Shortly after we played the Lullaby by Billy Joel music video, Facebook knocked many of you off the livestream. They eventually took the feed down. We are so sorry about that. Lesson learned for us. Because my talk was a two-parter, I wanted to post the talk here so you don’t miss anything.
On June 20-21 we had a unique combination of significant celestial events including the Summer Solstice, a solar eclipse and a new moon, among other things. So, it was a very auspicious day to have offered our first Sacred Gathering service outdoors. And a very energetically powerful place to offer it – our Spiral Labyrinth.
According to some astrologers, intuitives, and generally just by anyone who is paying attention – for the first half of 2020 -- we have been in a “destructive phase”. In the last few months, the cosmos has been supporting the collective unconscious desire to break down, or release, institutions, old ways of being, and foundations that were not working – that were, in fact, harmful to our planet and large groups of people…in particular, people of color.
But, the Solstice and Solar Eclipse has ushered in a new phase. We are entering an era of compassion, love, respect for others and for our planet. It is also a time of collaboration, innovation and finding the right the balance between liberation and responsibility.
We’ll take good news wherever we can get it, right? And most of the post is about this new phase we’re entering. But before I go there, I just want to share some insights around the destructive phase, because that’s an equally important part of the equation. You really can’t have one without the other.
When I was in seminary, and we were studying Hinduism I remember being introduced to one of the Hindu gods – Shiva – a very important figure in the religion. I didn’t really care to learn more because I didn’t like him. He’s the “god of destruction.” But, the more I learned, the more I began to appreciate Shiva. Yes, he is known as the destroyer and is often depicted slaying dragons. But he is also known as the god of liberation, and “the auspicious one.” I learned, he has two sides really: One is the destroyer and the other: the “rejuvenator and bringer of new life.” Shiva is known as the storm which also brings life-giving rain.
Does it not feel as if we have been experiencing this Shiva energy in our world? But it has been necessary. We cannot build a better world on a foundation of intolerance, systemic racism and policies that benefit only a small number of people. Nor can we heal the planet if we refuse to release ways of living that are poisoning the planet. Here comes Shiva to break all that down. To force us to be still long enough to look at how we’ve been living…and the effect of our lifestyle on the planet. And to really look at our policies and institutions that are not working for so many people. Shiva-energy is breaking them down, so we can recreate them from the ground up. The storm that blows away the pollution, and nourishes the ground so new life can blossom.
It’s a way to think about this time that has been difficult for so many.
So now, we’ve experienced the destructive phase…the night…the dark. And a new phase is beginning. The light is fully back to the world – physically and metaphorically. The Solstice represents that turning point. And the Solar Eclipse represents the time to focus on internal change, and the ways we interact with the world.
We’re being supported energetically…cosmically. Now, what we do with that is our choice. We always have choice. And I think it’s a moment-by-moment choice. I think that’s the way to approach it…taking it moment-to-moment. Am I allowing myself to enter this new phase of love, compassion, respect, collaboration, innovation and finding the balance between freedom and responsibility?
In every moment we can take a breath and check in with ourselves and ask…
- Is what I’m doing showing love and compassion to myself? If not, what can I do differently? What can I do in this moment to nurture myself? Or, how can I remind myself that I am on a journey toward wholeness? How can I love and accept myself just as I am right now? In order to get where we want to be, we need to first accept where we are right now. How can I open to self-love? Thich Nhat Hanh said: "To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself."
- Is what I’m thinking about others reflecting love and compassion toward them? If not, how can I consider it differently? How can I be more kind? How can I mentally “walk in another’s moccasins?” We can’t fully understand what motivates someone’ behavior until we know their story. So, how can I attempt to know their story?
One of the good things that is emerging from the protests and young people speaking up is that we’re learning a lot about each other. I am learning how much I don’t know about the African American experience. I’m realizing that my perspective is coming from the advantage of white privilege. I never really saw that before.
This week I followed one of the suggestions on that list of “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice” that we mentioned the last few weeks, and I watched the documentary entitled, 13th. It was produced and directed by Ava DuVernay. Wow, what an eye-opener! I recommend it highly. The more we educate ourselves about each other the more compassion we have. It’s not about feeling guilt. It’s about opening our hearts’ in compassion. Guilt never solved anything, but compassion has.
I’m learning that rather than assuming I know what someone else is experiencing, or feeling bad that I can’t relate, or don’t know what to say to someone, I’m finding it helpful to ask, “Please help me understand your experience.” It works for everyone.
- Related to that: Is what I’m doing in this moment reflecting my desire to be loving, compassionate and respectful with others? If not, how can I change that? In that lies the question: “What is mine to do?” We can’t do everything. No one can. But we can do something.
- Is what I’m doing in the moment reflecting my desire to show respect and love for the planet? One good resource to read and follow is the EarthCare tips listed each week in our weekly eNews. They are simple, yet effective ways to love our planet.
These are all the ways we can align ourselves with the energy that is emerging now…moment-by-moment. Please let me know how you are doing with these practices. Next Sunday I’ll be speaking the other aspects that are also part of this new phase we’re entering…collaboration, innovation and finding the balance between freedom and responsibility. Here’s a link to our livestream and past services: click here