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December 2008/January 2009 Volume 54

Welcome to this bi-monthly edition of our newsletter! You will find these columns contained in our December/January issue:

Metaphors for Life
Special Events

I hope you enjoy this issue of Kenosis In-spirations...

Carla Woody, Founder

Metaphors for Life
Many traditions understand the power of teaching through stories. Our minds find a special repository for them. We unconsciously draw from this metaphorical resource bank when we need it most -- to guide and nourish us. Here you will find such tales, quotes and prose. As they have come to me, I pass them on to you just as our ancestors have done since the world was young.

Coca leaves in sacred despacho ceremony

Several weeks ago while driving into town I was listening to NPR. A BBC correspondent who had been in Bolivia was being interviewed about the political situation there. During the course of the program, he made a side comment that he'd had a problem with altitude sickness. Then in a sneering tone said something to the effect, "You know what they did for it? Brought me coca tea. You know what they use that for!"

The reporter had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, but merely passed on propaganda. If he had bothered to find out what coca is really about, he'd have discovered it's largely the spiritual and nutritional mainstay of the Quechua culture. Coca in its natural form is not a drug. Nor do they use it as such, but instead in sacred ceremonies and as a food source. The black market for coca, for purposes of processing into cocaine, is only sustained through demand from the USA and Europe. Take care of the issue at home and the black market trade virtually disappears.

By making the statement he did, especially on NPR, the reporter helped spread an assumption that the Quechua people who chew coca must be addicts. Out of ignorance, people often pick up a carefully manufactured mantra meant to further a misguided cause, parrot the message and create more damage.
                                                                                    — Commentary by Carla Woody

Coca leaves used in sacred despacho ceremony in the Peruvian Andes. Photo credit: Peter Coppola

Life is nothing if not levels of learning, whether we freely enter the Perpetual School or are dragged kicking and screaming into our lessons. We actually have no choice in the matter. In this column, I offer you philosophy, musings and information that you may take with you as they fit into your own lyceum.

Acts of Creation

by Carla Woody

I was in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris a little over a month ago and copied these words from a plaque on the wall in one of the many rooms that contained art works from the mid-1800s through the earlier years of the 1900s.

A young painter asked Gaugin for advice and he answered, "Do not paint too much from nature. Art is an abstraction; extract it from nature while dreaming in front of it and pay more attention to the act of creation than to the result."

Paul Gaugin's words punctuated, for me, several similar reminders coming over the course of travels in Provence with our recent group, then culminating there in Paris. As always, those things that stand out to us are what we're there to encounter. This theme was mine to hear and one that is still prevalent in pockets of France, especially Provence.

Mont Ste. Victoire is a hulking giant of a mountain dominating the Provençal landscape. Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne was fascinated with it. Painting it numerous times, he even had a refuge near the top, to the point we hiked and picnicked having our own luncheon on the grass painters Manet and Picasso might have found acceptable.*

Near Ste. Victoire's base sits Mas de Cadenet, a winery that has been in the same family since 1813 producing exquisite examples of Côtes de Provence. We stopped by and Matthieu Négrel was waiting for us.

Making Christmas Wine in the Old Way Making Christmas Wine in the Old Way.
Photo credit: Jill Mitchell

For such a young man, Matthieu is quite the inspiration. At only 25 he is set to take on a large role when his father retires. Indeed, he's already stepped into sharing many of the important decisions about cultivation of the vineyard and wine-making. We even had a discussion about what it was like to have such a family legacy and the expectations that may come with it, whether it was a harness or a sort of freedom. For Matthieu, it was obvious that he had found his passion early on -- and it rested in the land, rhythms of nature, things tended with care, patience. He seemed to contain a distinct knowledge of his place in the world rare for someone his age. With unabashed charm and a lot of gesturing typical of the region, he exuberantly related fact and philosophy about grapes and wine-making. We were not bored and much of what he relayed was done through metaphor. Matthieu and his family produce wine from vines that range from 35 to 50 years old.

A Lesson in Winetasting with Matthieu NégrelA Lesson in Winetasting with Matthieu Négrel.
Photo credit: Jill Mitchell

Standing in the vineyard with Ste. Victoire as the backdrop he told us about his life. How it was to plant a vine and wait - to harvest only after 5 years. Pointing out a vine planted when his grandfather was a young man and then another planted when he himself was a child, he laughed and said, "Things are very s-l-o-o-o-w here in Provence."

Then he went on, "In Provence they say, when the vine is young it produces much. But the quality is medium. When older it produces less but the quality is much better. Ahhhh, but when it is the oldest it's very wise and it holds it all inside and it gives out very little!"

On another day we traveled through the beautiful countryside on winding roads, climbing in elevation and finally came to a Religious House with lavender fields surrounding it. Tucked away in the Alpes de Haute Provence region, discreetly out of sight, three sisters of the Soeurs Coopératrices Maison St Joseph live in an old farmhouse. They are known for cultivating lavandan, a prized type of lavender only grown at this particular altitude, and producing the highest medicinal quality essential oil, in the old way, mostly by hand and not technology. Sister Marie Michelle, who greeted us, had a similar glow about her that Matthieu had, but many, many more years.

Sister Marie Michelle
Sister Marie Michelle
Photo credit: Sue Countiss

She showed us their fields and even though it was late in the season we could smell lavender faintly in the air. She talked about how they carefully harvested and let the blossoms lay in the sun a certain amount of time so that the oils they made would be at the best strength for all the ways they could be used. She bemoaned the fact that other lavender farmers used machinery that cut the stalks in such a way as to lessen the quality and then didn't allow them to "strengthen" in the sun after harvest as needed. It was all done quickly, cut and dried -- so to speak. And she was quite clear that what sold as lavender essential oils in the world market was lavandin, which had much lesser properties, and not lavandan. I was curious how three elderly sisters managed all the fields and harvest until she told us that people from the local community helped. When the sisters are gone, will this art become lost?

Group in front of the Religious House
Group in front of the Religious House
Photo credit: Sue Countiss

I'm going to come full circle and talk a little about painting. I'm an artist, having mostly used oils as my medium. During my lifetime I've periodically taken a hiatus from that art form for various reasons. The last rationale was because I moved cross country and no longer had a studio -- or so I told myself. I did take up black and white photography for several years, but had been finding it not as tactilely satisfying. For a long time, my friend and spiritual mentor Don Américo Yábar had been urging me to paint again and said it would be quite different than what I'd done before. I thought he meant that my subject matter and style would be esoteric based on my experiences in the last number of years.

After I returned from Peru this summer I began to paint again. It just seemed right somehow, without Don Américo ever mentioning it at all this time. And I discovered what he may have meant -- however else my canvases may eventually develop. When I was much younger I painted fast and furious, always with a goal in mind, turning out a completed work typically in somewhere between 4-8 hours. Now I'm painting on the same canvas for weeks. Quite content in the process, I'm allowing the colors to emerge and what expression is more deeply inside me. Perhaps I'm becoming like the older vine Matthieu talked about. Not quite the elder and I'm not yet holding it all inside. Too much to discover still!

But I think what I've learned over the years that is coming out in my painting, and what was echoed through the people we engaged with in Provence, is this. There's great value to immersion in the integrity of a process. Then the quality of the outcome is naturally delivered. I've been taught patience for things to come to fruition. Some things need to happen for others to evolve. When you know this at a visceral level, it brings that joie de vivre written so plainly on the faces of those who live through that understanding like Sister Marie Michelle and Matthieu. It also takes faith -- and sometimes more than a little stamina.


*Édouard Manet turned the French art world upside down with his controversial painting Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe. Pablo Picasso later did his own version of Luncheon on the Grass.

To learn more about Mas de Cadenet, visit their website. View information about our recent "La Source de Provence" program here. When we have enough interest, we'll consider offering it again. Contact us at

© 2008 Carla Woody. All rights reserved.

Carla Woody is the author of the book Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage and Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness and founder of Kenosis, an organization supporting human potential and global consciousness. Carla has long been leading people toward mind/body/spirit wholeness using integrative healing methods blended with world spiritual traditions. She may be reached by e-mail at or by telephone (928) 778-1058.

Special Events
For more information call Kenosis at (928) 778-1058 or e-mail to request a flyer. If you are interested in sponsoring a book signing and/or workshop with Carla Woody, please contact us.

Spring 2009   Navigating Your Lifepath. An intensive program with Carla Woody. Using the proven techniques of NLP merged with practical spirituality. Life-altering coursework with guided incremental change in a powerful group setting held over two 4-day weekends with space in-between for embedding the transformative process. March 12-14 and April 2-5, Thursdays-Sundays, 9:30 AM - 4 PM.

If you want to attain the benefits below, then this program is definitely for you.

- Create clear direction and ways to effectively implement your dream;

- Live a balanced, richer life based on your deeply held values;

- Uncover the unconscious belief system that has historically driven your thoughts and actions;

- Enhance your strengths, identify blockages and move through limitations;

- Deepen relationships and develop community;

- Be a congruent role model for visionary leadership and service;

- Live through your Core Self and naturally, positively affect others.

Who will take this course? Anyone wanting to make a real difference in their own life and that of their family, community or organization.

Early registration by February 6: $950. After February 6: $995. Bring a friend or family member and each receive an additional $50 discount. MC/Visa accepted. Previous graduates may register for $895 by February 6. Call Kenosis at 928-778-1058 or for more info or to register. Held at Marriott Springhill Suites, 200 E. Sheldon St,Prescott, AZ, tel. 888-466-8440. Call for special overnight rates and mention Kenosis. See what people are saying about this coursework.

A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, whose programs seek to help preserve indigenous wisdom traditions. For more information about their projects, go to the Kenosis Spirit Keepers website.

May 27-June 10   The Heart of the Andes. Dates inclusive of normal travel time. Spiritual travel to Peru working with internationally renowned mystic Don Américo Yábar, Gayle Yábar, Carla Woody, as well as Q'ero shamans and other healers. A Spirit Keepers Journey co-sponsored by Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers bringing Diné Spirit Keepers to share their traditions. Limited young adult partial sponsorships available. Early registration until March 27: $2995. After March 27: $3095. Registration costs include automatic donation (tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers) of $995 toward Kenosis Spirit Keepers programs. For more information, contact Kenosis at 928-778-1058 or Very limited group size.

Specially Arranged Trip

June 10-23. Dates inclusive of normal travel time. Co-sponsored by Kenosis and Prescott College's Center for Extended Studies and Lifelong Learning (CESLL). Includes travel to Puno. Tuition: $3950 per person double occupancy. For more information on this program, contact CESLL at 877-350-2100 ext. 4110 or

This is an adventure of the spirit!

October 18-27   Navigating Your Lifepath. A Lifepath intensive and Spiritual Travel Program in beautiful Bali, Indonesia with Carla Woody and Marcia Jaffe. Sponsored by the Bali Institute for Global Renewal. This unique program integrates the Lifepath work with visits to sacred sites and sessions with Balinese healers. To register or for more information, contact the Bali Institute at 415-331-7552 (USA phone number) or email. Also call Kenosis at 928-778-1058 or

Ongoing   Private Consultation is available with Carla Woody in-person in Prescott, AZ or via telephone. Addressing life direction, relationship, spiritual emergence and whole health. Integrating NLP, subtle energy work and sacred world traditions to make a lasting positive difference.

Contact Kenosis at 928-778-1058 or

More often than not, the publications or music you will find reviewed here will not be new or "bestsellers." Websites or organizations may not be well known. But all are spotlighted by virtue of their impact and value.

The Shaman's Heart Program
By Byron Metcalf

Some of you who are reading this review attended the Kenosis Spirit Keepers benefit concert in November where Byron and Mark Seelig performed to a very appreciative crowd. You'd need no introduction to Byron's work. Having been there, you know that his music takes you into another realm entirely.

Now he's released a systematic learning program that draws on his many years of consciousness research and is meant to open spaces of the heart and create connections that allow deeper living. It's a unique combination of Byron's music, guided exercises and Hemi-Sync® pioneered by Robert Monroe which creates whole brain states. The 4-CD package with instructional materials builds upon itself to take you from discovering your heart connection to working with your energy field all the way to shamanic journeying and ecstatic breathwork. Additional materials are available to download online.

If you want to move beyond merely listening to Byron's music into exploring the wider reaches of consciousness through the guidance of a very experienced teacher -- and do it in your own home - this is an excellent way to go.

I'll refer you back to the review of Nada Terma, the new CD by Byron, Mark Seelig and Steve Roach, from the last issue of Kenosis Inspirations for additional commentary on what you could expect.

To learn more about the Shaman's Heart Program, to purchase the package or other CDs go to the website.

- Carla Woody

© 2008 Kenosis LLC. All rights reserved.
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