Saturday, May 12, 2012

Song and Flame

I recently wrote about a favorite prayer’s evocative opening line,
“I breathe with the universal forces of creation.” 
The prayer then goes on to acknowledge those whose teachings have guided and informed our spiritual path. And then it takes an exhilarating turn. We consciously connect to all who, at this very moment , are opening to Spirit.
           
Given the world’s population of 7 billion plus, that’s just gotta be a lotta folks! In churches, sanghas, sacred groves, hospitals, synagogues, prayer circles, mosques, prison cells, medicine wheels, ashrams, on nature walks or in solitary devotion, in praise or in pain, they are opening right now. In ways reflective of cultural background and spiritual awareness, they align with that which is good. If your belief system allows, to these numbers can be added those not in human form~~guides, angels, and enlightened beings who’ve left their physical bodies~~all giving themselves unceasingly to the Divine. And this prayer now unites us with them all.
“I join my small voice to your vast chorus, 
add my tiny flame to your glorious fire.”
There’s something about the immediacy of this line that always energizes me. No longer am I a single practitioner sitting on a cushion or meeting with a handful of friends in weekly meditation. I am now consciously linked with a multitude of others. The teaching that all is a vibrant interconnected whole comes alive in me. I am absorbed into a greater flow. And for a few moments, I sing and shine from there.
           
Soon, though, it is time to move into the rest of my life. Can I maintain a connection to that Oneness, with harmonious voice and shining flame? Sometimes. Other times, not so much. This is as it should be. We are apprentices all.
           
Just as training the voice is essential to take one’s place in a choral group, we need coaching to best express our essence in the world. The beauty is that the world itself provides this mentoring. We are continually given experiences that allow us to cultivate our own voice and, through the feedback received, refine it.
           
In that vast chorus referred to in the prayer, our instrument is our mind and emotions, our personality, our psyche, our intuitive sense. Our heart and our soul. We are students learning to sing. Some lessons are pleasant and come easily to us. Others make us dig deep.
           
When we greet every experience consciously, as an exercise perhaps designed specifically for us, our tone grows clear and strong. Our vocal range extends, and our ability to improvise in response to the emanations of others increases. We come to delight in the notes themselves, expressing them deftly, playfully. We find our particular niche in that magnificent chorus and sing our hearts out in a song that is our very life.
           
And what about that tiny flame that is ours alone? We give it away. Brightly shining, we joyfully cast our light into that glorious fire that births and consumes us all.            

Sing your refrain joyfully. Shine your light generously. Sing and burn. Burn and sing.

Loanne Marie

To read the essay about this prayer's first line, I breathe with the universal forces of creation, click here.
To read the entire prayer, click here.





2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lo -- These are two exceptional paragraphs.
"When we greet every experience consciously, as an exercise perhaps designed specifically for us, our tone grows clear and strong. Our vocal range extends, and our ability to improvise in response to the emanations of others increases. We come to delight in the notes themselves, expressing them deftly, playfully. We find our particular niche in that magnificent chorus and sing our hearts out in a song that is our very life.

And what about that tiny flame that is ours alone? We give it away. Brightly shining, we joyfully cast our light into that glorious fire that births and consumes us all.

Whew. The analogy to learning to sing is so apt -- and so wonderfully forgiving. Nice to remember when it comes to judging our/my progress in being present. Only practice strenghtens the voice and the Now. So true. Many thanks -- the whole essay was great -- including your creative engagement with prayers. I make them up, but I've never played with one I read. There's a first time for everything - S

Loanne Marie said...

Yes, I collect metaphors that remind me that perfection is not required or expected. When I hit a wrong note~~well, I'm just learning. A singer in training. As it should be.

Thanks for the compliments! And thanks for reading!!!

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Blessings!

Leia Marie