jane, the flamingseed
Jane Brunette is a meditation teacher, writer and poet, the publisher of Flamingseed Press, a contributor to the Huffington post, as well as the founder of an international network of “free writers” called Writing from the Soul. She teaches and writes about spiritual practices for turning challenging times into opportunities to develop a more soulful and meaningful approach to life, both individually and collectively.
I first met Jane through one of her blog posts which a friend posted on facebook. It was called Blossoming through Shared Suffering, and was about inspiring acts of generosity taking place in Japan in the wake of the nuclear disaster. I was so moved by her writing that I started exploring her blog (Flamingseed) and was immediately taken by her opening words:
Some seeds only germinate in a forest fire. This is an invitation to become a flaming seed: one who uses challenging conditions to blossom rather than burn. For inspiration, I comb the streets — not to mention the forests and villages, as well as the contemplative and mystic traditions — for insights, spiritual practices and visionary ideas on cultivating a loving, generative world view regardless of circumstances. And I doggedly question cultural and spiritual assumptions so that we can open fresh to these changing times with curiosity, innocence and a sense of adventure.
I then discovered that this fellow nomad who travels through Asia, South America and the U.S. was temporarily staying in Ubud where I was living. I started attending her Writing from the Soul circles, which gave birth to my first poems. I came to treasure the deeply soulful way with which she supports others to access their deepest creativity. I also recognized that, like many other bright lights out there who give the world their all, she had a deep need for rest and rejuvenation. So, when I heard about her plan to retreat in the Andes mountains of Ecuador for several months to do some deep listening and writing, I felt called to support her journey with a $1,000 gift.
Jane’s post-Ecuador report back to me came in the form of a poem, Grasshopper Guru, which is also the title of her forthcoming book:
I left the stormy city traffic
for a cabin made of dry mud
and that grasshopper guru,
who for three days spoke truth
from the kitchen wall,
left through the open window,
then came back
to make one more point
about the necessity of idleness.
As I started reading the book manuscript she sent along with the title poem, I was touched to discover that the acknowledgment section of the book opened with these words:
“Special thanks to Aya’s Rivers flow fund for a gift which supported my 6-month retreat in a small adobe cabin in the Andes mountains of Ecuador during the winter of 2011. A number of these poems, including the title poem, were born from the drone from the river in the valley below.”
2013 update ~ Grasshopper Guru (the book) is now available through Amazon. You can read more about the insights that came to Jane during her time in Ecuador in her confessions of a recovering consumer, published on her blog. I also recommend reading the beautiful articles she wrote for the Huffington Post during that time: “How Occupy Wall Street Demonstrates the Power of Meditation in Action” and “Can a Word Change Your Life?” My personal favorite piece by Jane, written a few months earlier in Bali is “Four Steps to Transform your Personal Suffering into Universal Compassion.”