The Heart of the Practice May 16, 2018 15:02

I had some time to myself on Sunday in the early afternoon, so I decided to work on creating a mala...for myself, which is a rarity.  I have recently been working with a supplemental mantra in my practice honoring Kurukulla, the semi-peaceful, semi-wrathful goddess of unconditional love, passion, and transformation of consciousness.  Kurukulla is a dakini, an embodiment of ultimate wisdom who turns raw, negative emotions into pure awareness. Blazing red skin, four arms (two of which are holding a bow made of flowers), and three eyes, she is fiercely protective, magnetizing, and powerful.  

I laid out a design with Dragon Blood Jasper and Hessionite Garnet beads and strung the mala with a deep wine-colored sutra and matching tassel. I finished the design before my daughter came over to celebrate Mother’s Day with me, so I posted a quick photo of the mala on my Facebook page.

A few hours later, a friend had responded, indicating that the mala spoke to her, and she was interested in purchasing it. I had created the design with an open heart, and even as I was stringing the beads on the sutra, I was chanting Kurukulla’s mantra (Oṁ Kurukulle Hrīḥ Svāhā), invoking her wisdom as I worked.

A regular meditation practice often brings unexpected opportunities to the surface. One event leads to the next, like beads on a string. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this mala and savored the opportunity to practice japa while stringing it. I was equally joyful about adding it to the MMM online shop so my friend could purchase it. I knew she would appreciate it, and she even purchased a second mala for a friend.

Ironically, this was not the only unexpected opportunity that I would experience on this day. After finalizing the transaction and finishing the online conversation with my friend, my computer crashed.  Most of my photos and documents….gone! This unexpected opportunity was a bit more challenging to navigate. Kurukulla was definitely messing with me…on Mother’s Day, no less!

After a day or two of trial-and-error problem-solving, consulting a tech-savvy friend, and a trip to Best Buy, I realized that my hard drive had stopped—and came to accept, reluctantly, that the heart of my computer was dead.

My sitting practices during these two days were discursive and distracted, to say the least, but I continued to focus on the heart…on my heart…on somatic, heart-opening meditations, visualizations, and japa. These practices were raw and uncomfortable, but they proved to be a powerful medicine that allowed me to let go of what was, to embrace the unsettling state of “not knowing,” and to simply hold space and be present. Kurukulla wasn’t just messing with me; she was also teaching me to get clear—to be open—to have the courage to start fresh—to make room for new opportunities by letting go of what is no longer necessary. My computer may be broken, but I’m not.

I look forward to creating new mala designs, taking new photos, creating new documents and poems, and shopping for a new computer (and an external hard drive). In the meantime, I have my practice, I have this moment, and I have an open, accepting heart.