There are people in your life whom I believe ‘contracted’ to be anchors for you. Ones who hold all, or a large percentage of, your entire history. Some share your blood, some are relatives of the spirit. They know you, in a way that those who drop in much later, cannot.....simply because they have been there to Witness your process, pretty much from inception. When they must finally leave, because their mission on all levels, is complete...you are aware that the world for you, simply will never be the same. Especially, of course, if you shared the same house, but even if you had not lived nearby for many, many years. Because you knew, day to day, that they were someplace safe, breathing and keeping your history alive just by doing this.
The truth is, the sadness is yours, not theirs, because they delivered their destiny perfectly, a ‘good and faithful servant’ to the very end.
You can bear your sadness. You can. Because you have had a baton of sorts passed to you. You must now carry a Spark of the one who was your anchor so that your world continues to experience them, through you, in some small way. Perhaps by a simple smile (when you least feel like smiling), maybe through an unbroadcasted act of kindness, maybe by refusing to react to provocation, maybe by putting one foot in front of the other and carrying on when you most feel like giving up. Small, simple things....just how they showed you.
Your sadness is also made bearable because you know in your deepest heart, that the sweet souls of the ones who anchored you, were themselves untethered and have easily flown Home, given wings by their day-to-day kindness and a Grace that they made look ordinary, but which was spun of extraordinary threads of finest gold.
Your sadness has to be felt and it is difficult.....but it is also lined, even at its terrible depths which all that you hold holy must now give you the courage to navigate......with a Love that lies outside of the boundaries of space, time and matter. This is the vibration in which your anchors now reside and where you have to resonate in order to experience them again, in a different, more refined, way.
On a very personal note: Wednesday just past was Granny Achong’s 100th birthday. Wednesday night, I dreamed of watching three solar eclipses, one after the other, with a bit of time between them. Incidentally, Granny Achong left her body peacefully on Thursday morning, 100 years and one day young.
I believe the dream was a message of hope from my three grandmothers: my actual maternal granny, Eileen Shahani- the first eclipse; my granny-in- spirit, Auntie Bhabi- the second eclipse; now my granny Achong, also granny-in-spirit- the third eclipse.
In the dream, the process of each eclipse was wondrous and the darkness immediately after, immense. An immersion in a darkness so deep and profound such as I have never experienced in ‘real’ life. But then, each time, the sun re-emerged and the Light was brighter than ever.
I hope my three grandmothers are dancing together in the ethers, in the joy of knowing they did their very best always and that they loved themselves inside out. I am so grateful they were, and still are, forever mine. I will promise to continually assess and ask myself often what I am doing to give back some of that Perfect Love that was poured into me by three of the very finest women I will ever know.
Here they are.
Eileen Shahani (Baby me, Petra Street, Woodbrook, Trinidad)
Auntie Bhabie (62 Sutter Avenue, Canada)
Granny Achong (St. Anns, Trinidad 2017)
A few weeks ago, Santa Rosa Maria- a regular Kundalini Yoga student in a class I teach on Monday evenings, had to leave early. Usually she reminds me before class (she is part of a monthly dream group), so I am expecting to see her rise up a bit early and quietly head out the door while her classmates are often still in savasana. This particular week, we'd not had that conversation, so when I heard movement in the room at that point in class, my eyes opened to investigate.
Our eyes met and instantly, in silence, I understood she had to leave and guessed why. But the experience we shared in that moment was utterly profound and went far beyond that of non-verbal communication (though that was pretty cool too).
The vibration in the room may well have set the stage for it, for it had been a very beautiful class with all there making their best effort and being so focused and Present. Nevertheless, this was a unique gift that by Grace, Santa Rosa Maria and I were given. As I looked into her eyes, which incidentally, are glacial blue and crystal clear- yet still manage to be warm, full of wisdom, humour and love, what I actually Saw was her Soul of purest Light.
I began to beam, because I could not help it. She smiled back at me and what I Felt was that A Great Blessing had come upon me. The impulse to bow to the Majesty of the G-O-D I was witnessing in her was impossible to disobey, so I did. There were tears in my eyes, because one cannot glimpse the Divine and not be overcome.
My Hubs had missed class that week on account of that most dreaded of all diseases, The Man Flu, and when I got home, this was the first thing about which I told him because my heart was so full of it. I began by saying: "Rose and I had a moment. I got to see her Soul!"
Santa Rosa and I did not speak of this for several weeks. Then suddenly after another class some time later, she came up and tried to go after touching my feet. I stopped her by saying I needed to touch her feet. I told her I was so glad she too had felt the sanctity of that experience. We concluded it was a pure gift- two souls sharing a bit of The Journey together and the Magic of really Seeing each other. Brown eyes met blue and their shared Vision was of Wonder.
It is Holy Thursday and on this day approximately one thousand nine hundred and eighty five years ago, Jesus of Nazareth sat down to eat his last meal with his closest friends and disciples. The line in Corinthians reads: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.
I have heard these words countless times, as it is part of the celebration of the Eucharist at Catholic Mass. I have always loved them- they never fail to make something incredibly sweet and incredibly sad flutter in my heart and they manage, every time, to deliver to me as much sense as this mortal can grasp, of the limitless nature of Love.
However, when I read them this morning, they washed over me with a new awareness. I had an almost visceral experience of the depth of betrayal the human heart of Jesus must have felt. And then came the experience of its polarity- the depth of forgiveness the Sacred Heart of Jesus possessed. He could, and did, truly love those about to run, hide, deny and deliver him into the hands of his enemies; he could still see them as brother, friend and disciple despite Knowing the ugly things they were about to do.
Likely we have all experienced betrayal by someone we love. Someone who appeared to totally ‘get’ us, seemed to be in sync with us and declared their loyalty. We may have begun to feel very safe in relationship with them and gradually exposed our soft underbelly, letting down our guard and shedding our armour. Eventually, faced with a time of testing, we were completely and utterly blindsided and devastated when their actions left us in no doubt that we only imagined we were loved. The last time this happened to me, I can truthfully say that if I had any bread around me just when it was all going down, I might have thrown it, rather than giving thanks and offering it in peace!
Which leads me to reflect that I believe the Christ actually gave us a profound “Relationship/Life Rulebook’ of sorts, by his actions that night, as described.
Giving thanks for the bread was symbolic of expressing gratitude for everything the Divine delivers to us- whether it appears to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’. He showed how to stand so firm in faith that no matter how dark and awful something seems, what we see first is the Hand of God working for our ultimate Resurrection. This is Rule #1: to gratefully declare- “Lord, you sent this to me, it must be for my highest good.”
Jesus then broke the bread so he could share it….an act of incredible kindness and sovereignty, despite the intuition that He would soon be betrayed and abandoned by his closest companions. Rule #2: No matter how you feel, what is most important is how you act. Act kindly; remember your royal nature as a child of the One so you can be gracious always.
He then goes on to say: ‘this is my body, it is for you’. By this, He is telling us about the very nature of Love. Rule #3: Authentic Love often requires tremendous personal sacrifice- perhaps of body at times, but more often of our negative ego and the need to be right.
Lastly: ‘do this in memory of me’… Christ speaks to us here of the nature of Forgiveness, saying in effect that there would come a time when all of the angst would be left behind and then he wanted them to know that it was okay to commemorate all the good of their relationship with Him. Rule #4: you should never forget, but you shall rise up and honour the best in you when you forgive. In this way, all the good memories can live forever, in your heart and soul.
May we all keep striving to love as Jesus loved. May we break bread with each other and not each other's hearts. May we live our prayer, not just mouth it.
Each person who comes to us is simultaneously in the process of leaving, voluntarily or involuntarily, sooner or later. I am not saying this fatalistically, only realistically. Nothing and no one can truly be captured. All we can do is love...which has absolutely nothing to do with possession. I see this to be one of the fundamental paradoxes of the universe: the only way to hold on, is to release...simply offering ourselves, regardless of the possibility of rejection or loss (which takes immense courage!). When we can mature into loving like this (which may take lifetimes!), then you may flow into me and I may flow into you- and we may both flow with the River of Life. Neither of us will be different yet we will never be the same again. We cannot understand this with the ego or mind....it's a Divine Code that can only be deciphered by the heart and then experienced by Souls which are ready.
- Siri Amrita Kaur
Our relationships are contracts of the soul, pure and simple. Sometimes, the work is done early....sometimes it takes a lifetime. The key to Authentic Love is continual expansion and a deepening which is only possible, paradoxically, by being willing to let go. As we grow into the fullness of love, we are asked to find the courage to both passionately participate in the partnered dance and also to bless its dissolution, if this is what needs to happen. Wow....we are called upon to bless not only what and who comes to us.... but also that which, and those, who leave us, either by their choice or circumstance. In this way, we walk lightly on the earth and through our lives, engendering and experiencing the least amount of suffering possible- though certainly, there may be pain (which must also be embraced). Today, may we offer a prayer of compassion for ourselves and each other; may we remember that to be kind is superior always, to being right; may we never forget that we are all of us, souls on a Journey which is singular- companionship is a grace of the path, but not its destination.
Some time ago, I wrote this to someone and it seems fitting to say it again here. 'Some say love is holding on, some say letting go.....' I say it is a bit of both.
Siri Amrita Kaur
The early part of yesterday was a typical last-day-of-work-day-before-Christmas break....lots of scurrying around trying to finish up nagging little things that I don't want to carry over into The New Year. Isn't is ominous and such a task to consider all that we know we must leave behind, that which we know in our hearts belongs to the past? I don't know about you, but I always feel a bit overwhelmed by the task, even just with temporal things, never mind the big metaphysical things like past hurts and dealing with losses. And then there's the Grand List of what I want to implement and accomplish and experience in the year just on the horizon. Another big deal.
However, yesterday afternoon and evening were so different from my norm. I went with a lovely friend to a retirement home to give a little first time talk on the importance of teeth (me) and good nutrition (her). My friend did a beautiful job talking not just about what to eat, but about how it should be eaten. And an important part of this 'how' is eating in community. She mentioned, in closing, a few pieces of general advice....one of which was 'to love hard'. One of the little ladies who heretofore appeared not too interested in much and maybe a little cranky, suddenly piped up with a question for my friend: "How do you love hard?". Wow. My friend asked: "Do you have people you love? Yes, she said. Do they know you love them? Do you tell them? Do you spend time with them? Do you communicate often with them?". Yes, she said, to all of these. My friend then concluded that she thought the little lady was doing it.....loving hard.
I've been thinking about this all day today. I asked myself: how hard am I loving? Do the people in my life know it, and not only because I say it by rote, but because I show it and vibrate it? Do I love even when its difficult for me because I feel misunderstood, or unfairly criticized or I don't understand someone's actions or words. I've come to the conclusion that loving hard is sometimes itself very hard! But also that its the only thing that makes this human existence truly worthwhile. And I resolve to do better and better at it. We absolutely cannot, in my opinion, purport to love God if we do not learn to truly love each other, especially when it is the most difficult thing in the world to do.
We are about to celebrate the birth of the Maestro of Love. He who was born in part, to give the world a magnificent example of how to love in the midst of the most heinous of circumstances. He was left alone, betrayed by those he called 'friend and brother', unfairly accused and debased. Yet his last words were "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do". I'd say He knew how to love hard!
After leaving the retirement home, we went to have a chat over tea in an adorable little coffee shop. (Why are places that sell coffee AND tea mostly only ever called "coffee shops"?) It was wonderful to reconnect and trade stories of recent adventures had. The entire time, I was so delighted to really See this soul sitting across from me- it was a blessing. I hope I never stop really seeing her, or anyone I love- it'll make me miss all that magic that never stops tumbling over in every one of God's creations.
Speaking of magic, an adorable little boy came in with his mama, just as we were getting ready to leave. Our eyes met and I smiled and he smiled back. What is it about a little kid smiling at you that makes you feel like a million dollars? And that's not all! When we walked past where he was sitting, on the way out the door, I leaned over and said goodbye to him. He waved this teeny tiny hand at me- now I felt like TWO million dollars. And that's not all! He then, unprompted and of his own volition, put the teeny tiny hand to his mouth and blew me a kiss. Officially the very youngest guy to ever hit on me. Go ahead, be jealous.
We walked outside and were treated to a beauteous winter sky- sort of a light midnight blue with a perfect silver crescent moon in a cloudless expanse. More magic.
This story ends with me driving home and the license plate of the car right in front of me read "1Journey". I promise I didn't make this up.
I wish you all the most joyous of Christmas celebrations. May we all claim the peace and the love and the bliss that are our birthright. May we See the Magic that is sprinkled everywhere if only we take the time to Look. May we hold hands and 1Journey together. May we always, always, always choose to Love Hard.
- Siri Amrita Kaur
We spend so much precious time running away. Constantly finding a new distraction so we won't have to encounter the Quiet. For in it, we know we will come face to face with our shadow-self and the wounds we have carried interminably but kept safely hidden under a facade of bravado. And so we run from activity to activity, from relationship to relationship, constantly 'in love' with the new thing, the new person- and leaving as soon as the time of reckoning comes, as it always does. "Its too much", "its too deep", "its too intense", we say to ourselves, about those things and people who draw out of our souls a certain longing. In truth, "it" is all those facets of our being which need to be healed. And the profound healing which we absolutely crave, like a man dying of thirst in the desert craves water, will never happen if we keep running. We must, if we wish to open these human hearts as widely as they were destined to open, walk our own personal Via Dolorosa, with courage and dignity, with truth, with authenticity and with a stubborn refusal to live like a bubble on the ocean. It doesn't matter how good our life looks on the outside- how good is it on the inside? It doesn't matter how wonderful the things we do appear to the world- are our motives pure? All our cleverness will not bring us a moment of true peace. All the tricky ways in which we try to undermine and hurt others (because we ourselves are still hurt children) are actually poisoning us. May we say an unconditional "yes" and commit to go the distance, with our discipline and our relationships. May we say "yes" to Love at every opportunity, for it knows how to deliver us to our True Self. By Grace, may we truly Live these precious lives we were gifted, so as to experience the Divine in the Now. Wishing you peace and profound joy- Siri Amrita Kaur
You might not know this about me, but I love fireworks and routinely embarrass my po' Hubs with public displays of fireworks shenanigans: squeals, jumps up and down and involuntary giggles. Yes, very unadult-like behaviours. But I honestly can't help myself. There is something so glorious and majestic about fireworks. I love their exuberance. I love their explosions of colour and patterns. I love how they utterly illuminate the darkest night. I love how they "die" spending their short "life" making beautiful light.
So last evening, Hubs brought in some white sheets I'd forgotten on the line until it was night-night and I was laying on my bed. Lights went out and almost immediately thereafter, my eyes, heavy with sleep, saw a sudden flash. It appeared a firefly had come in with the laundry. And we were gifted with a private laser show by which, I discovered, I was as delighted as by fireworks. For many of the same reasons I mentioned, despite the fact that there was only a singular colour: phosphorescent greenish-yellow. Which unfortunately, sounds a lot like puke or bile, but so isn't!
He or she flitted around in the dark, putting on a heck of a mating display, with no mate in sight. Unless of course, John or I have a heretofore unknown sexy firefly vibe :-). I guess it finally figured out it best conserve its strength to navigate this new indoor wilderness and it stopped glowing after about five or so minutes. We tried to find it to release it back outside, but without its lantern on, we could not. I was so sleepy that I gave up, saying a prayer that it would somehow survive the night.
Early this morning, I spotted it on the screen over the open window. Poor thing, tortured for who knows how many hours, so close to freedom, yet so far. Smelling the wind, seeing the non-incarcerated fireflies flitting about and being taunted by their passionate dancing and wanton copulating!
I wondered if it had an existential crisis, asking questions like: What's my life worth if I don't fulfill my destiny to multiply?Will I ever fly free again? Have I lost my Light? Will I ever know true love? What kind of God would let this happen to me, when I've tried my best to be a good firefly?
Or was it occupied with more mundane thoughts like: I'm so hungry! Am I just gonna freaking starve to death? I wonder how much phosphor I've got left in the tank? How should I best ration it? Will I ever have sex again? I really have to pee...should I just go here, in front of God and everybody?
The long and short of this story is that it was freed (I don't know if it ever gave in and peed, YUCK!) and took off like the lightening after which it is nicknamed. As Hubs was opening the screen, I noticed how very plain looking it was in the daylight. Nothing at all special, certainly not attractive by normal standards. A kind of dour, longish dusky-black cockroachy (again, yuck!) body with a dull reddish-orange head and a wing-fissure stripe along its back.
But oh man! Come dusk, fall night, when you can't see its form, only its Light....there is nothing more beautiful. Like the full moon, these never fail to make my breath catch.
I think there were profound teachings here. Simpler ones like not judging a book by its cover and looking before you leap, so you don't land up in an inadvertent pickle (coming indoors on a sheet!). More complex ones, like freedom being requisite to shining brightly and fulfilling one's destiny; like abandoning oneself to a universal dance and that joyous movement then has myriad ripple effects and the world is never the same again.
I ended up asking myself: what does it mean to be free? What does it look like when the illusory veils are removed and the soul is allowed to simply shine? Is there anything more lovely than something arising out of life bursting out of itself? Is this bursting forth, in those rare relationships where there is little 'mind-drag', where we are blessed simply to witness the Pure Light in each another, what we humans experience as "Love"?
And a few last compelling thoughts: Was this firefly born and destined to end up in my bedroom last night, and stay 'til morning, so I could ponder these things? Was it able to perceive my Light, just as I perceived its Light? Thanks for reading and Happy Almost Summer Solstice, when light and dark are in perfect balance. I bow to my Shadow and to my Illumination. I Dance my version of the Dance of the Firefly, I witness yours and am in awe of both: for they are nothing short of Divine.
The day of Resurrection has arrived, ironically, born out of some of the worst acts of mankind. Once again, the darkness unknowingly served the Light. I love Peter's words in this line of scripture, for their inclusiveness. In this one simple but powerful statement, he encapsulated a potent message of the ministry of Christ, then and now, in a totally non-sectarian way, applicable to all.
Jesus' willing sacrifice showed us how to escape a life of EMPTINESS.
The tomb, which held Christ's body yesterday, is empty of it today. He is Risen. In union with God (ha! a "yogi", showing us how to levitate)....he shows us how to elevate above pettiness, possessiveness, insecurity, slander, gossip, envy, betrayal, competition, hatred, anger, hypocrisy, materialism, emotional blackmail, judgment, the desire to be right, the madness of revenge and retaliation, violence and bullying.
The fearful human psyche holds all of these low vibration traits, which we inherited from our ancestors, who became obsessed with survival, and then with greed, and simply forgot that they were Spirit templed in flesh for a time. We buy in to the insanity hook, line and sinker (wheh-heh-hellll- a fishing image was apropos, for after all Jesus was the "fisher of men" :-) ) until we awaken. The small, egoic self we are protecting, hypnotized by the illusion of the material, is actually killing us, slowly and painfully. We go through mechanical motions of life, joyless, dry and vindictive...and there is nothing more wasteful or sad. If there is such a thing as "sin" then I believe this must be the greatest of them.
It is only when we have suffered enough and are sick and tired of it that we will muster the courage to throw off the shroud and to roll away the stone. Then we too may Arise and prefer the vulnerability of life to the slow decay of death-while-breathing. We too may leave behind all that is of the Shadow, accepting the painful lessons of the Cruxifiction, and enter fully and consciously into the Light. We will know the Bliss of the Resurrection only by allowing the Fire of Love to burn untamed in the now-empty tomb of the heart.
Happy Uprising to you all, with all of my love, holding your hand as we Journey Home
- Siri Amrita Kaur
Today is Holy Saturday and Jesus is entombed. My thoughts today are on His mother, on this day when she has borne this seventh sword piercing her heart and now fully 'earned' the title Our Lady of Sorrows- an accolade I am certain her human heart would rather have avoided if not for her incredible obedience to the Will of God.
There is a beautiful account of Mary standing in a doorway as Jesus was processed through the streets on the way to Calvary. She looks upon the body of her son: He has been beaten, He has been scourged, His head is pierced by a crown of thorns, His blood is flowing and He is so weak, yet forced to carry his patibulum, bowed beneath its punishing weight. As their eyes meet, feeling the intensity of His mother's pain at the sight of Him, Jesus falls to the ground for the second time. No words are spoken but the Mother's heart breaks wide open yet again, pierced by this Fourth Sorrow. Oblivious to the personal danger to which this exposed her, she ran to her son, threw herself on her knees at His side and embraced Him. I believe she did this instinctively, to bring HIM comfort. And I believe she was able, by this, from deep within her own pain, to give her son the courage to get up and finish the Work before Him, in the way in which it had to come to pass.
These, from my perspective, are Mary's everlasting and most profound teachings to all of humanity (actually, regardless of our religious persuasions, or if we haven't any at all): how to obey Divine Will in a state of Perfect Grace; how to stand steady in the face of ridicule, opposition, hatred, at the foot of the Cross (symbolic of whatever our personal human suffering), out of Perfect Courage and her ultimate lesson, the greatest of all- how to do this from a place of Perfect Love.
Mary, Divine Mother of Sorrows, bless us who sorrow in any and all ways. Teach us how to live with Open Hearts despite the pain and vulnerabilty that often goes hand in hand with this. Teach us how enter and dwell within a Space of Grace. And thank you for the Lesson of your life.
I am a field of awareness. Any thing beyond that is identification with form...