Monday, September 29, 2014

This is how I pray

This is how I pray.

Still and silent, seated in solitude, cosmic energy swirls within.

Palms joined, or perhaps uplifted, sacred syllables fall from my lips.

Feet to the earth, one step, two, following the pilgrims pace.

Joined in communion, dancing, twirling, music guiding me home.

Enveloped by the ocean, or maybe a river, sinking and floating are one.

Pressed against lover’s flesh, passion pulsing from groin and chest, Divine union.

Synagogue, mosque, temple, forest, behind the wheel of my car.

Fingers at the keyboard, pen to paper, let it freely flow.

Lit by candles, or perhaps sparkling stars, no distinction behind closed eyes.

Holy days, rainy days, every single new day I wake to see the sun.

Laughing, crying, contemplating, articulating, the prayer is never done.

For as many souls as there are shining, there are that many ways to pray.

And that brings me to this inquiry, the burning question for today. . .

What is prayer to you?

When you pray, what do you say?

Who do you say it to?

Do you do it everyday?

There is no wrong or right. 

We each find our own way.

When you say it, say it true.

This is how I pray.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Release and fall away

The energy of this moment is potent, so very potent. The Autumn Equinox has just brought us forth into a season of harvesting bounty and shedding leaves. A new moon is close upon us, always a time of renewal and focused intention. It is Rosh Hashannah, the new year of the Jewish calendar, and Navaratri, the nine nights of the Divine Mother for Hindus. The confluence of these occasions stirs me from within, sparking surges of insight in my mind, rolling waves of pranic force in my body and a tender sweetness in my heart as I honor and revere the sacred wisdom and traditions associated with them.

We are all children of Mother Nature, and as her children we live by her rhythms and cycles. For something new to begin, something else must end.  Energy is infinite, and we do not create or destroy it so much as channel and transmute it. So it is with the seasons and the phases of the moon. So it is with seasons and phases of our lives.

As I have been reflecting on this delicate and powerful portal we are passing through right now, a question came to me, a gift from the Universe. A friend posed it to me, asking with rawness and earnestness, as a love that has long been dying seems to have finally met its end. “How much heartbreak can one heart take?” she asked.

My answer flowed immediately, and its timeliness was as immediately apparent. “Your heart will take as many breaks as your soul needs to experience. Your soul is limitless strength and utter tenderness and everything in between, experiencing itself through this most human of pains,” was my reply.

And so it is. Whether heartbreak or heart opening, sadness or joy, we experience what we need to experience as many times as is necessary for our soul’s journey.

We live season to season, phase to phase, moment to moment and breath to breath. One gives way to another as we cycle through the encounters and experiences that sometimes feel oppressively repetitive so we may learn, or better, remember, whatever it is our soul needs. The moon doesn’t complain of its constant cycling. The seasons don’t tire of coming around again year after year. So why then do we take issue with living through the same emotions again? And of course these are select emotions. Have you heard someone complain of being too happy for too long? Likely not. But too sad for too long, too scared for too long, that is a common complaint among us.  

Just as there is more darkness than light during the days of fall and winter than spring and summer, there come times in our lives when we are meant to experience pain. Pain is a precious teacher. We sense our very vitality through it, but more, we cultivate qualities such as empathy and compassion, as well as come to understand how we can better chart our course in life through periods of pain. Then, when the cycle of pain comes to its end, we are equipped to move forward with grace and more fully enjoy the pleasure, joy and light of the spring and summer seasons of our lives.

Where many of us go astray is in attaching suffering to our pain. That is neither the soul’s desire nor its intention. The ego is at play when we suffer, clinging fiercely to that which no longer serves us. Yet if we could be like leaves on a tree in autumn and allow ourselves to release and fall away, rather than holding on tight, we would experience the divine beauty and blessing of our pain without the bitter edge that suffering brings. Like fallen leaves we would use those emotions and experiences to enrich the soil of our lives, making it fertile for the seeds we plant so they may grow and blossom as fully and heartily as possible. 

Release and fall away, Dear One. Drop down into the lap of the Mother and be held. Let the energy of the new moon infuse you with her essence. Prepare for the harvest lovingly, openly, so that you may reap the purest seeds of your soul when the time comes. Be renewed. Be reborn. Be.