintaining the website. Please do not send personal messages meant for Atum to this address. ©2016 Thomas Atum O'Kane