I woke up this morning and got to thinking about Easter morning and what it means to me now that I am an adult and it doesn't mean a basket of candy and an Easter egg hunt and now that I am not a member of a Christian church and so on. And so Easter is really for me, a reminder of how our Highest Possibility comes out of the small and large deaths in our psyche and in our life. I was reflecting as I cuddled in bed with my cat (who was quite desperate for attention this morning) about how the very nature of the the world is transitory, temporal and so all things will, on this level, die. And sometimes death that is external- people we love die, jobs we love end, we relocate, relationships end... simply put, circumstances change.
And sometimes death is internal. We die to long-held beliefs, we outgrow our identity, we no longer care about things we used to, sometimes our hope dies, sometimes we die to our own limitations. It varies, but we can be sure that if we are walking a path that invokes Consciousness, we are not going to stay the same.
In the world of Anusara Yoga we talk about this death part of the cycle as Shiva and this year John has been talking about Kali, the Goddess that represents that part of the cycle. Sometimes we think death is bad or the destruction phase is bad but really, all kinds of things end. When things we like end and we think it is "bad." But when something that has been horrible, painful, and difficult ends then the ending is "good." So, to get off that angle of "good and bad" is useful. To me it helps me to see it as "lawful." Like in the Highest Law. As in, it is the Way of Things. Everything in the relative world will come and go. That is the Way of Things.
And so to return to the Easter story...into the darkness Jesus went and Easter is when the rebirth is celebrated. No longer what He was, but transformed into something entirely new, this is the Brahma or Saraswati phase of the cycle. Out of darkness, out of chaos, out of the depths of death itself, He Arose. It is a very cool teaching because while the "Way of All Things Relative" is change, the Teachings also tell us there is something that is changeless. Something that never dies, something from which we can never be separated, something that will simply adopt a new form to express itself in a new way yet is at the same time ever-present, full of peace, absolutely changeless and full of Light. (Sing it with me..."nisprapancaya shantaya, niralambaya tejase....")
So theses cycles really teach us about both the Absolute and the Relative domains of Reality, right? The one changeless Light will move and express itself in cycles of death, rebirth and sustainment both in the outer world and in our inner world. For instance, Nature (one thing) has seasons (many expressions). Like that.
So anyway- I feel a certain level of rebirth within myself these days. Like a deep settling within myself occurred this last year and some seeds that were planted in the darkness are beginning to sprout and grow. Certainly, I am in love with some of the outer expressions of that process- my travels, my teaching, my friendships, my family, and my writing are all in a kind of springtime right now. But really, more importantly, there is something interiorly that has gained some momentum for me as of late. Sprouts of compassion for myself, small buds of self-acceptance, shoots of forgiveness and understanding have been fertilized through some major work this last year and I find myself with myself in a way that is somehow deeply familiar and yet also brand new.
So maybe that is Easter to me this year. A time to acknowledge and to celebrate the glory of the Light that arises out of the worst of circumstances. (Side note: In my case, calling what I have been going through "the worst of circumstances" would be too strong but I imagine at the time of the Crucifixion it felt like the worst, so in the Spirit of Easter...) Anyway, it is a time of hope, of renewal of faith.
Have a good one.