Riding the River of Grace

I am reminded how sometimes, all we can do is ride the river of grace...

I thought of that this morning, as I nurtured a cough. I have been a little under the weather these last few days, generally feeling run down and tired, and even missed part of a workshop I was attending this weekend and had so looked forward to...

This morning I read these words by Christina Sell, who is an exquisite Anusara Yoga certified teacher, in her blog - and they so resonated with me:

"This thing called Grace is a moving stream and it will carry us in its currents, around blind corners, over rough rapids, into various eddies, and sometimes stagnant pools. There really is no way or no reason, as I see it, to get out of the river. Best that we learn how to paddle."

And I thought to myself, how true! When we ride the river of grace, we do not know where it will take us, from moment to moment...

(As I write this, I am also corresponding with my dear friend Unni in India, a talented graphics guy who has designed the recent covers for my poetry and blog selections books - and we are finalizing the selections for this year. We've done this every year for the last four, during the early summer, and I am as excited as I always am....)

I spent part of the weekend listening to Dr. Paul Muller-Ortega, a world renowned Siva scholar, whom I have had the pleasure of listening to before. He spoke of the "Five Faces of Siva," and when he addressed the Southern Face - or the Aghora side - which is often considered terrifying, I knew he was speaking of my Bhairava, one of the most recent murtis - or sacred statues that has come into my possession.

A murti is more than just a statue. Through a series of mantras, prayers and rituals, a murti becomes a living presence of a particular deity, and thus responds to your own prayers, intentions and requests. I have a room full of murtis and statues of saints, and often, there are those who find it difficult to stay in this room because of the intensity of the energy they pick up. This is the room where I do my writing and my meditation practice, and I soak in its energies on a daily basis. But lately, the pot has been stirred with a few additions to my Siva collection!

The Aghora face, is associated with Bhairava - one of the many manifestation of Siva - that is considered outrageous. He is sometimes referred to as the howler. There are many incredible stories to be told about this manifestation.

When a Bhairava is in your midst, it might elicit a suddenness of change in your life that may even be shocking and take time to digest. You might even find yourself turning the corner and feeling like you are in a different life.

(I found myself sitting up as I heard Paul speak - and even though I wasn't particularly feeling well, I perked up at what he had to say.)

When we have these experiences, we are made to face all kinds of issues and dimensions within us - but we are also given what we need to face these things and situations so we are not derailed on our life journey. The work that may be faced may contain a strong theme of death and the involvement of the Guru - but it may not be death in a literal sense. It might refer to the death of ignorance in one's life - which can still be terrifying in some ways because of a challenge or crisis that it may present. Paul emphasized the need for having teachers and friends to support us through this transition which requires nothing more and nothing less than a transformation or transmutation on our parts. There is a constant pulsation that is implied here - that is creative and that invites profound change...

In the midst of so much change in my life - most of it interior - as opposed to the exterior kind - I took Paul's words to heart because I had a better insight into my journey inward these days and why it seemed much deeper and also more turbulent.

Despite this, Paul did emphasize that the essence of Siva is compassion...

I must conclude by clarifying, that Siva is not really a deity, but is a manifestation of Divine Consciousness, of the Absolute - or a way we can experience Consciousness through a particular face or set of attributes. All of the deities reside in the "Collective Unconscious" that Carl Jung spoke and wrote about, and many are drawn to one or more of the deities for various reasons. I cannot explain why I am drawn to Siva, though I have had several intuitives and healers detect his energy in my field. I will leave it at that...

So, as I pull back away from persons and activities to nurture myself and heal - I realize that I am continually riding the river of grace in one form or another. I have committed to that in this lifetime. I never know where it will take me - and there never is an ending to this journey - anymore than there can be an ending to a river flowing downstream. It's a good thing I did learn how to paddle!

(For a link to Christina Sell's Blog, look at my blog selections on the right.
For my writings, look at my storefront listing on this site, to your right, under my links)

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