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February/March 2011 Volume 67

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

Metaphors for Life
Special Events

I hope you enjoy this issue of Kenosis Inspirations...

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.

Surely there is grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought, at least, you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights and depth; that there are no walls nor fences, nor prohibited places, nor sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought…

— Robert Green Ingersoll

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.

Unexpected Music
By Carla Woody

We were exploring Le Marais district when I remembered one of my favorite places. I succeeded in persuading my friends that they really must experience the oldest square in Paris. We turned down a side street that opened into Place des Vosges. Its elegant French classical façade spoke to the aristocracy that once lived above the arcades below. It didn’t take much to imagine Victor Hugo striding along anxious to be home to continue penning his novel of the moment. We noticed a bistro just in time for lunch. Salad, cheese, bread and wine somehow tasting so much better than it ever did at home.

Classique Metropolitain at Place des Vosges

Classique Metropolitain at Place des Vosges
Photo credit: Carla Woody

Exiting, we started to round the corner that would take us out of the square when we noticed activity across the way under the arches. Some ten or so people setting up — a musical ensemble! We edged closer to watch. A few others began to gather. The discordant sounds of musicians tuning their violins and cellos ensued. And ensued. And ensued. Until finally my friends were getting impatient, wanting to leave. Oh no! Just a few more minutes, I was saying in my head. Feeling the tug of the group I started to turn away with them.

And in that moment, the cacophony stopped. A split second of silence brought chaos into perfect order — the haunting strains of Pachelbel’s Canon filled the air. The acoustics amplified the notes to such a degree that we were enveloped, rooted in place. The beauty of the moment was overwhelming. I didn’t want to move from that spot. The energy continued to rise as they went on to play Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi. Thankfully, a violinist broke away to begin offering CDs. I gladly purchased one and then discovered their name — Classique Metropolitain. What an unexpected gift, an extraordinary dessert, one we wouldn’t have had if we’d not been willing to pause.

Now when I play their recording, especially when I paint, it takes me right back to that split second of perfect order when my spirits soared — to experience it all again, gaining inspiration. Only much later did I discover that Classique Metropolitain regularly frequented metro stations and Place des Vosges playing to passersby, perhaps to lend pleasure to their day.


I’ve just returned from our program in the Chiapas region of Mexico where we also spent several days in the highlands participating in ritual and religious festivities for San Sebastián. Music was a thread that ran through our time together — sacred and celebratory, vocal and instrumental — something to be expected considering our itinerary. But it was the unexpected music, taking the edge off a situation and lifting our spirits, or instilling a hush to any tumbling thoughts, that I most savored and have tucked away in that same place where Classique Metropolitain and Place des Vosges reside.

Lalo Ed Adams lives in New Jersey. Some years ago his search for someone going to Piedras Negras brought him to me. He joined our travels, in the process discovering a new name that he wore proudly. This year Lalo came along again wearing the glow I saw develop back then. Early on, he brought out a guitar saying he’d learned to play a couple of years ago and now gathered weekly with guitarists back home. During our days staying at El Panchan outside the Palenque ruins, he inched his way from casually playing at our table at Don Mucho’s Restaurant — until fully on stage with microphone and sound system going! I admired his chutzpah and his playing.

Lalo Ed Adams on a Chiapas Roadside

Lalo Ed Adams on a Chiapas Roadside
Photo credit: Carla Woody

But the really resounding thing about Lalo was that he understood how music can intervene and shift the energy in a moment. We’d been on our way to the Lacandón Jungle village of Najá anticipating the upcoming ceremony with Don Antonio Martinez when the van began to hesitate and sputter. Our driver was worried. Bad gas, he said, finally pulling over. We all bailed out, it appearing that there would be a long wait while the situation was remedied. It was hot. We were in the middle of nowhere milling around on the side of the road.

It didn’t take long before Lalo pulled out his guitar. I finally couldn’t resist. I joined in with what he later called my “vocal chops” — that hadn’t been let loose in years. Some of the others chimed in until we had a plein air concert of sorts going; that turned a difficult situation to a light one full of fun. We continued to find such moments to express, all the way up to our closing dinner when we essentially took over a restaurant, and the other patrons joined our musical frivolity that ranged from “I Shall Be Released” to “Nowhere Man.”

But backtracking a bit, the latter half of our journey we stayed in San Cristóbal de las Casas in the Chiapas highlands. While we were visiting Na Bolom I heard faint notes of piano music and wandered into a room. Beautiful, I thought. Taking note of the pianist but not wanting to disturb, I examined the religious icons in the room. At leaving I saw a poster announcing Richard Pierce Milner as the current artist-in-residence with evening concerts being held regularly. In the next day when we were in the Maya village of Zinacantán witnessing the raucous festivities for San Sebastián, I noticed the pianist there with a friend. This time I made sure we met and, on a whim, invited him to come with us. We were on our way to Don Xun Calixto’s home above San Juan Chamula where a special ritual awaited us. In return, I joked to Richard, I must have a concert.

Richard Pierce Milner at Na Bolom

Richard Pierce Milner at Na Bolom
Photo credit: Richard Pierce Milner

Indeed. A few nights later, after the group had flown home, I went back to Na Bolom. At one time, before it had been the home of Frans and Trudy Blom, or a museum, the old hacienda had housed a seminary. One long room still bore reminders of that time, an altar at one end, religious paintings on nearly every inch of wall. But a grand piano at the other end dominated the space. The only light source was candlelight. I took a seat. Richard began to play. And I was transported.

Truly, Richard’s compositions are hard to categorize, a blend of neo-classical and crossover jazz as descriptor not at all doing them justice. What do you say about pieces that snatch you up to share a deeply personal journey with the artist? That wend their way through memories of a caught moment by the sea, a difficult healing process, or tribute to a mentor now passed? That touch on a place of play or poignancy not often touched? I can only say that Richard exposes his innermost feelings through his music and extends an invitation for listeners to join him. As I write these words, piano solos from his CD entitled Other Ways of Knowing are lending support.


In these times when so much of life is artificially structured, perhaps even constricted, that we can no longer breathe, do moments other than that — should we allow them — create openings. Chance encounters, courage mustered, intuition followed, and willingness to engage possibilities provide a distinct loosening that allows us to take flight. For me, unexpected music, especially when I find it within myself, has been a theme that has provided a springboard.


Classique Metropolitain

Classique Metropolitain at Place des Vosges Classique Metropolitain has a CD available and clips of their on-street concerts may be viewed on You Tube.

Richard Pierce Milner

Richard Pierce Milner’s music CDs Other Ways of Knowing and Breakthrough are available to order online. Richard can also be followed on Facebook. He tells me he’ll soon have a separate website.

Lalo Ed Adams

Lalo Ed Adams has not yet recorded a CD. But when he does, you’ll see it here!

To learn more about Chiapas and Na Bolom, see Wanderings and Inspirations.

© 2011 Carla Woody. All rights reserved.

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 or a workshop with Carla Woody, please contact us.

February 26-27   Spirit Keepers Series event featuring Grandmother Mona Polacca, Hopi/Havasupai/Tewa elder and member of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. Sponsored by Kenosis Spirit Keepers, the nonprofit arm of Kenosis, for Saturday evening talk and Sunday circle. Held Prescott, Arizona. For complete information, go to the Spirit Keepers Series page.

March 18   Screening of documentary film One World Wisdom written by Carla Woody and co-produced with Bradley Burak. Talk by Carla Woody follows. Held 7 PM. Sponsored by Unity Church Prescott, 145 S. Arizona St. Spirit Reels Program. For more info call 928-445-1850.

May 7   Fifth Annual Benefit Concert and Wine Tasting (PDF flyer, <1MB) featuring 3-time Grammy nominee Liz Story, Frank Thompson and AZ Rhythm Connection, and Native American flute with Sunny Heartley. Plus an Indigenous wisdom slide show with Founder Carla Woody, silent auction of fair trade items from Bali, Peru, Mexico and more. Held 5:30-8:30 PM at the Smoki Museum in Prescott, AZ. To purchase advance discounted tickets, go to online or Adventure Travel, 130 Grove St., Prescott. If you're unable to attend but want to support through a direct donation, please go here. Sponsored by Kenosis Spirit Keepers, the nonprofit arm of Kenosis.

May 30-June 12, 2011   The Heart of the Andes. 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 Hopi Spirit Keepers from the US Southwest to share traditions with their Quechua cousins.Early registration by April 1: $2995. Late registration after April 1: $3095. Registration costs include automatic donation (tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers) of $495 toward Kenosis Spirit Keepers programs. For more information, contact Kenosis at 928-778-1058 or Very limited group size.

Ongoing   Spiritual Travel to France: La Source of Provence is available with Carla Woody. By special arrangement for small groups of five to six persons. May be booked up to one year in advance subject to availability. Integrates sacred sites of Mary Magdalen, art and old Provençal culture. Contact 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.

For the Next 7 Generations
Documentary by The International Council of 13 Indigenouse Grandmothers and Center for Sacred Studies

This inspirational documentary tells the story of thirteen grandmothers from tribes spanning the world and how they were brought together through a vision. Since 2004 the Grandmothers have traveled to more than eight countries holding vigils for peace and healing. They’ve received the blessing of the Dalai Lama for their work. The film highlights each Grandmother’s tradition and the message they separately bring that has created the power of their circle. In these times when so many are suffering, For the Next 7 Generations provides sustenance for those similarly engaged to maintain their challenging work – and will instill a call to action for others.

To order the film go to the Grandmothers’ website.

— Carla Woody

© 2011 Kenosis LLC. All rights reserved.
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