Healing and renewed strength are qualities in short supply during the holidays…or so it felt as I stood in line for a pair of socks, amongst harried shoppers buying holiday gifts, pushing over each other to get to the last pair of fleece pajamas. We can get so wrapped up in the busi-ness of the season, that we fail to remember the simple beauty of this time of year.
Christmas can be a season of great joy. It’s a time of year that asks us to reflect back on the past twelve months and the goals we set out to achieve, as well as the opportunities that serendipitously arrived. It’s a time to dream our wildest hopes and joys for the coming year, to celebrate and share special moments with friends and loved ones. It can also be a time of healing and renewed strength, (not just the manic panic us last minute gift-givers feel on Christmas Eve with nothing in hand beyond some homemade gingerbread people that look more like gingerbread fish).
But I digress. As I stood on line, watching people dash for the sale rack, I started chanting the mantra, Om Namah Shivaya. Not giving my mantra further thought, I continued on with my silent recitation. In all the years of doing it, my mind suddenly went blank as to the meaning of this sanskrit chant. Then I remembered, if you translate it literally, it means, “I bow to Shiva” or “I am one with Shiva,” as well as, “I bow to my Self” or “I honor my Oneness with all there is.” Shiva is considered the supreme deity of transformation, he represents the highest self. It is the name given to the consciousness that dwells in each and everyone of us.
In Hindu mythology, there are three Gods who are in charge of all creation. Brahma – Creator of the Universe, Vishnu – Preserver of the Universe, and Shiva- Destroyer of the Universe. Among the three deities, Shiva, though considered the destroyer, also represents the inner self which remains constant even after everything ends.
Om Namah Shivaya is a very powerful mantra. I have read that if this mantra vibrates continually in your heart, you have no need to: perform austerities, meditate, or practice yoga. To repeat this mantra you need no ceremonies. This mantra is free of all restrictions. It can be repeated by anyone, and has the power to purify.
As I reflect back on the previous year, I am humbled by the life lessons I have learned through special moments that although not a-l-l easy, were worth their weight in gold in reminding me of how precious our lives truly are, a gift to be honored, respected and cherished.
I honor my Oneness with all there is…
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