Release

A poem I wrote on Kohenet retreat last week…
[Kohenet is Hebrew for “priestess”. I’m one of about 18 women going through the first west coast training in embodied, earth-based, transformative Jewish leadership and ritual arts.]

January 21, 2015

Tears come
the wounded place says
Dam them up
I let them drip their way down my body
held in cupped hands by the prayers of my sisters

Words come
the wounded place says
Write them down
I let them weave deeper into muscle memory
so my dance becomes testimony

Spirit comes
the wounded place says
Hold on tight
I let her whisper and pass through
stillness holding holy echoes

for so long the wounded place
has directed
walled herself in, encircled by her pain
wanting to know it so deeply she forgot
She lives in wholeness

In this circle of sisters
mothers
grandmothers
ancestors
Goddess
fingertips touching
transmitting invitation
To come in truth
The door opens
And I dance through

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Emergency Forest Aid

This week has been one of deep joy, panic, miracles, doubt, and blessing throughout. One of the miracles of the week that inspires me onward: I’ve been hired in the dream part-time job I applied for before I went to Mount Shasta! I reluctantly withdrew my application, following my intuition to go to Shasta, and was called back to the Bay Area the same day my employer returned from Turkey with the position still open!! I am the Assistant to the Provost of the Starr King School of the Ministry in Berkeley, a school for spiritual leadership for social change. I start Monday, with boundless gratitude and excitement!

By the grace of goddess I was able to sublet a room in the house of my mentor, Kohenet Taya Shere, and the opportunities to process and be supported and witnessed by her were a huge gift. Still, fears crept in, ‘where will I stay after this ends on Thursday? How will ‘I make it’ in this crazy expensive place? Will I be able to meet my basic needs?’ These things feel very real, and ultimately, they are not…one of the deep teachings I learned from Mount Shasta was to recognize the waking dream, to become lucid and explore from my center, knowing everything external to be a reflection/projection of the internal. Just as in a lucid sleeping dream, this opens me to conscious creation of my reality as if it were like Play-doh.

In that moment, the truth was that I was staying in a safe, beautiful space and had nutritious food to eat. I had all I needed and more. Taya suggested I make a compromise with my fears, giving them a space to be heard but with a limit. Perhaps 80% gratitude, 20% fear. One of my tools to shift from fear is to write the medicine song I am needing. These chants become a part of me, a mantra that surfaces as I’m going about my day and especially in times of need. I share them in hopes that they may bring peace to a part in you that also struggles. It’s clear that we are going through this together, this incredible turning in our evolution. All that we can’t take with us into a new paradigm of connection, healing, empowerment and Love is falling away now, and the process can be painful. It brings us face to face with our fears. We look around and see widespread violence, perverted national priorities, subtle and blatant oppression, hunger, homelessness, climate disaster, and essentially destruction of all that is familiar.

What are we creating in its place?

As we explore our personal experience of shadow, we’re challenged to ask (as Shefa Gold suggests, interpreting the story of Rivka/Rebecca and the wrestling of the twins in her pregnant belly): What am I birthing?

I am birthing a self that lives and embodies her spiritual knowing, trusting deeply in shekhina and accessing an inner strength that could only be discovered through the challenges I face. I’m birthing a more compassionate self, aware of suffering and dedicated to learning and sharing self-healing and self-empowerment. I’m birthing a new layer of confidence in myself and the medicine I’m here to share.

I’m co-creating a world of abundance, reverence for all life, and connection to our Source. A world of collaboration, intimacy, and respect. Unconditional love, harmony and justice. A world where we embrace one another for the medicines and gifts we each bring, working together to heal our planet, our society, our bodies and our relationships. 

What are you birthing? What are you co-creating?

In love and solidarity,
Rivka

רב איכה–Reb Ayeka, the Great Where Are You?

The other day I was hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail and somehow my attention came to the anglicized version of my name, Rebecca, which I went by until recently.

Rebecca.

Reb….ecca.

Reb Ayeka.

Reb is a Hebrew term of honor, especially for someone without rabbinic qualifications. Reb and Rabbi both come from the root rav, meaning great, large or many.

Ayeka is the first question asked in the Torah: “Where are you?”, G!d asks Adam and Eve just after they eat from the forbidden tree of knowledge. In one interpretation, this signifies the knowledge of duality. A conception of good and bad, light and dark, right and wrong inherently separates us from unity consciousness which is the love of G!d. We are dispersed, individuated, sent away from the singularity point of the toroidal flow of life. And yet, we are also always located in that Source. When we hear the call of G!d, Ayeka, we have the opportunity not to hide as Adam and Eve do, but to answer like Abraham and Moses and other great souls: “Hineini, here I am.”

Source: The Awakened State (Tumblr) Click to read more about the Torus pattern of energy flow and its implications for our interconnectedness

Source: The Awakened State (Tumblr) Click to read more about the Torus pattern of energy flow and its implications for our interconnectedness

Rivka, my Hebrew name, means The One Who Brings Us Closer. I’ve come to experience this as a call to bring us home, back to the unity of the Source. A couple days ago I released my attachment to a partner, a place, a home, a community and a source of income. I find myself living inside G!d’s question, Ayeka? Hineini. Yes. Relocating myself in my body, in my heart, and once again opening to divine guidance.

Where do I direct my energy? Toward that which gives me joy and inspiration, the places, people and things that make my heart sing and excite the love inside of me. I know intellectually, intuitively and experientially that the natural flow of energy is such that as I give love, I receive love. I trust that Love will take the form of whatever is needed to nourish my being, whether it’s community, food, shelter, money, artistic collaboration, healing, or something I can’t even yet imagine.

And so I find myself within Reb Ayeka
the great question
the multitude, the collective
being called by the Creator
Where are you?
I’m calling YOU
Where are you,
those who are ready
who want to play
to collaborate
to experience the magic of this turning point in evolution?
It’s time to reach into both pockets at once
and hold simultaneously
I am but dust and ashes
The entire world was created for me
This is a time when we ask each other
Where are you?
Are you present here and now,
are you reaching out to co-create the way forward?
Ayeka?
Ayeka?
Hineini.