For the sixth year in a row I have committed to participate in the “Winter Feast For The Soul.” For 40 consecutive days, I commit to sitting in meditation for 30 minutes, guided by some of the brightest and wisest meditation teachers and leaders in the world, from every walk of life, every spiritual tradition, new age and new thought, men and women. This year I have again chosen to meditate with the man who not only gave me back the gift of meditation that I had lost along life’s path, but changed my life in ways I could never have imagined … teacher, best-selling author and all-around cool dude, Davidji (I threw in that last part because he is from my hometown, Queens, New York, and he uses Leonard Cohen song lyrics as teaching tools … how cool is that!). Davidji starts each session with a lesson, then gives us a mantra to use throughout the 30 minute silent meditation. He rings a bell at the 10, 20, and 30 minute mark, and reminds us that it is not how long you sit, but how authentically you commit to the meditation for the time you do sit.
The other day, our lesson for the day was: “Longing For Love.” He had us acknowledge to ourselves that until we can love and accept ourselves just the way we are, and forgive ourselves for the missteps of the past, we can never come to know who we truly are … our absolute authentic and original self. He had us repeating affirmations of love and forgiveness for ourselves, and gave us a Sanskrit mantra which vibrated love energy out into the either. By the time the session was over (yes, I made it through the entire 30 minutes this time), it felt as if someone had wrapped their arms around me and warmed my soul. That someone, I recognized eventually, was me.
Setting the intention to create and live an authentic life starts with loving yourself and forgiving yourself. Trying to live authentically falls far short of the mark if the life you’re building is for someone you don’t love. Davidji reminds us that we are all a piece of the Divine, and that every breath we take is a gift. If we are worthy of that gift, what else could we possibly not be worth of?
This week over on the Home Page, our writing assignment will ask us to find a way to move towards loving ourselves. While I won’t tell you to have fun with this one, I will invite you to really learn from this one, and to remember that even when the going gets tough, just keep writing.
Peace and blessings.