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.
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:
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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,
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
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
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
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
Audio recordings and printed material from Atum's writings and workshops
are available for download from the separate website...
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: $30.00 U.S. How to order: By email through Jana Legat,