Help for Shaky Days

InterPlayers know how to create connection. We also know how to drop connection. We know how to stop. We know how to take a deep breath, shake things out, and connect way beyond words. We know how to come back to own body, create health and by doing so create health in the world.

It’s not an easy time to be embodied. These are shaky times in New Zealand, Japan, the East, the Midwest, the Middle East, perhaps in our own homes, or towns.

Having lived through great quakes, I know that it will take many, many days of stories, dances, songs, and connections to regain ease.

We “are” the times we live in.

I have a crazy belief. I believe that I have been prepared for this time. I am not saying I am ready. But I am grateful to be equipped, to be open, and to join with people around the world who recognize that great shifts require that we get close to the ground, take care, find strength, and respond as we are able.

Toward this end, the Hopi send us their inspiring far-sighted encouragement.

Encouragement also come via Rita Nakashima Brock, Japanese American Protestant theologian who, in this weeks sermon, shares the strange comfort she received from Tyler Boudreau who served 12 years in the U.S. Marine corps and commanded a rifle battalion in Iraq. She says, “He is someone well acquainted with death, moral ambiguity, and the agonies of grief. He sent me the song called “Requiem,” by Eliza Gilkyson.”

Mother Mary, full of grace, awaken

–all our homes are gone, our loved ones taken,

taken by the sea.

Mother Mary, calm our fears, have mercy

–drowning in a sea of tears, have mercy.

hear our mournful plea.

our world has been shaken,

we wander our homelands forsaken

–in the dark night of the soul

bring some comfort to us all.

O Mother Mary come and carry us in your embrace

that our sorrows may be faced

–Mary, fill the glass to overflowing.

illuminate the path where we are going

have mercy on us all

in fun’ral fires burning

each flame to your myst’ry returning

in the dark night of the soul

your shattered dreamers, make them whole,

O Mother Mary find us where we’ve fallen out of grace,

lead us to a higher place

in the dark night of the soul

our broken hearts you can make whole,

O Mother Mary come and carry us in your embrace,

let us see your gentle face, Mary

The Mother. For the last two years in India, of all places, I opened my heart directly to the Great Mary, asking her to pray for all of us, to pray when we cannot pray.

We need all of our practices, current and ancestral in shaky times. Many are scared. Many rise, responding with”tsunami’s of grace.”

Oliver Chricton, North Carolina InterPlayer admires Yoshiaki Kato, his teacher in the spiritual practice of Johrei. He says, “Yoshi was in Arizona meeting with Dr. Andrew Weil when the earthquake struck. He returned home shortly after. He’s now leaving his wife and children in Tokyo where there are blackouts, shortages and daily “shakes” to go into the north (to Sendai) with other Johrei practitioners to bring much-needed food and supplies, hope and healing”

Oliver says, “I am inspired by his perspective, compassion and pull to help even as he risks his own health and life. “Johrei” means to purify with Light. As Yoshi reminds, the people in the devastated areas in fear and worry are already full. We can acknowledge their fear and worry, but do not want to create more fear to add to theirs. We have the important role, spiritually, to generate and return to the place of gladness and joy.”

When the body shakes, it is good to create stability. It is also OK to shake with it. Shake and shake it out.

It is wise to stay simple in chaotic circumstances. Never underestimate the body’s need for reassurance. Your play, creativity, inventiveness, ritual, prayer, and community are needed. If you are learning to improvise, to do the unforeseen, it is a good time to know that resources can be found, nothing stays the same, grace remains.

Blessings for InterPlayers in the US, for Nadia traveling home to Brazil, in Vietnam, India, Australia, the UK, Europe, Malawi, all of us scattered far and wide, shaking or still.

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