Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sacred Weaving

This is the time of year when we celebrate the energies of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine joining together as the earth comes alive. In the ancient Celtic tradition of Beltane (also known as May Day), celebrated on May 1st, the Goddess and God are symbolically woven together in the traditional maypole dance. The weaving of the ribbons around the pole actually reflects the creative act from which life in all of its forms springs.

There are many traditions in which the the Goddess and God become merged in sacred union, ritually, symbolically, and in the poetry of scripture. In the Hebrew Bible, the Song of Songs speaks to this, as the Lover calls to the Beloved:

Oh, give me the kisses of your mouth, For your sweet loving is better than wine...

The very first words of Shir Hashirim send us on the journey of relationship. We don't ask to hold hands or turn our face for a peck on the cheek. We lift our face and wet our lips in anticipation of meeting Life and Love in its fullness.  We are commanded to pucker up, as it were, to explore the boundaries of our separate self, and to keep challenging those boundaries. Every word of Shir HaShirim can be read as both the word that I speak to God and the word that God speaks to me. As we ask for Love, we must also rise to its challenge. 

Each relationship in our lives opens the door to a whole other universe. As we step through that door we escape from the confining prison of self and get a glimpse of the world through the eyes of the "other." Entering through the Other we are drawn by the Mystery of innumerable galaxies, swirling around each other, all interconnected. As we stand in awe of this vast cosmic drama, we experience it all unfolding within a great Oneness.  That great Echad is supremely conscious and supremely loving. When in a moment of loving we can feel ourselves inside that Oneness, then the power of Yearning is unlocked. This is the power that frees us from separateness and sends us into the arms of the Beloved.
~Rabbi Shefa Gold 

The tantric yoga teachings are also overflowing with delicious imagery of the the lila (divine play) between the Divine Feminine and Masculine. The word Tantra comes from the Sanskrit Tantram, which means "loom,"  or "warp and woof." Each verse of a tantric teaching is called a sutra, which means "thread." So here we have another image of weaving together opposites, interconnectedness, and merging.

The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, an ancient text recently re-translated by Lorin Roche, is a stunning poetic conversation between the Goddess (who is the creative power of the universe) and the God (who is the consciousness that permeates everywhere). They are lovers and inseparable partners, and they dwell in the human heart.

The text begins with the Goddess asking, "Beloved, tell me, how do I enter more deeply into the reality of the universe?" In reply, the God describes 112 techniques of enlightenment through everyday life experience. Each of these is a way of attending to the rhythms, pulsations, and sensuousness of the Divine Energy which is always flowing through us--and out of which we are made.

Below are some selections from this remarkable text, which Dr. Roche has renamed The Radiance Sutras.  I highly recommend this book for daily meditations, inspiration, or as a way to deepen your loving with your beloved. This is the yoga of delight, awe and wonder. Enjoy!

There is a current of love-energy that flows
between Earth below and the Sun above.

The central channel of the spine is the riverbed.
The streaming is as delicate and powerful
as the tingling touch of lovers.

Entering there,
radiance arches between the above and the below.

The whole attention resting in the nerve,
tingling delicately in the center of the spinal column,
tracing this current between earth and sun,
become magnetism relating all the worlds.
~Radiance Sutras, #12

The roar of joy
That set the worlds in motion
Is reverberating in your body,
And the Space between all bodies.
Beloved, listen.
The ocean of sound is inviting you
into its spacious embrace,
Calling you home.

Find that exuberant vibration
Rising new in every moment,
Humming in your secret places
resounding through the channels of delight
Know you are flooded by it always.

Float with the sound,
Melt with it into divine silence.
The sacred power of space will carry you
Into the dancing radiant emptiness
That is the source of all.
~Radiance Sutras, #16

Eating dark chocolate,
A ripe apricot,
Your favorite treat--
Savor the expanding joy in your body.
Nature is offering herself to you.
How astonishing
To realize this world can taste so good.

When sipping some ambosia,
Raise your glass,
Close your eyes,
Toast the universe--
The Sun and Moon and Earth
Danced together to bring you this delight.
Receive the nectar on your tongue
As a kiss of the divine.
~Radiance Sutras, #49

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