Saturday, August 09, 2014

Tongues of angels...

When I entered the Saint-√Čtienne de Metz in France, I was profoundly struck by the more than enchanting soulful notes emanating from what seemed the center of the historic Cathedral. The absolute majesty of the historic church aside, the Gregorian chants drew me in a way I had never experienced in a lifetime of seeking. It wasn't the first I had heard - the first occurred at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago over the holidays several years prior. Even then, I was moved, stirred, drawn by notes that seemed beyond my thinking, logical mind. The Latin words carrying the notes spoke directly to my heart and soul, the tongues of angels, as all sense of time and place melted into One.

In Metz, it was as though my heart lead me to the source of these angelic sounds - and I sat among the other saints and sinners who also found themselves in the presence of the supernatural. Though I knew not the words, tears filled my eyes - with a beyond-me all encompassing joy. And I could have listened there in that eternal moment for the rest of my life. 

Since then, I have read much about chanting, about some human notes that take us into the presence of God. Our minds cannot conceive, yet our hearts and souls are jarred open by the peaks and valleys of such sounds. 

I remember a Pastor once telling of his parent who had just lost a child, sitting at a piano for many hours, slowly tapping out the notes - and barely able to sing the words to the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul."

In the quiet of my car this week, it seems as though I have experienced a similar soulful chanting with the very same words, slowly, deliberately listening to the notes as they draw me closer to the very presence of God... 

"It is well
with my soul. 
It is well, 
it is well 
with my soul."

And my heart and soul has danced as I experience the notes more slowly, more deeply, longer, more soulfully than ever before -- and the veil has parted with the understanding that comes with that one verse alone.

"It is well
with 
my 
soul.
It is well, 
it is well
with 
my 
soul..."

Monday, August 04, 2014

What is love anyway?

“Souls love. That’s what souls do. Egos don’t, but souls do. Become a soul, look around, and you’ll be amazed—all the beings around you are souls. Be one, see one.”

I'm was sitting at the Olympic Grill on Court Street, reading about the true essence of love. The quote from Ram Dass above moved me, challenged me as it stretched my understanding of my own identity. What is more talked about, sung about, written about - longed for - than love? It seems to lie within the very core of every being.

Yet we know so very little of what it is - how to capture it, make last, find it, let it go. It seems never far from our thoughts, our actions, our ponderings.

While considering how often my own attempts at love are thwarted by ego, I suddenly became very aware of the number of times I was called "Sweetie" from the waitresses who greeted me at the door, who filled my endless cup of coffee, who wanted to make sure my every desire was fulfilled - at least in terms of my appetite. Every pass by my table included some warm and endearing term that each time warmed my heart. Even the owner stops by to greet me and call me "Beautiful."

Souls.

I saw them that morning.

Each time our eyes met and I responded with a how-could-I-not smile, I felt something unlock or connect or melt. And I thought how could it be that while pondering this stretched idea of love, that I find myself on this playground of unmerited affection and love? While it was true that I was a customer, it is equally true that not all businesses have such common approach to treating those they serve with such affection.

Thinking of those souls at Olympic the other day, I told Isi and Janelle how I wished I could be so free as to call everyone I met "Sweetie" or "Beautiful." And I remember my friend once telling me that her brother treated every single woman he ever met like she was the most wonderful person in the world.

Indiscriminate. Unmerited. Free-flowing.

Ram Dass and other spiritual teachers write often of an unconditional love that goes far beyond our human abilities. It comes from something far greater than ourselves, far more graceful than our too-often injured egos. And while we think others bring it to us - or take it from us - love is actually within us, deposited there by a God who designed us to experience love with one another. If another unlocks our love, we too often confuse them as the source rather than merely a key to finding the love that resides inside us - and all around us.

Souls love. That's what souls do.

Let me be one today...


Sunday, August 03, 2014

Oh Holy Family

As I look deep into the eyes of my now young-man son and soon-to-be adult daughter, it is so hard to hold back the tears of utter gratefulness for all that they are, for all that they bring to my life and the lives of others. I have never one time grown tired of their presence in my every moment. I miss them when they are not with me - yet joyously release them to whatever endeavor they might be seeking in the next moment.

In so many ways,
they are my heart.
They are my soul.

And I have yet to find a single parenting book or article that articulates this amazing experience in a way that resonates with me.

Tonight, I stumbled upon this, in an old classic Be Here Now.

It moves me so.

"Oh Holy Family

And as the children who are the fruit of the union appear, see them as divine avatars, holy beings who have come recently from our true HOME to teach. Nourish and feed them as they feed you. Listen for their tone, see their ray so as to help them fulfill their spiritual destiny, provide a matrix for their consciousness. Great care must be taken to guide the entity on this plane. Choose carefully the initial impressions which they will be registering as you would the food they eat. They are the hope and destiny of the universe. Respect and honor them. Guide them clearly. Keep the home calm and free of chaotic inputs. Let love burn in all the lamps. Thru all of this face and cope out the difficulties. For the woman there will be the heavy pull of the earth element. The children will feel any psychic withdrawal on her part. She must find a place a little removed for deep meditation. When they wake up during meditation explain clearly what you are doing. Read them holy stories to acquaint them with spirit life so that they may remember. Keep your practice regular and the children will stay in tune. Don’t trip too far too fast or psychic disequilibrium will upset months of work. Do not sacrifice relationships with the children for what you may think is spiritual necessity."

My children are indeed divine avatars that have already changed the world for good, holy beings who within their very hearts and souls contain the destiny of the universe...

I am blessed indeed.