When Everything Falls Apart

What is Community worth to you?

Last week was full of grief, reunion, gratitude and a homesickness.

I attended a vigil for a dear Spirit Brother, George Gray Eagle. I received my Huachuma ministry from George, and most of the many medicine plants at our home in Calistoga came as a housewarming gift from George.

During one of the darkest nights of the soul I endured, I was held together by the weekly Chanupa (Sacred Pipe) prayer ceremonies offered by his Native American church, Medicine Path. I left each Tuesday night literally counting the hours until I could walk into that dome, get a hug, see smiling faces, and pray for my life. I honestly wasn’t confident I would make it at times, but the fact that I did is in large part because of the community George, his wife Georgia, and the many long-standing members of their community showed up week after week, ceremony after ceremony to build.

The day of the vigil, 11/8/2023, was the 3 year anniversary of my relationship with my beloved partner, Matthew, and the birthday of another very beloved Spirit Brother, Randy David, who passed away almost 10 years ago in a tragic house fire on Christmas Day. He, too, created a safe and sacred space that welcomed all who came in a good way to his legendary shop, The Sword & Rose.

In addition to the deep sense of grief and loss, my heart was also split open by the many dear spirit family members I had prayed with countless times over the years. So many ceremonies, so many tears, so much vulnerability, all held in a sacred way.

One thing that my dearest teachers, the Medicines, and Life in general have taught me is that every part of life, even the greatest tragedies and losses, can be filled with beauty and spiritual edification when they are met with mindfulness, reverence, and a connection to the sacred nature of all things.

What I’ve also learned is that too few communities, too few families, too few individuals have been shown how to stay connected with Source and the sacredness of life when there is chaos, loss, trauma, and suffering.

I have been called to be a sacred witness to unspeakable suffering and unimaginable miracles, and have been gifted with the ability to bring mindful, ceremonial, and reverent care to these profound experiences. When we show up for the big and often unexpected mile markers and transitions with the wisdom to be in a ceremonial way, it is the difference between solace, healing and growth, versus darkness, isolation, and misery.

One person can make the difference, but COMMUNITY creates the beautiful woven blanket of individual threads that wrap around the whole and provides respite, safety, and the necessary holding when we are stopped short in our tracks and forced to reckon with loss, death, and other unexpected shifts.

The prepared meals offered to nurture the hollowed out, the loving presence and hugs for the depleted, the hands to take up the reins when there is praying and weeping to do. The songs that are sung to bring the thoughts out of the dark and into light, the offerings made in a good way to let the soul know that, despite the pain, there is beauty and preciousness in each moment.

I am so grateful to have been initiated in multiple traditions, and am often called upon to support the healing of the wounds and the tender spots left from the sometimes brutal nature of human life, and I know that I long for a loving community to sing, pray, laugh, weep, heal, grow, and feed the Holy with.

Belonging is one of the greatest human needs, and one of the most pervasive human wounds.

We often face a trade-off between belonging and honoring our authentic self-expression. Over time, betraying the soul’s authenticity creates a disconnect from the self that leads to depression, anxiety, addictions, and a sense of isolation even when we are surrounded by loved ones.

I started Living Wisdom, first as a mystery school, then as a non-profit, to create safe and sacred spaces for all of our unique, diverse community to come and do the grieving, the healing, the growing, and navigating those potent transitions that really need the sacred and ceremonial approach to truly honor the great gift of life, full of pain, ecstasy, magic, and beauty.

I have been the misfit, the “weirdo,” the one not invited because I was different, and I was also taught how to provide a warm and loving welcome by countless, world class teachers starting with my Mom, to Martin Prechtel, to Barbara Marx Hubbard, to Randy David, to George Gray Eagle, Georgia, and the Medicine Path family.

At times it feels like an uphill battle. It’s so easy to stay in the hamster wheel of the day-to-day – not enough time to show up for that potluck, not enough time to go to that ceremony . . . and then that illness comes, the knock at the door, the call in the middle of the night. Who will be there for you?

Community takes time to grow. The kind of community that can truly show up for each other and take up the slack when someone is going through a challenging initiation, the community who can create those safe and sacred containers so that tragedy can be softened by sacred ceremony . . . it requires investment of time, of love, of presence.

We are here for you, but we need YOU to also be here.

Just like the mom and pop shops that need our business to stay strong amidst the online shopping and big box stores, we are your local home church, opening our doors to provide a sanctuary for your soul to feel loved, accepted, and cared for.

Let us know you value what we are doing by taking part and adding YOUR presence to our gatherings.

Here are some ways for you to weave your unique threads into a beautiful, comforting blanket that will serve us all:

  • SHOW UP at our gatherings. We offer monthly potlucks, sound healing, and sacred medicine ceremonies in person, and an online Entheogen preparation & integration support circle. GET THE CALENDAR HERE to see what’s up and add these events to your calendar and make a commitment to show up at least once a month.
  • STAY CONNECTED. We LOVE to hear from you! Silence is absence. Let us know how you’re doing, let us know how we can support you, and reach out! We are real people who really love our community . . . that’s YOU! (LivingWisdomChurchCA@gmail.com)
  • SPREAD THE WORD. Let others know about us, our offerings, our mission to build a strong and supportive dogma-free community, and the private work we do. Not sure how to do that? Shoot us a message and we’ll help you out!
  • BECOME A MEMBER. We have amazingly generous and benefits-filled Patreon memberships that will get you access to all sorts of valuable resources, including regular ceremony attendance. Imagine what your life would be like if you made a commitment to come and pray with us on a regular basis? >>JOIN HERE<<
  • INVITE US. We love invitations to bring sound healings and other ceremonies to you. If you have a rite of passage (a wedding, a birth, an anniversary) that you would like to be celebrated in a sacred way, contact us and we will help to create a unique, custom-tailored experience that will create lasting memories and deepen your own spiritual journey. Or just have us over for tea! We love to get out!

If you know us, you know we are here for you. We are genuinely driven by a life purpose of serving the healing, awakening, and spiritual growth of all of our relations who are called to show up and take part.

Never hesitate to reach out, and until we do get to connect in person . . .

Bless your life!

Amanda pic with signature
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