"Today's Prayer", by Susana Laborde-Blaj
Yes, I have to confess the hardest thing about the Mexico Viniyoga retreats that I lead is to come back, which speaks about my wish of having all my delicious meals ready after I work, getting dishes that seem to be magically washed, a house that seems to be dust proof, since it is always tidy, and the sun warming my skin every morning after I watch the sunrise from the roof of Casa de Adobe, sipping endless coffee that my husband made.
Today, I had a free day back home, not in the country I was born, but in the place that has welcomed me (in spite of what the news keeps saying) with warmth even when it’s cold out there. A shell around my heart feels some resistance to softening, just like a donkey resists being pulled out of a truck (inside joke, thinking of “Porfirio” back at Purisima).
A free day means that I have all day to decide what I do, moment to moment.
I prepared my hot chocolate with spices adding frothed milk with my new awesome toy (thank you, Liz!), and decided to sip it outdoors. The sunrise didn’t show its colors, and I couldn’t see the contour of the mountain like I see it while at Purisima, the farm where we have our retreat. So, I worked on focusing my internal binoculars of perception, binoculars that could perceive the nuances of grays, the forms of birds very high in the sky, the contour of empty branches bare and open to the cold air. As I adjusted the way I perceived my surrounding, realizing where I was, as opposed to wishing to be somewhere else, my ears perceived all kinds of invisible birds singing, some louder, and some far away, as a background that only popped to the surface of awareness while listening carefully.
Like the opening of a camera’s diaphragm, my eyes, ears and all senses had to adjust to the different modalities of the universe. I recognized my longing for a drier, warmer climate; I also recognized the opportunity of being here, and that my occasional feeling of rejection in this country doesn’t come from the wonderful people that surround me, from the nature that sings all around, from a community that is opening its heart constantly to me, or from a job that I love.
My prayer today is this: May I recognize love and the miracle of community no matter where I am; may I see beyond language and culture; may my senses perceive what is true; may I recognize what is love and what is fear, and always, always choose love.
Purisima is in my heart, Oregon is in my heart as well, home is where I am. Take another breath, open your eyes; I breathe, I open my eyes!
Asato Ma Sat Gamaya Lead me from the unreal to the real
Tamaso Ma Sat Gamaya Lead me from darkness to light
Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya Lead me from death (fear) to immortality (total confidence)
Om Śanti, Śanti Śanti Om Peace Peace Peace