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Earth Changes Update

(Earth Changes, Edgar Cayce Readings) Permanent link

Earth Changes Update
By Laura Jackson

In the last two weeks of February, 2013, we have witnessed profound changes to the earth. There have been a record number (and magnitude) of earthquakes along the Ring of Fire, which encompasses the Santa Cruz Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia, Kermadec Islands, Japan, Chile, and Colombia. Tsunamis from the Santa Cruz earthquakes have washed away villages. The number lost? Unknown.

Mt. Etna -Wikimedia Commons.

We have seen increased activity at Mt. Etna, already an active volcano but cited in Cayce’s readings as a precursor to coming earth changes activity. There has been significant solar activity. A meteorite exploded over central Russia injuring an estimated 1,200 people. A Pope has "stepped down" from the Vatican for the first time in 600 years. And following the Pope’s announcement, lightning hits the top of the Vatican building. Coincidence? And not the least of which, North Korea detonated a nuclear device underground.  Compounding North Korea's detonation is the close proximity to where four tectonic plates converge along the Ring of Fire.

Solar fare blog 032013
Stellar flare - Wikimedia Commons.

Some might ask, how are these vastly different events connected?

Where should I begin? Let me start by connecting the dots. As we interweave the prophecy of Edgar Cayce's readings, modern science, and quantum physics, we find a deeper, more connected understanding. It enables us to embrace this extraordinary time in which we live, putting pieces into perspective, including seemingly unrelated ones. Metaphysics is the lens through which we find greater understanding.

We have already entered the New Age. While it's not readily visible, it's more about how we choose to operate, interact, and move through these times. The old ways no longer work. It's apparent when we look around—evidenced in our banking system, our economic system, corporate dealings, our relationships, and in our physical and energetic bodies.

To better understand these seemingly disconnected events, I would like to share two insights. First, what we are witnessing is an outward manifestation of changes that we, and the earth, are undergoing. As divine co-creators, we know our inner workings can manifest in the outer world—the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty.

A second insight is that unless things—meaning people and businesses—transform, they cannot operate within the New Age. This New Age is an extraordinary time; an elevated level of consciousness with a feeling and knowing of the interconnectedness of all things. In the physical, it’s operating in a whole new way, where all of us are honored and all are equal. There is no hierarchy, there is only collaboration. There is no competition, there is only co-creation and cooperation. “All are equal—not only under the material law but under the spiritual.” (Edgar Cayce reading 3976-18)

Katie Walking Labyrinth
Wikimedia Commons.

We sit, straddling two worlds, knowing we are to choose to act and operate as if we are in the new. What we see however, is distortion rising to the surface, because it can no longer be hidden. Lack of integrity can no longer hide behind a mask. “Then if those in position to give of their means, their wealth, their education, their position, do not take these things into consideration, there must be that leveling that will come.” (Edgar Cayce reading 3976-19) We have a new operating system for the New Age, and when we use it, everyone wins!

So how do we move through our lives with more ease and grace during turbulent times? By using the tools we know about: exercising discernment, holding center, and practicing meditation. Now it’s about using them on a daily basis. “Take time first to be holy. Don’t let a day go by without meditation and prayer for some definite purpose, and not for self, but that self may be the channel of help to someone else. For in helping others is the greater way to help self.” (Edgar Cayce reading 3624-1)

And most importantly, it’s about taking responsibility for our individual thoughts and actions. Through the understanding of our interconnectedness comes the realization of our thought forms manifesting in our outer world. Yet we have the power to choose inner peace, to choose the divine flow, and transcend seeming chaos in the outer world. Have faith and know all is in divine order, in what Cayce calls the “Age of the Lily.”

Laura Jackson Blog 032013Laura Jackson Laura Jackson is a speaker, author, and life coach.  Through her company, Soul Action, she gives people the tools and knowledge to traverse all that is happening in our modern world. While Laura is emerging as a nationally-recognized speaker on earth changes, she also speaks on many other topics including metaphysics and meditation.  Laura gives lectures and workshops around the country and has been featured in print, radio, and television. Visit her website to learn more at www.soul-action.com.


You Are a Creator

(Earth Changes, Universal Laws, Edgar Cayce Readings) Permanent link

You Are a Creator
By Judy Lickert

Now is the time to exercise your power as a creator. Consciously. We constantly create. The world around us is the result of our thoughts. This is found in numerous Cayce readings—thoughts are things, mind is the builder, etc. Unfortunately, we have not accepted the deep nature of this truth nor have we accepted the responsibility of this aspect of our being. We have limited our vision to material creation. Now is the time to go up to the causal level.

What do you see in the world today? War, poverty, fear, political division, extinction of animals, natural disasters. This can be overwhelming to the material mind, but not to the spiritual. Each one of us, using our spiritual power given to us by The Creator, can make a great change in the collective consciousness that creates the material world. Yes, even in mitigating natural disasters, for Mother Earth responds to attitudes held in the mass consciousness, and for a long time now she has been under attack. She is beginning to defend herself.

Cayce warned in his readings on Atlantis that if our attitudes were not spiritualized, our technological society would find the same ending as Atlantis, i.e., destruction—a destruction that we will have created. His readings on earth changes told us what may occur if we did not change the vibrations we were building in the ethers. Sadly, we are seeing many of these, but the severity of the disasters may have been somewhat mitigated by the work individuals and small groups have been doing to raise consciousness.

Today we hear the cries for help from many directions. After Hurricane Sandy's visit to the American East Coast it is obvious many thousands of people need our help. There are children starving throughout the world, much of the world lacks clean water, animals are being hunted to extinction or their habitats are being destroyed; this list could go on and on, but you have the power to change it.

Little me? Yes! First of all, you are not little. We were created in the image of The Creator. That is NOT little. Second, instead of working at the material level, rise to the causal level where your work will more quickly and effectively bring about change. Don't ignore the cries of the material level, but focus on the causal, since fewer will be able to recognize the importance of that type of work.

What do you do? Live what you believe. All day, every day, bring your every thought and action into accord with the highest consciousness you know. For example, while driving, let go of individual desire; drive with your actions and responses being determined by the greatest good for all. Break that initial annoyance with the vision of safe journeying for all. This isn't being a goody two-shoes! This is how you create peace and brotherhood! You send out a higher vibration. This is where you LIVE "thoughts are things," not just mouth it. If you don't believe this could make a difference, try feeling that the guy who is tailgating you is a spiritual brother and send a heartfelt prayer for his safety and yours. Show respect that he might have an acceptable reason for his actions and ask that he respect your reason for your actions. Your response must be honest. Then watch what happens.

In all aspects of your life consciously choose to align with the higher vibration. Observe your thoughts, and feed them with only that which leads you to positive growth. Skip forwarding that email that is based on belittlement, fear, or outrage. Avoid any media that feeds the fear within you. Take responsibility for creating the life around you. If you created it, you can change it. You are that powerful.

You are also so very, very important at this time, because you have opened yourself to these truths and are allowing them to blossom in your life. Every consciousness that is opening to a higher vibration is helping to lift others with it.

The greatest need in this world at this moment is the lifting up of the mass consciousness; through this, permanent solutions to the distressing situations in our world will be found. Nurture your own expanding consciousness, encourage others by your words, suggestions of a book, movie, or program.

CREATE ice sculpture
CREATE Ice Sculpture
from Launch party

But each contact needs a support to keep it going. Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. has done that for me and many, many others. That is why I have supported their newly launched CREATE campaign, which seeks to ensure a source is readily available to the many who are ready to change their consciousness now and in the future. I do not ignore the other cries for help, but I want the greater portion of my giving to support the causal level for positive change in the world. I want to consciously be a Creator.

To learn more about the CREATE campaign, please visit EdgarCayce.org/Create.

Judy Lickert has been a member of A.R.E. since 1973, a student of the Cayce readings since 1966, and a Study Group member for more than 30 years. Her support of A.R.E. has included membership in our Golden Circle donor ($1,000+) recognition club as well as Life Membership. She has been married to her spiritual partner for 43 years, and has two daughters and two granddaughters. She is active in her community, especially the library and school district. She is an animal lover, organic gardener, and ballroom dancer.


Making Sense of the Inconceivable: The March to 2012

(Earth Changes) Permanent link

Making Sense of the Inconceivable:
The March to 2012 
By Tina Erwin

Everyone seems to be waiting for December 21, 2012 to arrive, expecting on that day, at that moment that some catastrophic event is going to take place. People wonder if the Mayans were correct and the world as we know it will end in terrible cataclysmic events. What if the Mayans were right and wrong all at the same time?     

What if the world will not actually end, but life as we think we know it will end and a new time of change will begin? Perhaps that expected event is already beginning. Maybe the karmic wheel is already turning and we as a planet are being allowed to have the energy of the events spread out over months, days and years. What if the events expected in 2012 are already in process? Think back to when an awareness of the validity of those predictions began to creep into our consciousness. Consider the following earthquake statistics.*

Earthquake Chart 3 2011

The point to be made here is that it would appear, statistically speaking that the energy of our changing planet is being spread out over at least 15-20 years. Imagine if all of that energy were to be released at once. We would probably be vaporized! What is generating the events?

From the readings of Edgar Cayce:
The causes of these [earthquakes]…are the movements about the earth; that is, internally—and the cosmic activity or influence of other planetary forces and stars and their relationships produce…the activities of the elementals of the earth; that is the Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water —and those combinations make for the replacements in the various activities. (Edgar Cayce Reading 270-35)
Consider these facts:
  • The frequency of the Earth is rising.
  • We are in a period of significant solar flares which is why we have increased earthquake, tsunami, tornado, and volcano activity.
  • The Earth is in the process of lining up with all of the other planets and this action is creating an additional huge shift in the magnetic pull on the Earth.
  • Each massive quake over an 8.0 causes the Earth to rotate just a few microseconds faster. Consider that in the last 7 years, we have had 14 quakes over an 8.0. No wonder we seem to feel that time has speeded up!
  • The faster the rotation, the faster the various stresses and strains on the core of the Earth.

There is a tremendous amount happening in the planet itself. This huge shift, spread out over roughly the last fifteen years is also making people feel increasingly uneasy. We are seeing rising levels of insanity, depression and greater and greater health problems. Many people are living longer, but enjoying it less because of their health. These Earth changes affect people in challenging, often political ways, as we are seeing. More and more people want less government, more freedom and greater access to information.

Hang on! It’s not over yet. We are about to see quite a bit of real estate rearranged as we fly through the next ten to fifteen years. Our task is to balance and digest each huge news event and it seems that events are coming at us faster and faster. We may all be suffering from outrage, astonishment, and catastrophe fatigue.

Not in the storm, not in the earthquake, not in that of anything outside of self may God be found by man; for to ascend into heaven or to descend into hell He is there — in thine own heart! The kingdom is within…only self…separates self from the Maker. (Edgar Cayce Reading 452-3)

Tina ErwinLightworker guideTINA D. ERWIN, CDR, USN, Ret. has studied metaphysics all her life to enable her to understand her own psychic abilities. These intense studies were further enhanced by the experiences of a dynamic 20-year career in the Navy, working for the U.S. Submarine Force, retiring at the Commander level. Erwin is the author of the A.R.E. Press book, The Lightworker’s Guide to Healing Grief.

*Source: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2002/ Current to 3/15/11

Turbulent Times

(Earth Changes, Astrology) Permanent link

Turbulent Times

On March 11, the planet Uranus entered the sign of Aries where it will be for the next eight years, until the year 2019. In astrology Uranus symbolizes change—sudden and revolutionary change—and in the sign of Aries, the god of war in Greek mythology, it can indicate abrupt and unexpected events that may be caused by headstrong and impulsive actions with no consideration of the consequences. This is a Fire (Aries)-Air (Uranus) combination without the grounding or stability of Earth or Water.

wave height map for the tsunami  wikipediaAs we are all aware, revolutionary energies have been erupting in many parts of the world in recent weeks. On Friday, Japan has experienced an 8.9 earthquake and a subsequent devastating tsunami. This tsunami reached as far away as Hawaii, causing little damage there, and put coastal areas in the continental U.S., Alaska, Canada, and South America on alert.

Astrologers have been predicting major changes in the world during this period as symbolized by three planets (Pluto, Saturn, and Uranus), moving into very stressful aspects with each other. These changes, astrologically, began in January 2008, when Pluto entered the sign of Capricorn. Since then, Saturn has entered Libra and now, today, the last of these three planets, Uranus, enters Aries. (For more details see the Astrologer's Corner in Venture Inward magazine, beginning with the column The Coming Years, in the January/February 2008 issue.)

Not only do we have the astrological line-up of these three planets but there has also been an increase in solar activity. See the blog entry Global Unrest and Solar Flares (below, posted March 4) by Alison Ray. Since her blog, a second major solar flare occurred on March 9.

In addition to the above line-up of the planets and the solar activity, on March 19 the Moon will come closer to the Earth than it has in the last 18 years. This is called a "Supermoon." Added to this, the Moon will also be full. On March 10, 2011, there were stories on the Internet with predictions of the possibility of floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions connected to this Supermoon period.

The Cayce readings spoke of Aries as being headstrong and stubborn and Uranus as indicating rebellious forces.

(Q) What effect will the planet, Uranus, have on the people during the next two years?
(A) We find in this planet those of the exceptional forces, those of the ultra forces, those that carry the extremes in every walk of physical life . . . Well may the earth tremble under that influence . . . (Edgar Cayce Reading 3744-4, November 24, 1923)

...in influences in the Uranian, brings for periods when there seems to be every condition imaginable awry—whether business relations, social relations, financial conditions—every condition seems to be awry... (Edgar Cayce Reading 5-2, June 23, 1930)

...those forces in Uranus...these will make for rebellions and rebellious forces, rebellious periods for the entity... (Edgar Cayce Reading 2668-1, April 29, 1931)

Astrology's ability for timing major changes in the individual's life, as well as in the world at large, gives us some comfort that whatever is happening during these turbulent times is purposeful. It is our task to discover what that purpose is for ourselves, and what our individual response might be. Astrology and the Cayce readings indicate that things happen for a reason, and there are no accidents.

This is a time when having an Ideal for your life and living by that Ideal will be extremely important for your ability to manifest what you came here to do during this period of great change on the Earth. All the peoples of the Earth, along with the Earth, herself, need to be in our prayers.

R aye Mathis 2 RAYE MATHIS is a faculty member at Atlantic University where Transformational Astrology is among the courses she mentors. She has a BA in mathematics, a Master's degree in clinical social work, and has completed post-graduate work at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. She has maintained an on-going astrological counseling practice for almost 40 years. Her column, The Astrologer's Corner, appears in the A.R.E.'s Venture Inward magazine available exclusively to Members by mail or online at EdgarCayce.org/members.

Explore Your Relationships Using Astrology
as Your Guide - eGroup

June 22 - July 19 Raye Mathis will be mentoring a 4-week online eGroup titled Explore Your Relationships Using Astrology as Your Guide. For more information call 1-800-428-1512 or see EdgarCayce.org/egroups. She will also mentor the group Discover Your Life’s Purpose Using Astrology as Your Guide, September 7-October 4.

Holding Egypt in Prayer

(Earth Changes, Spiritual Growth) Permanent link

Holding Egypt in Prayer
by John Van Auken

Egypt- modern map 2011Having been to Egypt over thirty times, I knew this uprising was coming. It was just a matter of time, which appears to be now. When I first went to Egypt the citizenry were so constrained in their thinking. For example, women were not allowed to drive cars let alone vote! Over these past many years I’ve seen women receive licenses to drive cars and become active members of Parliament. I’ve seen education expand to include more people, even in the poorer villages in rural areas near Luxor and Aswan. (Though there is much more needed since literacy is 83% among men and 59.4% among women—as of 2005 data.)

The Egyptians I meet in the tourist areas and the major population areas are clever, bright, multilingual, understand human nature well, and have an up-beat spirit and attitude. But most all of them are unhappy with their government and with Mubarak. They are tired of him; as well as authoritarian rule and inept, often corrupt, governance. But it is going to be a long journey from where they’ve been to a government that represents the people and is for the people and by the people. Even we who have had such a government for more than 200 years aren’t content with its operation. And if you think we fight politically and have polarizing influences that make cooperation difficult, wait until Mubarak’s iron hand is lifted, then we’ll see some serious challenges for these people. They will likely go through many reforms before they get close to representative governance and we will continue to hold Egypt in prayer. But I am so excited for the Egyptian people and Egypt's role in shaping the coming world.

For, it is not by chance that the entity has come into this material sojourn, or into the present associations, but that greater opportunities may be accorded. …while there are those conditions in the material that bespeak of turmoil, disturbances that make for anxieties, know that there is within self that ability, that divinity, that way shape the ways, the manners through which good, and peace, and harmony, may come to all. Reading 2440-1

John Van Auken conf L2001John Van Auken
John is an internationally renowned speaker, longtime staff member, and current director at Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. A popular leader of A.R.E.’s life-changing tours to Egypt and other sacred sites, he is also the author of several best-selling books, including his latest Edgar Cayce and the Kabbalah, and the presenter in several best-selling DVDs, including the recently released Edgar Cayce's Tour of Egypt. He is also a regular contributor to A.R.E.’s Membership publications Venture Inward magazine and Venture Inward Newsletter. His extensive knowledge of the Cayce readings, the Bible, world religions, and ancient mysticism is combined with years of experience as a teacher and retreat leader to bring deeper understanding to today’s spiritual seeker.

Healing the Gulf Tragedy

(Earth Changes, Universal Laws, Edgar Cayce Readings, Spiritual Growth) Permanent link

Healing the Gulf Tragedy
By Alison Ray

Gulf Coast-nasaDespite that helpless feeling in the wake of tragedy, we can all join together in prayer—focusing on healing for the waters and inhabitants in the Gulf area. By putting aside our own frustration and asking the divine universal forces for healing, we may all join together in bringing a change.

We know from the research of Dr. Masaru Emoto that water crystals show the positive and negative effect of human words and thoughts, that they seem to react to human energy (see Earth Changes.) Edgar Cayce, too, spoke of the influence of human emotions and thoughts on objects as large and distant as the sun.

By joining together, perhaps we can find light in this disaster. While we may not understand how it works, love and prayer remain powerful and universal. Mr. Cayce reminded us of this in Reading 1598- 2:

And as of old, the prayers of ten may save a city; the prayers of twenty-five may save a nation -- as the prayers and activities of ONE may! but in union there is strength.

Edgar Cayce's Axis Pole Shift

(Earth Changes, Ancient Mysteries, Edgar Cayce Readings) Permanent link

Edgar Cayce's Axis Pole Shift
by John Van Auken

With the news reports from NASA researchers that the recent earthquake in Chile has shifted the Earth's axis and shortened the day, many people are wondering just what Edgar Cayce had to say about the possibility of a pole shift.

When asked "What great change or the beginning of what change, if any, is to take place in the Earth in the year 2000 to 2001 A.D.?" Cayce answered: "When there is the shifting of the poles; or a new cycle begins." The Maya also saw a new era beginning in the first years of the new millennium but, according to their artifacts, it begins when the present age of "Movement" ends on December 21, 2012 A.D.

Astronomers believe the axis wobble (like a spinning top slowing) has been occurring for ages and causes the North Pole to point to different Pole Stars or North Stars. How often this occurs is unclear. According to leading scientific teams at major research centers, axis shifts have only occurred every few million or billion years and taken millions of years to be completed. According to other worthy sources (e.g., Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Corporation, York Films, and The Learning Channel), the wobble changes the Pole Star about every 24,000 to 26,000 years. In Hinduism a full day and night in the Brahma equals roughly 24,000 years, a Kali-kalpa.

Cayce states that the ancient Egyptians knew of these shifts and the Great Pyramid of Giza was built so as to point to the Axis or Pole Star.

Edgar Cayce gave a reading that spoke of a change in the Pole Star of Earth. He explained that the Great Pyramid of Giza represented the various ages we have been going through. He said, "At the correct time accurate imaginary lines can be drawn from the opening of the great Pyramid to the second star in the great Dipper, called Polaris or the North Star." He must be using the word "great" as an adjective of importance because Polaris is in the Little Dipper, but it is, as Cayce said, "the second star." (SAO 209 is the first, but is not shown in the accompanying illustration.)

axis blog 1 Illus1. The north pole of Earth's spinning axis points to a star, considered the Pole Star. According to Edgar Cayce, we are about to see a change in our Pole Star, from Polaris to Vega. In Ancient Egypt, the Pole Star was Thuban. This marks a move into a new era, new age.

Cayce said, "This indicates it is the system toward which the soul takes its flight after having completed its sojourn through this solar system. The Dipper is gradually changing, and when this change becomes noticeable - as might be calculated from the Pyramid - there will be the beginning of the change in the races [he's speaking of root races not color races]. There will come a greater influx of souls from the Atlantean, Lemurian, La, Ur, or Da civilizations."

He then explained that this pyramid was built in this manner by Ra and Hermes and many others who "sought to bring to man a better understanding of the close relationship between the Creative Forces and that created, between man and man, and man and his Maker."

He then cautioned us that "only those who have been called may truly understand. Who then has been called? Whosoever will make him or herself a channel may be raised to a blessing...."

Let's examine the relationship of the entrance to the Great Pyramid and the shifting Pole Stars. In the diagrams accompanying this article you will see the three main Pole Stars for our little blue planet: Thuban, Polaris, and Vega. During the age of ancient Egypt, Thuban was the North Star, i.e., at midnight above the North Pole, Thuban would have been the northernmost star. Of course, today the North Star is Polaris. However, Vega will be the North Star in the future. But this would require our little blue planet to roll over dramatically!

axis 2 Illus2. Viewing from the North Pole: The shift from Thuban to Polaris would have been about 26°. The shift from Polaris to Vega would be about 51°, a much more significant pole shift.

If one draws an imaginary line from the entrance of the Great Pyramid on the Spring Equinox (about March 22-25) in 4000+ B.C., 2000 A.D., and 10000 A.D., it points directly to the northern star of each age: Thuban, Polaris, and Vega, respectively. Hermes, Ra, and all the others involved sure knew what they were doing when they built that magnificent monument.

axis 3 Illus3. At the Spring Equinox during ancient Egyptian times Thuban is the Pole Star of the Pyramid.

Since Polaris indicates "the system towards which the soul takes flight," could the change to Vega indicate a new flight pattern? Vega is a blue-white star and the fifth brightest star in the sky. It is in the constellation Lyra, the Harp or Lyre of the musician Orpheus. It was said that when Orpheus played this instrument, neither mortal nor god could turn away (Orpheus also introduced reincarnation into Greek mythology, a key concept in Cayce’s teachings as well). Interestingly, Vega marks the approximate direction toward which our sun and all its planets are traveling through space.

axis 4 Illus4. At the Spring Equinox during our present time, Polaris is the Pole Star of the Pyramid.

Here's the hard news: In order to have shifted from Thuban as the Pole Star to Polaris, the Earth would have shifted its northern axis pole about 26°, not a drastic shift. However, in order to shift from Polaris as the Pole Star to Vega, the Earth will have to shift its northern axis pole a whopping 51°! But, if it is done gradually, over a very long period of time, as Cayce indicated it would, then we should not be expecting a dramatic pole shift in the next few years. It's enough to know that the present age is ending and a new age is beginning.

aix 5Illus5. At the Spring Equinox of the future, Vega will be the Pole Star of the Pyramid.

As many of you know, Cayce said that during this new age we will regain the powers we had in our earliest incarnations into this world during the age of Atlantis and Lemuria or Mu. This was prior to our souls becoming as encased in matter as we are today and back when we had godly powers to solve our material needs more easily. Of course, Cayce warned that we did not handle these powers well, leading to the destruction of these ancient lands.

When asked what the New Age means to humanity, Edgar Cayce replied:"the full consciousness of the ability to communicate with the Creative Forces and be aware of the relationships to the Creative Forces and the uses of same in material environs. This awareness during the era or age in the Age of Atlantis and Lemuria or Mu brought what? Destruction to man, and his beginning of the needs of the journey up through that of selfishness." (1602-3)

About John Van Auken
John is an internationally renowned speaker, longtime staff member, and current director at A.R.E. A popular leader of A.R.E.’s life-changing tours to Egypt and other sacred sites, he is also the author of several best-selling books, including Edgar Cayce on the Revelation, Toward a Deeper Meditation, and his newest Edgar Cayce and the Kabbalah. In addition he is a regular contributor to Venture Inward magazine. His extensive knowledge of the Cayce readings, the Bible, world religions, Gnosticism, and ancient Egyptian mysticism is combined with years of experience as a teacher and meditation retreat leader, to bring you a deeper understanding of this ancient mystical tradition that enhances the understanding and skill of today’s spiritual seeker.