Fear. Anxiety. Anticipation. Longing. Love. Frustration. Hope. Whatever you’re holding, carrying, or feeling, I’m pleading for you to bring it all. This is a gathering where you don’t have to clean yourself up to arrive. Your raw, full, vulnerable YOU is being asked to simply show up, as you are. Every emotion is fuel for the practices of bhakti. We put them in the gas tank as fuel, to nourish our deeper intentions.
So, let’s gather together, face in one direction (inward) together, and call to our infinite capacity of love, grace, fierceness, diligence. Even if it means burning through the tough stuff first… together.
Bhakti can be a solace and a window into the clarity so many of us are craving during this time. We’ll pause from listening to (and buying into) our near-constant thought loops for 6 weeks; and instead tune into here-and-now. The present moment and the sound of mantras that have woven through millions of beings for thousands of years, all of them longing to know the meaning of their lives, to feel fully the love in their hearts, to experience the interconnectedness of all living things. Today, it’s no different.
The practices of bhakti are the practices of loving what is, embracing it fully (even if our impulse toward it is one of aversion) and transmuting it—grief, ugliness, passion, grasping, joy—into a force for presence and being with what is.
Ram asks Hanuman, “Why are you always calling my name, Ram Ram Ram Sita Ram Ram Ram…?” Hanuman replies, “When I forget who I am I call your name to remember; and when I remember, I AM YOU and YOU are ME.” And because, like Hanuman, I continually forget my true nature, you’ll hear me reciting mantras that support me in remembering. The being beyond the feelings that come and go, and come and go.
This is a tenuous time. All that we thought was certain, stable, and solid has proven it can crumble to the ground in a moment. So during this time, we’ll pick up the pieces and return to the ground of the heart.