The Return of Spirit

Stop what you’re doing just for a moment and see if you can feel your breath moving in and out of your body…if you can feel your heart beating in your chest.

Can you feel the LIFEforce in you?

The energy that keeps all your bodily systems running. This lifeforce is more than a biological function and it doesn’t just run your body…it runs through everything…everything that exists and all the space in between is charged and infused by this same lifeforce energy (even the things we don’t consider to be “alive”).


It’s everything…

Apache elder, Grandfather Stalking Wolf, refers to this energy as the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things. The Aborigines of Australia call it Divine Oneness. The Lakota call it Wakan Tanka, which translates to “The Big Sacred.”

In his new book, The Light Inside, my dear friend and spiritual brother, C.S. Drury, reminds us that… “If we just walk outside and look up at the stars, across a desert canyon, at a blade of grass, we can easily become enthralled by the wonders of life here on Earth. And if we look closely enough we can see that Spirit lives inside all of it, just as it lives inside all of us.”

This Spirit cannot be captured by words and names. It defies all logic and transcends all definitions. Although it is the source and inspiration of countless forms of spiritual devotion throughout history, it is much bigger and wider and deeper than any religion or set of spiritual practices.

It is grander and more magical than the greatest miracles performed by saints and prophets…and, despite the claims of certain religious institutions…it runs free through ALL of existence. Access to it requires no special key, no particular heritage, no fancy training. Each and every one of us has full access to it…through the magical portals of our very own awareness.


Bow Down…

Connecting with and receiving guidance from this great and powerful spiritual force is as simple as relaxing…fully…into the reality of your present moment. It’s as easy as giving up the struggle and strain…putting down the baggage of your worry and posturing…and surrendering to ‘what is’ with genuine awe. It’s about witnessing the breath in your lungs, the sun filtering through the clouds, the traffic jam in front of you, the complexity of life in the modern world with a sense of wonder. In fact, even the most elaborate of spiritual practices and religious rituals are designed to do just that…to deliver you to a state of awe and wonder.

But true spiritual connection is not about strategy. It does not actually require specific rituals. All it takes is HUMILITY.

As we bow down to the sheer miracle of life we put ourselves in the position to receive. From this place of honor and reverence we are able to witness the perfection of the BiG picture unfolding, listen for and hear the guidance being offered to us and understand how we can contribute to the wellbeing of the Whole.

We are being called back…

The modern techno-culture we’ve been raised by prides itself on being secular. Science and technology have been elevated to the ranks of undeniable truth while spirituality and religion have been relegated almost to the level of quaint family hobbies, at best. Spiritual interests are often seen as old-fashioned, superstitious, quirky or close-minded. In the mainstream of our culture it’s not “cool” to be spiritual…it’s not sophisticated…it’s not what educated people do.

“A commitment to forming a relationship with Spirit is regarded as a distraction at best and dangerous or evil at worst.”

– C.S. Drury The Light Inside

I see this as a great cultural loss…something that we have been deprived of by our culture. We have been raised without a true awareness and knowledge of the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things. In fact, we’ve been trained to ignore it.

We are part of an incredibly dynamic, living, breathing, moving, growing body of conscious Spirit that is constantly communicating. But, over thousands of years of cultural conditioning, we have convinced ourselves and each other that we are separate from it and superior to it. Even after perpetuating this lie for countless generations the truth is still the truth.

Spirit never left. We are still deeply woven into the tapestry of life. All we’ve done by claiming this separation is to shut down our ability to perceive this truth and, therefore, cut off our power to connect and collaborate with this omnipotent lifeforce energy. The return of Spirit is really about the return of our awareness that there is a profound spiritual power moving through all of existence and that we can interact with it, contribute to its wellbeing and receive support and guidance from it.

“One of the most devastating consequences of our culture’s story is that it has resulted in a loss of belief in our most important and vital support network, that which we find through the world of Spirit.”

– C.S. Drury The Light Inside

This disconnection renders us powerless and sets us up to be victims of seemingly random and meaningless circumstance. It also causes us to be not only useless, but seriously destructive within the great circle of life.

Without the awareness of our interconnectedness with the rest of creation we’re like a bunch of blindfolded buffoons stumbling through a gallery of exquisite blown glass art.


Without humanity’s active and responsible cooperation with the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things all of creation suffers. The circle of life can only truly thrive when all the players are willingly involved. The damage caused by our illusion of separateness has become so serious in recent decades that the very life support system we all rely on is falling apart right in front of our eyes.

The signs and symptoms have become undeniable…the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things is calling us out of our stupor. We are being called back to attention…we are being beckoned to reconnect with the circle of life…and to once again revere the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things…to humble ourselves to it and learn how to perceive it and honor it and contribute to its wellbeing.

Way back in the 1960s, Grandfather Stalking Wolf warned his young student Tom Brown Jr. that if we reached certain thresholds of damage in the physical world that we would have to wake up to our sacred responsibility to participate in healing on a spiritual level. He said…

“The Earth can no longer be healed on a physical level. Only a spiritual healing can change the course of the probable futures of mankind.”

Reclaiming our Sacred Responsibility

At a recent Hindu fire ceremony to honor the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things I was listening to the guidance of the facilitator as he oriented the newcomers to this practice. He was instructing us to make offerings into the fire while saying the word “Swaha,” which means “I offer.” This is one of the many ways to practice humility and surrender to the Divine.

He said, “Say Swaha like your life depends on it…because it does.”

This ritual was given to the people tens of thousands of years ago to guide us in participating with the circle of life and help us bow in humility and reverence to the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things. It is said that this is the fire that brings the rain, that grows the grain…and the smoke that purifies our bodies, minds and spirits.

fire ceremony

When he told us to say “Swaha” like our lives depend on it I realized that they, in fact, do depend on this genuine connection and humility. It is true now more than it ever has been. Our lives depend on it. Of course, we need the physical sustenance of quenching rain and nourishing grain…but, as I explained to my 11 year old daughter, these are also metaphorical.

The fire is the devotion, the ritual, the offering of our passions and our attention…that brings the rain of spiritual support, the reciprocation from the spirit world that nourishes the land and all of creation to produce sustenance for our lives, like the grains and all of the rest of this abundant world.

Hindus are not the only ones who believe that our prayers and rituals and requests to the spirit world are necessary to support our physical world. All of the ancient cultures that I’m aware of share a similar belief that the active involvement, ritual and prayer of humans helps to sustain balance and wellbeing in the world…that, in fact, that is our role to play in creation…our sacred responsibility.


Similar beliefs and practices among the Dagara, Aborgines, Shipibo, Shona, Lakota, Kogi, etc. express that we’re meant to continually sing and dance and pray the world alive. That that is the reason we’ve been given this creativity and consciousness that is so distinct from the rest of the animal kingdom. And that when we use our consciousness (or intellect) instead to further our own development and comfort at the expense of the web of life we are actually turning our back on our most sacred responsibility and creating massive imbalance and destruction.

During this time of breakdown and breakthrough in our world it is essential that we wake up to our interconnection with all of existence and offer ourselves to the mending of that which has been broken.

Although there are many rituals and practices that can help us “get there” all we need to do is humble ourselves to the Divine with genuine awe and wonder and realize that we are already there…held within the great circle of life…nourished by the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things…ready and willing to be of service.



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