Sweet Sunday morning to you, Beautiful.
This morning I am reMEMBERing.
The words of my teacher... who learned from his teacher.... and said to his teacher...
Please remember for me how your heart became free. I also would like my heart to be free.
We all long to remember how to be free... We want to remember our roots, our ancestry, our faith - when times get tough. We want to remember what to do when we don't know what to do, and we want to remember who we are when everything that we thought we were... falls away.
To reMEMBER is to bring back all of the parts and pieces into a natural state of wholeness -- to bring all "members" of the community of one - one soul - one life - one being.... back into the fold... back into this one holy life.
And on this sweet Sunday morning, I want to share a remembering with you... that happened for me, some ten years ago, when I sat with my teacher, in Bali.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting in a thatched roof, open-air hut, perched at the end of a narrow path through rice paddies, surrounded by frogs and ducks and birds...
Thunder began to roll as twelve or so of us sat on the floor of our teacher's hut. We sat as if we were in an ashram, erect and attentive, but we were in his home... and something about that felt really rich. It was as though we were marinading in all that he was, not just what he was there to teach. I remember feeling safe. I remember feeling free.
He guided us slowly into a meditation and we followed, the world worn layers of hurry and worry slowly dissolving...
We sat for some time in silence, listening only to the music of the people, the land, and the rice paddies.
And then, I remembered, as his voice penetrated something deep in me ::
Oh Lord, infinite intelligent being, who is not separate from myself,
please bestow upon me the inner peace and serenity to accept gracefully all that I cannot change...
Like the past, other people, anything that has been said or done to me.
And may I have the strength and courage to change what I can change.
What is within my power to do so... such as certain habits, or what I say in each moment, my words... and what I do.
And may I understand and see clearly.
May I have the wisdom to recognize what I am able to change, and what I am not able to change, so that I do not waste my will... so that I do not waste my energy... or the energy of another... trying to change what I cannot.
Om Shanthi. Shanthi. Shanthi.
It was this poem, this prayer, that hung on the bedroom wall of my parent's room... catholic style. But on this muggy tropical day, I remembered that my catholic roots were not separate from yoga...
You see, Dear One... Everything you want to pray about, and all the ways in which you want to pray are given to you by that "all infallible One". It is the longing that is the prayer, and the answer. And there is no way, when we soften, surrender, listen, and open our hearts that our whispers go unheard.
It doesn't have to be fancy. Or in a church or temple or synagogue. And it need not necessarily be directed to some particular guy in the sky. Our prayers are rich and real and whole... when we are sincere, honest, loving and kind.
Take a breath, dear One, and may you know you are loved. May you know you are heard. May you know you are seen, and may you know you are remembered.