Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tales From the God Life-Falling Into Love...
"When you are falling , dive."Joseph Campbell
This Summer has been an over the top flow and fall into the deepest love, mystery and unity I have ever known. Even while surfing these currents of grace, I wipe out and stumble back into ecstasy, forgetting, then remembering again, and again.
This last month of delight kicked off with serving the Global Youth Peace Summit (check out the slide show of beautiful peeps from around the world). This life changing experience was a homecoming and has shifted the course of my life, forever. It deserves it's own post, TBA. Mid month was chock full of communion with family, friends and inspiring dance, music ,travel, play, wilderness, and immense beauty (two weeks at California Brazil Camp). And, it was all topped off with Bhaktifest last weekend. That is where these tales from the God life emerge today.
In the words of mystic, Meister Eckhart, "If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is "thank you," that would suffice."
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Bhakti : is defined by Wikipedia as a practice or active involvement by the devotee in divine worship. It conveys a fully engaged, devoted relationship with God.
Bhakti Yoga is the"yoga of the heart" or "the yoga of love and devotion".
I have been bhaktified. I felt right at home steeping in the bhava of ecstatic, unlimited divine love, invoking God's presence through chanting in kirtan, asana, dance, music and meditation for 4 days, and nights . The exquisite Joshua Tree desert setting, and camping under the big stary sky heightened the potency. Living within an eco-village of a several thousand others aligned in an agreement field of love, devotion and vitality took it to a new level of pulsating life force.
I have been delivered to a deeper intimacy in my direct relationship to the Divine... I have fallen deeper in... into the generous love, into the mystic. And so, what can I do, but dive? My heart continues to wash with tears of joy, humility, gratitude and blessing. I realize now, that as I danced and chanted, in prayer for hours upon hours, I took my vows and my bows to the One that is everything, everywhere.
My work now, is to remember. How does one sustain this open hearted, luminous inner body, that is merged with the one and celebrated in the many? Practice. Being that frequency and ground within humanity, within the Universe, is really all there is to do, or rather all that is worth being. Yet, I forget. Do you? Where does my devotion go when I lock horns with my husband, when my beloved, whining child is pulling on my energy, when I feel hurried and hassled by the logistics and details of the marketplace, when my nerve endings feel I might explode and lash out- and sometimes do?
For the record, I did not even have a single grumpy moment at Bhaktifest. It was easy to relax open as love there...24-7. Yet once home, I witness and observe, as I sigh heavily, roll my eyes, and feel annoyed at how the daily details of life "pull me away" from my God center. This is a lie. Actually, every moment is offering an invitation to practice, to remember, to go deeper into the heart of God, and stay there. If God is with in us, and we are also within God, then all of life is worthy of my devotion. And, if everything wants to drink from the love, then the grumpy mood, whining child, marital spats, life tensions, falls and forgetting can have a drink as well.
Humility is key on this path. True devotion, with a humble heart erases greed and arrogance, melts away fear and anxiety, transforms selfishness into selflessness and hatred into love , restoring the deep peace that is our birth right. No matter how often I forget, my practice of remembering Bhakti Bliss is vital to survive and thrive in the day to day, ordinary, "chop wood-carry water, mundane life.
The ante is up. I have tasted this nectar and there is no going back. That would be death, or foolishness, ignorance and sleep at best. I will chant and dance the sacred names to ground me, and integrate inspiration from the brilliant yoga teachers, incredible kirtan artists and musicians, I joined in practice. I will remember the treasures shared in darshan with many bright, sage bhakti elders of various traditions. The wisdom transmissions direct from ancient lineages of awakened beings were IN THE HOUSE!
One timeless teaching that I will pass onto you comes from Swami Rad, "Every living thing is seeking pleasure...", he said, "for humans, the pleasure of the heart, which is love, is the only pleasure that truly satisfies the soul or essence. This pleasure of love flows from our love for the Divine." No material possession, accumulation of goods, success, ambition or sensory pleasure will ever be enough to fulfill the real need and purpose of the heart. Meanwhile, the thieves of time will steal away our lives as we pursue pleasure elsewhere, aimlessly, endlessly, unless we stop and remember. Only the love of the Divine will do. " It is our nature to be in eternal, unlimited, divine ecstatic communion forever."
As the Upandishads tell us, "Meditation is the bow, devotion is the arrow, love is the target." Join me and aim well, sweet bhakti brothers and sisters. Practice hitting that target over and over again. The only real fulfillment in this life is merging in divine bliss with the ONE. Then, from that satiated, centered, full place, the only natural next step is to serve life. May we offer ourselves, in gratitude as a living, breathing sustainable force of peace and love in motion.
"The door is round and open... Don't go back to sleep."
LOKAH SAMASTA SUKHINO BHAVANTU
May all beings everywhere be happy and free!
One Love, G