The Power of the Divine Feminine in a Dark Time
I write from Detroit, Michigan, where I am on retreat with Amma. It is indescribable grace to be in the presence of this realized master, who makes herself so accessible to us all! If you are near the Midwestern US and reading this before November 23, I encourage you to make your way to Detroit if you can, to receive a blessing from this embodiment of pure, unconditional love. Amma has open programs on November 20 and 23, and a retreat November 21-23. I first met Amma in 1993 in India, an experience that changed my life forever. If you are on the West Coast or it is after November 23, you have another chance! Amma heads from Detroit to San Jose, California, for programs there November 25-29, before returning to her ashram in India for several weeks.
In Amma’s compassionate and transformative presence, it is easy to glimpse the power of the divine feminine not often understood in Western culture. Amma has spoken on many occasions of the power of women. I invite you to watch the speech she gave on “The Infinite Potential of Women” at a March 2008 summit in Jaipur entitled Making Way for the Feminine for the Benefit of the World Community.
As the sun moves further away from the Earth, and the days grow even shorter, we are living in a dark time in more ways than one. As I mentioned last week, there is dissention and suffering on our planet. There is an undoubtable prevalence of global darkness, exemplified by the increase in radical groups that seek to kill and destroy. There is also a growing effulgence of luminosity, which I feel when I when I choose to turn my focus to that which is eternal. There is so much pain, and also so much grace, available to us all in this unprecedented time. The choice of which to focus on is up to us. What we choose now affects how we experience this moment, and determines what our future brings.
Coming up on Friday of this week, November 25, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This begins the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which conclude on December 10 with Human Rights Day. There is no doubt that women all over the world continue to face violence and harassment in many forms. This blog entry, and the ones subsequent through this time period, will touch upon violence against women in the context of the need for greater respect for the feminine principle that exists in both men and women.
Days marked for remembrance help us take pause and remember the value of the women in our lives and give thanks. In so doing, hopefully, we become more aware of the important role women play in society through our understanding of health, nature, spirituality and culture as a whole.
Each day of remembrance is like a mindfulness meditation chime that rings in the midst of our sitting practice – a sonic moment that pulls us from indifference into greater awareness. With practice, we learn to live every day with the broader awareness we may experience on these “special” days.
No one is untouched by the love of a woman. All of human life emerges from her body. Whether or not our relationship with our biological mother was close or deep, we can be grateful to our mothers at least for carrying us for nine months and going through the physical pain to bring us into this life.
Similar to the gratitude we can cultivate for our biological mother, we can learn to live in gratitude for our Mother Earth. She provides the air we breathe; she feeds us when we eat and drink; she carries us as we walk upon her; her resources move our lives forward through all we do and make. We are part of an exquisite ecosystem that is her greater body. In this we are abundantly blessed.
Learning to give gratitude in each moment for the miracle of life itself would help to bring greater equality between the sexes. It is when we feel hard done by, attached to the idea that someone owes us something, that resentments, power struggles and bullying set in. These only serve to polish our egos, keep us feeling separate and distort the true reality that we are all interconnected and created equal as a human family.
Next week, I will discuss more in depth the question of violence, violation, and feeling safe as a woman.
Love our world.
We are one Earth family.