Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Serenity Series Intro

"To the extent that I'm disconnected from conscious living, to that extent I get absorbed in drama." - David Wolf / Dhira Govinda dasa 

I'm tired of drama. The last several months of 2014 there were many bouts of times when I was swimming in drama, exemplified by lots of crying with hot, sticky tears. Drama, to me, comes when I am harsh with myself, harsh with others, and let myself drown and wallow in painful tapes that no one loves me and I'm all alone in this world.

This Christmas Eve I attended midnight mass with Ghanashyam. Standing in the pews along with several hundred people in solemn quiet, I formulated a prayer from deep within: My Lord, free me of drama. I'm tired of drama.

I want peace. I want to be enlivened. All the energy I siphon into my own sad stories may I please offer this to You.

I prayed that this new year I would live and breathe the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

After that midnight mass, I decided that for the year 2015 I would write a blog post every month with the theme of this prayer.

I thought I'd begin with first diving a little into the nature of drama.

Welcome to the Serenity Series.

May this year the drama be confined to Broadway.

May this year be lived with serenity, courage, and wisdom.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Little Pot to Big Pot

On our third day of the Radha Krishna Camp in Brazil, I asked the group of 19 teenage girls, "So what quality do you all want to develop as a group today?"

We broke up into two smaller groups to discuss. In the group I was in, one girl mentioned how everyone seems to be in their own little groups. She formed her hands into a circle, "A panelinha," she said.


"It means 'clique,'" said the girl who was translating.

"Oh really?" I lifted my brows.

"Yes, it means 'little pot,'"

I laughed. Then all the girls laughed to see that I got it. Oh yes, I thought to myself, there were many little pots simmering on the stove of this Camp. 

"Let's be more open," the first girl explained in Portuguese, and other girls nodded in assent. Ultimately, all of the girls agreed to explore being open today.

The analogy became a running joke - any time there were little groups of girls, some would yell out, "panelinha, panelinha!!" and either break it up or say, "Hey, wanna join my panelinha?"

With each day, the fire became hotter and hotter in this camp. What can one expect when you get 19 girls all living in the same house day after day? We were serving each other prasad every day, getting up early for morning programs, we rode horses, hiked, offered a performance at a senior home, we had a dance party... Let's just say that many tears were shed - from pain in the body, pain in the heart, from gratitude, and from joy.

The final morning of the camp, we each offered appreciation for one other person. When the meeting concluded, spontaneously everyone moved throughout the room, embracing each other, tears flowing and flowing. From my years of saying goodbye on Bus Tours, I knew that never again would we all be in the same room again.

I didn't say anything, only looked each girl in the eyes and felt my heart overflow. What an insane adventure.

We had transformed from a bunch of panelinhas to one panelón - little pot to big pot. 

To write is to dare the soul. So write.