I’m not sure how extensively I’m going to convey my experience at this annual conference. To stop and reflect interrupts the surging flow. Hard to paddle backwards, or to reach the river bank and pause for a moment to catch my breath when the current of time is so very strong, and quickening, intensifying. . . Meanwhile, I will offer a few short takes from the Fort McDowell Conference Center (and casino), held on Native American land in the beautiful Sonoran desert east of Phoenix. Here is the first.
Along with many others who have attended this conference in years past, I was concerned that its new owners would alter the nature of it, make it more about technology and less about the spirit. So I was filled with gratitude when the first presenter to walk onto the stage was Rainbow Eagle, a Native American teacher who, I discovered when eating with him later, lives in Ohio, only three hours away, and in fact, teaches in Indianapolis monthly.
I didn’t write much down at this conference, relying on videos to teach me, if I needed to get exact quotes later. But I did take down the following from Rainbow Eagle:
“We are in a time of coming into relationship again . . . Company is coming. How to prepare ourselves? How are we going to meet them?”
Exactly. For me, these questions from Rainbow Eagle go to the heart of the issue.
We are coming into relationship — with extraterrestrials and interdimensional beings; with worlds upon worlds and within worlds; with “natural laws” that may be quite different from those we operate within here.
Company is coming. People that don’t seem like us, like family; but if we pay close attention, and really welcome them, listen to them, feel them, they are.
How to prepare ourselves? They are company, not enemies. They are beings, just like we are beings, like dogs and trees and flowers and bees and rivers and mountains are beings, all of us in relationship.
How are we going to meet them? Do we shake hands? Do we put one hand over our heart and the other with palm extended? Do we place our hands in the prayer mudra and bow?
I’ve heard that one permaculture elder, Penny Livingston-Stark, when asked what permaculture is, answers with one word: “relationships.” Permaculture studies the relationships between everything and everything else. Nothing is left out. Though we are not used to the idea that relationships include those with visitors from the cosmos, we might as well, because they are here, and more and more of us know it. To the extent that we still consider them “alien” is the extent to which we see them as “other,” separate from us, and scary, to be avoided or denied.
All other considerations dissolve into the cosmic ocean of relationship.