Dear SANCTUARY NYC Friends,
For millennia people have been observing the changes in the season, the hush of winter, the coming of planting seasons, the promise of a new day, by developing and collectively observing rituals. Rituals touch a deep place inside of us, reach down and stimulate archetypes which remind us of who we are in some timeless way. When the floods came, or a huge storm raged, and destruction was the result, the idea that these forces beyond our human imaginings have such power moved our human ancestors to develop stories about powerful gods and goddesses who were rolling bowling balls in the heavens. Somehow developing a relationship with the force of creation and destruction seems to have made the world a less unpredictable place. And so rituals to appeal to those forces became a part of the activities of their lives. Rather than living at the mercy of some alien force, our ancestors from various cultures made friends with the "gods" and developed ways of humanizing the forces, and made regular offerings to them. The seasons were managed by creating repeatable, regular ways of addressing these "gods". Each culture developed a different way of developing relationship with "the all that is", with the life force which animates both them and all living creatures...and many different ways of understanding our world developed. Indigenous people have always had a relationship with the earth, with the seasons, with the breath of life, and have accesses that force through spiritual practices like meditation, prayer, dancing, chanting, giving offerings.
When organized religions began to form, they would take on elements of the rituals and incorporate them into a new organizational structure and cosmology. And new stories were constructed to support that mythic journey. There are times of year when there are many many observances which converge. The peak of these observances tends to come around the solstice, and so the deep midwinter Saturnalia, Hanukkah, Christmas observances make way, in the spring, for spring solstice, Passover, Easter. I love a saying from the Baha'i tradition- "Worship the Light, not the Lamp"
This kind of says it all I think. We may understand the beautiful depth teachings of realized masters, gurus and sages but they are all bearers of the Light...the Light which shines in every one of us. It seems that there are some people who come into incarnation remembering more about why they came forth than others. Their mission spans lifetimes, as all of our "missions' do, but somehow these deep teachers are in touch with their continuum in a way which allows them to speak to the conditions of our confused human world with timeless clarity.And so they lead the way for our remembering who we are. We are all spirits on a human journey. And we each possess the spark of the Divine within.
At SANCTUARY NYC we have been observing the 64 day season for Nonviolence, and have had such a rich experience before we are halfway through. We began with the beautiful dance of Harold and Kate, to "The Invitation", followed by the presentation of our Peace Tree., As we looked at the inner walk through the story of Kanu below and Kanu above, we recognized a deep connection to both our inner child voice and to the archetype of the mystical teachers among us. We continue to travel through the music of the African Diaspora with truly amazing expressions ranging from the powerful Haitian story song of Marine Persaud to the soulful jazz of Graham Haynes' trumpet and African instruments. Jeremy Mage and the amazingly soulful Sounds of SANCTUARY NYC have brought forth original music,and have visited classics in a new way, with powerful, joyful, reverential amazing music. We have been dancing in the presence of the holy.
Our last big event to honor the Season will be a showing of the film "For the 7th Generation- The Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers", and will be shown at 4:30 on Sunday April 1, by the Producer, Carole Hart, followed by a Q & A and a Community Pot Luck. And then the following Sunday is Easter, or Transformation Sunday.
This Sunday Rev. Ingrid Scott will be bringing the message, and the following Sunday we will have a community gathering/meeting after our Sunday service.
So get those Google calendars marked!! And get your spring on...
There is mystery and magic all around us.