Gratitude & Unicorn Magic…
Although currently I don’t subscribe to any particular Organized Religion, I do believe, “Of mine own self, I can do nothing”. I recall as a very young child of about three to age ten, I could summon God. I was raised in Organized Religion…Lutheran until my Grandfather had an affair with a member of our church. Then, following our patriarch, we became Unitarian’s. A much more excepting clan. I was ten when we became Unitarians. Sunday school was no longer about a WASP Jesus, heaven and hell and memorizing psalms and prayers. Sunday school became an education of religions all over the world, Buddhism, Taoism, Muslims, Sikh, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism. And thus the darkness of humanity was reviled. Jesus was no blue eyed baby. And the problems of the world were great and more than I alone could handle.
I was three, barefoot and in green, lush grass on a bright sunny day. I sat crab walk style and gripped the grass by my hands and feet, wriggled my fingers and toes, face to the heavens. An absolute wonderment overcame me, a joy and at each communion I would first think, I am, of mine own self, moving my fingers and toes (a three year old’s version of that). Then a grace blanketed me and I looked down upon my little kid body and thought; God is moving my fingers and toes. Hello God! I could commune with God by doing this at every intention, and each time I experienced a Sukha state of being.
I have since attempted to summon…what ever it is, to no avail. Is this because I was no longer jaded? Or because I believe in something… the Universe, but did not name it God? The Unitarians had newly schooled me in the possible atrocities humanity could commit. Genocide, Poverty, War, Malnutrition, Lack of clean water and my list of battles to conquer went on. It was just too big a world for me to save by my next birthday, (which is how I kept track of goal deadlines), always being so far off. So at eleven, I sang ‘Tis a Gift to be Simple’, sipped wine from a Challis, lit a candle, and eyes closed, softly said my prayer aloud among the grown-ups. I trick or treated for UNICEF, saved change for Sunday School tithing, volunteered to babysit at a Woman's Crisis Center, Rang the Red Bell with my Grandfather every Christmas, devoted undivided attention for two hours a week to an elderly neighbor who just needed some company. I started “locally, not globally”. I believed though, that now I acted on my own. There were so many religions how was I to know my God was .the. God? I became skeptical, I silently questioned. I equated God and Santa both, to be a fictitious joke, only to be found out by age and loss of innocence.
I found ‘God’ again because of a mindfulness silent meditation group I attended at a Congregational Church in Medford Oregon. I was in rehab for alcohol and because my prescription drugs kept running out too early. The pastor of a Salem Congregational Church asked her ‘sister church’ pastor in Medford, that he pick me up on Sundays to attend their services. He agreed but there was a catch. He went early and stayed late. He taught a silent meditation group for one hour before services began and requested that I attend. Then go to service and stay for coffee hour fellow-shipping with the congregation. I washed the mugs and waited till the last member was gone. This pastor micro managed his flock. After a few sessions of sitting through an intolerable hour of awkward silence, I began to appreciate the quiet. I started to look forward to the next meditation and even doing my own private meditation when I knew my roommate would be gone. I not only enjoyed my silent mind, it gave me a profound sense of peace. I learned to sit and be alone with myself. At that point in my life, I truly disliked myself. So these were giant leaps of self awareness I was catching.
Then one day, during a private meditation, sitting in the grass, face to the heavens, the warm sun anointing me. I saw myself. I don’t know how long I sat in silence but I suddenly felt the old warm blanket of grace creep up my spine and cover my shoulders. I looked down and saw myself, in a bird’s eye view. My body was sitting there alone on Earth but I, my soul, was looking down. No longer alone. No longer on Earth…Hello Amazing Universe! Thing bigger than I can conceive! Welcome back old friend!