Monday, July 26, 2010


I am reborn. Just when I think life cannot get more profound, it does. I spent three days recently participating in what was previously known as chaplain training for the Unity Church of which I am a member. I say “previously known” because it could not be compared to any chaplain training you would imagine.

On Thursday night I participated in a heart opening ceremony. The power of love in the room was tangible and transformative and purifying. Our teacher, Mark Pope, invoked the final 225 Cathars who were burned at the stake (by the church) because they would not forsake their conviction that there is no teaching higher than that of the transformed heart.

The heart represents, within the world of form, the direct point of contact with the divine. When we touch our hand to our “heart center” we may be reminded of who we really are; of our birthright to the gifts and the power of our creator.

The opening of my heart on Thursday was a prerequisite for undergoing my death on Friday. The transformative cycle of death and rebirth has been a recurring theme in these pages, but the recent ceremony brought it blazing into the forefront of my awareness. My last blog spoke of my personal experience with the “Tower Card” from the Tarot, and the actual drawing of the card by myself and my dear friend certainly predicted our immersion into this process.

We put on the black clothing and solemnly and slowly walked against the movement of the sun and the stars as we unscrewed our attachment to our lives.  In the last two hours of my life I placed all the disparate pieces of this existence on the altar, finishing with my will, my plans and my desires. I gave them up freely and watched them burn. I felt as though my mind had completely dissolved, and I was quiet for a long time afterward. Still, I could not resist reflecting for some time with my co-journeyer.

Meredith and I had already scheduled our six-week workshop entitled, The Earth School for Souls. Then on the second day of our new lives we stood up in church and welcomed all others to join us on this extraordinary journey. The timing is beyond our comprehension, and we simply attempt to accept and enjoy the overwhelming inflow of grace.

We are energized and excited to bring this opportunity to our beloved community. We will be using many different tools such as guided meditation, automatic writing, ritual and ceremony to step through our individual stories of hurt and pain into the light of our own truth and power.

If you are in the Sedona area, the workshop will be offered on Mondays starting August 2nd for six weeks; 6:30 – 8:30PM in the sanctuary of Unity Church, 65 Deer Trail Drive. $10 suggested donation per session, $50 for the whole six weeks. We will be reading the book, “A Hit of Heaven – a soul’s journey through illusion” which we will provide at a discounted rate of $10 a copy. We will likely cut off pre-registration when thirty persons have signed up.

Today is just the third day of my new life, or I don’t know, it could be the first day again, I’m losing track. It is coming clearer; as my willingness to love myself increases, my capacity for loving you seems to know no bounds.

P.S.  Roger Wyer and I facilitated a mini-workshop on Sunday afternoon focused on expressing awakening moments through writing.  We had a beautiful group of folks willing to experiment with us, many of whom had never written a poem and today are amazing and talented poets.  Roger's website:

If you have questions about the workshop or would like to pre-register call me at (707) 799-7662 or e-mail at
Link to Meredith Davis’ blog, “On Raven Wings”:
If you are interested in the book, "A Hit of Heaven" by Andrea Avari, and cannot make the workshop, it is available on or at her website:
Link to Unity of Sedona:  for more information on the workshop and other special events.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


You will remember that the title of my first novel invokes the “Tower Card” from the Tarot deck. The lead character in the novel draws the “tower” and proceeds to lose everything he thinks matters, only to discover that loss is the prerequisite for being reborn into something transcendent. It is his story and it is my story.

My work on the novel required me to study and contemplate the “tower” archetypes at length and in depth. And although I have lived the “tower” experience, I had never literally drawn the “tower” for myself . . . UNTIL TODAY! This is one more wave of an energetic ocean I have been immersed in for the past several weeks, and it feels just right.

When I drew the card, I laughed out loud and then I flashed on the advice given by Mark Pope during the class where I first started learning about the Tarot. He said if you draw the Tower Card, “Immediately – get on your knees.” I did. I set my heart to receive, and very quickly got a piece of scripture from II Corinthians: “Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.”

I got off my knees and looked up the verse in my father’s tattered old King James. He had portions underlined, and the page was book marked by a 1960’s mimeographed bulletin for the Quincy Baptist church where he was pastor. I had an overwhelming feeling of a “presence” across my shoulders and down my back, causing goose-bumps to pop out on my arms and legs.

The bulletin announced the coming of Christmas and the promise of the birth of the Christ. I was six years old when it was printed. 

We are in the thick of it. Nothing old can stand against the awakening of spirit. I called my good friend and co-journeyer, Meredith, to tell her about my latest renewal, only to hear that she had also drawn the “tower” for herself this morning. I hear Walter Cronkite saying, “And that’s the way it is.” This cycle of death to the old and diving into newness has become “ordinary”.  It looks like the nature of our existence from now on.

Later on this morning I caught sight of myself in the mirror. I looked harder to see if I could detect the latest change; or the abundant changes that have washed over me this year. I looked to see if this really was the character in my book which has to lose everything in order to save his life. I heard this: “You don’t have to lose everything.” I repeated the phrase and felt a presence that I have experienced only a few times, but is now rapidly becoming the everyday.

We are integrating what we have known and what we have experienced into this journey. We open our arms and our hearts to the thrust of grace. We accept the gifts and we bring them into our lives, our work, and our walk.

I have had another piece of scripture floating through my awareness, one I have carried around for decades. My friend reminds me that the prophet, Jeremiah is the author of “Lamentations” which is a long commiseration about being abandoned by God. The one high point speaks to me now. It says, God’s love never ceases; it is reborn at every sunrise and never ends. The verse concludes with the well known phrase, “Great is thy faithfulness.”  Hear this with your new ears: God is faithful to us!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


There are no neutral actions; no neutral words; no neutral events. In the world of form we learn that every action produces an opposite and equal reaction. Everything that occurs within our awareness, on the wide screen of our life experience; everything is there to instruct us. It may be slight, or it may be a hammer to the head.

Can you believe that sometimes I notice the subtle events and the gentle lessons, but miss the ones that explode in my face? Still, we are learning to pay attention. We are learning to honor the changes that occur within our line of sight that have come to temper us and make us fit for the time before us.

I made an informed prediction last month that the summer months would bring us all significant challenges and energetic shifts. It would be a rollercoaster ride with ecstatic highs and earth shaking lows. I said:

“It looks like the summer is going to kick our collective asses, and June is a MF. Hold on tight, looks like our circumstances might take a good shaking.”

I can’t speak for anyone else, but June certainly delivered for me. And in spite of my preparation, it was a huge surprise that knocked me down like ten-pins at the bowling alley. Now, remember, there are no neutral words. Did I draw this reality into my experience with my words? Since it was my own construction, it was a true rollercoaster ride, so I built in some impossible heights and more than one “loop-de-loop”. And, because I was the engineer, I put in a predictable dip into the dark places: fear, self-doubt, and worry.

I do hear from others that our circumstances are taking a shaking. And we are avoiding the fluidity of the ground in favor of the sure embrace of the current. I don’t like to give advice, but recently a friend was talking to me about the feeling of being tossed about, and her first conditioned response was to dig in and get rooted. I told her to abandon the seeking of security, and to buy a boat.

For myself, I feel guided to give up my comfortable house in favor of placing wheels beneath my feet. I am a little in awe of my own lack of fear. It is simple. I am just waiting, and I have no doubt that if I make a place for knowing in me, knowing will come.

Now what am I to make of the rest of the summer? It cannot be finished with me yet. I have been promised experiences of childish fun and great joy, and I have been too long without those three-letter items. My path has been pretty serious up to now, and the fourth of July weekend was my gate to joy and a greater lightness of being.

Here’s my last illustration: I burned myself twice this weekend. Once was from boiling hot water from one of those pump pots for making hot tea. The other one was from the edge of a tray I had pulled from a 500 degree gas grill. The round tray left a long graceful burn on my upper arm that did not hurt at first, and now is morphing into a “special effects” gnarly scar. It will not go away quickly and when I consider it, I feel like it is trying to tell me something. What do they say about “twice burned”? Could it be that simple? Okay, I’ll be more careful when I pull a tray off a hot grill. And now I look at the word: “careful”. I need to be full of care, not just for others, but for myself.

And you need to care for yourself. I have been working with the image of a rose this week which I imagine growing from my heart. Two different wise women told me to place myself into the center of the rose. You will do the same. It is not selfish. Care for yourself first, so you are able to care for others. First place the oxygen mask over your own nose and mouth, then attend to others.

Yes I know it wasn't my last illustration (paragraph 9); I had two more.  Don't you just love a metaphor?  Thanks to my friend Tricia for this weeks photo.