For just a moment, in that silent space, there was perfection.
The past few weeks have been about simplifying.
It started in my morning meditations with cacao, the recipe just kept falling away until all that was left was the basics. Sitting with Tanzanian Cacao, some honey from the Easton Farmers Market and a heavy scoop of a mild cayenne. "Less is more" comes to mind.
I'll admit, my bowl of cacao simplified as my taste buds asked for it to do so, but as that happened I began to notice that it was reflective of something deeper. Cutting out the unnecessary to make room for what's important in this moment.
Instead of an "intense" asana practice, I found myself sitting with the Sanskrit mantra, So Hum, which translates to I Am. The more I chanted, the more I began to feel a sense of clarity, of clean-ness, of simplicity. Chanting slower and slower, time began to really drag and then it hit me! Everything I've been doing as of late has been to find space, opening myself up to a blank page where I could draft out a new and improved version of myself, Jesse v2.0.
Taking the time to slow down opens up the space between moments, making the present moment more understandable, more digestible and more malleable. I think that is at the core of these Cacao Ceremonies. When we clear away old thought patterns through meditation, whether guided or not, we can better assess our reality, then meet that reality in the most efficient way possible.
We can learn much from the ocean's tides, while they are consistently rhythmic they still vary from day to day, notably most intense (highest and lowest) during the new, and full moons. We are part of the same bio-system and find the same rhythmic variance in our own state of being.
Meeting their intensity with a relatively more intense practice of awareness seems to be an effective way to change our reality.
Last night I found myself sitting in front of my harmonium beside a good friend and a few new friends. About 30 people looked on as I started playing the mantra, as I paused, hoping, waiting and praying they would sing back, we were suddenly surrounded by voices.
The room transformed.
Where just moments ago there was an open-mic full of rock and roll, poetry and folk jams, there was now a sacred space full of heart. A violin and electric guitar danced with an ethereal song to either side of me and the words, "Jaya Jay Shiva Shamboooo - Maha Deva Shamboooo" rang out from every corner of the room. Building in intensity, the drums began to beat stronger and stronger and soon after we collectively drifted downwards into a sweet song, and then silence.
The cheers boomed too soon in my opinion. For just a moment, in that silent space, there was perfection. Every heart in the room beating to the same rhythm, our minds quiet, it was beautiful!
This Sunday were pulling together a new kind of kirtan band. I honestly have no idea how it will evolve, but I'm certain it will carry a sense of that beauty seen in Bethlehem last night.
Join me in honoring that quite place within, where our intuition sings and sitting with cacao Sunday, July 23rd at 7pm. We're gathering again at Sarah's farm in Upper Black Eddy (15 mi south of Easton,) overlooking the Delaware from high above for cacao, breath work, yoga Nidra (guided meditation) and kirtan.
Click here to purchase a spot (limited spaces available.)
*Should it rain, we will reschedule to the following Sunday*