In my creative work, be it composing and performing music, singing, writing books or teaching workshops, I am inspired by a wish for each one of us, myself included, to find permanent freedom by connecting to our essential true nature. As we rest into our natural self, we connect to the planet, to all things and to the Divine.
The oh-so-very human ability to “fall off path” and discard any spiritual awareness when our ego gets triggered is both humbling and empowering. As Eckhart Tolle reminds us, when painful emotions are active, our “pain bodies” are alive. Consciousness is then temporarily eclipsed by our attachments to our small, divided sense of self. We close off from life, hide in our hardened self-created shell convinced that life is “happening to me”. We blame. We resent. We act out our suffering on those around us and in turn, we all suffer.
Through the experiences that challenge us, we are given the gift of a powerful fertilizer to fuel our spiritual growth. The process of rebirth, renewal is available to us in each moment, if we are willing to soften, open and be present for what is. It is entirely up to each one of us – and therein lies great power – to let go of our own attachments to our “pain body” and find freedom. Our ego however is not interested in personal transformation. It only has a limited perception, needs to feel better or worse than, and is bound to create pain. Though the opportunity for awakening is gifted to us in every moment, for those who are willing, spring and the time of Easter are rich reminders of this truth.
Amma, the great spiritual teacher and humanitarian from South India, points out that the perfect symbolism of the death of the ego is seen in the Christian cross – a strike through “I”. Jesus’s life showed us that through the death of the ego, we rest into the eternal freedom of new life. The kingdom of heaven lies within, and he shows us the way. As we die to this moment, let go of our need to be right, better than, worse than, feel hard done by, crave to feel loved, want things to be other than they are, we are born into the perfect, infinite now. We transcend the illusion of death, that is, the fear that “I” will die if “I” let go. As our precious sense of “me” dies, we find eternal life. The cross illustrates that we are neither the ego nor the body, but sacred beings passing through the temporal, rooted in the infinite.
Our essential true nature, beyond the grasp of ego play, is one with the Divine. In that, we find our inherent connection to the natural world and the life force that magnificently pours through it in order to sustain all. In this way, Easter and Earth Day are welcome neighbours this year. Nature herself graciously shows us year after year that there is life after death, that after the ice of winter, soft, new growth arises and blooms.
Easter festivities have fit comfortably throughout history alongside various pagan celebrations of new life that show up each spring. I find it noteworthy that the word Easter bears similarities to the names Eostare or Ostara, a Saxon and Germanic pagan Goddess of spring and rebirth. The Babylonian Goddess of the morning and evening stars Ishtar bears a similar name, as does the Jewish queen Esther whose courage is celebrated at the spring festival of Purim. The goddess and her cornucopia are richly celebrated at this time of year.
Whether you are Christian, pagan, Jewish, other or atheist, there are lots of reasons for celebration. Whichever way inspires you to connect to your true nature, may you rest into who you truly are. May we all join in giving thanks for the bounty we receive from our gracious Earth Mother, our planet. We are all her children and one Earth family.
Enjoy the gift of this day,