One day last summer I watched a little stream of filthy water trickle down the gutter. Toxic green in color, it was hideous and rank. But as I continued to gaze at it and watch the patterns and ripples as they moved down the street, I realized these were the eternal patterns of water. Even toxic water will meander in ways that are essential to its pure nature. And eventually, if unimpeded by our heavy handed ways, this water would find its purity once more. It would be taken up by the body of the earth and healed by the forces of nature, its toxins transmuted by soils and micro-organisms, its purity reestablished as it was embraced back into the global water cycle. This is a natural process of purification that will happen spontaneously.

Purification is a word that has a lot of morality associated with it. To be impure, polluted or unclean connotes a kind of soul sickness as well as physical sickness. But purification primarily means to restore to a place of purity, a state of soundness, wholeness, innate essence. Isn’t that what we really want after all, a sense of being fully ourselves?

This time of year, just after the holidays, it is popular to make resolutions for cleansing, rejuvenating, losing weight, giving up bad habits etc. There is plenty of advice in the media about being proactive about it: “Burn 300 Calories in 15 Minutes! Detoxify Overnight! 20 Fat-Burning Superfoods! 10 Steps to a New You!” It is all so positive and encouraging – but relatively few people actually follow any of this good advice.

The problem is that the fast pace is not the pace that heals. We must operate quickly in crisis situations but not for longterm healing. In order to make room for the self-organizing principle of nature to reveal itself, we must become slower, more quiet and still – embracing the feminine yin qualities of being receptive and waiting.

The pace of the seasons cannot be changed. The growing of plants, the flow of water, the movement of the planets have been running at the same pace for millions of years.  We have speeded up and are very much out of synch with the natural world. We measure our time not by cycles of the sun or the moon but by our job or school schedules, TV shows, appointments, and daily routines that have nothing to do with the earth at all. The pace of everything is faster, more complex. There is a sense of urgency about everything – the state of the world, financial situations, the environment, health issues. All of these are real and affect people profoundly, but by perpetuating the rapid pace of things we are ultimately contributing to the situation we are trying to change.

Like that rivulet of dirty water, we need to surrender into the rhythms of the natural world, the cycle of day and night, the turn of the seasons, the eternal things.  Nature makes transmutation possible. It is redemptive, restorative. Water will find its way home and the earth will purify it once more. There is an intelligence that does not need our guidance, but rather our respect. We need to learn how to step away and allow the organizing capacity in nature and in our own bodies to find its way to wholeness. This is the process of purification.

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10 Responses to Purification

  1. Tamara says:

    What an honor to be graced with your wonderful perspective online! Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful thoughts and helping everyone who reads get back to nature.

  2. Ezra says:

    The experience of faith — in God, in nature, in ourselves — seems to be on that slower time-frame. It’s a deep trust that we will purify in time, if we wait and trust. In fact, it’s probably the reason purification has moral connotations; faith in Heaven, the epitome of purification, leads many Christians to attempt to purify their sins, sometimes just by acknowledging them, repenting, and opening up to God’s love. From both a religious and practical standpoint, faith, a hopeful perspective that extends beyond one’s own short lifetime, can allow for an acceptance that the toxic waters of our time will gradually purify.

  3. Megan says:

    How eloquently said, thank you for this gift of words and inspiration. I am honored to be in your class and to know you

  4. Anne Newgarden says:

    What a beautiful, thoughtful, and inspiring entry to start the new year. I’m so glad you’re blogging, Peeka. I look forward to more.

  5. Katya says:

    Peeka, thank you for this and other important wisdom on your newly expanded website! Feels like surrender is indeed a big part of what you are writing about, which also requires a lot of trust and faith in the process because as many of us know true healing or purification do not happen overnight… There is no magic filter, and every drop of water has to meander through layers and layers of roots, earth, minerals, crystals, to return to purity. So trust, faith and patience are in high demand here and also willingness to relinquish what became convenient but what is no longer possible to carry if one decided to go on this quest to find one’s home. Often that involves negotiating one’s ego and fears too. And at times it all feels like a handful… But like you said luckily we can always respectfully learn from the cycles of mother nature, the earth, the sun and the moon, about ebbs and tides, letting go and healing, purification, growth and creation, transformation, about life and death and rebirth. Like in that wonderful film “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and… Spring”. It’s all here in front of us, all we need to do is just slow down and take notice. Thank you for another timely reminder and for all of your wise and kind teachings! Gratitude to all great teachers of the past, present and future, and to the most incredible classroom and “sanatorium” ever called Planet Earth!

  6. Linda McHale says:

    As a midwife, my bread and butter is trying to be in the flow. I love what you said about healing:
    “embracing the feminine yin qualities of being receptive and waiting.” Being quiet and still for the mom is often what makes the birth happen. Just holding the healing/birthing space. Thanks for the blog! Linda

  7. Anne says:

    This a beautiful, inspiring Epiphany message.
    Thank you, Peeka, for all of your eloquent, vital, nourishing and deeply healing work.
    Lovely website !!
    xx Anne

  8. Morrie McQuade Shafer says:

    I really enjoyed this article. I feel the same way about the “pace” of our lives. If we could all defy society and slow down to natural rhythms, we’d all be better off…Thanks, Peeka.

  9. Kitty Hall-Thurnheer says:

    Peeka– it’s so good to hear your writing again, and to hear your wisdom too. The world is a better place because of you. — Kitty!

  10. Yulia says:

    What a beautiful reminder to all of us that “Nature makes transmutation possible”… Thank you for your insight, wisdom and healing light. Very much looking forward to reading more of your eloquent writing…

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