Notice how LIFE flows in patterns? There is an ebb and flow of LIFE, awareness of this is key. Someone told me once that there are ‘seasons’ of LIFE, and that the appearance of your LIFE can change completely season to season. Friends, acquaintances, habits, circles, all of it can change and morph through one’s LIFE. When I first heard this I did not believe it, I threw it to the wind…..’ehh not me, I’ll have these people in my LIFE forever, I cannot imagine LIFE without them, I would not survive without them.’ I am very much a people person and having strong relationships and connectedness plays a big role in my LIFE. Now, today, when I show up again and again my surroundings have changed, habits, circles and even my reflection a bit over time. I never could have imagined that my LIFE would be as it is. I never thought a dream could become a reality again and again.
Throughout all the shifts, outfit changes, wins and losses there has been many gifts that show up, that reveal themselves…… that help keep me afloat all the while the season changes…….mantra and prayer. Looking back over the course of the last ten years there has been many patterns that I can now recognize as the whisper, the guidance, the nudge to keep me afloat.
Recently I decided to track these pebbles of miracles dressed in disguise as prayers, phrases of intention, mantras and instruments. Most often these pebbles showed up in music or while listening to music, shared words with sisters or brothers of spirit, on a mat or sitting amongst the silence. In deciphering my last decade or so, and having gratitude for all that each ‘season’ has brought me, I reflect upon the mantras, instruments of prayer and intentions that can be sifted out of the debris.
My first encounter with prayer and mantra was when I was introduced to Anusara yoga. I attended a yoga retreat at Kripalu. I was pretty new to Anusara and went in with fresh eyes a brave heart and an empty notebook. At the beginning of each practice we recited this invocation.
‘OM Namah Shivaya Gurave Saccidananda Murtaye Nisprapancaya Shantaya Niralambaya Tejase OM‘
I offer myself to the Light, the Auspicious One, Who is the True Teacher within and without, Who assumes the forms of Reality, Consciousness and Bliss, Who is never absent and is full of peace, Independent in existence, the vital essence of illumination. ~translation from Yoga with Katrina.
I followed along and read the words, but did not connect immediately. Throughout the weekend we discussed philosophy, connected through asana practice and shared learnings from the opening into grace. I remember during that weekend the word grace really stood out for me. The explanation, the definition, something about the vibrations of that word really resonated with me. Even now, I can recall the images I saw in my mind throughout that weekend.
I imagined sitting on a bench amongst the green grass and flowers, atop a low ledge. I remember looking down at my feet and seeing the ground swirling and moving, growing before my very eyes. I imagined the flowers blooming up out of the ground and emerging to form this word, grace. Each flower eloquent in its own way, beautiful and delicate. Putting down roots and setting intention to plant these seeds of grace. It was an amazing experience to see this scene arise from my imagination. I felt peaceful, open and connected. I felt as if grace was familiar to me and something I could witness as well as create in my LIFE.
As the weekend went on I heard my voice become louder and louder each time we recited the invocation. I found myself knowing the words, the tune and rhythm. The words to the prayer became very powerful. I started to feel a shift inside of my body, inside of my heart. I did not search for meaning or hidden mysteries within the translation, I allowed the mantra to find its home inside my body.
I return to the philosophy behind Anusara and its breath of opening and grace often. I hold that time of exploration and learning very dear to my heart. It was not until returning for another workshop did I recognize the power behind the invocation for me. The words recreated and still do, the feelings of connected-ness, opening and cultivating grace in my everyday LIFE.
I believe in coincidences, of course, but I also believe that all things in LIFE find you exactly when you need them to. Landing in that space at that time, reciting those exact words has forever left an imprint on my heart. When I listen now, I can close my eyes and feel parts of who I was those many years ago.
Here is a video of the invocation. Enjoy! Here is the link in case you can’t view the video.
enjoy this day