ec·stat·ic/ekˈstatik/Adjective: Feeling or expressing overwhelming happiness or joyful excitement. Noun: A person subject to mystical experiences.
em·bod·i·ment /emˈbädēmənt/Noun: 1. The act of embodying or the state of being embodied. 2. One that embodies
No matter what I write or teach, no matter what I believe or practice, it comes down to this: the embodiment of ecstatic experience. The word ecstasy has embedded in it, a sense of fearlessness, a wild innocence unencumbered by social acceptability. We think of ecstasy as taking place in the bedroom or in the temple–places set aside from the daily round. But if we turn the lens a little, we’ll find slivers of the ecstatic–call it the Numinous, Mystery, Divine–embedded in the small and magnificent tasks we perform daily. It lives within us and moves through us. It is embodied in us. We need only slow our pace and re- focus our attention in order to notice it! Ecstasy belongs to us and comes from inside of us. We needn’t purchase or seek it out. We already own it. Every cell in our being longs to live inside the ecstasy which is our birthright. The only things keeping us from doing so are our negative beliefs and habits.
Rumi, the great Sufi mystic and poet wrote, “There are a thousand ways to kneel, and kiss the earth.” He was, of course, writing of falling into ecstasy, into love, into the mystical, into an expanded consciousness which lights us up from the inside and infuses the whole of our lives with luminosity. Luminous. What a great word for folks lit up with life force!
If there’s a “secret” to be revealed it’s that this longing for ecstasy, connection, union is not just for mystics anymore. The impulse to move toward joy and through it into the arms of a deep and abiding relationship with self, other, nature, art, community and the divine is alive and rising in all of us. We are like the water dwellers at the beginning of time on this planet who felt an impulse so strong rise up in them that they threw themselves onto the shoreline and learned to breath. Such an impulse is rising in us. It’s an evolutionary imperative, really. We are shedding our ineffectual notions of smallness, insignificance, apathy and fear. Against all odds and rational thought we are opening to embrace peace, self esteem, love, awe, joy and creativity. These are our birthrights. As we enter through the eye of the needle into this new way of being, we are laughing out loud with relief in the knowledge that we can live–really live–in this bright new perspective. It’s not so scary as we thought. It’s not so difficult as the priests and mystics of previous eras would have had us believe. We are fully prepared, just as the fish were prepared with air breathing lungs before they came ashore; just as wings developed on the backs of snakes before they took flight as birds.
Within these pages you’ll find my thoughts on what I’ve learned about ecstasy through my spiritual practices and teachings as well as my trials and tribulations. I’ve never been one to hide behind my spirituality and claim it made me perfect. I’m human. Just like you. I make mistakes–whopping, life-challenging mistakes!–just like you. I’ll never claim that working with me will make you perfect either. We should breathe a great sigh of relief at that. I do hope that my work brings you so close to grace and ease, passion and mystery love and creativity that you reach out and grab it! I know some ways to get there. I know where the path veers off in the wrong direction and how to navigate it at night. Let’s put our feet on a path and head out. All you need to bring along is willingness, unflinching honesty and that feeling of longing for something more in your chest.