Blessings In and Out of the River

After teaching this morning, I hurry down to check the river currents, and decide I can go in. But there is much to do - appointments to schedule and errands to run and my time quickly slips away with all of these activities...

I finally steal half an hour in the afternoon and hoist Grace into the back of my car. Getting her in and out quickly is down to a science!

Just before leaving, I stop by the mailbox and open a package containing a beautiful mala bracelet made of rudraksha seeds. Rudraksha seeds are often referred to as the "tears of Shiva" and are considered very sacred and auspicious in India. Malas are used for counting mantras.

This mala was hand made for me by a very special and gifted artist. She chants while she gives birth to her creations and donates a percentage of her proceeds to Ammachi, the living Hindu saint whose ministry is to hug the world and transmit shakti energy to those she embraces. Years ago I experienced the healing power of her energy and found it overwhelming and an incredible, grace-filled experience.

I am touched by the beauty of this mala and the love that was put into it and I think it fitting that I receive it just as I am ready to go to the river. This mala will usher in this coming year of my life which I've been told will be marked by many blessings...She will come into the river with me, and together we will be baptized into a new year...

I go into the river though it is cold. I am appropriately attired and nothing could have stood in my way of going in today. My soul hungered for this connection...

I feel instant peace and release the moment I paddle away - and an incredible sense of freedom bursts forth from my soul...

I paddle with ease and can feel and almost taste snow in the air, and I wonder what it will be like to paddle in the snow!

At some point the insights comes to me that experiences are simply that - experiences - opportunities for us to receive our life lessons, but our essence is not defined by our experiences. They are merely details and in time they will blow away like grains of the sand...

I meditate and give thanks for the many blessings received and the incredible week I have just concluded...

In my classes, I focus on expressing gratitude and share with my students the many wonderful experiences of my birthday week. I conclude by quoting Meister Eckhart who said:

"If the only prayer you ever say -
is thank you,
it would be enough."

And then I share with them this prayer, written by a friend, who shared it with me some time ago. I keep it in my Spiritual Diary with daily thoughts from Yogananda, which I read every morning:


Be present.
Let the day flow with grace. Be flexible.
Expect nothing. Give thanks for everything.
Surrender. Be open.
Speak only kindness.
Impart only love.
Never forget that you are not alone.
Give so that you may receive.
See goodness in yourself and others.

If you'd love a shakti-filled mala for yourself, check them out at Nila Bindu:


Anonymous said…
Thank you for the Blessings reminder ... Hope we can connect again soon. Sheila

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