Category Archives: Current

The Shambhala Prophecy from “Coming Back to Life” by Johanna Macy

Coming to us across twelve centuries, the prophecy about the coming of the Shambhala warriors illustrates the challenges we face in the Great Turning and the strengths we can bring to it. Johanna learned in 1980 from Tibetan friends in India, who were coming to believe that this ancient prophecy referred to this very planet-time. She often recounts it in workshops, for the signs it foretold are recognizable now, signs of great danger.

These are varying interpretations of this prophecy, some portray the coming of the kingdom of shambhala as an internal event, a metaphor for one’s inner spiritual journey independent of the world around us. Others present it as an entirely external event that will unfold independent of what we may choose to do or what our participation may be in healing of our world, a third version of the prophecy was given to Johanna by her friend and teacher Choegyal Rimpoche of the Tashi Jung community in northern India.

“There comes a time when all life on Earth is in danger.  Great barbarian powers have risen. Although these powers spend their wealth in preparations to annihilate one another, they have much in common: weapons of unfathomable destructive power, and technologies that lay waste our world. In this era, when the future of sentient life hangs by the frailest of threads, the kingdom of Shambhala emerges.

You cannot go there, for it is not a place; it is not a geopolitical entity. It exists in the ears and minds of the Shambhala warriors – that is the term Choegyal used, “warriors” Nor can you recognize a Shamhbala warrior when you see her or him, for they wear no uniforms or insignia, and they carry no banners. They have no barricades on which to threaten the enemy, or behind which they can hide to rest or regroup. They do not even have any home turf. Always they must move on the terrain of the barbarians themselves.

Now the time comes when great courage – moral and physical courage – is required of the Shambhala warriors, for they must go into the very heart of the barbarian power, into the pits and pockets and citadels where the weapons are kept, to dismantle them. To dismantle weapons, in every sense of the word, they must go into the corridors of power where decisions are made.

The Shambhala warriors have the courage to do this because they know that these weapons are manomaya. They are “mind-made”. Made by the human mind, they can be unmade by the human mind. The Shambhala warriors know that the dangers threatening life on Earth are not visited upon us by any extraterrestrial power, satanic deities, or pre-ordained evil fate. They arise from our own decisions, our own lifestyles, and our own relationships.

So in this time, the Shambhala warriors go into training. When Choegyal said this Joanna asked “How do they train?” They train, he said, in the use of two weapons.  “What weapons?” And he held up his hands in the way lamas hold the ritual objects of dorje and bell in the lama dance.

The weapons are compassion and insight. Both are necessary he said.  You have to have compassion because it gives you the juice, the power, the passion to move. It means not to be afraid of the pain of the world. Then you can open to it, step forward, act.  But that weapon by itself is not enough. It can burn you out, so you need the other – you need insight into the radical interdependence of all phenomena. With the wisdom you know that it is not a battle between “good guys” and “bad guys”, because the line between good and evil runs through the landscape of every human heart.  With insight into our profound inter-relatedness – our deep ecology –you know that actions undertaken with pure intent have repercussions throughout the web of life, beyond what you can measure or discern. By itself, that insight may appear too cool, too conceptual, to sustain you and keep you moving, so you need the heat of compassion. Together these two can sustain us as agents of wholesome change. They are gifts for us to claim now in the healing of the world.

These two weapons of the Shambhala warrior represent two essential aspects of the Work that Reconnects. One is the recognition and experience of our pain for the world. The other is recognition and experience of our radical, empowering interconnectedness with all life.

The Work that Reconnects belongs to a much larger cycle of time than our fragmented attention spans, so it is very important to just keep on going. Listen to how Poet Rainer Marie Rilke puts it, in a poem in which he lets God speak:

“You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing, Embody me.
Flare up like flame and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness.  Give me your hand.”

From “Coming Back to Life” by Johanna Macy  page 60, 61, 62 

Message from Mother Nature: Can You Hear Me Now?

Last Saturday was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In 1970 twenty million people took to the streets across the US to protest against rivers that were catching fire, cities choking on pollution, species going extinct. 10% of Americans participated and spurred seismic changes -with a few years the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act were signed into law.

The mass movement that forced progress in the ‘70s has continued to build.  In 2019 over seven million people around the world walked out of their schools, their jobs, and their everyday lives to call for social, environmental and economic justice. Earth Day 2020 was planned for thousands of gatherings worldwide but the current pandemic changed everything. 

For many people Earth Day has become equivalent to only going to church on Easter.  Every day going forward must be EARTH DAY. Our very survival depends on making the changes recommended by the “Voice of the Planet”.

Going from my old radio show “Mother Nature Says Clean Up your Room” to our present situation we see that Mother has effectively sent us all to our rooms where we can distance and contemplate what we can do differently.

Maybe it’s not right to think of the planet in anthropomorphic terms but I do believe the Earth is speaking to us now.  Coincidence that oil prices just dropped into negative territory? No – we have exploited the “100 Year Fuel Oil Party” long enough, and now must cut back and look for sustainable energy sources. We can be grateful for the infrastructure we’ve built and look for other means to maintain it.  Mother says “Oil? – you are done with it!”

The message from Mother Earth is found in the sound of birds now being heard with the lack of cars and planes drowning out their songs.  The skies are clearing and water is recovering, with fish seen swimming again in the canals of Venice.  Children’s voices, when they can come out to play, are louder and more sweet in the silence. People relax their anxiety with space to express themselves in more contented ways, like creating Victory Gardens and helping each other. Lions are sleeping on the untraveled roads and tarmac of Africa and bears, deer and other creatures are running wild once again in Yosemite.  Foxes on the Golden Gate Bridge and bees foraging everywhere undistressed by chemicals.

As difficult as the suffering brought on by Covid 19 is, it also brings an opportunity to hear and see more clearly the path forward to redeem our planet and our relationship with nature. Greenhouse gas emissions have already been cut substantially due to the lockdown and pictures of massive reduction of smog and air pollution over every major city in world are available. We can be made believers, not by rhetoric and pressure to embrace “science”, but by the empirical evidence that Mother Nature is showing and telling us.

The natural world brings us huge benefits – peace of mind, beauty, solace as well as clean water, soil and sustenance as designed.  Without so much interference and our assumed human ideas of “improvements” we can continue to live quite well, even with 7+ billion on the planet, if we make the required changes.

David Attenborough, a world renown writer and educator about the natural world was interviewed by Christina Amanpour on the news yesterday.  At 93, he’s seen the world change greatly in his lifetime. When he began his adult career 60% of the world was wilderness, now its only 25%. The world population was 2 billion then, 7+ billion now. He was asked if Covid 19 was caused by overpopulation and farming of animals and he responded “ Not necessarily – it is the density that makes plagues repeat – the transmission of disease moves very quickly when there are huge densities of population. Covid 19 is not nature having her revenge”. Yet it is a lesson in how we might avoid future pandemics and live more consciously.  Mr. Attenborough had three recommendations: 1) establish no fishing zones to allow oceans and rivers to repair themselves, 2) reduce land farming by half, and 3) phase out fossil fuels. 

Spring is a time of new growth and Mother Earth is asking us to please heed her messages. By staying home, working remotely and paying attention to those closest to us, we are learning that at least half our “busy-ness” is unnecessary and an expensive waste of time, energy and resources.  She is asking us to consider cutting back and making it imperative that we “stop and smell the roses”, that we listen with our hearts, not just our heads, hear and act on what is most important.

Whether we have the strength, resolve and intelligence to embrace this new pattern of reduced consumption and more realistic aspirations and goals is yet to be seen. Can we listen and learn from Mother Nature or do we return to “normal” (which is only a short diversion from the history of humans on this planet). Or will we continue to risk even more destruction to ourselves and all Earth beings?  Listen closely – it’s our choice.

Catie Faryl

April 23, 2020

The Great Re-set

What we have before us is the Biggest Time Out of our lifetimes! “The Great Reset” the coronavirus provides is an opportunity to look deeper into the systems that have gotten us into this mess.

I’ve often seen in my visioning for art and commentary that all communities across the country and the world are like links in a chain, which at some point in time might have to stand apart as single links in a 10 to 20 mile radius.  The ideas of re-localizing food supplies and finding ways to travel and provide necessary energy without furthering the financial advantage and power of corporations and the environmentally destructive nature of fossil fuels has been a goal of “sustainability” folks for decades.  However fascination with technology, addiction to luxury and convenience, the selling of an overly abundant lifestyle by corporations, media  and corrupt leadership have diverted attention, dismantled our safety nets and blocked the way to implementing common sense solutions.

Around 2014 I started substituting the word “sustainablity” with a better descriptor for our times – “Survivability”. Prior to that the grassroots community members in our region attempted in level-headed ways to draw attention to the County Disaster Preparedness manuals.  There is lots of info on what to do in fire, flood or earthquake events, but nothing about the ever-growing threats of our dependence on the grid to deliver energy, our dependence on fossil fuel to bring almost everything we need by truck, ship or plane, and nothing about how vulnerable we have become as the world gets smaller and more populated or how the global economy has eroded the stakeholder status of many people close to home.

It’s too bad that the paths diverged from solutions known to be sustainable into the controversy of climate change. Climate change and all the resulting arguments over the past 40 years has provided a foil, an excuse and a diversion from the path of solutions. It let us talk or not talk, while we ignored the mounting dangers. All the things we have in common stand out in bold relief during a pandemic.  With shock people wake up to the reality that we are very vulnerable due to our over-dependence on so many distant and now uncontrollable factors.

Toastmasters has been a learning experience for me to see my flaws and how over-focus on climate from the left has incited anger from the right.  Now coronavirus shows us just how much we are in this together and how we can open our eyes, hearts and minds to do what’s necessary and right for all of us. My friends who follow astrology say that this is the time when all things not sustainable and all things not aligned with divine presence will fall apart. Maybe that is always true . . . . what has worked for the past century and the beginning of this one was allowed only by grace and momentum and now we must find a better path forward.

I’ve been absent lately from Toastmasters; even prior to this “shutdown” my time was taken in creating a fundraiser to allow implementation of regenerative agriculture projects in our valley.  This is a path that has been made available by nature to solve many of our problems. 

Another path that is getting recognition is the tried and true message from the 1960s – “Live Simply So Others May Simply Live”. We see now how easy it can be to reduce consumption by 30% across the board. This and restoring our respect for the Rights of Nature can go a long way to solving problems.

By distancing I also see that a great deal of what is deemed “important” is unnecessary. I am witnessing how the current limitations on “doing” and “acquiring” are literally clearing the water and air. An interest in “being” is emerging with time to explore some deeper questions.  When this tailspin ends,  attention can be given to reclaiming our regional successes, inventing systems that support all citizens, and committing to local life-enhancing practices to avert future threats.  

To make good use of the Great Re-Set patience and compassion for ourselves, everyone here and across the planet is needed.  Just like the Zero Waste work we’re doing, we must temper the changes and realize we can’t go from 100 miles an hour to Zero in one minute.  Now that the brakes are on and as we slow down, let’s look for the best roads forward, and not at the past detours and disagreements that have landed us where we are today.

Catie Faryl

March 19, 2020

A View from 2050 and artwork from “Bridges to 2050”

Bridges to 2050

Catie Faryl’s art exhibit, “Bridges to 2050” departs from frustration and gloom by offering optimistic portrayals of common sense solutions and hopeful information on better outcomes for people, planet and all sentient beings. With thought-provoking pictures of where we are and new paths open to us, West Coast Artist Catie Faryl gives inspiration for social, economic, political and environmental justice and shares old and new solutions, technologies and ideas to rebalance our relationships to the land and all living creations. Her paintings and writings offer insight into some choices and decisions ahead and contemplate ways we can move in an upward spiral through better stories, community effort and systems both ancient and visionary, for a sustainable future.

Humans Be Still! Make room and care for all elements and sentient’ beings

Key Word Searches:
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) Famous for the idea of the Reverence of Life
Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) neo-futuristic architect, systems theorist, author, designer, and inventor
Antonio (Saudi 1852-1926) Famous for his study of nature applied to architecture

Frankenstein’s Cat by Emily Anthes
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
The Ecology of Eden by Evan Eisenberg

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Center for Biological Diversity
World’s fragmented forests are deteriorating
American Museum of Natural History Extreme Extinction
Globalization— the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Extinction of Fruits and Vegetables in 80 Years
The Charter of the Forest
Amphibian Ark: Frightening Statistics
Collapsible woven refugee shelters powered by the sun
Human Population: How Does It Compare To Other Species?
The Most Ancient and Magnificent Tress From Around The World

Diminish the gorilla of fossil fuel, expand the human heart

Key Word Search:
The Venus Project
Charles Einstein

Art as Medicine by Sharin McNiff
Lost Lore: A celebration of traditional wisdom by Editors of Chambers
The Human impact on the Natural Environment: Past, Present, and Future
Geo-Engineering Climate Change: Environmental Necessity or Pandora’s Box? by J.Michael Thompson

Climate change brings world closer to ‘doomsday’, say scientists
Beautiful Photos Of Tiny Humans Lost In The Majesty Of Nature
Pesticides Kill Us
Pachamama Alliance
Beyond Toxics
Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond 4 of 9 ‘planetary boundaries’
Clean Energy Breakthrough: Scientists Extract Hydrogen Gas From Plants
Historic thaw in Antarctica may have major effect on coastal cities

Carry the torch of new and ancient solutions

Key Word Searches:
Cellulose 3—D printing
Geothermal energy is renewable
Quantum and magnetic energy

A People’s History of America by Howard Zinn
The Great Work: Our Way into the Future by Thomas Berry
The Universe is a Green Dragon by Brian Swimme


Clean Energy Breakthrough: Scientists Extract Hydrogen Gas From Plants
Ancient Technology
Climate change brings world closer to ‘doomsday’, say scientists
Latest Science Inventions
Watch mini Eiffel Tower emerge from goo
New Energy Inventions News Articles
Solutions to the World Energy Crisis
LENR Cold Fusion
NASA Technology Gateway
Biofuel created by explosive technology
Wind turbine creates water from thin air
This machine makes drinking water from thin air
The 10 inventions of Nikola Tesla that changed the world
MSV Explorer amphibious vehicle promises perpetual motion
San Francisco area drivers 1st with algae biofuel


Conserve and respect our Mother

Key Word Search:
Water Wise Project
Watershed Sentinel

The Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
The Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA by E.G. Vallianatos
Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

Restoration of Ancient Agricultural Technologies to the Negev
Ocean Life Threatened With Mass Extinction, New Study Says
Playground roundabouts are being used in South Africa to solve water supply problems in rural villages
Never Thought A Billboard Could Be Used This Way!
Fog Catchers Bring Water to Parched Villages


A Back-cast Vision by Catie Faryl



2015 – Awareness increases in America and the world that “business as usual” will not be possible in the future

2017 – Recognition that Climate Change is real and that current National leadership is unwilling or unable to address it. The rise of local group, mayors and governors starts filling the void.

2018-2020 – Economic setbacks caused by multiple, massive floods, fires and other disasters continue. Cook stoves and all vehicles are converted to run on clean-burning alcohol fuels made from organic farm waste and materials (with systems like those developed by Blume Distillation in Watsonville,CA)

2021 – Congress with a new president find the BoomerCorp program, and are able to provide “Health Care for All” with a strong, forwarding thinking group of senior citizens who drastically reduce health care costs via prevention and intervention. Toxic products, plastics and other carcinogens are banned and removed from the environment.

2022 – Congress finds the C.E.T.A. Program, adding thousands of people to bring new ideas and innovate to governments and businesses and help their implementation, as climate consequences and other factors further aggravate the safety and livelihoods of citizens.

2025 – Fire and flood management are given top priority. GMO Trees are banned. Jobs are created to do the physical labor of thinning small trees and undergrowth in forests, as well as weed abatement and weed harvesting for biofuels which eliminated the use of toxic sprays.

2027 – Revamping of the entire waste management system via Creative Reuse Depots where “trash” is made profitable by a new work force of traveling, trained people who make it into energy, non toxic fertilizers, soil building products.

2028 – Fracking and export of domestic oil to foreign entities is made illegal. All domestic energy from fossil fuel and GMO are deemed usable only as “bridge energy sources” for new sustainable/renewable energy sources until 2030, becoming illegal for any use on January 1, 2030.

2031 – With the sunset date for fossil fuel extraction and use in sight, a total retrench of the packaging and delivery systems was begun. Sand from dredging to mitigate climate change storm surges is a source for glass factories to spring up on both coasts. Local food and local products are favored and those requiring long transport routes are scorned. It becomes socially unacceptable to buy from far away. The national trucking of goods decreases as local sourcing and public sentiment against long distance “imports” increased.

2031-2034 – New drought concerns and rising sea water force tax dollars be spent to revamp the entire water catchment, treatment and distribution systems. Water catchment, grey water, more reservoirs and elimination of water-wasting plumbing in every structure proceeds. Rivers, streams, lakes and sources are used more efficiently for outdoor uses.

2035-2050 –  American society, seeing the errors made in the last century become interested in values, ethics and education. Postal codes are used to determine what can be legally sold or consumed, so illicit and dangerous items of all kinds are greatly curtailed. The world is recovering from a scary period where our excesses compromised our common sense and our environment. People grow closer together realizing that there is real no other or better way to live than within our means. Reclaiming the commons, all that we share, respect and care for all sentient beings and our natural world is more fulfilling than the treadmill/cancer of endless and unsustainable “growth” — which is actually only resource exploitation, extraction and stealing from the future of the coming generations.

Catie Faryl
November 2017, presented at the Bridges to 2050 and “A View from 2050″

Bridges to 2020 (video)

As a member of the Art Presence Art Center, I had the opportunity to show my collection of monotypes and paintings, Bridges to 2020, at the Medford Library. The show has been held over through the end of July 2015! Below is a video with my comments on the paintings. I’ll post an edited version soon but wanted to get this one out there for people to see. I hope you will find it inspiring, and will come to the Medford Library to see the collection in person before the end of the month!