Vibrations of Life



 BeethovenWhat I have to write about today cannot be written in 140 keystrokes. Experiencing the richness and depth within us, which connects us to the vibration of life that exists in all of us, requires more than the way most people normally communicate in 2014. Not long ago, I received an email that was filled with such beauty that I felt an instant need to stop what keeps me forever busy in my life…and allow the feelings that this message generated in the depths of my soul to remind me of my own connection to the vibrations of life.


The letter I was privileged to have read was written 90 years ago by a deaf and blind woman about an experience she had while listening to music composed 190 years ago. Her letter follows:   


“Dear Friends:
I have the joy of being able to tell you that, though deaf and blind, I spent a glorious hour last night listening over the radio to Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony.” I do not mean to say that I “heard” the music in the sense that other people heard it; and I do not know whether I can make you understand how it was possible for me to derive pleasure from the symphony. It was a great surprise to myself. I had been reading in my magazine for the blind of the happiness that the radio was bringing to the sightless everywhere. I was delighted to know that the blind had gained a new source of enjoyment; but I did not dream that I could have any part in their joy.


Last night, when the family was listening to your wonderful rendering of the immortal symphony someone suggested that I put my hand on the receiver and see if I could get any of the vibrations. He unscrewed the cap, and I lightly touched the sensitive diaphragm. What was my amazement to discover that I could feel not only the vibration, but also, the impassioned rhythm, the throb and the urge of the music! The intertwined and intermingling vibrations from different instruments enchanted me. I could actually distinguish the cornets, the roll of the drums, deep-toned violas and violins singing in exquisite unison. How the lovely speech of the violins flowed and plowed over the deepest tones of the other instruments!  


When the human voices leaped up thrilling from the surge of harmony, I recognized them instantly as voices more ecstatic, up-curving swift and flame-like, until my heart almost stood still. The women’s voices seemed an embodiment of all the angelic voices rushing in a harmonious flood of beautiful and inspiring sound. The great chorus throbbed against my fingers with poignant pause and flow. Then all the instruments and voices together burst forth – an ocean of heavenly vibration – and died away like winds when the atom is spent, ending in a delicate shower of sweet notes.


Of course this was not “hearing,” but I do know that the tones and harmonies conveyed to me moods of great beauty and majesty. I also sense, or thought I did, the tender sounds of nature that sing into my hand-swaying reeds and winds and the murmur of streams. I have never been so enraptured before by a multitude of tone-vibrations.

As I listened, with darkness and melody, shadow and sound filling all the room, I could not help remembering that the great composer who poured forth such a flood of sweetness into the world was deaf like myself. I marveled at the power of his quenchless spirit by which out of his pain he wrought such joy for others – and there I sat, feeling with my hand the magnificent symphony which broke like a sea upon the silent shores of his soul and mine.”
The Auricle, Vol. II, No. 6, March 1924. American Foundation for the Blind, Helen Keller Archives.


          As I am writing these words, I am listening to the overpoweringly enthralling music that is now connecting my essence with the wonder of Helen Keller in 1924 and that of Ludwig Van Beethoven in 1824. In some profound, mystical way, the three of us are flowing as one in our spirits through the vibration of life that flows beyond time from the heart and soul of a man into the hands and heart of a woman and into my own ears and heart in this moment. These moments we give to ourselves, every now and then, can remind us of the deepest of truths…we are not separate…we are a part of a glorious choir that has been singing through all of souls into all of the hearts and into the chorus of humanity throughout the ages.

We Are Not Separate. 

          Helen and Ludwig were deaf and yet, they were able to hear by feeling what was inside them and sharing it with what was outside them. They understood the infinite connection they had with all things. While they could not hear but could listen to what was inside and outside, far too many of us are able to hear and yet, be far more deaf to the vibrations of life than either of these two magnificent beings. We have a choice…  to feel the life that vibrates within us or we can turn a deaf ear to the magnificence that calls out to us in every moment of our lives. We can choose to recognize the chorus that rings out the sound that we are not separate, or we can become deaf to the truth and believe in separation for all the reasons we give ourselves to accept deafness. The sound of separation is violent, painful, and ultimately destructive.

Listening while Hearing

           I love you can be 8 letters, 10 stokes on a key pad or two words spoken in haste and heard without connection…or they can listened to in a way that we can hear how those words filled with the chorus of our hearts as we speak and as we listen. What we allow ourselves to hear is our choice.


My sweet Jenny, my 16-year-old Lhasa, is resting at my feet as these words are forming themselves on my computer. I mourned the loss when it became clear she is nearly completely deaf. I wondered if I told her enough that I love her so she could in some way still hear my voice that is now silent to her. But today, after reading this most powerful letter from Helen Keller, I realized that Jenny can still hear me through the vibration of my soul, through the caring that flows from my fingers when I touch her, and through the love that flows from my eyes when I look into hers.Our digitized world-culture has the power to bring us the majesty of Beethoven’s symphony and, as it did today the beauty of an email from a very dear being on this planet who shared with me Helen Keller’s letter…And…it has the power to cause us to only tap on the surface of our lives, in 30 words of less, never allowing the simple contacts to lead to the depth of richness and beauty that is available in life. Which one of these ways of relating to the digital world we select is our choice, as well.

          When we take the time to make deep connection with those in our lives because we have found the pathway to make deep connection with ourselves, we can feel the vibrations of the spoken and the unspoken, we can hear the sounds of silence and the cacophony and harmonies that surround us every moment.


           If you have never listened to Beethoven’s symphonies, perhaps, beginning with the 9th, give yourself a gift of the experience and discover something of yourself as you allow yourself to open to the vibrations within the music that can touch the all too-often silenced music inside yourself. If you have listened to this, but not in a long time, let your spirit re-experience the joy of being human when you feel it being played inside you. In this very moment of synchronous majesty, my heart is being filled with Movement IV- Ode to Joy. And Jenny is, in her way, hearing the majesty, as well. 

Helen Keller Touching President Eisenhower’s Face

Helen Keller-Eisenhower           As a part of the chorus of humanity that exists in timeless time, allow yourself to reconnect with the experience of life as Helen Keller and Ludwig Von Beethoven did; discover what is your song, no matter what may be happening in your life as you read these words.

          Look at all that is in the outer world. There are things that are both light and dark, beautiful and horrifying, sweet and bitter. Too often we reach out to what is painful that causes us to recoil or withdraw from life, or we deny what is painful, dark and horrifying and pretend that there is only good. When we do not allow ourselves to understand that both exist, we do not experience making a choice of what we reach out to touch, and with this disconnection from choice, comes a loss of depth and richness. With choice you can decide to let go of reaching for what does you harm. When you decide what in the outer world is worthy of your touch, you can let yourself reach out to it with the awe that Helen Keller wrote about when her hand touched the receiver and her inner world was filled with the feeling of exquisite ecstasy carried through 100 years of time and into her life. Truly being alive goes deeply into the interior of ourselves and cannot be expressed in 140 strokes on a keypad.

 Sandy Sela-Smith, PhD.    Conifer, Colorado


Language has become the most common way for our species to explain experience; however when we attempt to use words to explain the most meaningful experiences, words, too often, fall short of communicating the wholeness of the experience and are more like splintered, shattered, and scattered shards of a reflection in a mirror. Because LOVE in its wholeness cannot be confined or defined by a word, our shard-like attempt to explain something beyond words falls greatly short.

If we are fortunate–or perhaps blessed–we might experience a few microseconds of wholeness , moments that are sparingly sprinkled in “uncaptureable” wisps of love that allow us to experience knowing beyond the shard, beyond the mirror, beyond the image in the mirror, into the fullness of eternal love inside the heart of our eternal selves.

After an encounter with LOVE in its wholeness, a love that opens us to all of who we are, some of us spend the rest of our lives attempting to remember, to define, to recapture or re-experience what cannot be re-experienced, cannot be captured, defined, or fully remembered from the finite place of our shard-like existence. Like the river that one steps into that cannot be stepped into the same way again, the experience of Love cannot be re-experienced the same way ever again. It is a gift in the moment, yet when we are willing to open ourselves, we can receive one gift of love after another until the sparingly sprinkled moments become overflowing rivers that fill our lives, transforming every experience we encounter into ever expanding rivers of love that allow us to flow in love’s amazing presence for longer and longer periods of time.

After we first encounter real love–but before we find our way to transformation that can lead us into extended if not full-time experience of  love–we can feel frustration because we can also know what is not real or is close but not quite real, and we try to make what is not real or not quite real become real.

We fall in love and for a little while experience love when we feel that depth of our being that we did not know before was possible, but something happens that pulls us out of the experience and into the feeling of disconnection, and then we try to force it to be like what we remember experiencing when we touched our wholeness and experienced love from that wholeness. We don’t realize that after the feeling of wholeness, we started to interpret our interaction with the focus of our love from the limited awareness of the shard of glass-awareness and disconnected from wholeness. As an attempt to reconnect, we might read about love and try to act as if we are being loving. We work out definitions as a way to compare how we are living with the definition. But all attempts lead to more disconnection.

Though love can be experienced in an action it is not the action. Though love can be experienced while in a state of understanding, it is not in the understanding. Love is a state of being that can be in the flash of a momentary awareness though it is not contained by the state or held in the moment, And it can be in an ongoing awareness that exists in the eternal now though love is not the awareness.

Love, in its wholeness, does not occur because of intention or understanding…it bubbles up when we experience ourselves in our wholeness, despite the fact that we are a shard, a splintered piece of the whole. The gift of being alive in our human form is that we can have those most profoundly blessed moments of knowing our wholeness when the shard knows itself as the whole and experiences that wholeness, not only in itself, but in another shard, as well…an Aha moment.

I was writing these words…about the Aha moment…when the phone rang. Continue reading

Your House as a Prison

Hugh Laurie played the roll of tormented but brilliant medical doctor, Gregory House, on the 8-year television series, House. His character suffered from unrelenting, nearly unbearable physical pain because of a medical misdiagnosis that resulted in part of his leg tissue dying and soon thereafter being cut out while he was in a coma. The ongoing physical pain was a reflection of the emotional pain he carried with him from childhood abuse and abandonment that resulted in mental hardening and spiritual disconnection, as well. He was really a good man, but very few could see his goodness, not even himself.

His pain–on all the levels–drove him to cryptic communication, to thinly veiled passive aggressive interactions–sometimes not so passive–and dark behavior that caused him to live in a self-imposed prison, separating himself from anyone who might have been able to love him. House treated everyone–superiors, as well as those under him, patients, and their families–with equal flagrant disrespect. Despite his near sociopathic behavior, his extraordinary abilities allowed him to find causes and cures for illness no one else in the conventional medical system could find.

Apparently, for nearly all of his life, House was able to see though the masks that both people and institutions wore and was unwilling to pretend that the masks were not there, pointing out the hypocrisy with abrasively expressed disdain, a quality that antagonized nearly everyone he encountered, especially those who were committed to maintaining the masks.

For some reason, a few months ago, I decided to record the series I had not seen when it first aired, and I began watching the randomly scattered episodes that pulled me through time and back again, over the lifetime of the series. Because the programs were out of order, it was like watching flash-backs and made the viewing feel like I was putting a puzzle together. An episode I had watched a few weeks before finally make sense when I watched another that was chronologically earlier.

This morning, I woke in the predawn darkness and decided to wait for the warmth of sunrise by watching the episode that had recorded sometime in the night; it had first aired on 10-3-11 and was the first episode of the eighth and last season that began with House in prison.  Not until it was finished did I realize how important that episode would be in helping me see my own prison.

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I am aware that I have been in a reflective period for a while, as probably is the case for most of us who are a part of the circa baby-boom generation when things like Medicare and Social Security, which used to be something for old people, are no longer on the horizon but are, or are soon will be, crossing the threshold of our lives. I realize that I don’t feel old, like I thought I would when I was a younger woman looking into the future.

Now, looking back does not seem such a daunting affair, as it once was. I no longer need to notice the mistakes with regret or shame; I’ve made friends with them. Without having made the decisions I made, some that seemed like they were good and others that some would call bad, I would not be where I am in this mystical moment in my life ready to enter the next phase of my life, much different from the paths I took before, and I no longer feel the sadness about roads and paths I would not take or the decisions and choices I would make in my life ahead, a mournful sadness that brought me to tears when I first read Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken in my 8th grade Language Arts class.

Yellow Wood

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, 

And sorry I could not travel both           

And be one traveler, long I stood           

And looked down one as far as I could 

To where it bent in the undergrowth;           


Then took the other, as just as fair,       

And having perhaps the better claim,    

Because it was grassy and wanted wear           

Though as for that the passing there     

Had worn them really about the same,         


And both that morning equally lay         

In leaves no step had trodden black.     

Oh, I kept the first for another day!       

Yet knowing how way leads on to way, 

I doubted if I should ever come back.           



I shall be telling this with a sigh 

Somewhere ages and ages hence:           

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,   

I took the one less traveled by,   

And that has made all the difference.


          The “ages and ages hence” have come now, and before I step out onto the next road that is ahead of me…

I glance back for a moment at the decisions I made:

…to go to college at 17, to get married at 21,

            to divorce at 45 and relocate to China…and…other decisions…

…to return to the States at 47,

            to move to Florida, and return to graduate school at 49 to get a PhD,

            and then, at 62, to become a nomad, traveling around the country to find a place to write, though I didn’t know that was what I was doing at the time.


trilogy            I look at the trilogy that I wrote, 3 completed books and over 1000 pages later, I have continued to write, unsure of where this writing will take me…with several more books almost completed, but not quite because I haven’t found their endings, not yet…and I notice that each decision brought me to a yellow wood and to two roads. And each time, I paused and stood, and pondered…and then took one.

Fall Changes for Website_4

          As I made the choice and began the trek forward, it was not uncommon for me to look back, for just a moment, or to look back many times wondering if I had made a mistake.

          But I knew if I ran back to take the other road, the very taking of the one I had chosen would have changed the one I did not take earlier…so I moved on, sometimes with pain in my heart, and sometimes with gratitude and determination.


          In this time of reflection, I have learned that life is not a mistake or an accident. It is a gift.  I have loved opening mine…and I will continue to open the gifts that are scattered along the road ahead, including the one I am just now beginning to take. The most precious gifts I have opened thus far have involved discovery of who I am and what I came into this life to accomplish. And…another gift has been to participate with others as they discover who they are and what they came into their lives to accomplish. I suspect, that the gifts ahead will continue to have to do with sharing those discoveries with people whose paths and roads may cross through my life.



          Today, I find myself in another yellow wood moment…and I see the paths ahead that go off into the distance, but this time, I am aware that the road ahead is not as long as it was when I first became aware of yellow woods and diverging roads, and the awareness of the shorter road ahead poses little concern for me. With all the choices of roads in all the ages and ages past, I have come to learn that choices are a part of the very fabric of life each of us is weaving in the continuous unfolding of our discovery of who we are. This is the gift of life…the gift of the roads, the gift of the yellow woods…and the choices that we make as reflected in the beautiful Enya’s song…



Pilgrim, how you journey   
on the road you chose,
to find out why the winds die
and where the stories go.

All days come from one day

that much you must know;
you cannot change what’s over
but only where you go.

One way leads to diamonds,
one way leads to gold,
another leads you only
to everything you’re told.

In your heart you wonder
which of these is true;
the road that leads to nowhere,
the road that leads to you.

Will you find the answer
in all you say and do?
Will you find the answer
In you?

In this very moment, everyone one who has found his or her way to this page is, in some magical, painful, curious, unsure way, experiencing a yellow wood decision or will soon be. And as you stand in consideration of which to take, the one that is right will open to you…because that will be the one you take.

May we all find our way to peace in our yellow wood times and be in acceptance of the road we take; it holds the richness of life offered that can happen only on that road…whatever it is.


Suicide and Ropes

I had been drawn to a discussion stream on the Linkedin Website under the Spirituality and Consciousness group heading. The discussion had to do with suicide. A member had experienced having a brother who committed suicide and wished to talk about it with others because she still carried pain and depression from what had happened. She wanted to know if souls come into the world intending to commit suicide, and if they don’t, do they have to return quickly to work out what they failed to do. A deeper reason may well have been that she carried sadness, depression and many questions about the suicide. Many supported the questioner with empathy and sympathy, and some provided their spiritual understandings regarding our souls’  journeys. One comment addressed the Buddhist philosophy of the Middle Way, in which life is lived with non-attachment, non-judgment. Even knowing this Way, it is possible to slip, as the next respondent stated and feel “terrible, in a crisis or drama of some sort.” I noticed that many respondents commented about mind as a single entity. But my experience is that we do not just have one mind. Continue reading

Laura Died at 96

My mother died one week ago, today. She slipped away in her sleep a few minutes after 3:30 in the afternoon Pacific Time on October 12, 2012. One of her last statements was, “My bags are packed and I am ready to go, but the plane has not come for me, yet.” Not long thereafter, her life of struggle and suffering as well as her life of love and caring ended on this side of the veil. Like all of us, throughout her lifetime, she lived from a mixture of light and dark, of great wisdom and a seeming disconnection from wisdom, of tender sensitivity and apparent insensitivity. At times, she was capable of expressing unconditional love that lifted me up, and at other times it felt as if she could withdraw love with coldness that crushed my heart. Continue reading

Genetic Darkness

By Dr. Sandy Sela-Smith

     If it is true that our essence is something that exists beyond physical limitations, eternal, or connected to the eternal…spiritual beings having a physical experience…where has the darkness come from that seems to permeate nearly every front of our individual and collective experience? Whether we want to admit it or not, we all possess what I have come to call the Unique God Essence that is the core of who we are, but in far too many cases our true being has gotten overshadowed by a darkness that is also a part of us that may well go back for generations, millennia, or eons, perhaps since the beginning of human consciousness. This darkness is so deeply embedded in us as individuals, in family and social systems, in our cultures, and in our species, a darkness that has been passed on from parent to child for myriad generations and replicated in unconscious patterns that most of us have no idea we possess.

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On Leap Day, February 29th, 2012, I logged onto Linkedin and found a question for discussion posed by one of the members of the Spiritual Authors, Publishers, and Agents website which asked, “What would be a reason for why you think a person would read your book?”

And…I responded.

In the summer of 2007, I went to a psychic–a medium–of sorts who told me I was going to write three books. When I heard her words, I knew she was being used to tell me what a part of me already knew was to happen, though up until that moment, I had not consciously known it. Almost immediately, I saw the title of the trilogy: The Meaning of Three, and I saw the subtitles of each of the three books: The Mask, Behind the Mask, and Under the Mask. Each book has its own personality…the first is about the all we do to be acceptable to others and to ourselves, the roles we play and how painful those roles often become. The second is about what is hidden behind the mask of acceptability. There is so much we don’t want to know about ourselves and certainly much we don’t want others to know about who we think we are, usually because we believe we are what happened to us, or our responses to what happened. So we hide it all behind the mask and avoid knowing what is there in any way we possibly can. What is under the mask is the being we truly are, the unique god essence that has never been disconnected from the universal spirit, Universal God Essence, of which we are all a part.

The journey I took in writing this trilogy is something that called itself into being and became the creator of my life for 4 years. The books literally wrote my life. I believe there are people who will benefit from the learning that was a part of this magnificent journey I was called to take and those whose unique god essence direct them, will discover my writing in synchronous ways that I could never predict…just as I found the psychic and felt the truth of what she said.

Not a single book that has been written by anyone on this site is a mistake. I believe we all write, first and foremost for ourselves, and then, there are others who will benefit from what was written whether it is one other person, one hundred, one thousand, one million, or more…and those who are called to find the perfect book for their journeys, will find it. Sandy

A member of the Spiritual Authors, Publishers, and Agents site responded to my entry, saying, “I’m very intrigued by your words, Sandy” referring to my statement that my trilogy “called itself into being” ;  and my comment about, “the unique god essence that has never been disconnected from the universal spirit, Universal God Essence, of which we are all a part.”  She concluded with, “May many souls be drawn to the trilogy and come to know what lies beyond the mask!” Continue reading

The Single Garment of Destiny

I received a message from the Peace Alliance that contained the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is no question we are in this together. whether “we” refers to two people in relationship, to a family, groups of people, a nation, or our species. In this time of self-reflection, I choose not to look to others to become who they ought to be before I focus on being who I ought to be, despite the fact that I will not fully succeed until we all succeed. This is my gift to myself and to others, even to those who do not yet know the beauty of focusing on being who they ought to be.

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Impending Doom. . . Or Approaching Transformation


The weekend of September 24th, I had the privilege of attending a powerful workshop in the mountains above Denver, Colorado presented by Howard Bad Hand, a Lakota Indian Chief. One of the topics for discussion had to do with what is happening in our world now and in the next 14 months related to the Mayan calendar that has been interpreted by some as marking the ending of human civilization on December 21, 2012. I have read extensively on this subject and have discovered differing perspectives of the meanings attached to our present time and the Mayan calendar.

Some believe the world will literally end following an increasing number of natural disasters that become more intense as that date approaches, destroying more and more of what we know of the world, until some final event obliterates whatever is left. Others believe that the numbers of humankind will be greatly reduced over the course of the time between now and that date, and that some people will remain to rebuild a human civilization based on a balancing of nurturing,  cooperation, and caring, which are healthy feminine principles, with an honoring of the unique qualities of the individual and the protective strength of the healthy masculine energy.

Others believe that we are approaching the End Times as predicted by interpreters of  the Bible who believe this Earth will be destroyed and those who believe in the Gospel will be transported to a New Earth, while the rest will be condemned to eternal hell. Still others believe that we are facing extinction, not unlike the dinosaurs of long ago, and a new species will eventually evolve to take our place bringing on the next cycle of life without humans. Still others believe that both nature and human folly will create unfathomable catastrophes and beings from other planets or galaxies will intercede, whether for good or for bad, to keep the toxic energies of our world from spilling over into the universe. But likely for the vast majority of people, this date of December 21, 2012 means just another day on the calendar, and maybe 4 shopping days until Christmas. And the seasons…they still go round and round on the Carousel of time.

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