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Trans-spiritual Council
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Integral spiritual guidance, community leadership, conscious support, LGBTQI, healers, teachers
Integral spiritual guidance, community leadership, conscious support, LGBTQI, healers, teachers

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The eleventh of 12 questions posed to the Trans-spiritual Council. Let us hear what your heart has to say as well!

How have your spiritual and transgender pathways informed each other?

Leeza:
In innumerable ways; most of which are beyond words. The gender journey long preceded any thought of spirituality. It was an arduous and often debilitating journey that humbled, inspired and transformed who and what I thought “I” was. There was a growing sense of freedom, as the need to cling to past, possessions and identity continued to dissipate. This lead to an intimate and lifelong practice of deep self-inquiry, where spirituality and gender became entangled. Setting the stage for a contemplative and integral experience of life. There is now a freedom to talk about them as separate pathways or journeys; equally as I experience and know them to be as one. There is a context for all of it. The “idea” of transgender gave way to a transcendence of the binary; a natural process in moving to non-duality. The journey continues to be a great blessing, whatever we call it.

Virginia:
My dear friend Wren has taught me the application of the verb “to weave”. And my trans journey and my spiritual journey are woven together in a strong and beautiful way. My transition accompanied a spiritual awakening for me, and I was able to see the world and myself as connected as if we were strangers falling in love with ourselves at the dance. And the risky and uncomfortable and fearful experiences became a grand coupling with the possibilities of creation and life and joy and transcendence. Crossing genders is an experience that has so many lessons that I am still a student of my experience with it all.

Wren:
My spiritual and transgender pathways have always been one and the same.
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The tenth of 12 questions posed to the Trans-spiritual Council. Share your thoughts as well!

Does your spirituality inspire a "call to action?"

Leeza:
I’ve been told that it does and I see how it can. With some frequency I’ve found myself embodying a sense of what’s been referred to as “fierce urgency.” It shows up as being very direct, and enthusiastically asks direct questions, quite pointedly inviting one to act or function from a deep space of grounded intention, or we could call it mindful action. The usual drivers of activism, for example, are anxiety, fear and anger which are outcomes of being in discontent and dissatisfaction. Which may produce some measure of change, however is ultimately unsustainable. When the driver is purposefulness and compassion, the effects are lasting and truly transformative. Anything less would only serve to “reform” that which has already been identified as unjust, imbalanced or we could simply say, no longer serving. As we find ourselves no longer deifying or vilifying ourselves or the “others”, then truly we experience a new world. Growing in our recognition that the so called outer world is a reflection of the inner.

Virginia:
I think it has been “all hands on deck” for some time now. And if we are not showing up for action, then we are asleep. And I mean this not that we should all be participating in protests (although that is wonderful), but we should all be aware…. and conscious of our world and our place in it.

Wren:
Yes—become whole and connected, and through this spiritual journey, heal yourself and your communities. Think beyond yourself as an individual remembering that healing is as much as a community process as it is a personal one.
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The ninth of 12 questions posed to the Trans-spiritual Council. Won't you honor us with your response as well?

How does your spirituality speak to the current age?

Leeza:
By addressing the suffering that is occurring here and now, which in many respects is no different than the human suffering that has been ongoing for thousands of years. Equally, it’s about meeting people where they are, having some sense of the common language and modern perceptions. On the whole, it’s an invitation to open up to life as if it mattered. With the dominance of western culture in this age, there seems to be an ever growing sense of doubt. Doubt shows up in such subtle and obvious ways. Encouraging people to look deeper into the source of their doubt is a daily opportunity to witness an aliveness emerge, as they discover what has obscured their view.

Virginia:
You mean should we speak to the false “Gods” of our culture, like greed, and personal peace and affluence, desire and sanctioning of war, ignoring our treatment of our Earth by gorging on her resources? Maybe we should also speak to the fear that pervades the very institutions of our culture, causing us to have “insurance” for every calamity that could befall us, and having health insurance and life insurance for the unknown “acts of God.” My spirituality teaches me that what I see “out there” is a reflection of my inner state of consciousness. So rather than judge the outside too harshly, I look within, and ask myself, where are my hypocrisies? What fears do I hold today? Do I have any “wars” with people I know that reflect the struggles between nation states. Yes, my spirituality has a lot to say about the modern age. But it also has a lot to say to my heart.

Wren:
You evoke the “Modern age.” Not sure what is meant by that? “Modernism is just, like, you know… so over dude.” (Jacques Derrida)
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The eighth of 12 questions posed to the Trans-spiritual Council. We'd love for you to give us your thoughts as well?

Within your spiritual framework, what happens after death?

Leeza:
Consciousness, which is the animating force of all life, is released from its connection to the physical being. Often expressed as the “Self”, essential Self or conscious Self returning to the timeless and formless dimension. Which isn’t quite accurate, as there’s no “where” to “return” to. Consciousness simply is.

Virginia:
Early in my life, everyone around me believed in heaven, so I believed in heaven. When I stopped believing in heaven (as an afterlife destination), I realized that most everyone around me believed in reincarnation, so I did too. Now that I search and consider what I really believe, I am not so sure of what happens when we die. I do have direct experience in ancestral movement and action through time, so I know that my consciousness will continue to exist after death, and that I will still have some control of choices and decisions after I die. Basically I feel that as I act in this life in right action and right intention, that the afterlife will work out fine. In fact, it will be very exciting.

Wren:
For me this question begs another question: “Where do I begin, and where do I end?” Birth and death are arbitrary classifications that can, if I let them, limit my understanding of the fundamental connections I share with everything around me. I have always been here. I will always be here.
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The seventh of 12 questions posed to the Trans-spiritual Council. Offer your response as well!

What is the meaning and purpose of human life, individually and collectively, in your spirituality?

Leeza:
The human experience, complete with an egoic sense of self, is essential for the evolution of spirit. I understand human life, with all its sufferings and ecstatic joys, to be an exquisite process of spiritual maturation. The individual experience offers that we have a unique karmic path, giving us countless experiences in being of service to others, discovering that we are truly not islands unto ourselves; all the while growing in our embodiment of gratitude, compassion and love. Which are fundamental to spirit.

Virginia:
Our purpose and meaning is to alleviate the suffering of the world. The way we learn to do that is for each of us to learn how to deal with OUR suffering, learning to love ourselves, and heal ourselves. This results in being able to understand how to heal and love the world, loving them as I love myself. This also results in seeing the walls between persons, and genders, and nationalities, and ethnicities, dissolve as we realize our connection to all.

Wren:
This is not a question I can answer.
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The sixth of 12 questions posed to the Trans-spiritual Council. We'd love for your to leave your response as well!

What is/are the key principle(s) of your spirituality?

Leeza:
That awareness is beyond thought. In any given experience, we can find ourselves in thought or have moved to the dimension of awareness, which is beyond thinking. Attend to the language. Most people would agree and/or have some understanding that language shapes the mind and is worthy of attention but find it difficult to cultivate such attention. Resulting in rigidly held concepts and the development of belief systems, serving to reinforce a mind that resists having new perspectives. To open up to life, as if it mattered; with the curiosity of a child. To the degree that we can open up and receive life, is the degree in which new thinking and experiences come about. Self-inquiry, meditation and contemplative practices are essential to moving beyond the familiar canvas of seeking for what is already here and now.

Virginia:
Love is multi-faceted. Firstly we must learn to love ourselves. This means that we love ourselves unconditionally WITH the traits and behaviors that we may not like about ourselves and want to change. Then…with the same love by which we love ourselves unconditionally, we can then love others without judgment. This is the key principle which opens us to the creative process.

Wren:
Respect, humility, courage, and wisdom.
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The fifth of 12 questions posed to the Trans-spiritual Council. Please share your responses as well?

What is the most important word, phrase or sentence in your spirituality?

Leeza:
Love is
I am that
I am a lover of what is

Virginia:
Oneness and community are virtual synonyms of the connection we have with each other through spirit. Out of this relationship or relationships we can interact with each other with LOVE. And an important gift to use in dealing with people is deep LISTENING.

Wren:
Mitakuye Oyasin “We Are All Related.” Each of us is connected to everything around us. If I find a secluded place – quiet my mind – I feel all those connections. The immensity of that feeling feeds me. It works to create humility in me.
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The forth of 12 questions posed to the Trans-spiritual Council. We'd love to see your responses as well!

Who/what is 'God' in your spirituality?

Leeza:
Though I’ve been conditioned like most to conceive of this word to indicate a higher power, divine father figure and so on; it simply doesn’t occur to me, if rarely, that this is a particularly helpful pointer. Usually I express similar notions in terms of collective or universal consciousness, Divine mind or the infinite. Having said that, there is always a context to express ones path, one’s experience or the nature of that which is infinite. We could call it God, if it serves us to do so.

Virginia:
God, Spirit, Creator, Allah, Jesus are all names we have found convenient to call that which we feel we need to give us certainty and satisfaction. I believe that God is the divine spark that is in each of us. The connectedness and union of our higher selves, or our divinity, is what I would call God. This God, who is the sum of all things, moves in space and time through intention.

Wren:
I do not know this God you speak of.
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The third of 12 questions posed to the Trans-spiritual Council. Please share your response via Comments!

What spiritual tradition most informs your personal spirituality?

Leeza:
It seems Buddhism and mysticism found in all traditions is most informative; though I’ve embraced fully all wisdom traditions. Traditions aside, I’ve come to have a deep relationship to Rumi, Jesus and Buddha.

Virginia:
All religions in the mystical and true forms represent a connection to God, Spirit or Divine consciousness. Mysticism, the personal experience of God within, best describes my knowledge and relationship with God. As far as day to day spiritual practice, Buddhism is an excellent pattern and way to not be clouded, harassed and fooled by one’s thoughts. It is a great practice of being present and aware of our world and of our inner life.

Wren:
My indigenous traditions inform my spiritual path.
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The second of 12 questions posed to the Trans-spiritual Council. We'd love to read your responses as well!

What is your definition of Trans-spirituality?
Leeza:
It is a way of using language, albeit playful, to open up the vista in dialogue of sacred/spiritual paths, that one’s gender and spiritual journeys, when thoroughly investigated becomes unified. The word is poignantly hyphenated to indicate this relationship of transgender, often cited as “Trans*” and spirituality. So we have a word that can speak to this rich, integrally immersive spirituality, that many throughout human history have embodied. Though I don’t need the word, I see the beauty in what it intends to express.

Virginia:
Trans people in ancient days filled the roles of priests, shamans, healers, mediators, teachers and visionaries. Now is the time to rediscover those ancient gifts in ourselves and help to heal our world. The beginning of this is to find the place within us, where we love ourselves unconditionally, even with parts or aspects we would like to change. Trans people also discover that we can love ourselves when some people do not, and be secure in our gender and spiritual place.

Wren:
For me, being transgender is a gift. I was born into a world that did not hold a healthy place for me. Because of this I experienced shame for who I was. But that was not to be the end of the story. Little by little with help from my community I began to realize that what I was being offered as a transgender being was a choice. I could choose to live in the world in a non-spiritual way unconnected to my spirit, my community, my history and my ancestors. Or I could choose to re-vision the world around me so that I would be open to being fed by the rich tapestry of interconnections that supported me. I chose the latter and set off on a re-visioning journey – a spiritual journey that gives me strength, happiness and gifts beyond measure – love, compassion, and a way of being that is accepting. It’s not that the shame never existed in me or has power over me, but that with care and attention, I can begin to shape my life so that it no longer controls me. This is the gift of trans-spirituality – choice –to reconceive of your life in ways that are healing, and the opportunity to share this with your family and community. This is what trans-spirituality means to me.
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