It has been a growthful month with much to do and much to ponder. I have felt overwhelmed at times with the amount that I needed to accomplish and then at times I felt incredible peace and pure joy.
Part of the reason that I am feeling a little overwhelmed is because I am taking a class in New York and I need to rearrange my work schedule to accommodate the four and half hour schlep back and forth into the city. Plus, I have two mentees to tend to, I have appointments with my supervisor and my spiritual counselor. I'm on the reunion committee and I'm on the alumni committee. I am a Deans' Assistant. Then there are all things that need taking care of at home- which isn't much of a home.
Here it is 4:30 in the morning and I am listening to my brother play the same six notes on the organ. I think I were to kill him at this moment, it would be considered justifiable homicide. He is the bane of my existence and I'm sure there is a karmic lesson that I need to work out with him...
The class I am taking is about the "The Cloud of The Unknowing." It has been an interesting month because of this reading. What I have really begun to own is my divinity. My oneness with God. And how far along this path I have already come. Now I know that smacks of ego, but it isn't ego. I am not comparing myself to others and where they are. I am just a little surprised that I have come so far. It is only by God's grace that I am here.
This book is interesting. It was written by a teacher teaching a pupil in the art of contemplative centering prayer. I haven't done centering prayer before and I find it somewhat challenging. Although last night, I sat down and I did it for forty-five minutes. It is like meditating, very similar, and I was able to maintain consciousness throughout, my mind however, just chattered away. I was able to transcend it for brief moments. It was really lovely and I will continue to practice this form of meditation.
However, my ah-ha moment came last week. I missed class because I had decided to stay home and participate in the webinar instead of doing the big schlep and then found that I could not sign into the webinar. It was very frustrating. Then that night I had a dream. It was one of "those" dreams that I have. In my dream, I was in class and my dear friend Sharon Spilkin came all the way from South Africa to be in the class. I was so surprised to see her at One Spirit. We were in class; I was looking at a small computer screen watching the class and I heard a booming voice say, "Look up!" I looked up and I was really surprised to see everyone, including Sharon looking at a computer screen. No one was looking at the class living class. Everything was grey and smokey. I said to Sharon, "Look up. You came all the way from South Africa and all you are doing is looking at a computer screen." Then I shouted to everyone, "Look up!" They did. Everyone looked around as if dazed.
But, while this was going on, there were two songs playing simultaneously in the background. One was a line from Neil Young's song "After the Gold Rush" and the other was Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah!" "Hallelujah!" played in its entirety. I word every word of it. From Neil Young's song the line "All in a dream" played over and over. It was then that I had my own "Hallelujah!" moment.
In the song he talks about the nature of human suffering, how we bring it on ourselves. Part of the lyrics are, "...our love is not a victory march, it's a cold and broken Hallelujah." It's a song about the moment of release, sexual release and also spiritual surrender.
I'm not sure I'm so taken with this song. It's a painful song and I have been listening to it ever since. I have been listening to K.D.Lang's version mostly, it's more musical than Leonard Cohen's and her voice is better.
Human suffering is part of life. We live - we suffer. But, much of our suffering is of our own doing. We are the architects of it. It is only when we are able to release does it end. It is that moment of surrender that is the Hallelujah moment. As we surrender and allow, that is the moment the Holy Spirit is able to move in and we have are able to have union with God. We can also do the same thing through joy. It doesn't only have to be brought on my suffering. The Holy Spirit can move through us in those moments of joy too.
I used an image in one of my postings to the class website and I will use it here to stand as a metaphor for what I am trying to express. We are like a rock embedded in a stream. The water will flow no matter what, but we as the rock, sticking out above the water, cause the water to go around us. It rushes past us and as it does, it also carves us; wearing us down. We suffer. But, if the rock were to let go, just let go it would be free of the mud and float freely down the stream with the current. The struggle would end.
Bit by bit, I am growing. It's funny how little things show me the changes that have happened. I believe that God is calling to me. I reached out to God and he is answering. God is far more than any of us will ever be able to comprehend. God is a verb. God is now. Only now. And now. And now. And now again. It is moment by moment that we grow- that I grow. The words to a song have had a profound impact on me this week. Next week? Who knows? It might be another song, a poem, a squirrel, a crying baby. It could be an unspeakable tragedy or an amazing spiritual banquet. Life is an adventure and we are, as my friend Barry said so eloquently in class, "We are enfolded in God."