While listening to Awakening Together’s Sunday service I experienced my heart and soul breaking wide open. There was not a particular moment or person that hit the ‘start’ button but, rather, it was the totality of the service, starting with the opening song, the incredible reading, words spoken by the minister and continuing through the sharing of those in attendance. Halfway through the opening song, the tears began to flow and a sense of Grace filled my very being.
Today is Easter Sunday which, in Judeo-Christian cultures, is the celebration of Jesus rising from the tomb after being betrayed, judged, crucified and then dying. I was raised in this faith-based culture, as well as, in the cultural celebration of the Easter holiday through chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and decorated eggs hidden for the annual scavenger hunts taking place across the nation. I am VERY familiar with the Bible story because I was raised in a fundamental religious environment both knowing the story of the resurrection along with required attendance at the annual sunrise service. I have also followed the traditions of putting together Easter baskets and hiding those colorful eggs. These types of traditions extend and unite family, community and the world. Participating in such traditions bonds me to the past and invigorates my sense of the future. I also hold the belief that ‘it’s not Easter without those yellow marshmallow Peeps! … just sayin!
My eyes and heart were opened today to a totally different interpretation of the Bible story; a different ‘spin’ on the crucifixion, death and ascension of Jesus. As I listened to the words being spoken I could feel the building of deep emotional responses to the Truth that was being shared. Swirling through me was the clear, unmovable knowledge that everything dies and rises back up. This may seem trite and a ‘Duh!’ moment as you read this and I can laugh as I write these words. I have carried with me a notion of exactly what death and life is all about since I was born – ‘DUH!’.
Something today was completely different. As I sat in my chair, enjoying my fresh coffee and the little dog laying on my lap, I was moved to look slowly and deeply at my surroundings – – there were books, magazines, fabric with which to create quilts, partially completed quilts, lamps, a mirror, music CDs, the hardwood floor, area rugs, and so on. As I looked at each item I was struck with a deep understanding that each was created from something (or more than one something); each was there as a result of death (literally or figuratively) and each was re- birthed purposefully for reuse.
In other words, trees died in order for me to have all these printed materials consisting of beautiful words and pictures that provide me with knowledge and inspiration. Fabrics were created from plants and animals; each giving their life so that I would be able to creatively turn them into colorful quilts; quilts carrying the message of ‘I love you’ and ‘you matter’ to the elderly, the child, to the hospice patient. Sperm and eggs join, resulting in their individual
deaths, so that life can continue in a form (animal or human); forms that perpetuate lineages across centuries.
The ‘aha’ moment for me was – – WE, being alive, are part and parcel of this PROCESS. Each and every ‘thing’ at which I looked, no exception, is the result of the same PROCESS. This is the same PROCESS that we know as the transfiguration that Jesus experienced in order for him to become the representative of the Christ Consciousness. There is no difference! The fact that Jesus was a human does not make this process any more special or notable than the transfiguration of trees into printed materials or clay into ceramic dishes. The miracle is the same regardless of the object – – human or not.
I have always had a strong sense of connectedness to people, places and things but there always existed a sense of separation. I could empathize, I could care, I could help, I could be mindful, I could share BUT I always felt like I was standing over here while looking over there. The insight from this morning clearly shows me how there is no here or there. It’s simply the PROCESS – – (death followed by ascension – the miracle of transfiguration) – – in action! I can see that this is the “Isness” of which Regina Dawn Akers speaks. The Christ Consciousness that is offered by Grace to each and every human, along with each and every stone, tree, drop of water, animal, mineral, inert gas, etc., is nothing other than, or more than, this.
My very being died this morning and was reborn with a vision of connectedness. I no longer see separation between me ‘being’ and anything else because there clearly is no separation just as there is nothing else. So, if I am the same miracle as the books in my library or the dogs lounging on the sofa then how can I continue to see anything as separate and different from me? More to ponder…
Today, thanks to many people sharing from their hearts, I got it and I got it good! Please don’t misconstrue what I am saying – – in no way am I feeling I’m ‘enlightened’ or ‘more awake’ (whatever those terms mean) than before. I continue to have no clue as to what anything about my life means all the while having the sense that my life means nothing. But what I do feel is that this morning, through the shared power of love, I have been given a great gift. I am able to see that everything I see, feel, taste, embrace, and hear is only the embodiment of what ascended from death.
Rebecca is an Awakening Together Ordained Minister