Bees and Bridges – Connecting is Bee-autiful
Owning our actions initiates continual reflection from within without any sorrow of its presence.
To bee, or not to bee. Symbol that bridged a few of us in grad school with pivotal moments of irony encouraged us to build a bridge between ideas and confidence in order to deepen our personal work through experiential learning. A series of synchronicities occurred that week. Bees and Bridges – from frenzy toward building heart liaisons – is the metaphor I took home.
How were bees and bridges important to a spiritual deepening during our time together in Los Gatos? In reflection I realized that I was learning to align, attune and be(e). After losing my father just a few weeks prior to this trip, certain things could not be mistaken for coincidence – the way the theme of bees and bridges wove into nearly ever aspect of the seminar. It was one of the most heartfelt and purposeful trips that I have ever taken.
I met a lady who is most likely is a cousin from my dad’s side of the Bridges family. We were two daughters desiring connection with our fathers who had both crossed over.
Iishana Artra and Jennifer Buergermeister are really Elizabeth Bridges and Jennifer Bridges by birth. Our fathers came from the same area of the United States born just miles from each other in Kentucky and Ohio. Iishana had made a pledge to pursue family from her dad’s side just before the seminar. Meeting Iishana helped me realize my heart was sensing my father’s love even from the spirit realm. I found myself deep in reflection of him during the week.
In my devotion, planning my father’s funeral prior to seminar, I petitioned for bids to hand carve a totem in honor of the Bridges Family and my father. My dad and I had discussed making a Bridges totem together before he died but with his decline in health, we never had the chance. The union of two Bridges gals in a mutual Ph D program was sweet and synchronistic. I feel blessed to gain a cousin, even a sister and friend. We were on a mission to put wisdom of the heart to work not only in the world, but in the grieving process. It just had to Bee!
Our cohorts, each containing about 15 Ph D students, were given nicknames the first day of seminar. My Cohort A was an abbreviation for aligning and attuning; and Iishana’s Cohort B stood for being and bees.
A bee stung Iishana on the first day of class. Secondly, the book that I ironically brought to the seminar for leisurely reading was The Shamanic Way of the Bee by Simon Buxton. Plus one of our favorite professors, Ana Perez-Chisti, mentioned a story about bees in her lecture after seminar in San Francisco. It was strange, because “Cuz” Artra and I knew that we had travel that Sunday to hear Ana’s Sufism lecture.
We rented a car and drove to the event on that beautiful day in Northern California. We were “bee-ing” in the moment and flowing with grace. At Ana’s lecture, yet another “coincidence”, she used a personal story and metaphor about bees and their buzzing differences which evidently determines if they are a domestic bee or a feral bee.
Domestic bees have a sound that is low in pitch and make longer and wider frequency waves like a cello, providing placidity and harmony within the colony. The feral bees are high-pitched, and always seem in urgency. They can easily represent the sign of our times and the change in the pace of being modern humans.
The queen bee, the mother and soul of the bees, directs the hive to bring community and produce the nectar that feeds and nurtures her members. I left feeling great reverence for the bees. There is much to explore about a bee’s existence to awaken our spirit.
Bees represent the importance of connection; and through metaphor bridge us to our Sufi hearts, the essence of constant change and impermanence that is in tune with nature. Ana Perez-Christi shared with us on Sunday that it is the light we must face and how it is shining through the window, capturing the light. In other words, we shouldn’t focus on the window. Instead, we must stop looking at the form alone and observe the light in its truest form. The light simply is what it is – pure. The concentration of light brings being and form. But it is impermanent. Change does not imply permanence. Ana reminded us of our transient nature. We are always shifting and changing. The ONLY real constant is change. She also reminded us to be kind to others because ignorance is just a veil over our perceptions that do not allow us to ground into any reality.
I began thinking how dangerous it is for us to continue veiling the underlying mysticism underneath the skin and bones, cities, and other complex realities or systems we create all around us. We must learn to become Be-ers rather than to do-ers, and let our capacity to shift into new realities open our hearts to change. Shifting from shit to sure was our new joke. We discussed the importance of standing in truth and being sure that you represent well what you say, and own it. Owning our actions initiates continual reflection from within without any sorrow of its presence.
Everyone has capacity to move into relationship with nature, perceive impermanence and connect to the natural flow of life. Hoarding in the material realm will eventually cause the destruction of our connection to the planet and into non-sustainability. We have exploited the Earth’s kidneys and lungs, and the mystical connection to the Earth has been lost.
Ana said, “The fish in the ocean are not thirsty.” She explained we have forgotten that we too are in an ocean of beautiful underlying, permeable, mystical exchanges between inner and outer illusions in relationship to reality. Ana continued, “The manuscript of God is written in nature.”