Tuesday, August 20, 2013


“The path to awakening from suffering…calls for vigilant discipline. We are asked to believe in Love without seeing it and to see fear without believing it”.

Nouk Sanchez

After two years of weekly gathering, Light Tree is taking a sabbatical to contemplate what we have learned so far.

Our meetings have been supremely important in helping us stay present with the various teachings we have studied as we learn new ways to apply them to our everyday lives. We are continuing to gather along with various other groups and individuals who are concerned with awakening to the truth of who we are.

This is not a journey for the faint-hearted. However, by remaining vigilant and practicing forgiveness we are more confident when we face something that appears overwhelming or fearful. We are certain that any thing that appears to cause suffering cannot possibly be real and therefore choose love instead. We have seen repeatedly the transformative power of changing our thoughts from fear to love and are committed to deepen our awareness further.

The mutual support, wisdom and insight that emerge at each meeting is a miracle in itself. As challenging as life appears to be, we have come to understand that each event that appears on the screen of our awareness is really an important opportunity to heal our minds. We continually remind ourselves and each other that the contents of our stories are unimportant, but they are essential to noticing and releasing the fear thoughts that appear to arise in all their forms.

We wish you many blessings for your own awakening, and encourage you to contact us by email with any thoughts or insights that may arise.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Embracing Holiness

“Once a living being has heard and understood that deliverance is within his reach, he will never forget, for it is the first message from within.

It will take root and grow in due course take the blessed shape of the Guru”.

Nisargadatta Maharaj.

The last few weeks have been very full for our Mighty Companions at Light Tree. We have had many opportunities to practice patience and trust. One thing is certain; by choosing to see the unfolding of our lives with new eyes we have been able to traverse very challenging terrain with greater ease.

It is a relief to stop whenever we find ourselves getting too involved in the dream we are creating and sit in pure awareness. After a while, love appears with greater frequency and the peace that arises calls us to awaken and stay longer.

We noticed that the belief that we must keep ‘working at it’, or that we will awaken at some future date is pure mythology. We are already dwelling in pure peace and happiness, but we keep papering it over with drama and stories. Eventually the tale is just too boring and we decide to make getting to the truth of our True Nature our main priority.

Yes, there is always something appearing on the screen of our awareness that is juicy and distracts us for a while. However, if we just stay awake long enough our willingness to see it differently carries us through and we can find a way to choose forgiveness. After all, it’s only our thoughts that cause us to suffer. Once we drop those and stay open to a new way of seeing it’s amazing what will unfold.

Our True Nature calls us to ‘undo’ rather than ‘do more’. For westerners like us this is a key realization. We are so busy that we don’t even notice when we are on auto pilot and our ego is running the show. If we are serious about letting greater awareness take root, we must make time to sit back and listen.

With practice we discover that suffering is optional after all.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Three Step Practice

"First, come into the present. Flash on what’s happening with you right now. Be fully aware of your body, its energetic quality. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions. 

Next, feel your heart, literally placing your hand on your chest if you find that helpful. This is a way of accepting yourself just as you are in that moment, a way of saying, 'This is my experience right now, and it’s okay.

Then go into the next moment without any agenda”

Pema Chodron (Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change).

Lately we have been discussing how a sense of gratitude emerges spontaneously when we can notice and let go of thoughts that appear to keep us safe. What does it mean to be fully present with ourselves anyway?

If we practice the attitude of kindness that Pema describes above, we reduce the need to feel defensive by making excuses for our thoughts and behaviour. When we treat ourselves as we would like to be treated, we become aware of how often we treat ourselves harshly. This is what Jesus meant when he advised us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. We see ourselves and everyone else as Divine beings trying to awaken to love. Gratitude and compassion emerge spontaneously from this awareness.

When we are willing to becoming more aware of how we create our reality we become dilligent about listening to our inner chatter. We can experience moving through discomfort with grace. We realize that its really up to us how much we create our own suffering when our endless judgments and criticisms try to steal the show. Its probably our resistance or attachment to outcomes that really twists the knife.

Life can be challenging enough without listening to the ‘Peanut Gallery’ that drones on endlessly within our mind. Buddha describes the root of all suffering as ignorance. When he says this, he seems to be speaking to our need to pay attention to the chatter of our ‘monkey-mind’ that keeps us ignorant.

Instead we can choose again. Its never too late to stop and pay attention to our own limitless Presence. When do we make this leap? For us its emerged from our sense of being fed up with the story that never ends. We want a new direction that emerges from our own Divine Authority, not the endless list of rules that the world sets out for us, while claiming to keep us safe.

Join us and choose compassion for yourself. Its never too late and we never run out of opportunities to practice.   
Then go into the next moment without any agenda.
(From Pema's book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Stop the madness!

More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an undisciplined mind does greater harm”.


From our practices at Light Tree, one thing appears abundantly clear. The ego-mind with all its incessant chatter is completely insane. If we do not practice sitting back and joining with the peace of our True Nature on a regular basis we run the risk of letting ego run the show.

Sometimes it seems that the ego has no purpose but the maintenance of the status quo. It likes things just as they are. Then, suddenly, self doubt takes a new twist and what seems like a good plan becomes riddled with fear and negative thoughts. We are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. This is the madness of our monkey-mind, or ego.

Buddha knew this, Jesus knew this, and all the great teachers have come to this basic conclusion themselves. We cannot fully appreciate the hold ego-mind has on our thoughts and behaviour until we slow down enough to hear it. If we can sit and just witness, without believing its insane commentary, we can learn to recognize it starting it spiel.

It’s in this precious moment that we begin to join the consciousness of our True Nature. Really? we begin to ask ourselves. This much nonsense cannot possibly be true. When we sit in a witness place, not judging and just watching our essence it’s obvious that only Love exists. The fear that arises is the false self (little me) trying to justify its teeny tiny worldview. Why don’t we just try holding it with love and watch it dissolve? Its just a thought anyway.

It seems we have all had our share of fear thoughts lately. What can we do when we feel hopelessly lost in our thoughts and emotions?

For us, the first step is to realize what is happening and draw on our desire for peace and happiness. We can choose to love ourselves immediately, before guilt and self doubt come to see what’s going on. We can use an affirmation that we have practiced in meditation and choose to forgive ourselves for buying into an illusion that was created by the false self.

For example we might say, “I forgive myself for using this (situation) to attack myself and separate from love”. 

We can also bring to mind the love that we have experienced in our lives and embrace ourselves and the situation in the memory of that experience of pure peace. There is no reason to keep the attack going. We may as well stop, notice, forgive, and then laugh at the ego’s insane attempt to draw us into another of its crazy stories. Why prolong the agony? Let’s stop the madness now.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Step Back

"Nothing exists independent of the Supreme Power. Everything you experience, even the difficult things in life, are your teachers. The one who realizes the Truth blesses everything. How can I be overwhelmed by anything that happens? That is only an idea. You are the untouched One. Do not be afraid."

This Spring has provided many opportunities to spend time practicing authenticity. There is no doubt that it takes a firm resolve to stop spinning the story and taking a stand for what our True Self leads us to.

At Light Tree, an essential part of our practice is to stop as soon as we notice ourselves being sucked into our seeming reality. From there we are still and become the observer. We are curious to notice what is happening when the unfolding drama seems real in some way. From there, we stand back, either physically or mentally and wait.

The wait is the most important part. Instead of rushing ahead, fixing, controlling and deciding what’s best, we simply step back. Our intention is “ Teach me, Guide me, Show me.” Sometimes our guidance comes quickly, sometimes a week later, sometimes we never know. Somehow it just feels better.

One thing is for sure, the outcome is always just right when we trust our guidance and don’t try to act on impulse and animal instinct. After a while it becomes easier to let our life unfold through us instead of forcing it through the blender of our fears before we fling it out into the Universe.

Its also important to sit back and laugh at our efforts to control the uncontollable. We can witness our craziness with compassion and be glad that its all unfolding according to a bigger plan. We don’t need to worry at all. What a relief to know we can just be open and ask for help.

Our True Nature is inseparable from the Divine and cannot be changed no matter how much we try to run. We are only trying to escape from ourselves anyway.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Join us in Retreat this Summer

“For those who wonder, 'embodiment' means resting our awareness in the quiet inner center, deep within, timeless and whole, anchored vertically through all worlds, all dreams, as the grounded Presence of Pure Love, the Heart of Oneness.”


Jewel gives us a living example of what it means to live an authentic life. As her students, clients and friends, we have noticed that being in her presence allows all those that abide with her to have a fresh experience of their Divine nature.

Her humour and deep compassion allow us to feel a deep sense of safety that is essential for healing to take place. In her Presence, we find a rich opportunity to view our ego, along with all its dance of illusions, as an opportunity to grow. From this grounded place, we deepen our understanding of the interconnectedness of all things and are reminded that we can never be separate from our Source. 

Jewel and Stacy are a dynamic example of how to live fully in the present moment by resting in our true nature, which is love. Laugh with us as we watch the ego undo itself from its dominant place in our lives and minds. Come and be inspired and transformed as old identities fall away to reveal our deeper truth. Prepare to be amazed as we drop ever deeper into the peace that dwells within.

Join The Light Tree and our Mighty Companions in retreat this summer.

‘Embodying the Essence of Presence’ with Stacy Sully and Julia Day 

Quantum Forgiveness recognizes the world we see as an illusory projection of opposites and the Truth of Love as our eternal nature.

We learn to trust the voice for Love, the choice for Love, the feeling of Love

and the Knowing of Love through non-dual meditation, deep inner journeying
divine light, non-judgment, quantum forgiveness, the universal Heart, art, sound, expression and happy laughter...

June 29th to July 1st, 2013

For details please find Jewel at www.onenessinoneness.org 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Niceness vs. Authenticity

“When there is nothing about you or anyone else that you are afraid to look at, 
the darkness has no more power over you”.

Paul Ferrini (Everyday Wisdom).

Arwen Barr 2012

How do we address the unease that arises when we feel deep dislike for certain kinds of people? Perhaps we don’t even know them, but we feel anger and hostility coming off them in waves and our usual ways of coping just don’t apply.

Most of us know the discomfort we feel when another person seems aloof, self centered and sometimes mean or vindictive. No matter how friendly we are they remain unaffected. Our niceness just doesn't cut it.

This brings the issue of authenticity clearly into focus. Are we remaining true to ourselves or projecting our own unhealed parts onto the person and acting as if it were true? There is difference. The coldness we experience just might be an aspect of a frozen part of our own psyche.

Deep down we feel cut off from our One-ness with others and ourselves and the feeling of self-betrayal leaves us feeling helpless and angry. Just how did we get off track anyway? One solution is to sit with the unease and notice what it is triggering within us.

As Annie notes: “We welcome back that part … that believes it made a big mistake, is cut off from love, and deserves to be punished.  Our role is to see it, acknowledge it, listen to it, soften towards it, open to joining with it, offer to feel it fully, and embrace it as we would a long-lost best friend.   And in this willingness to surrender resistance, this opening to unconditional love, we invite and patiently await the voice of authenticity to guide our insights and actions.”

Yes, it’s a tall order to admit that our dislikes of others stem from our dislike of aspects of ourselves. We turn the hour-glass over and acknowledge that we must be willing to give up every strategy we think might make us popular, likeable, or socially acceptable and toss niceness out with the rest of the illusions.

It is only by embracing our wholeness that we can feel our True Self beckoning. In sitting with our authenticity we may decide to walk away and be unconcerned about the outcome of the situation. We may feel the need to speak out. Either way, the choice that leaves us feeling authentic is the one that moves away from the turmoil of the ‘shoulds’ and towards a deeper sense of satisfaction and inner peace.