In Memoriam… Angeles Arrien 1940 ~ 2014

Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to sit in circle with Angeles Arrien and listen to her teach The Four-Fold Way.  Her brilliance lay in being able to condense and explicate the perennial wisdom of the world’s indigenous cultures.  She said it very simply:

Show up

Pay Attention

Speak the Truth without Judgment

Be Detached From Outcome

Over the years my husband and I have added two words: Speak and Hear the Truth without Judgment. With that small personal addition, we have found that these four tenets cover just about everything. They inevitably lead to doing-as-you-would-be-done by, to self-knowledge, deep compassion, and gratitude.

In my own case, I struggle with each of these at different times – sometimes one is more difficult to live by, sometimes another. On really good days they all come easily. This on-going relationship has deepened my understanding of each principle. As the work ripples out through the pool of my life it expands in scope, becoming more subtle in its ramifications.

Look how simple these teachings are – easy to understand, but profound enough to change a life and move it in new directions.  This is the hallmark of a great teacher.  I am so grateful to Angeles Arrien for these teachings – she was truly the angel her name implies – a messenger of spiritual truths which willingly undertaken can set one free. All her life she spoke of honoring the ancestors- those who have come before. Now, she becomes an ancestor, a part of my lineage.  I honor her, I honor her, blessed be her name.




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2 Responses to In Memoriam… Angeles Arrien 1940 ~ 2014

  1. I too didn’t know that she died. Listening to her talk brought tears to my eyes. Wyatt asked me just recently what our purpose was, why are we here? I told him something sorta, kinda like what Angeles said. She said it so well. So very well. I will talk to Wyatt again. As you said … I honor Angeles, blessed be her wisdom. I thank her for sharing and I thank you Chris for sharing. The words are so very meaningful.

  2. Lynnette Eldredge says:

    I didn’t know she died! I just watched the video, which was just what I needed to do this morning, so thank you for the gift of both of your words and wisdom. I am now in Delaware visiting Ben and You You, who by the way are expecting their first child, having just gone through an expensive and convoluted invitro fertilization process. It has rained torrentially ever since I arrived Tuesday evening and I didn’t bring the right clothes for temps in the 50’s; I promptly came down with a cold.

    New Orleans was wonderful, my friend Joanne (BFF in Jr High) found a great condo in the quiet end of the French Quarter, with its own flower-filled courtyard. We spent many hours there talking, and musing about why we still connect so well. We decided that we planted seeds in each other that have grown with us and that we can recognize and attend in each other, if that makes any sense. I feel the same way about you – I thought about you especially during my layover in Dallas, and wondered why I didn’t take the opportunity to stay over and visit. So much for Arien’s first principle!

    With Gratitude, Nettie

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