Ritual Revolution

It’s been an interesting week.
I held ceremony in the streets of San Francisco.
I travelled to Harbin Hot Springs to have a dream about truth, boundaries and the merkava.
I got to do Priestess work at my day job.
I had sleeping and waking moments of sleeping and waking dreams.

Things are different now.
There’s no going back.
I don’t know how it will come together,
and I know what’s true for me will guide
the way forward:
Ritual Revolution.

I’m undergoing a fundamental shift in my core beliefs, lifestyle, essentially my personal culture.
And because the core of this shift is interconnectedness,
integration of my authentic self, embodiment of my essence
are undeniable.
I am a Priestess of the Present, wherever I go.
On my 2-mile walk to work,
in my apartment,
on BART,
I am here to hold space for connection.
To reflect the sacred light within all life.
My inner guide is my supervisor
and my breath is my paycheck.
I promise,
I’m doing my best.

Thank you for being.
Thank you for Being with me.

Six Hands > Six Figures

Bring Jah music medicine to the people! #sf #busking #drum #drumcircle #newfriends #onelove #jahbless

A post shared by Rivka Shapiro (@rivkashapiro) on

Follow the sunlight
and the groaning of
hungry hearts
Find a patch of concrete
to sit and Praise Oneness

Beats interwoven
Names exchanged
Drums traded
In that order

We put out a container
for the three of us to share
But it’s not about the money

This is about love
This is healing
This is a radical proclamation
of all that is Sacred
YOU who work a 9-5 at the bank
YOU who sleep under its awning
YOU who pass this spot every day
and start to feel, something’s different
Come dance with us!
You are safe in the sound waves
of the Mother Gaia’s heartbeat
You are loved in ancient words
sung to Creator
You are home
and we are family
and YES, I know, it feels
so
good
to remember.

In a time when it is “safer” to work in
sales
than ceremony
We will not bow down
to your corporate idols.

Six figures
have nothing
on
six drumming hands.

The Right Way

You tell me
I don’t know
Enough
The right way
How to connect to G!d

While you have been
memorizing the words
of other men
I’ve been dreaming with Her
Dancing and building,
sneaking out to the meadow at night
for a secret rendezvous

She teaches me daily
to access new rooms
new libraries of knowledge
new galaxies of inspiration
living between my atoms

We who are not invited to class
study in her womb
All her creations teach us
Our fingers still reach out to touch
We’re still sampling the garden’s fruits

You who shush me
as I sing Shabbas songs
through the streets
of the Old City
You’re welcome at this banquet

As we unlock the gates
and discover new wells
We are overflowing

I don’t know
enough
The Right Way
how to connect to G!d

You’re right
Only so long as
you can keep me
from knowing myself.

Tiny Home on the Prairie

Those of you who’ve been with me from the beginning of this journey may recall an interview I did with my friend Connor in September. Visiting him in Stevens Point, WI at the start of his final semester of forestry school, I asked him to share about his plans to build an off-the-grid ‘tiny home’ and small farm with his fiancee Claire. Congratulations to them both on their graduation!

Connor is now out on family-owned land in South Dakota laying some of the groundwork for the homestead while Claire helps her mother plan details for their wedding this year. He’s already been hard at work building a mailbox, learning to grow food, and experimenting with aquaponics! I’m fascinated by their blog…the photos, hearing about the ins and outs of prairie life, and the inspiring and grounding energy I feel from both Connor and Claire.

I’m grateful to these beautiful souls for taking a courageous step toward living in harmony with the Earth, and for their commitment to sharing what they learn both throughout the experience and through their careers. I offer prayers and blessings for them in their work, their learning, and their love. I also offer prayers for the natives of South Dakota and all lands whose way of living in right relationship with our mother Earth has been so violated. May Connor and Claire’s efforts be part of a mass-awakening, an understanding of what colonialism and capitalism have stolen from our humanity, and a rededication to wholeness and justice. As much as I’m in awe of them, I struggle with the knowing that the devastating results of colonialism and capitalism remain and continue to manifest even in such a beautiful project. I don’t have any answers, only the prayer that their presence on the land be a blessing to that ecosystem and to our world. May their work be for the highest good of all beings. And may it be both full of reverence, and PLAYFUL! So much love.

Connor and his brother Mateusz with the mailbox they built

Sky Walker Moves Through Realms

Yesterday I awoke and, staying horizontal in bed, reached for my dream journal. Memories of elusive moments just out of reach from the density of waking, like happily rising balloons going home, with frayed ribbons almost in my grasp.

A dream came back, decided to stay.
I was outdoors with my kohenet sisters waiting for a guest teacher to arrive. I looked up at the sky and gasped
The most amazing bird
Wingspan of eight feet
Glorious
Graceful
Like no bird I’d seen
An eagle?
Grandfather my heart sang
He flew lower
No, not an eagle…
Lower
Floating
Hovering
Sitting before me
A Native American elder
Kind eyes, purest soul, stillness and wisdom
He didn’t speak but transmitted,
“Sky Walker”
He was our teacher! I was giddy and reverent and yearning.
We orbited one another.

Hours later, I walked home from work
The first time my feet flirted with this path
I looked up at the sky, thinking of my teacher.
I looked down.

IMG_3722.JPG

B’rucha At Shekhina, who grounds me.

Dear Ones,

I write to you
from
MY BED.
In a room I can stay in as long as G!ddess wills it
In an apartment where I pay rent
with a paycheck I receive
in a holistic workplace.
BRUCHA HASHEKHINA! G!ddess is gracious!

I moved to Berkeley yesterday, two blocks from my community acupuncture clinic, six blocks from the friends with whom I’m co-creating a California chapter of our beloved MN nonprofit Face Forward, seven blocks from Berkeley Bowl, and within a mile of many of my other friends. It’s really happening!

It’s interesting to watch the impulse to attach and to go right into ego mode: mine, mine, mine! Control, control, control! I have many dreams for my new space. I’m also cultivating patience, presencing as often as I remember to that sweet spaciousness that says: You have all the time you need. Always. And, as great as it is to have a space to ground/replenish/explore/express, my four months of traveling taught me that these things (jobs, houses, routines) are not ultimately us.

After work today I lay on the floor of my new bedroom and spoke to my mentor on speakerphone. We investigated my relationship with anger and boundaries, and she reminded me that I’ve been in an intense playground of boundaries as I’ve co-habited others’ spaces. She reflected that without a space over which I have sovereignty, I’ve had to really ground in myself, and I did so with beautiful imperfect grace. There were days in the past few months that I felt incredibly alive and authentic. There were days I had no idea who I was or what I wanted. I’m learning to recognize and honor my desires…it’s a delicious, exciting, and surprisingly terrifying journey.

Why is it so scary to know what I want and ask for it?
Is it because I have this Buddhist-influenced mental loop playing that says “Desires?? Suffering! Bad!”?
Is it that I learned from my adult role models that to be in harmony with those around me, I must ignore what I feel and want?
Is it a layer of internalized oppression from a misogynistic, heteronormative, conformity-encouraging society?
Is it my Pisces martyrdom and self-sacrifice?
Is it a piece of the puzzle of human re-membrance, a confrontation we all make with the self as we evolve spiritually?

I can tell myself whatever story I want about the pain that lives in my connective tissues, the tightly held animal self so often found in fetal position, shivering and flinching at the touch of the world. Ultimately she is mine to approach, to offer my hand in love and reverence, and to coax as she allows me. In the act of showing up to meet myself with true love and respect, I embody shekhinah. I allow the divine presence in the physical world to flow through me and know herself, cycling in infinite spiral time between everything and nothing, everywhere and nowhere.

Words get tangled and lose their source. I’ve wrapped the threads of my life in a ball so I could take it with me at a moment’s notice. I’m thankful for the space to unwind, to trace back, to spread myself out and see the patterns my spirit weaves. For now, I’ll trust my dreams to undress these layers.

With love and strength,

Rivka