May 25, 2017

Zen In The Garden Was Awesome!

Wow, zen In The Garden (ZIG) was Awesome this year!

We had 18 people from all over the world in attendance, which was very cool.

zen in the Garden 2017 Attendees


The students were lovely, which I’m fortunate enough to have come to expect with my ZIG students from past experience. They were really motivated, open and grounded people. I was asked lots of great questions about many aspects of life and spiritual development.

zen in the Garden Circle


We began our ZIG experience with a mantra to appreciate the elements — earth, water, fire and air — and discussed “who we are” in relationship to these elements. It was a fun exercise. We did some toning together to harmonize as a group. Then, I taught them about the breath, and explained what prana is. I showed how powerful prana, or life-force energy, is by demonstrating that once you know what you are feeling for, you can easily feel it coming right through a rock.

We all know from basic physics that you can’t blow your breath through solid rock. What they didn’t teach you in physics class is what prana is, and that it moves through any and all matter effortlessly.

Blowing Prana


In the photo above, you can see Bill Waters, a highly skilled physical therapist and friend of mine who actually worked in my physical therapy clinic in the late 90s. It was lovely to see you again, Bill!

As part of their learning and growth process in ZIG, I took students through an assessment based on five key symbol archetypes (the circle, square, spiral, triangle and equidistant cross). This system was developed by the late anthropologist and shaman, Angeles Arrien, who shared it in her book, The Signs Of Life: The Five Universal Shapes and How to Use Them. Here you can see my five symbols in the order of their importance to me.

My Representation of the 5 Symbols


The students and I spent time going through how to interpret the results of their individual tests and, needless to say, they were pretty blown away at how accurately the test described their past challenges, talents, current challenges and what they can do to live their dreams, goals and aspirations more efficiently.

Once they chose their symbols and ordered them in importance or attraction to themselves, I engaged them in a process of expressing them through nature art. They all did a great job and were really creative. Here are some examples of what they created:

Nicole DeVaney


C.H.E.K Institute Instructor, Nicole DeVaney was quite crafty. She incorporated my entire stone lifting circle and natural articles from the surroundings. When she was done, her square extended beyond the circle, and even conjoined with the art of other students. Love it!

Here are some of the many cool expressions of the 5 Symbols art exercise:







I finished our day of ZIG by teaching my students how to stack rocks safely. They really enjoyed getting out on the property and putting their touches on it by adding some beauty.






It was a lovely experience with amazing, lovely, open minded, fit, healthy and beautiful people. Thanks to all of you for sharing your life with me for a day at zen In The Garden!