The day, filled with meetings and ice breakers, ended with a short fire ceremony to celebrate our new beginnings, set our intentions for the year, and honor Navratri, the nine day celebration of the divine mother which began this week (and which J and I celebrated in India last year). I sat cross-legged on the floor breathing in the fragrant puja smoke and watching the orange late day sun spill in the enormous classroom windows and realized
For the first time in a long time there was no where else I wanted to be. Since arriving here in New Mexico I don't go to bed at night and dream that my Teacher is giving a talk or a retreat that I've either entirely missed or shown up late for because I've "gotten lost" or "fallen asleep" on my way to the venue. For a three week period last winter I had a variation of this dream every night before it diminished to two or three times a month.
"I had the dream again..." I'd whisper to J in the morning.
But now I'm here, simultaneously orientating myself to the new surroundings and reorienting myself in relation to this dream — because thankfully I didn't "get lost" or "fall asleep" along the way.
The poem below sums it up. After hearing their stories today I'd like to read it to each and every one of my new classmates. Maybe I will.
Blessed be the longing that brought you here and quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire that disturbs you
when you have settled for something safe.
May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease,
to discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.
May the forms of your belonging - in love, creativity and friendship
be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.
May the one you long for long for you.
May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.
May a secret Providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.
May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world.
May your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.
May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.