A New Day, and A New Year, In the Presence of the One

Last year gave up its dying breath - giving birth to this new year - while I read under the covers. Midnight almost missed me - I was entranced by my reading of God Alone: The Life and Letters of a Saint.

This book reveals the life and letters of Sri Gyanamata, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, and I will be referring to several passages in future postings.

It was only when my husband announced it was midnight that I realized I was reading a letter that Gyanamata had written on New Year's Day, in 1940. In this letter, that she writes Yogananada, she thanks him for his Christmas gift to her, and for all the gifts she has received over the years, including a set of mala beads she used for her own Kriya Yoga meditation practice...

On the morning of this New Year's Day, in 2009, I do a short meditation and read Yogananda's words for the day, before driving to Burke Presbyterian Church to walk the labyrinth, as I have for a dozen years. These words touch my heart:

"With the opening of the New Year,
all the closed portals of limitation
will be thrown open and I shall
move through them to vaster fields,
where my worthwhile dreams of life
will be fulfilled."

And these words from Yogananda in this year's Inner Reflections calendar, are equally inspiring:

"In this new year I am a new person.
And I shall change my consciousness
again and again until I have driven away
all the darkness of ignorance
and manifested the shining light of Spirit
in whose image I am made."

I drive out to the church, reviewing all the sacred insights that have come to me as Christmas gifts from the Divine over the last few days....

I arrive, and find no cars in the parking lot, and my heart skips a beat. Memories come flooding back of walking last year on this day, when I had the labyrinth to myself the whole entire time I was there, and did Sirsasana and then a headstand dropback in the center after my meditation.

I walk in, so many thoughts coming and going amidst prayers recited, until I arrive at the center and offer up my Kriya Yoga practice. I sense another one arrive, but I stay in meditation for almost an hour, feeling the Presence of the Divine saturate every fiber of my being...

I mindfully walk out, and am approached by the beautiful soul who sat outside the labyrinth the whole time I was in it, as a silent witness. She tells me that she has seen my name many times on the list, noting, that often, we are the only two to come walk it.

For a few moments we share the grace of labyrinth in our lives and the many gifts it brings us. I am touched to make this connection on a day I did not expect to make any...

I drive home, listening to a wonderful CD sent to me by a friend, and titled, "Sacred." The CD has a beautiful heart in the middle of the cover against a red backdrop. The titles of the songs are haunting: "Sacred," "Breath," "Take This Heart," "Al Fatiha," "Peace," "Spiraling," "I Am," and "All is Well..."

The song playing as I drive away is "Breath," and these are the lyrics that waft into my spirit, and gracefully fill me with a knowing:

"I look in your eyes
and feel the Infinite Divine,
when my breath
becomes your breath,
and your breath
becomes mine..."

These lines remind me of some of Kabir's verses, and poems of the the heart I once wrote, a few short years ago...

I stop at the river before coming home. I would love to go inside, but it is in the thirties, and there is actually ice on the rocks and along the riverbanks. The layer of leaves released during the fall are crunchy under my feet, and there are beautiful icicles dripping from bent tree limbs - bowing in humble obeisance as gentle offerings. I breathe in the cold and clean air and take in the magnificent expanse of the river - and think to myself - Yes, the river is wide!

I drive home, after a couple of sacred hours, and the song playing is the last track, "All is well." And the verse I hear as I leave the park in an altered state, feeling that I have never truly seen this road before as I do now, simply proclaims:

"In the presence of the One...
All is well..."



Jean said…
As witness to your labyrinth journey I smile at the synchronicities in your story and the poem I was writing at the edge of the labyrinth.
Hope in 2009

In 2009 may there be ever greater resolve to live in abundance—
the American dream no longer dependent on material accumulation
Now the dream blossoms from its tight, dense bud to
countless petals and ephemeral perfume of visions and possibilities
the concrete bud could not have imagined it held inside
called forth by the times and season of light out of darkness

In 2009 may there be an abundance of hope where none was seen before—
this hopeless land, these hopeless people suddenly bathed in the light of hope springing from the peoples of America

In 2009 may there be an abundance of healing
reconnecting that which was set apart
perhaps even lifetimes before

In 2009 may there be an abundance of good food and water
to nourish the bodies and spirits of all peoples
as pathways for distribution are cleared and extended round the globe

In 2009 may there be an abundance of faith in the unseen and unforeseen assistance that lies just beyond the reach of human senses
yet available through a stretch of faith to all

In 2009 may there be an abundance of love, if nothing else
for where there is love there is the dream, the hope,
the healing, the nourishment, and the faith
that all will be well—no matter what 2009 brings

All manner of things will be well
with love
in America and around the Earth
May it be so
And so it is
Olga Rasmussen said…
Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem Jean, and for sharing the labyrinth with me today!

With Love and Grace,

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