I Can Hear Her Breathing
I have yearned for a confirmation of the love and deep insight that Facebook sharing can inspire. In this unique book, Rashani acknowledges the anthropological miracle of what is happening here.
Like a gateway through a rainbow of textures, colors, lights, hidden images, and words that beg to be savoured again and again, the devotional journey of this book brings us back to our sameness, joy and suffering, empathy and justice, as the words of the householder and the monastic comingle. We are online together. In these potent times we are experiencing a phenomena of this virtual platform for Spirit, the ineffable, riding to the hearts of any human being, at every possible moment.
This is bizarre; many people comment how we are “weirded out” and yet it’s profoundly perfect. This now normal mode of communication has been long awaited and predicted as the transcendent Overmind of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo—and the Noosphere of José Argüelles. In this field of the Facebook forum, we play bodhisattva bingo, until we all win! What a marvelous time to be a human! Thank you Rashani for finding poetry amidst the rubble, and assuring us that love and the Great Mystery are alive and well.”
video creatrix, sacred clown, steward, lover, dreamer, teacher, student, sevadar
“Sublime Prayers for the Wheel of Life! During her extraordinary life journey, Rashani has created healing sanctuaries on the land by weaving nature, art, ritual, and community. Along the same pathless way, through image, poem and song, she has shaped healing sanctuaries for the heart.
Now she has gifted us again with I Can Hear Her Breathing: A Prayer Wheel of Images and Words. Touch this book. Softly. Open the realms of wonder within. Immerse and merge with sensations of wisdom. Deeply, breathe the peace that flows throughout these pages, and through all things. Shantih, Shantih, Shantih.”
Sacred Tours in Aotearoa/New Zealand
“Friends, whether or not this is your first encounter of Rashani Réa’s deep wanderings and discoverings of our One Heart through exquisite collages and clear, poignant and pointed quotes, I Can Hear Her Breathing: A Prayer Wheel of Images and Words, it is a beautifully fresh beginning for discovering more deeply the true alignment of our collective oneness in our grieving, celebrating, striving, uprising, resisting and bowing down; and miraculously—through Facebook itself—touches, supports and continues to bring and hold us together, alivening our self-expression and creativity.
To be able to see, feel and taste the essence of, and share in, our sisters’ and brothers’ blessings and burdens, joys and sorrows, successes and defeats through social media while miles apart is both mind boggling and healing. That we honor and bear witness to one another’s testimonies with presence, compassion and love in what we share and confess on our pages, even in such times as these when heartbreak and loneliness can be so overwhelming. Yet we know that our aloneness and belonging are one, just as we belong to each other and to the world; and that life is ever watchful and present and here for us to embrace in the coming home to ourselves and each other exactly as we are. Thank you, Rashani, for this gift of love, which for me is another testimony to life’s true, faithful and unhindered ways of calling, holding and growing us all together including through Facebook…whoever and wherever we are.”
–Alice C. Hall
Fellow Pilgrim in life
“I am new to Rashani Rea’s boundless creativity and look forward to the pleasure of seeking out her other books, music and art. I Can Hear Her Breathing is an open door to Remembering Who We Are and an invitation to drink deeply from the sweet, life-giving Waters of Life.
Even when Life is hectic and I seem to only have a moment, I hold this beautiful book and let it open randomly (perfectly) to words and art that touch my Mind, Body and Spirit. It is my privilege to put Rashani’s books in my waiting room, that they may bless my patients and clients too. Thank you, Rashani, for these blessings and pathways to Our True Selves and Greater Understanding.”
–Katherine Shizue Yeshe Wangmo Yano
physical therapist and healing arts practitioner
The Threshold Between Loss and Revelation
A gorgeous collaboration with Francis Weller, author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow. This book consists of 108 stunning collages by Rashani, accompanied by six chapters, written by Francis.
There are two versions of this book: one which has the collages back to back and “A Journaling Edition,” which has nearly 100 blank pages, for those who want to add their insights and reflections.
The Threshold Between Loss and Revelation is a piece of sacred, existential art: The art of incisive words that beckon us to deep contemplation and the art of symbols and images that invoke movement of the mind and heart. Page by page, this movement is a blessing to those courageous ones broken by loss who are willing to turn into that exigent space. It is a space that implores our exploration, yet it is a space our culture eagerly and explicitly discourages out of fear.
What Weller and Réa do so exquisitely is support the reader, gently, while providing life-sustaining guidance into the darkest corners of loss wherein the magic of transfiguration, born of suffering, exists. Captivating and wise, this lodestar book is a gift for the existentialist’s heart, one that the reader will visit and revisit ad infinitum, as grief ebbs and flows. These readings will never wane in their impact. Rather, they will maturate and heighten our practice over time and upon meditation.
–Dr. Joanne Cacciatore
Associate professor, traumatic grief counselor, researcher,
author of Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief
“Read this book as a Bible, a prayer, a trembling and tender and profoundly resilient testimony. Approach it with the suffering shell of yourself, as a starving person, as a learner, a lover, and a friend. Read this book through your tears. I read it through mine; in this feast of beauty unearthed from wells of great suffering, Rashani Réa and Francis Weller offered me the nourishment of what my soul already knew, and knows, and keeps forgetting and remembering. Read this book to re-member yourself, to lose yourself, and to re-member yourself again. But above all, read it and keep it handy as a sort of pocket mirror when dread, drudgery, loss, sorrow, and rage blind you to what is available to you. Here. And now.”
Jungian analyst, author of The History of My Body and Tizita
“As grounded as it is mystical, The Threshold Between Loss and Revelation is a soulful, penetrating guide for those traversing the mapless terrain of grief and loss. Rashani Réa and Francis Weller, both compassionate authorities known for their revolutionary work and healing presence, have extracted the essence of the divine and complex human experience into a brilliant Masterwork that quietly astonishes. It is a transmission from the heart of Illumination. Sacred yet practical, it attends the emotional life of the bereaved at every stage throughout the grieving process—and beyond.
May this book find its way into the hands and hearts of everyone who is suffering and those whose lives have been broken open by tragedy, illness, and loss. May it be made available to every hospice worker, caretaker, healthcare provider and family member of the terminally ill, to those who have experienced loss of any kind, and to those who—knowingly or unknowingly—carry unattended sorrow.”
–Marie Clare Schultheis
Intuitive and ‘Soul Songs’ pianist
“This book is a masterful synthesis of sacred, eloquent creativity by two contemporary visionary-bodhisattvas. The Threshold Between Loss and Revelation infuses our lives with an immediate sense of perspective—deeper than, and beyond, conceptual understanding.”
Founder of Holistic Resources Foundation
An Unfolding of Love
This deeply gorgeous and touching collection takes us on a journey of living and dying and all the precious moments of relationship in between. It is a journey into the labyrinth of a mother’s heart…a heart that has learned to transmute loss into Grace…and the celebration of art and beauty. I can hear the devotional songs between the lines, feel the joy of truth beyond stories in every poem. Rashani’s tribute to her son is a tribute to love eternal.
– Jennifer Bonadio
Yoga teacher and friend
“There is no greater role in the world than to be a mother. To embody a life, bring it forward and nurture it to bloom into the world. To experience the connection between mother and child and this mysterious gift called unconditional love. A love that exists without borders, labels, expectations, or worldliness. A pure and simple love that carries such a great and majestic force.
Yet the role of mother is forever taken for granted as we mature and become forgetful moving into the working ways of the world. It’s as if we know this incredible devoted love from another perspective, an inward one that is beyond what we see, like a secret cosmic mother who has trained us to expect this love.
In An Unfolding of Love, which was originally created for her son, Rashani Réa fully embodies the mother principle in her ability to flow from the heart in a deep, tender and powerful way. She lovingly leads us back towards non conceptual understanding, which lies beyond the written word. Rashani pours her gentle rain of healing-wisdom over us to leave us refreshed, with a knowing that we have arrived and there is an inward seat for us by her fire.
– Kel Rae
Territory of Wonder
Territory of Wonder is a generous gift placed on the altar of our one, shared heart. Réa and Posmer enfold us in their images and words with a tender beauty that becomes a love letter to the sacred as it rises and falls, like the ocean tides, in our beings. This gem of a collaboration illustrates how one voice can become two and then one again, stepping apart to celebrate and deepen each other and then joining together for rest and renewal. Territory of Wonder is a prayer, a quiet invitation into the mystery of the two-in-one.”
– Jett Psaris
Co-author of Undefended Love and author of Hidden Blessings: Midlife Crisis as a Spiritual Awakening
“Those who enter the dwelling-place of the mystics dance on the cusp between form and formlessness, light and dark, death and life. This territory — populated by angels, stars, skeleton leaves, peacocks, and bodies both celestial and scarred — is invoked with shimmering brilliance by Britt Posmer’s poems and Rashani Réa’s collages. No mere description, each word and image drenched in immanence, this book speaks of that which can only be known from within. Britt and Rashani have brought forth sublime gifts from the womb of the divine feminine and graciously invited us all to partake. Thrumming with awe and gratitude, I say a heartfelt “yes.”
– Fiona Robertson
Author of The Art of Finding Yourself: Live Bravely and Awaken to Your True Nature
We live in a multi-dimensional Universe with many doors to many planes of existence. Rashani Rea’s aesthetically-wise new book, Gossamer Mirrors, offers us a door knob to a plane not readily accessible in ordinary space and time. In this mystical land of Butterfly and Moth, Rashani reminds us that love emerges from the same heart that lives within our different forms. She brings back faith that magic is what is ordinary… Rashani gives us wings that sustain us as we take flight into the mystery through the irresistible power of love which ignites the soul and blows the mind open!
– Marlena Lyons
Co-author of Undefended Love
“Rashani has a natural ability to use poetry and beautiful imagery to convey what is virtually impossible to describe—a life lived in the absence of fear, full of love, peace and compassion. She is a dedicated teacher, who has helped so many. I invite you to dive into this very rich book and feel the words as your very own self. You won’t be let down. Highly recommended!”
Author of Love’s Quiet Revolution: The End of the Spiritual Search
Touched by Grace
Through a Temenos of Women
Touched by Grace is to my mind, a thoroughly enchanting book — I mean that quite literally, because from the very first pages, when the author shares the remarkable story of her own life, I felt myself being drawn into a sacred precinct — in Rashani’s own word, a temenos — alive with the spirit of grace-filled women. A lovely companion of a book…”
– Carol Lee Flinders
Author of Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics
“Rashani Réa is a wise woman who knows she is not separate from all of life. She has been committed for decades to allowing the unique expression of that connection, through words and images, to become part of her own teaching. In this book she offers us a collection of word pearls from different women who live their truth and power, and offer their gifts in service to life. Each page offers a gem of wisdom to contemplate, inspire, and live by. That she honors others is one of Rashani’s many gifts as she reminds us to take inspiration and guidance everywhere and that co-creation and collaboration is what we need to all be engaged in. Her art is so beautifully married to the words that they too seem like they were born to live together on the page and in our hearts. Keep this book close, it will be a good friend.”
– Judith Ansara
In Praise of Love
Decades ago Rashani created a series of note cards using lyrics from my songs. I was honored and pleased with the results — especially since the lyrics she chose were woman identified and in some cases clearly expressions of lesbian love. This was not something that Hallmark was providing! Now, years later, she republishes her book, In Praise of Love, as a reminder that coming out is not a done deal. Perhaps easier for some now than then but all over the world, including in this self proclaimed democracy, the confession of a woman loving a woman is still seen as a crime, a danger to the powers that be. And so may this simple declaration from the pen of Rashani still find the hearts to which it longs to speak.
– Holly Near
“In a nation and a world that feels so heartbreakingly divided, where anger has fanned fear-flames and scorched our beloved earth with hatred, Rashani offers us an oasis where we can breathe again. While everything we hear on the news bears witness that “They want to conquer the universe and dissect the soul…” Rashani’s gentle Dove poses her wise question, “How can one achieve wholeness with such a destructive goal?” This beautiful poet reminds us to reclaim our innocence and harness the transformative power of “the alchemy of Love.” Within the covers of this beautiful book, we are invited to let Love dissolve the divisive boundaries that we have imagined: race, gender, religion, sexuality, social mores. Through her exquisite artistry Rashani seems to echo the voice of the great 13th century Persian poet, Rumi, as she opens a doorway to “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what [and whom] you really love.” In Praise of Love is a Gift of Hope and Healing for troubled times and troubled hearts everywhere.”
– Rebecca Braden
International coach and consultant
“Rashani has a unique and potent gift to take the raw material of life and distill it into a precious and sacred offering. She has done just that in her tender and moving work, In Praise of Love. While reading and viewing the art of the gentle story of the dove and the ladybug, we discover the vulnerable and undefended self through their exploration of loving. An unlikely pair, they remind us that knowledge without love is useless; opening our hearts is the only way to crack fully open to divine grace. Shining her gift of vision and art, Rashani continues to inspire the journey of love in all its forms.”
Author of Fire of the Goddess and Sacred Path of Reiki
Rashani’s visual koans are superb. This interweaving of memoir and art is deeply moving. Sixty-four beautiful collages are interwoven here with poetry and prose by a truly gifted artist!
Collage making is the process of finding, gathering, and repurposing those things in our lives that speak to us, that engage us in a generative conversation; something new and not previously imagined by the world arises. The collages within these pages are not art, they are craft. They are Rashani’s masterful way of bringing something useful into our everyday lives.”
– Jamie K. Reaser
Author of Note to Self: Poems for Changing the World from the Inside Out
Moonlight on a Night Moth’s Wing
In the extraordinary Moonlight on a Night Moth’s Wing: A Fusion of Image and Word, Rashani Réa has created a contemporary mystic’s book of hours around Dorothy Walters’ poetic meditations on the gift of being alive. A cat sat beside me as I read, its warm, rhythmic purring a fitting accompaniment to Réa’s refined, yet earthy imagery. This book is a gem, with Walters beckoning us to embrace the dark and light of our lived experience with a deepened intensity of reflection and Réa plying her exquisite feel for form and color to invite us to celebrate the vibrating patterns of feather, leaf, sea, stone, and sky of this planet we call home. This offering of two gifted souls working in graceful harmony is simply not to be missed.”
– Sharon Heath
Jungian Analyst and author of The History of My Body
Another exquisite book by Rashani Réa, known internationally for her stunning collages. Shimmering Birthless is a unique collection, incorporating the poetry of Alfred K. LaMotte, a well-loved poet from Washington!
These are poems that weave heaven and earth, body and soul, lover and beloved together with the colored threads of joy and tears. A tender and rich collection with beautiful illustrations by Rashani Réa.”
– Roger Housden
Best-selling author of the Ten Poems to Change Your Life series
This is a moving and deeply affecting evocation of an extraordinarily gifted Tibetan meditation master. In this symphony of words and images, Anam Thubten’s instructions profound and exceptionally human at the same time, open our hearts and make our minds peaceful and vast.”
– Reginald A. Ray, PhD
Author of Touching Enlightenment: Finding Realization in the Body and Indestructible Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism.
True Golden Sand
True Golden Sand is a collection of collages by Rashani Réa, which she began in 1988, shortly after meeting Thich Nhat Hanh. It also includes dharma songs and a beautiful introduction by Rashani, as well as exquisite forewords by Nel Houtman and Dorothy Hunt and a preface by Joel and Michelle Levey.
Because Rashani is so deeply connected with Thay, she can give his words the beauty of his smile and the peace of his presence. Each collage is a moment of recognition, a pause to breathe with him, a seeing of the truth beyond words. The book is itself a living creation of inter-being, much like a flower made possible by everything in the universe.”
– Gloria Lee
Editor of The Nonduality Highlights
Always Choose Love
With her genius for collage and her pick of stunning quotes from the deep and wonderful heart of Rumi, Rashani has created a collection of moments that opened my heart and reminded me that within every being, there shines the same clear light. Thank you for this cascade of gifts.”
– James Fadiman
Novelist, researcher and co-editor of Essential Sufism
“Turning the pages of this book is like lifting layers of tissue paper to reveal gifts within gifts. What Rashani is able to do, with her ability to see beyond what is visible, is capture the fleeting essence of a moment, then create an image that reflects the spirit of that moment. Then, she skillfully places the words onto the image so that the image, the words and the spirit of the message merge, and lift off the page, piercing the reader’s heart. Darkness is released and spills out from that open wound, composted into nothingness. And without a moment’s hesitation…Light pours in. Rashani’s gift is to see a Truth, create an image that embodies the essence of that Truth and put them all together. Each page of this book does that.”
– Dorothy Fadiman
For nearly 30 years I have delighted in Rashani’s work as an artist, a songwriter, an activist, and an embodiment of the fierce energy we need now more than ever. Her art seems to take on a timeless, classical quality over the years. And what a metaphor it is ‘The Disappearance’! What else has, or will, disappear, that we can celebrate and honor, taking our cue from Rashani’s rendering of these words, “When a woman loves a woman” … or “when a human loves a human unqualified by notions of gender, or race, or religion, or any other invented form of otherness or forbiddance?”
Dharma teacher and co-founder of Five Changes
“Rashani embodies the messages on her cards with courage, creativity and perseverance. Thank you for bringing your art and this book to our community and world.”
Founding teacher of Insight Meditation Center of the Pioneer Valley and co-author of A Beginner’s Guide to Insight Meditation
“This is an unbelievable story on all levels and should be named “The Passion of the Goddess!” It has the inspirational flare of Susan B. Anthony and Adrienne Rich and all of our women loving foremothers. When each woman stands, she stands for all her mother line behind her and in front of her. When each woman speaks up, she speaks up for all women, including Mother Earth as we are all part of nurturing the creative mother love that knows no bounds.
Rashani not only had the courage and perseverance to battle the patriarchal world that has brainwashed us to totally discard feminine wisdom and divine feminine love in all forms, she also overcame that very historical oppression which manifested in her own cellular body as illness. Filled with raw truth, determination and a pioneering spirit, it’s wonderful to know that this true story of self-healing and expression has a great ending. The ending is a testament that when a woman claims her true feminine voice and power, it is with the kind of transformational love and respect that dissolves all illusions. Thank you Rashani on behalf of all women, young and old and all men who truly know their true purpose in being a guardian and cultivator of feminine love.”
–White Eagle Medicine Woman/Suraj Holzwarth
Author, poet, musician, international healer and teacher, founder and director: Grandmother Drum International Peace Project
“I was very touched by Rashani Réa’s story. Being born in Austria, the country that birthed Adolf Hitler, her story reminded me of the destruction of Jewish art in my homelands. In 1933 Germany, millions of Jewish books got publicly burned and that was only the beginning of the Nazi’s attempt to eradicate all Jewish art. It was shocking to read that under a different set of prejudices, the destruction of art took place in modern USA. Bravo for the courage to talk about it! I loved the mystery of sudden justice and how the universe responded to Rashani’s instincts to not let this go by unnoticed again. It teaches us to always follow our hearts. May justice and equality prevail!”
–Michaela Ashaneya Baumgartner
International healer, writer and performance artist
“Thank you, Rashani, for chronicling here the details of your dedication and your long-term perseverance; the ups and downs we go through when we stand passionately over time for what we believe. Your creativity and the beauty of your designs and collages creates joy in our lesbian artist hearts… and reminds us that we are all in a lifelong (perhaps many lives long) journey to be our full and woman-loving selves.”
MPW, activist and process-oriented facilitator
Rashani has designed collages for the following books, which were published by Dorothy Hunt and Ivan M. Granger:
Leaves from Moon Mountain
In the sumptuous style of the Illustrated Rumi, this lyrical, evocative book is a delight for the senses, the spirit, and the heart. Seamlessly blending nondual wisdom teachings (by Dorothy Hunt), luxuriant collages (by Rashani Rea), and wise, sensuous poetry that points directly to the source of all poems, it invites you to reach down into the depths of Being itself to taste the divine Mystery that lies at the heart of, and infuses, every experience. Be prepared to be touched, inspired, ravished—and above all, transformed!”
– Stephan Bodian
Author of Wake Up Now: A Guide to the Journey of Spiritual Awakening and Beyond Mindfulness
Gathering Silence is a collection of contemplative sayings, memorable aphorisms, bits of poetry, and flashes of insight by Ivan M. Granger, gathered along the spiritual journey, accompanied throughout by stunning full-color collages by Rashani Réa.