We do not always know what it is or how to articulate it, but deep inside there is a longing, a longing to live according to a true calling. A calling that comes not from the personality but from a deeper part of ourselves, a part that is connected to a greater whole that, if we recognize, opens a door to a different experience of life. Like a new horizon that opens before us, it offers the possibility that we can see and experience and connect to life in a new way. A way that enables us to participate differently and more deeply, from an awareness of a great and unfolding mysterious whole which we are a part.
But if we give it a second look, this emergence of the new light, a new beginning in the winter, belongs to a mystery of light and dark that we have always been part of. So although it may appear to be an end of a cycle, we are really participating in a mystery that has been celebrated in every culture over the thousands of years of recorded history.
I call it a participation of being.
The need to participate with a greater awareness evokes in me the image of the seed and the question: in today’s culture, what are we really rooted in? We wish for a fresh start, like a new seed, a new growth. The power of a seed is unimaginable. Within it lies the mystery of time, the cycle of the seasons and of death and rebirth. It possesses both masculine and feminine qualities which are in constant creative dialogue. From the dark womb of the feminine the direct force of the masculine emerges and shoots up into the light. Light and dark are in constant relationship. The seed is also both the center and the circumference, calling us to remember the sacred nature of life, the interconnected language of the universe, a song of oneness communicating to us and telling us, again and again, that we too are partaking in a primordial whole.
When we begin to realize this, a very mysterious process is awakened within us. We begin to participate in the great mystery of being that is so central to our existence. We begin to realize we are rooted in a greater rhythm, the reality of a greater whole which is at the same time unique to each of us. If and when we begin to live from such awareness, I wonder if our whole view of what a new year can mean will bring with it a very different understanding, an understanding that is so essential to the quality of our life, providing us a new sense of our roots.
Returning to such awareness is a returning to the language of life, no longer from a place of separation but from a place of sacred communion. When we hold this awareness within our body we become a full participant with the earth and the cosmos—at that moment something is allowed to live according to its true nature. We remember. That which is remembered lives. When we hold this consciousness in our heart, we naturally offer it back to life. This not only gives life meaning, but like a seed, revitalizes it. We then participate not only in the mystery of our own being but in the whole wonder of creation.
Anat Vaughan-Lee has followed the Naqshbandi Sufi path since 1973. For many years she has been working with groups and dream work in the Sufi tradition, which encourages the deep feminine way of inner listening.
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What does 'the reality of a greater whole which is at the same time unique to each of us' mean to you? Can you share a personal story of a time you returned to the language of life, from a place of sacred communion? What are you really rooted in?
Life is everywhere and life speaks in many ways. We need to be silent , open and be fully present to listen to it. It creates awe and deep connectedness. It is expressed through eyes, by a touch, by a smile on the face, by the blossoming of a flower, the chirping of the birds. by the twinkling of the stars, the rising and setting of the sun and by a spontaneous laughter.
I have many wonderful recollections of such experiences. My mother gently stoking my head and singing a song for her little boy, hearing my father chanting early morning and listening to the enchanting cooing of a cuckoo bird, and watching the love in the eyes of our cow whom we called Jamuna.I would never forget two eight years old boys, me and my friend, walking to discover where the river was originally coming from. And the same stream of listening to the the sounds and watching the sights of nature and humans is flowing filling my life with awe and wonder and joy. What is required is my being fully present.
It is a great gift given freely to those who keep their minds and hearts open.
Jagdish P Dave
Every being, animate and inanimate, is a unique manifestation of Being. Being is Incomprehensible Source and Mystery, Eternal Sacredness, Great Spirit, Yahweh, Allah, God that incarnates in the form of each and every being, including you and me. That means to me that each of us is a sliver of the Sacred. Just as every atom and cell in my body are part of one body, so each of us is part of One Body, one Sacred Communion, One Whole. When I began to learn this perspective, I began to unlearn 'truths' that I had been taught, and I began to see me and life differently and began to return to a language of life. I began to be more compassionate for or with others and with all living beings and with the earth and universe. I am beginning to be rooted in this awareness and realization. The roots are shallow, but I am protective of them and nourishing of them as I want this perspective to grow in and through me. I believe if this perspective isn't realized and lived, we in this form will not survive.[Hide Full Comment]
I love "participation of being." To learn the Language of Life is a long, slow process for most of us. Recently I read from a Jewish mystic that God' light is pouring through us constantly, but we are so physical that we block it with our shadow. From another more recent corner, a Franciscan wrote about the dance between our false self and or Real Self. Whether language learning or dancing, it is practice, practice and more practice to find that place of sacred communion with all of life. Keep dancing. Spiritual effort is never wasted.