I am beginning this blog in New Orleans. My friend, Rachel, and I have traveled here to see John Friend. Last night John gave a dharma talk on the origins of Halloween in the Celtic tradition of Samhain.
This time of the year is auspicious as it is the junction place between Autumn Equinox, when night and day are equal lengths, and Winter Solstice, when the dark becomes prevalent. During this time we acknowledge what has been-the bountiful harvest of all that has come to us in the light-and we begin to plant seeds of intention for the germination time in the dark. For it is in the dark that all that is born is created.
Before I continue about this beautiful and powerful holiday, I would like to interject my own relation to this particular time. Recently I have been grieving and celebrating a death of a part of myself. A challenging situation presented itself and through this situation I saw a part of myself that reacts to situations that seem scary or threatening in a way that is no longer of service to me. There was a time when it did serve me, but now it only blocks me from the Flow and my ability to share in Love and intimacy with others as deeply as I desire. When I get into this old reaction habit I forget my own intrinsic worth, I forget that I am being supported by Source no matter what, and I forget my own power.
It was really painful to see this part of myself so clearly revealed, and yet, it was also a profound and joyous revelation. I got that I would truly be okay no matter what happened. I came to a new knowledge of my own goodness and value. I feel this new delight in me. A trust appeared from deep within my own heart that I have not known before. Even in the anger and grief that I was feeling I knew that all there was for me to do was act with integrity and hold tightly to the glowing mid line of my own heart. And truly, the Great Heart, would continue to support me. AMAZING! Grace is what we are guaranteed.
So, back to John. I am going to hi-lite a few points he made that were particularly meaningful to me:
-The dark has been given a negative connotation. A duality of light=good/dark=bad
In the way of the tantra dark is of the One too. This world that we live in is one of contrast all pulsing from the same Auspicious Source of goodness and beneficence. In fact, it is the dark, that transformation occurs. Think of a yoga class where you are stretching and working in a way that actually breaks down tissue. Then, at night when you are asleep, the reconstruction, the rebuilding, occurs. Isn't that wonderful!
I will end with this:
John said, We can look back and bathe our hearts in gratitude for all that this past year has presented us with-the challenges, the insights I have gained, the revelation that has come to me. Then, I consciously plants the seeds for this time of darkness. What is it that we see for our lives in the coming year? What do we wish for our families, our partners, our friends.
In the black, when you close your eyes, there is a vast, open space. You can paint your vision for the future. This is true magic.