Celebrating the second of the two new year rituals welcoming in the intended gave us a chance to dust off our "on the shelf" dreams to pick ourselves up and start all over again. I find that there is majesty in rituals and celebrations when the intention is about honouring the moment: the moment of birth; the moment of marriage; the moment of death; the moment of hope when wishing anew at the start of a new year. And always, simply always, the moment when we fall in love again.
At times, we careen into the rubble of unintended consequences when we fall asleep at the wheel on our drive through the darkness of night. It is in these moments of fear and loss of faith that the idea of a ritual amongst those who might lend a hand doesn't enter our minds. It is in these moments when we feel utterly alone and yet it is at moments like these when we most need the ceremony of ritual that might break the spell of darkness. It is in these moments when we yearn for that which only the magus can affect when he spins wheat into gold and shifts night into day.
In our circle the night of the second new year celebration, I proposed that all of us share our intentions for this new year. What matters to you? What is it that we can hold in our hearts and in our memories of this evening that will lend courage, and carry weight to your intention for this year? There is strength in numbers as there is power in prayerful thoughts and so I thought, let us all hear the other on this night.
There was the mention of community and the longing for belonging. Another needed support in her personal courage to be there for those whom she loves most now faced with terminal illnesses. One asked for a more peaceful year in his own life and another promised his wife a journey to far away places to celebrate the passage of time spent together. Yet another wanted to venture out into the world again, while her partner wanted to come in from the cold.
My intention for 2009 is to live in a state of devotion. In Sanskrit and in Hindu theology, devotion is Bhakti Yoga. Living in a state of devotion is when the song on the inside is the same as what is heard on the outside. A person has Bav when she is in that state. I've experienced it at times. It is something I intend to cultivate for all times. The trip of a thousand miles does start with the first step, so I'll begin with this new year glad of the witnesses to lend me courage along the way.
In the early nineties, I knew a couple fortunate enough to travel to India for one year. They had the money to just go without looking back. At the time I knew a Hindu swami from whom I learned so much. In a phone conversation with Swami Shuddhananda Brahmachari, I told him that Nikki and William would be heading to India on a one-way ticket...and that I really, really wanted to go too. He heard my childish yearning and responded in the only way one might expect a holy man to speak to a child:
"Anya...don't you know? You are on a one-way ticket to India. By the time you get to India it will be the icing on the cake .... And then when you leave this earth, leave it as you entered it ... singing in your devotion."
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