Monday, November 9, 2009

November morning...

It's early, not as early as I'd like, but just the same the pale blue light of the sun cresting over the eucalyptus hills slants in through our window, making the beige walls seem violet.  Jason has already left for work, but Emily is curled up at my feet, and with her keen feline intuition has sensed the change in me from dreaming to waking -- she begins to purr, and then, as I stretch and my toes get too close to her tummy for her liking, gives me a couple of warning swats to the feet.  I adjust accordingly, stretching in a more diagonal fashion across the bed, then sit up and cup my hands in front of my heart, fingers outward.

"Karagre vasate Lakhmi.  Kara mule Saraswathi, Kara madhye Guari.  Prabhate kara darshanam."  This is my morning prayer.  At the tips of my fingers, fortune and beauty.  In the middle of my hands, knowledge and wisdom.  At the base of my hands, the creativity of the cosmic mother.  In the morning, a vision of light in my hands."

I brush my fingers lightly over my face, my body, and the space immediately around me.  Then I get up and patter over to the stove and put on the tea -- chai, to help my digestive juices start flowing and to wake me up a little bit.   Emily swirls around my ankles in a graceful puff of fur and purrs, reminding me that she's hungry, too.  I drop some dry cat food into her bowl which lands with a soft tinkle against the ceramic bowl, and she immediately sets to a contented munch.  The tea kettle sizzles, its version of whistling.  Its an old thing that came from a place I lived a couple of places back, in the redwoods.  I still have the tea kettle, and a rusty iron triangle and beater that hangs over our deck, and the memory of the trees at night under the moon.

I pour my tea, add a bit of oat milk, and then use the rest of the hot water to a pyrex dish with a jar of coconut oil sitting in it.  The hot water desolidifies the oil, and it turns into a thick warm yellow syrup.  I carry it into the bathroom, lay a smudged white towel on the ground, and light the candles.  Then I open the jar of warm oil and use the first couple of drops to anoint my crown chakra, feeling the energy open up and come awake there with my awareness of it.  Next, my third eye.  I close my eyes and feel my inner senses open up, as well as my ears -- my vision feels clearer as I open my eyes and begin to butter up my face and throat and shoulders.  From there, everything flows towards the heart.  Hands to heart, solar plexis to heart, womb to heart, feet to heart.  The oil warms me and grounds me at the same time, as if all the distractions of the November morning vata energy is being swept away by my hands on my body.  It's also a self-blessing time, a prayer of gratitude towards my knees and feet and elbows and tummy, all those parts of me that sometimes get  overlooked and unappreciated. 

The self-abhyanga has been a transformational change in my life, on that deepens with every day as I do it.  I have always had a problem getting grounded, being dedicated.  But this is different.  I look forward to it everyday.

I step into the shower and let the hot water pour over me, dispersing some of the oil, but even so my skin feels soft and nourished.  I don't use soap -- I simply let the water touch me and purify me in its own way.  A song rises, unbidden, to my mind and then I let it come out: The river is flowing, flowing and growing.  The river is flowing down to the sea.  Mother carry me, your child I will always be.  Mother carry me, down to the sea.

After a few moments I step out, feeling really awake now, and renewed.  In ayurvedic philosophy, morning is a time to cleanse of  ama, the staleness that clings to us like moss.  I feel sparkling and new, yet present. I dress and go out onto the deck to sit in meditation for a while, and feel my breath and hear the birds and the open up to the wind blowing across my face after dancing among the long sage green eucalyptus leaves.  This is a further settling in to myself, to really being present and peaceful and loving in my own skin and in this world.  From this place, I can pray.  I pray in gratitude for this morning, for the people in my life, for the blessing of life itself.  I pray to be more and more present to the great mystery in everything and to the great spirit that is in all things.  I pray in love and in connection.  I open to the visions in my mind and heart, but do not focus on them, instead letting the beauty of the world around me on this plane be witnessed and honored within me.

One more song rises from within me, and my voice joins that of the scrub jays and the wind:
Beauty above me, beauty below me
Beauty to my left side, beauty to my right side.
Beauty behind me, beauty before me.
Beauty all around me, beauty within me.
Beauty all around me, beauty within me.


  1. Once again...I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of you, and how amazed I am all over again that you're my daughter. Only this time, I'm a little bit envious too! I wish I could feel like that in the morning. The way I feel now is, well...quite a long way from that!

    Love, Mom

  2. My wife just directed me to your blog because she thought the entry on the silence of the stars would interest me, which it did, and so do the other entries. Thanks for sharing these heartfelt posts, it is motivating to read about other people's paths in being more open with life.

  3. @ Raksha: Mom, I gotta say, not every morning is like this. I guess that's what makes it a practice... that I do it not based on whether or not I "feel like it," but because of how it makes me feel even if I start in a blah place.

    @ brunoplim: Thank you, and thank your wife. I can't hope to compare to that beautiful poem, but I'm glad to be able to touch you in some way.