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Kingston, NY, Friday, April 17, 2009

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Making Music and Creating a Mandala
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

The sound of the world is getting more insistent, don't you think? There are at once the high-pitched wails of sorrow, discordant cries of protest and the occasional grinding squeal of minds locking against change. There's a low buzz of anxiety that undercuts all the other sound, a tense beat of fear that rat-a-tats against the symphony of our daily lives and all of this is orchestrated through an insistent melody of excitement and expectation.

Ahhhh, dear ones -- listen to the music; it's a wondrous time to be alive! Our interesting times may well be a Chinese curse, but they are full to bursting with opportunities for growth and progress. How to best experience that is the question. As these extraordinary energies of transformation came to visit us, Mr. Bush created even more chaos in order to take advantage of the plunder it offered; Mr. Obama came next to take custody of the mess, and sees this period as one in which great progress and reforms are not only possible but necessary. For each of us, this is a time to not just shake ourselves awake but step into our awareness and personal power.

If you think you don't have time to attend to all this growth, given your challenges and responsibilities, then fear not: it's happening with your assistance or without it. If you choose to cooperate, of course, you will not only enjoy a smoother ride through this transition but be a much happier human and add to the collective joy of the planet, but nobody is twisting your arm. This is, so I'm told, a planet of 'free will.' Then what 'will you' do, say, think today?

Will you cheer when upstart pirates are blown out of the water or will you do a bit of research to discover the dreadful circumstance of the Somali population and the deep poverty and deprivation of that failed state? Will you growl back at your grumpy neighbor without considering what toxic load s/he may carry, invisible to your eyes but apparent in every attitude and action? Or will you stand in your circumstances, however difficult, knowing that you are loved and loving, able to embrace the adventure of this life because within you is a sure knowing that you came here for just such a purpose?

We have powerful allies when we decide to awaken to our authentic selves. We aren't just little people on autopilot, scrambling across the face of the planet like ants; we're complex spiritual beings that gather information on myriad levels to inform ourselves. Neale Donald Walsch breaks that down into three major areas when he tells us that, "The mind is the last part of yourself to listen to. It thinks of everything you can lose. The heart thinks of everything you can give, and the soul thinks of everything you are."

Mind, heart and soul; think of the stability of a three-sided structure, creating a working circuit to our Higher Self. Within each of us is a spectrum of information to connect us to the full measure of our capabilities; learning to access it is our challenge. My friend and Planet Waves contributor, Jude Valentine, introduced me to a website recently that illustrated the importance of this triune of receptors.

Jo Dunning, quite a remarkable woman, is a spiritual teacher who has started a movement she calls The Expanded Heart Works; she teaches those who wish to begin a journey through their heart chakra to find what she refers to as 'the Pulse,' a healing energy that she discovered through an intensive personal experience of emptying her mind. In this article, she speaks of the geometric energy blockages that carry the 'charges' of life experience that drive us into negative patterns. She talks of how they can be defused, ending our seeming inability to break free of old wounding.

Dunning has a number of YouTube presentations and offers much of her service for free; the links can be found on her site. On Tax Day, April 15th, she did a day-long healing of the economy for planetary abundance; and she invites you to participate in her ongoing prosperity project. Like all authentic spiritual teachers, she takes no credit for her work; it is, she says, a gift from Source -- the same Source that can and will work through us as we become aware of its power in our lives. Some of us may think we're running on empty; we're not even close.

I have deep respect for what is invisible on this plane, patiently awaiting our awareness of it. I depend on its collaboration in my life. A couple of years ago, I had a few months of real discomfort as the editor of Political Waves; the toxicity of the news had become ceaseless. I'm often told how courageous I am to wade through the muck of politics, but I don't think of it as bravery; I do it because I have the capacity to do it without hurting myself. It wasn't the continuing gloom that had me pondering my continuance; it was the growing need within me to throw more of my energy into a higher vibration.

One day, sitting at my computer, I found tears trickling down my face; nothing in particular had prompted them, just more of the usual. I thought about writing a goodbye post to my Political Waves family. I pondered my responsibility to those who had come to depend on my ability to take in news of the day and make some sense of it, both politically and spiritually. I felt a heaviness, and then a sharp pain in my heart; and I knew I was getting a tune-up. It never occurred to me that I was having a heart attack; if I ever have one, I'll likely go with a smile on my face, anticipating a further widening of my heart's capacity. When the pain left, so did my concerns.

Heart is the bridge between our minds and souls; everything taken through that passage is filtered through our capacity to give ourselves away and become more of what we are meant to be. I write, and specifically Political Waves, because it's my soul path to do so; it's somewhere in my contract to do this and Planet Waves came along to help me fulfill it. We can know what we've contracted with the Universe because there's something in us to do, and we're constantly on the lookout for a place to put that insistent energy. It simply must express itself. I saw a stunning example of that this week; you probably did as well.

I have no patience with reality TV and most definitely avoid competitions because it's painful for me to watch. Having performed on stage for some years, I am sensitive to being a 'good audience;' I cringe at indifference, let alone cruelty. Shows like American Idol fill me with dread, especially when hyper-critical Simon Cowell is judging. In the British version of this show, called Britain's Got Talent, a rather remarkable thing happened this week. A new and improbable singing sensation was discovered; and that's not what was remarkable about it.

First of all, it was amazing because I saw Simon Cowell smile ... again and again; it's quite a nice smile and I don't remember seeing it before. The woman who prompted it, 47-year-old unemployed and unpretentious Susan Boyle, walked on the stage to a wave of cynicism and derision; the crowd responded strongly, as did the judges, to both her appearance and her aspirations. Then she opened her mouth and something magical happened; in an eye-blink people were on their feet applauding.

Susan has a lovely voice. But that's not what impressed me about this YouTube of her performance, which I've watched over and over. It's worth mentioning that the audience went on an emotional rollercoaster ride, that the judges were humbled and shocked but it was Susan, herself, that fascinated me. She was in total command of herself, of her music; any perceived limitations had melted away. She absolutely owned the stage. Susan has a calling; her soul knows. While I'm sure this thunderclap of approval will be wonderful for her future piggy bank and self-esteem, this was authentic Susan doing what she came to do. Look in her eyes and see the twinkle; and then notice the derisive, then excited, then abashed glances of those in the audience.

This might have just been Susan's moment of brilliance, or Britain's thrilling entertainment alone had it not been for YouTube and its ability to send these images around the world. I saw this clip on the third day after release and it had been viewed by over 3 million; the next day it had been seen over 5.5 million times. Why? Because in terms of human emotion, it might as well have been Shakespeare. All the prototypes played out in 7 minutes; we saw arrogance and humility, pride and pretense, smallness and judgment, confidence and joy. You can only catch the full majesty of this clip if you are willing to view it through your heart and let it take you on a ride.

Every one of us is Susan Boyle, in constant creation of something wonderful; with audience or without. I'm reminded of the mandalas made of colored sand that Tibetan Buddhists make over a period of days and weeks. These cosmic circles are a collaborative venture, each monk taking a turn around the clock to work an ancient, intricate pattern loaded with symbolism; they are richly, delicately beautiful. The monks in Seattle do this often, and this year, to coincide with a visit from the Dalai Lama, a traveling group of monks created a mandala over a three-day period at the University of Puget Sound.

After the mandala was completed, a period of prayer, singing and chanting was followed by one of the monks grabbing a broom and sweeping the majestic art into a shapeless pile. Some of the sand was given away, the rest taken to a body of water where it was deposited to take its blessing into the (symbolic) ocean, and so, around the planet.

The mandala is scattered to remind us of the impermanence of life; it is fitting as a symbol of everything we're creating today, what we'll create tomorrow. We would benefit if we would, like the monks, sing and pray while we do it. It would be appropriate for us to understand the temporary status of all matter, while honoring the Source that creates it as capable of continually renewing and refining it. "All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on," said Henry Ellis.

Life is art -- every day, every action, every activity a mandala. Every thought, every word, every sigh is a symphony. Everything we do is an act of creation; when we open our heart to cooperate with the intentions of our soul, we find our authentic fit. We light up the world; we contribute.

When we let go of what is no longer necessary, the next important thing will show up to send us forward. Some of us have found our place, for the moment; others of us are searching for it. All of us are being led by our souls, who know the way to the next perfect activity, relationship or spot on the map -- if you have any questions about that, you simply need to ask your heart. It will tell you everything your mind cannot.

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