The reality of awakening

As we journey deeper into the closing months of this year I am reflecting on the lifting of veils that has been this year. As Kilauea continued to erupt in Hawaii, the Me Too movement continued to explode on front pages across the globe. New lights have been shone on important issues that have previously been swept under the rug.

On a global level and personal level we are been invited to see things more clearly. To change our perceptions, to see things through eyes that have been opened. This is a good thing. And like anything that involves a falling away or a death of any kind, realising this can be difficult. And necessary. And difficult. Sometimes a mourning period is required when we discover the lens we once saw the world through has now changed. When we change at a cellular level.

It can feel like the ground has been moved. This is the process of awakening. In some spiritual circles, the awakening process has been glamorised. However in my experience, more often than not the awakening is the opposite of glamorous.

In any awakening, while there can be periods of extreme bliss, insight and inspiring visions, it can also be excruciating as we attempt to put the pieces of our inner and outer lives together. This is what has been happening at a global level this year. And for many it has this been happening on a personal level too. The thing about waking up is that once awake it is impossible to go back to sleep. And sometimes it requires guts, honesty and deep devotion.

A practice that I am deeply deeply grateful for that has got me through periods like this is devotional chanting. When the world feels shaky and when I find myself swimming in the ocean of uncertainty the tides of chanting carry me to shore each and every time.

My relationship with chanting began 10 years ago and with each coming year it has gently yet firmly deepened. I have been blessed by teachers who met me where I was. Last year I graduated from my Kirtan teacher training with Nikki Slade who I had been learning from for many years. Through the years Nikki has gone on to become a dear friend who I cherish deeply (you can listen to a podcast with us here).

I never expected to study the Kirtan tradition, to learn about the Vedas, the sacred language of Sanskrit that has been preserved through thousands of years and the Indian Ragas from teachers like Hareesh Wallis and Sulekh Ruparell. And I certainly did not expect to offer chanting at my events. I find soul callings do that a lot. Call you in a direction that you least expect. What starts as something you do for yourself, soon you find yourself sharing with those around you. The same may happen when it comes to your message too. That thing you struggled with or frustrated you most about the world is the very thing that you end up devoting your life to making better.

This year I have yearned for home more that any other year, and chanting has been that for me. It has lead me home to the inner temple of my heart… which may sound corny… but it has brought me more peace than I can ever put into words.

Love, Rebecca x

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