A very peaceful Happy New Year to everyone. I got back just a few days ago from my 10-day meditation retreat AND I have to say that I am renewed in the way of spirit, body and mind. The last time I went on this type of retreat was about 7 years ago and in between that time I have practiced a little here and there but eventually chaos got to me - or I got sucked into my own personal chaos and I soon forgot the process that helped me to center and see things as they truly are...
One evening at the discourse the teaching said "there is nothing that can cause more harm than the untrained mind, there is nothing that can facilitate more healing than a mind that is calm, peaceful and full of love." This really was true for me...I have seen the path of destruction I have made by submitting to the wild, unruly mind - a mind often filled with suspicion, craving, over loaded desires, sadness and rage.
The body is one of the most fascinating machines ever created. It is so resilient, so forgiving and so strong. Even when we are ill it spends all of its energy trying to get well - trying to create balance. The mind is linked to this body and it is my theory that the two are so deeply integrated that what ever is impressed upon our minds begins to feed the experience of our body. In Vipassana meditation we are taught to observe the sensations on our body as a way of revealing some of our deepest sufferings. This process is not about affirmation or thinking positively, although these are helpful in their own rite. Observing sensation helps you to get at the root of your suffering not just heal the surface.
I got to a point in the meditation retreat where I could see the reality of the relationships in my life and I realize they have all been a reflection of my mind - my untrained mind - a mind that has created cravings, has concocted fantasies and generated anger. I have been such a slave to expectations - others and my own...Now I can see that in letting this old self go I can put my life in order again...I can prioritize the things that are important to me. I can be present - inside of my body. This has created the most profound peace inside of me - peace that I know I have work diligently to preserve.
Sistahs, this is a NEW DAY - everyday is a new opportunity to cultivate self love and train our minds for peace. Mind you, this peace is not passive but highly active. Once we see the reality of our lives we will crack the surface of "overfunctioning" or "grave-digging" as BLACK WOMEN, BLOW THE TRUMPET teaches. We will also begin to generate a set of principles for our selves - more than affirmations but truths to live by...Our divine birth rite is to be liberated and free from all forms of suffering. All suffering starts on the inside - a free person CAN NOT BE OPPRESSED for those who come toward her with shackles will be compelled to turn away - they will be rendered powerless. We must work hard to free our minds - with patience and persistence we will succeed.
Remember this year is about the Bones. Bones hold the stories. If the story is untold this energy will find a space for it to be heard. If the story has been told over and over again, this energy will help you finds the "end".
Now, I would like to share a story that is told by Clarissa Pinkola Estes in a book called Woman Who Run With the Wolves... a perfect story about re-creation. This is a bone-woman story...
There is an old woman who lives in a hidden place that everyone knows but few have ever seen. She seems to wait for lost or wandering people and seekers to come to her place.
She is circumspect, often hairy, always fat, and especially wishes to evade most company. She is both a crower and a cackler, generally having more animal sounds than human ones.
They say she lives among the rotten granite slopes in Tarahumara Indian territory. They say she is buried outside Phoenix near a well. She is said to have been seen traveling south to Monte Alban in a burnt-out car with the back window shot out. She is said to stand by the highway near El Paso, or ride shotgun with truckers to Morelia, Mexico, or that she has been sighted walking to market above Oaxaca with strangely formed boughs of firewood on her back. She is called by many names: La Huesera, Bone Woman; La Trapera, The Gatherer; and La Loba, Wolf Woman.
The sole work of La Loba is the collecting of bones. She is known to collect and preserve especially that which is in danger of being lost to the world. Her cave is filled with the bones of all manner of desert creatures: the deer, the rattlesnake, the crow. But her speciality is said to be wolves.
She creeps and crawls and sifts through the montanas, mountains, and arroyos, dry riverbeds, looking for wolf bones, and when she has assembled an entire skeleton, when the last bone is in place and the beautiful white sculpture of the creature is laid out before her, she sits by the fire and thinks about what song she will sing.
And when she is sure, she stands over the criatura, raises her arms over it, and sings out. That is when the rib bones and leg bones of the wolf begin to flesh out and the creature becomes furred. La Loba sings some more, and more of the creature comes into being; its tail curls upward, shaggy and strong.
And La Loba sings more and the wolf creature begins to breathe.
And still La Loba sings so deeply that the floor of the desert shakes, and as she sings, the wolf opens its eyes, leaps up, and runs away down the canyon.
Somewhere in its running, whether by the speed of its running, or by splashing its way into a river, or by way of a ray of sunlight or moonlight hitting it right in the side, the wolf is suddenly transformed into a laughing woman who runs free toward the horizon.
So it is said that if you wander the desert, and it is near sundown, and you are perhaps a little bit lost, and certainly tired, that you are lucky, for La Loba may take a liking to you and show you some thing -- something of the soul.
May the New Year be a blessing of Love, Light and Deep Transformation - not only for yourself but for the world.