faith happens…10-17-17


The October 8 Sunday Sweat was all about letting go and then honoring the empty space created with that surrender, that space between what was done and what was yet to come. By Sunday evening hundreds of people in Northern California were force fed that teaching by a random act of god. The fire finger of fate burned into so many lives and extorted a full on let go, indiscriminately took everything away. Those fortunate enough to have come through alive are now existing in the field between what was and what is next. We read their stories and we wonder. What is so direly important, imploring us to snatch it up on the way out? How would it feel to let every frigging thing go and start all over again. What would you do?

I have no answers. Just this pervasive despair created by so much devastation. Continual earth cries back-dropped daily by one political travesty after the next. We have been through so much in the world, in this nation and now in our backyard. It’s taking a toll on me and, from what I hear, every one of us. How do we bear this?

Sunday again. Because of a scheduling snafu, I’m up front once again. I consider the date—October 15, approaching the five year anniversary of the death of Gabrielle, shamama who gave a current name for what people have been doing for millenia—Sweat Your Prayers. The time was ripe to hold community explicitly in prayer, send our sweat-generated devotion out into the world.  It is one thing we can actually do right now.

I often go to my poetry collection and type in a key word for inspiration. Prayer. Many poems reference this human activity. And mixed in with the batch was a Gabrielle quote that I had not read in a long time:

“We don’t need to think, we know.
We don’t need to do, we are.
We keep moving in the wisdom
that this is our only prayer.
Faith happens
when my mind is in my feet
and I am not thinking at all.”

I puzzled over it for a bit, not quite clear of the meaning so I put on this piece of music by Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors and moved to her words as if they were mantra. Maybe you would like to do the same. You can move to the same music, Tara Mantra, at this LINK.

That’s it, just let the music make it’s way through your bones, your breath, your blood. Move to the comfort of the steady beat and take in each phrase. One by one. See what happens.

As I moved it felt as if I were receiving physical instruction in how to become a moving prayer. How to recognize my own body as temple and prayer at the same time. It is a radical act to bring mind into feet. When I stay with my mind in my feet it slowly dawns on me that I do know and I surely am. When I move in the wisdom of this truth—“I know” and “I am”—faith happens and I become a moving prayer.

This is a whole different meditation than Descarte’s “I think therefore I am.” This is actually more like “I think therefore I’m not.”   It is a good practice for my mind to repeatedly take lessons from my feet. Feet do not plan their route. Feet do not think their way into moving. They just know. They just are. And ironically, the more I kept moving to the tune of this existential embodiment, the more I realized there is only one thing I know for sure. And that is that I don’t know jack s–t.

There is nothing easy about the present moment. We can take comfort in remembering that conditions will change, that circumstances are not always this challenging and there will be moments of ease again. In the meantime we rest in this body temple and know that there is wisdom generated as we move. We know much, we are plenty, we have everything it takes to be a moving prayer.

Faith is born in moments like this….bella