Seekers, Kindred Spirits and Solstice Celebration!

…casual, creative, companionship & meaning-making…Come join on this coming Solstice Sunday, June 23rd!

Hello All,
Please consider this as a gentle reminder of this upcoming free SoulCollage® workshop, followed by a picnic-themed Potluck. I know that some of you are off travelling or on retreat or at Breitenbush or the beach or woods or National Parks (ahhhh….summer), but I wanted to send a final reminder, MapQuest link and personal invite to you and yours (family, friends, neighbors, kindred spirits).

This workshop & potluck gathering is my gift to you and is scheduled this coming weekend, 2013 Summer Solstice weekend (Sunday, June 23, 1-5pm; Community Potluck 5-9pm). It will take place at Shingyo Shelley’s,11716 SE 322nd St, Auburn, WA 98092.

Just put in your address and mine above:

This experience is designed to support your Whole Blooming Life – especially since it is Summer Solstice and all the seeds that you planted this year should be poking up and flowering!

Beginning with a creative and contemplative SoulCollage® process, which uses mindfulness and evocative images, come experience a mythical, mystical experience calling forth possibilities from realms nested slightly below everyday waking consciousness. What a perfect way to mark and then inhabit this next phase of your year and life!

A similar gift was offered at the New Year—it was well loved and received and seemed to be an inspirational milestone for attendees, supporting them to envision and attune to their inner wisdom. (Come autumn, we will offer something special on Harvesting the Body of Your Whole Year… keep your eyes peeled for further information on that.)

For now, please consider gathering your significant others and coming to this experience (adults only for the workshop – or kiddos who can stay engaged for several hours of quiet introspection and art). Please bring potluck goodies to share afterwards (all ages welcome). It will be one of the longest days of the year, and picnics are great summer fun, especially with a small gaggle of Kindred Spirits!

I’ve attached the invitation, with more info and the address.

Thinking of you with love and appreciation,

Shingyo Shelley

PS If you have questions about SoulCollage®, please feel invited to connect with Vylia Tofle,
Rosen Method Bodywork Intern & SoulCollage® Facilitator

You are invited June 23rd – The Summer Day!

Hello Sunny Summer Days & Kindred Spirits,

In honor of Summer Solstice you are invited to come join in celebrating with kindred spirits at my digs in Auburn, Washington.

Soul Collage® Workshop whee it’s free!
& Kindred Spirit Potluck Picnic

Sunday Summer Celebration
June 23, 2013
Soul Collage® Workshop from 1–5pm &
Kindred Spirit Potluck Picnic from 5–9pm

Please accept these events as gifts to support, nourish and enhance the meaning of your life. You are welcome to attend either or both event and please feel invited to bring significant others. The visioning will be led by Certified Soul Collage® Trainer Vylia Tofle. This portion will be a workshop beginning promptly at 1pm and lasting until 5pm (adults only). Come explore, imagine and engage with the mysterious visual expression of the full body of your year!

The visioning will be followed by a Potluck Picnic from 5-9pm, so grab beverages, salads, casseroles and finger foods – bring along plenty to share with all. Note: The place will be ripe with vegetarians! This day is certain to be filled with insights, revelations, familiar faces, hugs, laughter and stories. June 23rd is designed to be your special time to deeply connect with the emergence of inner being. Come on over and have some good ole’ summer fun. Hope to see you here!

Kindred Spirits are my Prayer Wheel,

Shingyo Shelley
Shelley Glendenning, MA
11716 SE 322nd Street
Auburn WA 98092 USA
206 949 4286

These celebrations acknowledge not only the outward seasonal changes but also the symbolic/subjective rhythms of our lives. In taking the time to honor these festivals, we honor our own symbolic process of unfoldment. In this way we cooperate with the natural life progression and live with a true consciousness. They are a pause – a moment to take an in-breath together.
~Paula Klimek

The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Copyright @ 1990 by Mary Oliver. First published in House of Light, Beacon Press. Reprinted in The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays, Beacon Press.

Tired of Speaking Sweetly

Shocking language can wake up sleeping giants. A month ago I spent Sunday afternoon in Woodinville with a friend and colleague who does business development. I hauled Shingyo’s artifacts (services, products, models, offerings, course descriptions) to her home. I unpacked them by spreading 20+ years of history across her dining room table. She listened while I shared stories, history, ideas and plans, all of which finally trailed off into worries and fears. I noticed how vulnerable and weak I felt at the end of sharing everything and most importantly so did she.

Several hours into the afternoon when my turn was complete she said, “Ok. Now I am going to take you to the wall. Are you up to that?” I knew that she meant NO HOLDS BARRED.

“YES,” I replied, knowing it was exactly what I needed. I had been feeling puny and scared again about not having enough clients, filled classes and work – the typical Entrepreneurial Terror that accompanies the ebbs and flows of self-employment.

She continued, “This is all about feelings of unworthiness, about a part of you that feels like she is not enough. And here is what I want to tell you and she slapped the wooden dining room table for emphasis: Kill That Cunt.”

She went on to describe how prepared I was and how much I had to offer praising the numerous models and programs that I had invented and taught over the years. “Its all here, Shelley. You have everything. And if there is a part of you that is holding out, holding you back, then I say Kill That Cunt.”

I gasped. I felt the blood draining from my face. Kill That Cunt seemed violent and my Buddhist training tells me to offer loving kindness, acceptance and non-violence to all my parts. Killing anything, inside or out, was sacrilege.

Although I definitely got her point, I felt shocked into a different manner of thinking and being for weeks afterwards. No one is really allowed to use that word, the “C” word, let alone another female who is herself a feminist and on a spiritual path. Holy smokes. I left reeling.

But it turned out to be just the shock that I needed by provoking my entire system of being. It generated many recitations of the conversation to other colleagues, friends and companions, most of whom became whitened and expressionless when hearing it. It had struck a nerve and stuck en dente, with teeth, against the wall of my consciousness.

Then yesterday morning as I reading THE WISE HEART by Jack Kornfield, the following paragraph leapt out:

Now we are talking about thought patterns that are as sticky as Brer Rabbit’s Tar Baby. We all know them from experience, when a fear or doubt or obsession just won’t go away. The thoughts may be unpleasant, but our mind gets in a groove and we don’t know what to do but stay there. Like the Tar Baby, the thought of letting go of our ex-lover becomes a form of thinking about him or her. Ignoring the thoughts or walking mindfully and breathing slowly may reduce them. If not, the Buddha recommends a final and rarely used last resort: “Such thoughts should be met with force, teeth clenched, tongue pressed against the roof of the mouth, determined to constrain, crush, and subdue these thoughts as if constraining a violent criminal. In this way does one become a master of thought and its courses. In this way one becomes free.”

As we can hear, these are not sweet “self-esteem” practices, looking in the mirror every morning and saying, “I am a loving person and the world will give me what I want.” The destructive habits of mind can be tenacious. There is an element of fierce determination and self-discipline needed to take on the realities of the suffering world.”

Immediately I thought, “This is Kill The Cunt!” I had never before encountered this notion in Buddhist practice.

In Hindu traditions the goddess Kali holds this energy. Kali, with her pendulous breasts, necklace of skulls and sword, fiercely cuts the heads off of dangerous illusions. Spiritual texts talk about rooms filled with so much blood that she wades through it as she severs and unmasks; it is called Kali’s Sacred Rage. She is fierce with reality and lives in the charnel grounds, the cremation grounds of change. It is significant to share that she carries a sword in her right hand, but on her outstretched left palm sits an egg. Rebirth. New life. Two halves of one whole.

I called my friend and colleague to read the paragraph to her. We talked for most of an hour, winding around the differences between us. How she leads with the fiery sword and I lead with kindness. About how, due to that meeting and my reaction to her statement, she is now looking at offering loving kindness to that part of her that wields the sword. Softening.

I shared that I had been busy contemplating how to cultivate more sword energy. More fire and heft.

It was a powerful conversation and ignited yet another level of contemplation about the roles of compassion and fierceness. We agreed that we had much to learn from each other. She followed up by sending the following poem by Hafiz.

Tired of Speaking Sweetly by Hafiz

Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.
If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.
Love sometimes get tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth
That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,
Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.
God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.
The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:
Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.
But when we hear
He is in such a “playful drunken mood”
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.

Shingyo Shelley offers one-on-one sessions, workshops and courses such as Designing My Practice: Practicing My Design, where work and life are mindfully crafted as a spiritual practice.The next Designing My Practice program begins in July, 2013. Email or call 206.949.4286 for more information.

If you are ready to get real with your whole life and whole self, cruise the offerings on my site at, or find me on LinkedIn or Facebook at

Come, come whoever you are, come and join me. I am a great teacher and guide because I am still learning…every single day.

The Wise Heart

Dharma Wisdom Sangha, my Friday morning Buddhist meditation group, focuses on a different book each quarter. This quarter’s book, Jack Kornfield’s THE WISE HEART, is one of the best that I have studied in ages. My copy has so many highlights, dog-eared corners, folded pages and inked underlines that my level of engagement is immediately obvious even from a distance; this rumpled book was thoroughly read and well-loved.

Besides daily mediation and yoga, my spiritual practice includes rising early and reading for several hours. This morning’s chapter from Jack’s book was particularly poignant because it spoke wholeheartedly to an experience from yesterday’s Designing My Practice class. As this years edition nears conclusion and “graduation” looms, folks notions of their next work and life stage are concretizing while simultaneously a few loose ends are poking out and flailing about. All to be expected, but worrisome nonetheless.

One of the participants was expressing concerns about finding the right language to express the benefit she will provide clients through her new practice of being a Spiritual Director. Her entire dialogue of concern was peppered with the word JOY, although it was unapparent to her. Eventually she noticed – the right language had been there all along.

Isn’t that the best? It organically appeared even as she was doubting that it ever would. Don’t you just love when that happens? What’s that they say at Antioch: trust the process.

On that note, I’d like to share the following passage from my morning reading and why it was so poignant:

“In HIGH TIDE IN TUCSON, novelist Barbara Kingsolver talks about how this transformation is possible, even when our old life is in ruins:

Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job or a limb or a loved one, a graduation, bringing a new baby home: it’s impossible to think at first how this all will be possible. Eventually, what moves it all forward is the subterranean ebb and flow of being alive among the living.

In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again.

Joy. So simple and present, we need only practice seeing what’s already there. And sometimes we need others to help us see because it is so apparent to everyone but us. Other’s like a Spiritual Director. Makes me smile just to say it.

Shingyo offers one-on-one sessions, workshops and courses such as Designing My Practice: Practicing My Design, where work and life are mindfully crafted as a spiritual practice.
The next Designing My Practice program begins in July, 2013. Email or call 206.949.4286 for more information.

Hey…coming soon!

Coming Spring 2013
Designing My Practice: Practicing My Design, where creating soulful livelihood is the essential focus. DMP is a ten month-long mindful design studio where crafting your life and work, whether creating a private practice or your next life stage, is approached soulfully. Explorations include metaphor, art, experiential exercises, dharma talks, esteemed guests and field trips. You will reach into your heart to discover (or recover) your soul’s code. Designing My Practice rests effortlessly on consciousness-based principles and creative methods providing a rich, intimate Community of Practitioners with whom to share your heartfelt journey. Join in, open to new possibilities. This course is deeply provocative and highly effective for designers, therapists, consultants, healers, retirees, teachers, leaders, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and artists.

Designing My Practice: Practicing My Design 2.0
Schedule 2013-14
Tuesdays, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Mar 12, 26; Apr 9, 23; May 14, 21; Jun 4, 18; Jul 2, 16, 30; Sept 3, 10; Oct 1, 15, 29; Nov 12, 19; Dec 3; Jan 14, 28. Finale’ – Feb 18, 2014. Fair fees. Full payment includes a generous savings. Credit cards are accepted. Payment plans are available.

About Me My work is my spiritual practice and my offering to you.

Client Love Letter Shelley is a gem! It’s been a delight to work with her. She is mindful, resourceful, creative, and intuitive. She uses an integrated array of tools and is deftly attuned to what I need in each moment. She embodies a unique mix of big picture visioning with nuts and bolts practicality. She has a gift for noticing patterns, meaning, and metaphor, and her insights are profound. I know that she really sees me, and she reflects what she sees with love and compassion. She welcomes whatever arises and assists me in embracing my whole being, from the inside out. There is an ease and effortlessness in each session, and I leave feeling grounded, spacious, and inspired. Her expertise and integrity are giving me confidence that I can actually achieve my dreams. She is a trusted companion on my journey of self-discovery. “V” April, 2012

The Way It Is
There’s a thread you follow.
It goes among things that change.
But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for other’s to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
William Stafford

A Friendship Blessing

Up early slurrrping Jasmine Pearl – ahhh, Tea Mind. Heart brimming with gratitude for growing up in a small eastern Washington town, and for still knowing and being known by many childhood friends. Belonging.

Dedicated to Jerry Moberg, who remembers my father and brought joy/pain into the present moment for me by simply saying so. Thank you, Jerry. Namaste’, Shell-
ps Now I can forgive you for dumping me in High School for Katie from Othello. Whew. What a relief. Forgiveness. 😉

A Friendship Blessing

May you be blessed with good friends,
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself,
May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where
there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.
May it transfigure that which is negative, distant or cold
in you.
May you be brought into the real passion, kinship and
affinity of belonging.
May you treasure your friends.
May you be good to them, and may you be there for them;
may they bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth
and light that you need for your journey.
May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with
your anam cara.

John O’Donohue

His Heart Opened

Thanks to Brian Andreas:

“He told me that once he forgot himself
and his heart opened up like a door
with a loose latch and everything
fell out and he tried for days to put
it back in the proper order,
but finally he gave up and left
it there in a pile and loved
everything equally.”

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