Monday, May 21, 2012

Honoring the Divine Feminine

How many people here have ever encouraged someone…….supported or nurtured someone…… mentored another? How many gave birth to a work of art………. a business……a building? All of us. Everyone has fulfilled a role that embraces some of the attributes of the feminine. Its not about what type of body you were born into or what you do for a living. It’s about the essential nature of each one of us. Yesterday I was on the phone with my sister who lives in the same town as our mom. I was appalled to suddenly realise that I had not sent our mom a mother’s day card! And we got talking about these cards in the store and how they really did not represent the mom we grew up with. Fortunately we came from a family – well, our mom raised us this way – to make our own cards and gifts. So my sister said she had made a card for our mom because – the cards in the store were nothing like our mom. Our mom is great – but she did not have fresh baked cookies waiting for us when we came home from school or anticipate all my needs or was smiling and cheerful every moment. And she would be the first to agree! When I first began to get serious about understanding the divine feminine – one of the first gifts was - I was able to let my mom be a human being – with the frailties and shortcomings that all of us human beings have. It brought me a deep sense of peace – which felt much better for me….and, my accepting of my mom - just the way she was, had a wonderful lightening affect on our relationship. Everyone one was birthed by your mother. For that we can all give thanks. We all can hold our mothers in the highest regard even if the ONLY thing they did was give birth to us. If our relationship with them ended at that very moment – we still have everything to be grateful for – for they gave us the most amazing thing – the gift of life. HH Dalai Lama reminds us of the value of our precious human life. There are millions of life forms on this planet – and human beings are a very small percentage of it. It is a precious gift to be born a human being. If we look deeply into all the spiritual traditions around the world we will see the interplay between the feminine and masculine. This is certainly the case in India with its profusion of gods and goddesses. It is impossible to escape India’s long tradition of honouring the masculine and feminine faces of God. On the road, every few feet there will be a shrine or temple or little carved statute. These give everyone an opportunity to take a moment and give thanks to the aspect of the divine that each of these represents. The small roadside shrines are often little structures that shelter a carving where people can place marigolds or incense and say a prayer. I often stopped at these small shrines to take a moment to connect with the divine and leave an offering. You can imagine my surprise when I leaned in to look at the statute and there was – Mother Mary and baby Jesus. She represents faith and grace and has many devotees all around the world. The divine feminine in western form. The Egyptian goddess Isis was worshipped as Queen of the Heaven. She was considered a physician – a model of healing and recovery. Of helping us move through the cycles of loss and grief and back into life in its fullest expression. The Chinese Goddess Kuan Yin is a Bodhisattva who represents mercy and compassion. She hears the cries of the world and is sometimes pictured with many heads and many arms as she watches, listens for and extends her helping hands to all. In order to be truly whole, whether we are women or men, we must embrace both the male and feminine aspects of the divine. I really enjoyed this metaphor – let’s bring them both to the table. Spiritually… we want both aspects showing up – not one or the other. It is possible for us to ignore or dismiss one or the other – but it is our own loss. Why not invite both to the table and in so doing activate our full divine creative potential? As we begin to understand our divine nature more fully we can appreciate even more, the gifts that the divine feminine and the divine masculine bring. At certain times one may be more prominent than the other, but as our awareness increases we can call both into play and create something much more powerful than we could of, if we continuously leave one or the other out. It is with this consciousness of the value of both that we bring balance, harmony and greatness into our lives, into our relationships with others and into our relationship with our mother earth.