The impossible predicament of being alive, the great wound that will not heal. How do we dance with it, dear beautiful and brilliant ones? How do we celebrate what we can never solve?
I've sought resolution in so many ways, and will probably seek it many more times today. First I reached for comfort through the church, then through a rebellion against the church by embracing sex and the body, and eventually through deeper spiritual practices of somatic meditation, contemplation, puja, and mantra that celebrated both the body and the freedom of the spirit beyond the body.
Now I’m just focused on letting in the searing love/pain/love/pain/love/pain/love/pain/love that comes on every breath. It’s nearly a full time job and I am always late for work but I care less and less as each day passes, and somehow I love more and more.
Fifteen years ago, when I first discovered sacred sexuality practices and embodiment work, I dove in. My energy was stuck, and I needed it to move. Becoming alive and animated in my body (the first tastes I’d known since childhood!) allowed me a greater capacity to feel, and the feelings came often in crashing waves. I began to shed layers of shame and fear patterning in my nervous system that I didn’t even know I was carrying, much of which didn’t even belong to me, patterning that was passed down through previous generations, that originated long before anyone I met ever walked the earth.
Abandonment, betrayal, loss, grief…messages in a bottle set adrift downstream, awaiting the time when conditions were just right to uncork those scrolls, to allow the old pain to be alchemized in the light of a loving embrace, to be felt fully and blessed, to be forgiven, digested, composted and then, and only then, to be honored, thanked, and fully let go.
Countless orgasms, dozens of breathwork sessions, and hundreds of massages, dance and yoga classes helped my spirit remember that it was, in fact, housed in a living, breathing, sensitive and receptive body, and that this body resides on a sentient earth. The women in my family line had not been allowed to feel this primal feminine truth, or if they felt it, they had not been allowed to let it show. I was born at the right time under the right conditions: I had the freedom and the support I needed in order to reclaim.
Embodiment work reminds me to be in love with the textures and fragrances of daily life, that this too is worship, this too is a form of gratitude expressed from life back to originating life, from mother to child. Feeling the softness of my body connected with the sky above and the ground below, I find courage and spaciousness. I need this courage in order to feel the immense heartbreak that arises when I bear the immense beauty of our collapsing and arising civilization, our dying and being born. It allows me to dare loving, creating, and connecting, even while I know that nothing lasts, that no permanence will soothe me, that I don’t know if I will get to see the end of the ride.
I discover that the sense organs function like communication devices, transmitting and receiving information from the multiplicity of life forms all around me. I remember that this composite river of information has a name, and that her wisdom is as old as time. She is intuition. Much more than hunches plucked from the air, she is Sophia, she is apotheosis, knowing sourced from life itself.
I see that erotic awakening means so much more than better sex; it means that I remember my belonging within the larger body of the earth, that I open my senses and become vulnerably available to sense and feel into the space around me. Deep Eros is the currency of this belonging, the stream of aliveness that pulses back and forth between us all, like neurotransmitters lighting up synapses, weaving our collective body in networks of remembering.
She is Te Kupenga, the Great Net.
And all she asks of me these days, is for me to Sing Her Song.
In episode 4 of our Podcast we explore the traditional Tibetan Buddhist beliefs of death and dying
Lama Rod Owens is interviewed by David Montgomery for The Washington Post on Love and Rage, spiritual activism, Buddhism and white supremacy.
Vikram Zutshi In Conversation With Evan Thompson This article was first published at the Sutra Journal…
A dialog between two modern spiritual teachers on the nature and wonder of the heart
We are born into the world as one and we have no idea of ‘me’, the separate self, for some time until it is gradually instilled upon us by the environment and our developing mind.
from The Wisdom of Islam: An Introduction to the Living Experience of Islamic Belief and Practice
The meaning of death and dying in a death-phobic culture and more on Sounds of SAND Episode 2
The first episode in our brand new podcast series!
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