I’m just beginning to realize that my search for sacred is not unique (I’m an enneagram 4 so I’m programmed to think I’m super special…hey at least I’m aware of this!), but it is the original, most primal search that we humans engage in.
Disconnection — from ourselves, from each other, from Mother Earth, from the divine — is the original wound that we are constantly healing. As seekers, what we are all ultimately seeking is that reunion with the divine. That is what unites us. It is what the word “yoga” means — union. When we chant the Maha Mantra “Hare Krishna” — what we are wailing out for is the reunion of Krishna with his eternal escort Radha. It’s that desire to reconnect.
When I started writing this blog, I thought that there was not enough of the divine in this world and that I had to somehow create more of it. Now I see that the divine is in every living (and probably nonliving, too) thing and it’s just a mindset shift as to whether we see it that way.
I’ve been working on the corner of Ninth and Mission in San Francisco’s SoMa for the past month. The neighborhood is famous for being filled with needles, human feces, and people high on all sorts of supplies. At first I hated it and was worried it would be hard on my sensitive system, but now I see it’s my practice to find the beauty and the connection in all of life. After all, we’re all the same — seekers looking for our next hit of oneness, that feeling of reconnection. I feel that pain so profoundly.
I find it easiest to find this connection in nature. All of nature is filled with love. That otherworldly love can be felt when we embrace Nature. It’s the tao — it’s accepting what is and being in awe of the magnificence instead of trying to label it. We call something a bird, but in reality, we have no idea that it’s a bird. We just at some point agreed to call that thing a bird and that shorthand gave us permission to stop being curious. But the divine is in the awe — whether that’s of a giant oak tree or a blade of grass that comes through the crack in the SoMa sidewalk. Nature is a camouflage of unfathomable mystery.
When we marvel at the genius of everything, we are connected to the divine. When we take the time to listen, everything is calling out for that reconnection. When I lived in NYC, I would walk past the Hare Krishnas singing at the Union Square subway stop every day. I took solace in the fact that if life got too tough to handle, I could always sit down and join them. Wail out to the Divine. At the time, it was a joke I had with myself, but now I see that on some level, it’s what my soul was craving. Now I find myself seeking out kirtan, crying my heart’s tears while listening to Bhakti courses on Insight Timer, and a click away from buying a shruti box on Amazon.
It was while living in NYC and going to design school that I began to understand that all sickness at some level stems from this disconnection from nature — our true nature. And my question became, “How do you reconnect to nature?” I’ve been answering that question for four years now and I feel like it might be a guiding question for this whole lifetime. My understanding of the answer keeps evolving and deepening. It didn’t start out as a spiritual quest, but eventually everything gets there. As you attune to deeper consciousness, you attune to Nature and to Spirit. Every creation is sacred to Creator. There is no connection to Spirit without connection to all that is sacred to Creator — which includes everything on Mission Street in SoMa as much as it includes the redwoods.