On Thurs 7 Aug 08 @9PM I had a deeply moving and spiritual experience when I lit candles and deeyas for Tibet. This was in unison with everyone in my time zone and done globally. I'd like to explore this and share my experiences with you and hear yours as we participate in universal collective prayer events together. I hope to work together with all the universe's beings as we move toward the ideal of Universal Collective Prayer.

Come join me in Universal Collective Prayer!

May God Bless Us All!

UCP-Universal Collective Prayer is produced by Meady's Musings Production . Copyright 2006-2011

Friday, April 10, 2009

Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord's Supper - Vedanta

As I continue to share in Universal Collective Prayer with my friends of the Christian faith this week especially those of Catholic background I again re-publish a post by my dear Brother in sharing the metaphorical Eucharist that is the Christ-Greg Kirk. I'm excited when I read his post to hear of my other friends being mentioned in it...like another adopted online mother in Mary Lynn, my dear Eze from Mexico, Yogi Rajesh (Sharma), Vashi Ram Chandi...and touched to hear of his interaction with Avi a young Israeli soldier although I haven't interacted with him so far on Intent...and note this junction for him in the dance that is this life with regard to his mother in law...I also think of my dear Sharms who always supports my Universal Collective Prayer and wonder about the other member of the Fab Four and how her trip is going! :)

So here it is this late night and wee hours of the Good Friday morning here in Trinidad...the experience my dear Brother had last night at Holy Thursday mass...

Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord's Supper - Vedanta
I squeeze the CD player volume knob and bring Bryan Adams to a conclusion as I pull into the parish parking lot. Entering the back door to the church sacristy, I can't suppress a smile - I'm early and alone, another adventure in awareness. In the dark sanctuary, I slowly bring up the altar spotlights. The altar is the symbol of the Self. As the lights slowly and softly bring this mystical surface to life, I rest in the awareness that Self-realization is a "process," I remember to be gentle and patient with myself and with others. I gaze at the bare wood of the altar and recall that it should be dressed in cloth tonight. I unfurl dazzling, brocaded white linen and roll it over the wood. The pure white and rich texture of the vestments reminds me of the purity of Self - in my essence, in your essence, purity abounds. The task of life is to remember this. The altar is dressed and my attention moves to vigil candles - a chance to wrest a few quiet moments of prayer. As wicks begin to flicker with light, people are lovingly remembered and light is called down on them - my family, especially my dying mother in law Linda who will be moving in with us shortly. A young couple, Jen and Jesse and their archangel Mary lynn. A young Israeli soldier named Avi, alone in the West Bank who has asked for prayer. I lose my awareness of thought and simply breath for a few moments. Coming back to awareness, I think of Rajesh and smile.

Father John and the servers arrive. The servers are nervous. I assure them that "we" will remember everything and that there is nothing to "sweat." I encourage them to relax and to enjoy themselves. Three fourteen year old boys, filled with innocence sigh with relief. I'm almost reduced to tears, mindful of the others their age who suffered so tragically from clergy abuse. I vow to myself, never again.

The mass has begun. Father John and I process up the stairs and reverence the altar with a kiss. He recites the opening prayer. Speaking the penitential rite falls to me - I skip the one in the book and speak my own, ending with a reference to the One beyond name and form, the One the Svetasvatara Upanishad pointed to: "I know that Great Person of the brightness of the Sun beyond the darkness. Only by knowing him one goes beyond death. There is no other way to go."

Readings from Scripture unfold, ending with the Gospel of John. John, the evangelist I most love, John the Gnostic poet (I think of Sharmishtha and smile) sharing an account of Jesus washing his followers' feet during his last supper with them. The feet washing was a lesson in loving service, in humility, in transcending one's self identity. Twelve chairs are next set up facing the congregation and twelve individuals who I was asked to invite come forward to have their feet washed. This group is representative of the parish - from the eighty four year old man who nearly died from a stroke this past winter to six year old Simon. Father John and I remove our stoles and drop to our knees, with pitchers of water, basins, and towels and begin washing feet. As I finish washing little Simon's feet, I reach up to shake hands with him, to wish him peace and to say thank you. Beyond his smile, curls and innocence, I sense another innocent spirit, the spirit of a shaman candyman ("candybaby") in Mexico named Ezequiel. The washing is finished, the chairs put away. I hand the incensor to Father John and he incenses the altar. He hands the incensor back to me, we bow to one another and I incense him. Next I move to the front of the altar and bow to the congregation and incense them - "Namaste" - "the divine within me acknowledges the divine within you" vibrates through my being like a mantra. Are the very walls tonight crying out "Self-realization?" As incense smoke rises, a symbol of the devotion known as "bhakti," I think of my friend Vashi in Hong Kong and smile. The Eucharist is offered on the altar and then shared with the community - we are to humbly become food for others. I think of my sister in Universal Collective Prayer, Babita, in Trinidad and smile again.

The mass concludes. Father John shrouds the Eucharist within his cope and we process to a place of quiet where the sacrament will be reposed for this evening. The procession represents the arrest of Jesus in the garden, on this night. An innocent man, betrayed, arrested, beaten and taken to trial - a trial without witnesses or a defense - because he dared to love, because he dared to express "Namaste" with his words and actions, to everyone, but especially to the vulnerable, to the marginalized, to the outcasts. He was executed the following day in a horrific, gruesome death, one not deserved - one in which he became one with the One. He realized Self. Nothing will ever be the same. This is my task, it is his teaching and path I follow. I am mindful of the challenge and I recommit myself again this evening - to go beyond dogma, to go beyond the confine of Religion, to grow beyond cultural conditioning, " to let go" (Rajesh again!), to let go of what is comfortable and easy - to strive to accept, support, love, everyone I encounter - especially the vulnerable, the ones our religious and political domination systems would ignore, judge and condemn today. In making this commitment, I feel the presence of a friend named Tamasin. I rest, grateful for her example - her determination to love and support everyone.

I remember words from the Gospel of Eve, a gospel that didn't make it to the canon of Scripture: "I stood on a high mountain and saw a Mighty Man and with him a dwarf and heard as it were a voice of thunder, and drew closer to hear it: and it spoke to me and said: 'I am you and you are me; wherever you are I am there, and I am scattered in all things, from wherever you want to you gather Me, and gathering Me you gather yourself."

The lights are dimmed. My vestments put away. Votive candles will continue to flicker with love for those experiencing challenge. The people have returned home. As I reach for my jacket, a voice behind me, a voice in the dark startles me - "love you dad." Love and light continue to shine beyond the darkness. With our twelve year old son Tony's arm around me, I walk toward the car, toward continuing to realize Self. Tomorrow, death is remembered. The death of one who became one with the One. Realizing Self always involves some death. But Realizing Self means that Resurrection is just around the corner. I know what my intent tomorrow will be - "I intend to love." This was the intent of the Third Jesus. This will be my intent everyday, for all of my days. I turn on the ignition and then the CD player - "Got to get you into my life" sizzles. And I sizzle, growing in oneness with the One, the One of love, the One in all, the One who shines beyond the darkness.

Love, Greg


Anonymous said...

dear babita,
Your posts are simply wonderful, full of so much love and enthuciasm that its impossible to not compliment and like them.
with lots of love

Luis Portugal said...

It has a nice blog.
Sorry not write more, but my English is bad writing.
A hug from my country, Portugal

meadysmusings said...

Thanks Sharms! I now recommended it to you on Intent but see you were here already!:) I'm glad you enjoy my posts and love sharing them with you...:)

Luis...I wish I knew more languages so I could speak to you in your native tongue...there is for sure Universal Collective Prayer but still no universal language although I guess love or prayer could perhaps be it...if you see my post previous to this one on Bhakti yoga you will see where I say :
"interestingly I find too that all beings when they are doing 'The Ultimate Surrender' well they become as one...not just in Universal Collective Prayer but in everything...any being doing 'The Ultimate Surrender' cannot be distinguished from any other being doing it...they all become one...merging into the cosmic fluid I guess...no distinguishing 'em again...just oneness...dissolving into the cosmic dancer that is the Shiv man perhaps...or Bodhisattva..."

And I hope you all continue to enjoy my blog...perhaps one day who knows it will be published in several languages...including Portugese...but for now I thank you for bearing with my English...sometimes Hinglish...Hindi and Sanskrit!:) And the touches of Spanish we try too...

With love in Universal Collective Prayer,

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