Gayatri Mantra

Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ

Tat-savitur Vareñyaṃ

Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi

Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayāt

ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः

तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं

भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि

धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात्

Gratefully dilating open to allow the all pervasive radiant light beyond individual form to shine through.

Dissipating the veils, pixelating the solidity of the forms, clearing the lenses that block us from wisdom, from experiencing the continuum of the infinite.

(current transliteration and experience of the moment)

Framing

Thoughts upon awakening:

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I do not want to allow challenges from the past to negatively define how I envision my potential moving forward. I want to utilize the perspective and wisdom I learn through all my experiences to inspire me to be adaptive and resilient, to inform me of ways I can continue to grow with discernment, empathy and grace.

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How we perceive things is greatly dependent upon the frame we see it through.

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Every experience relevant, a springboard for the alchemy of transformation.

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Planting seeds, observing how they grow, refining as I go.

A New Day

I have been sleeping with my head in the same direction on my bed for many years now. Last night I was sitting on my bed in the evening and felt compelled to put my head down in a totally different position, so I did. I slept like I was in another world.

I had many dreams about doing things differently than I have done before and spending time with new people I hadn’t met yet or didn’t know all that well. I was really enjoying it and learning a lot, but I was also very concerned that the new ways were going to disrupt the old ways, familiar consistent habitual ways that I thought I needed to maintain in order to be okay.

And disrupt they did. In a way that showed me the old patterns were not as stable or supportive of me as I had imagined. I was angry and hurt at first. Then I began to recognize. I was also freed.

Even my breathing pattern changed as I made this shift. I started to notice that although there were things that were passing there were also aspects that seemed to thrive in the space that was freed by putting myself in new positions, by moving in new directions. There had been no time or room to grow being stuck repeating the same old things, even if before it had felt familiar and therefore safe.

As I woke my perspective was quite different, literally and figuratively. My cat was really happy to get to lie in the spot I usually lie in that at times we fight over. As my granny used to say, “It’s a new day Neissy.”

Can’t hold on to the old day.
May as well face the dawn.

I mentioned to my son last night I was going to sleep in a new direction and he said he changes the direction he puts his head all the time and encouraged it.
Evolution.

I awaken with the resolve to keep stepping forward into the reorganization with less fear of the accompanying dissolution. To just keep going, see how it grows.

Shift

During sunset and sunrise, the transition times, when one thing is ending and transforming into the next, everything is accentuated. Illuminated. So alive I can taste it. The colors race across the sky in one last vibrant flash, imprinting upon us the resonance of their existence as they dissipate into the future they were heralding.
Fascinating to be present in this moment, the blending of past and future so obvious, the path that led us here so clear. What is coming gradually unveiling.
Becoming.
Now.

Navaratri – the Nine Nights of the Goddess

Right now is an auspicious time in Hinduism, for we are in the midst of Navaratri, the Indian holiday celebrating nine nights of the goddess in the Hindu pantheon.  To appreciate this, the gods and goddesses don’t have to be believed in as actual beings.  They can be seen as metaphor, personifications of aspects of ourselves and in the natural world that allow us to better understand and perhaps relate to these universal qualities.

The first three nights are for Kali and Durga – names for the benevolently fierce form of the mother goddess, the goddess of death and transformation, she who clears away what blocks us and doesn’t let us get away with what keeps us stuck.  In the stories Kali carries a severed head, for she stops the chatter of our minds.  She wears a belt of severed arms, for she stops us from grasping.  Durga rides a tiger and catches the blood of the demons that haunt us on her tongue, transforming the negativity while remaining unscathed herself.  The second three nights are for Laksmi, the goddess of abundance and good fortune.  She manifests in human form to restore balance in times of darkness as Radhe, the idealized maiden, and Sita, the idealized mother and mature woman.  She helps build our strength and sustains us so that we can actualize our potential.  The third three nights are for the goddess Sarasvati, the river of wisdom that flows through us once we have cleared the path and strengthened the channel to hold her.  She is the creative goddess who moves through us and manifests our talents, and is seen as the goddess of knowledge, music, literature, and the arts.

The tenth day after the ninth night is the festival of Dusshera, also called Vijaya Dashami.  It is like being reborn – we have been cleared, we have been rebuilt strong, the wisdom flows through us.  It is considered to be a particularly potent time to begin something new, especially something creative in the arts.  As I experience each of these nights from sunset to sunset, for me, this tenth day is also the third day of Sarasvati, as it is the day after her third night.  This year, Dusshera will occur on Wednesday October 24th.

For much of the world Navaratri started this year on Monday, October 15th.  Yet because of the way the time of the new moon fell, for us here in the eastern time zone of the United States, Navaratri technically began on Tuesday, which is a rare yet occasional occurrence.  And night three and four happen on the same night, the third night of Kali shifting into the first night of Laksmi.  Which was last night, and as I experience it, into today.

Which fits perfectly with this rainy, vibrant Indian summer day.  The reds and rust of Kali and the golden ochre hues of Laksmi dancing in the trees and mixing upon the ground.  The rain cleansing and clearing the falling leaves, and the abundance of the harvest all around us.  Both warm and cool, the between time.  Shifting.  As it is said in Celtic Paganism, the veil between the worlds is thin.

Each year this autumn Sharada Navaratri, the most important of the five Navaratris celebrated throughout the year, reflects the cadence of what is happening in my own life – a transition that clears the excesses of summer into the gathering of autumn, preparing and paring down to tune in and turn in towards the introspection of winter.  I so appreciate this ritual that reminds me how we walk in rhythm with the natural world even when we are not necessarily paying attention – I usually don’t remember about Navaratri until someone reminds me and I say, Ah! Of course! And it excites me to slow down and notice what is happening inside me, and all around me, right now.

Love.

(This may not all be 100% technically correct, it is my interpretation, and as I am experiencing it as metaphor I feel alright about that.  I in no way mean to offend.  I am always interested in deepening my understanding, please share your own experience or information if you feel inclined…)