As the sun sets tonight, I plan on making my way outside to sit in the moon. Tonight is Guru Purnima: a time in which the 'guru principal', or that which dispels darkness and wakes us up, is a thousand times stronger than any other day. Traditionally, this night marks a time of honoring spiritual and academic teachers. The ones who saw us, lit us up, called us out. According to Buddhist tradition, Buddha gave his first public sermon on this night. According to the yogic tradition, Shiva became a teacher on this day, and Vyasa, the author of the sacred Mahabarata, was born.
I think of the nights I've spent laying flowers and candles at the feet of teachers. But I also think of the happenstance people who've helped me on this path, whether they knew it or not. Whether I knew it, or not. My folks who didn't know if it was a decent career goal, but supported my trying. The girlfriend who pulled me into a class. My mentors who've said, go and see. Teachers who held space for me to doubt, to cry, to fly and to fall. In busstops and church basements. In doctor's offices and university hallways. In a parked car, while we tried to get to the bottom of it or simply sat back in quiet wonder.
We are so lucky. So privileged. That at some point, a path was shown to us. Take a moment tonight to light a candle, touch on gratitude, do a little puja (ceremony) to recall the folks, living or dead, who held the light before you. Thank god, we've been inspired. Good gracious, but we've been ignited. Soak in the principal of light, the dispelling of darkness, the possibility of waking up. Gratitude to the moon, who ignites women and sages and seekers, those who don't believe the dark is impenetrable. May we all know this inner light. May we never think it ends.
Come chant with me tomorrow morning, and feel the light of bones.