At the commencement of this calendar year, I made a vow to myself to make more of a conscious effort to focus more on my own personal spiritual path and connection with the Divine, something that I had felt was slowly becoming more and more neglected as I had spent the last 10 or so years basically focusing on assisting others. As what usually happens prior to embarking on a new course of action, my initial approach was filled with enthusiasm and excitement ... that was until the Universe seem to chuck me a curve ball and the realisations of the "real" world kicked in. Only a fortnight into this "new plan" it was clear that my desire to refocus and reconnect with the Divine needed to be achieved through alternative means.
As what often happens, the receipt of a recent Daily Om by Madisyn Taylor seem to shed light on how to bring this reconnection into our lives when our best endeavours appear to fail us - by offering a simply starting point, in this case, looking at the act of bowing.
and conveys a sense of reverence for the people involved.
Bowing is a universal gesture of respect and reverence. In many cultures, it is the predominant form of social greeting, and most religions incorporate it into their rituals of worship. In many cases, bowing signifies not only respect but also an acknowledgment of the shared divinity between the bower and the recipient.
Bowing can also be a turning in toward our own divinity when we bow our heads in prayer, contemplation, or meditation. Bows range in form from a slight forward nod of the head to a full body prostration on the ground, and range in meaning from a simple greeting to a complete giving over of the self to the divine.
If you have ever bowed or been on the receiving end of a bow, you know that it is different from a handshake or a hug. Bowing has the quality of consciously evoking spirit and conveys a sense of reverence for the people involved. The word Namaste, which accompanies bowing in yoga, actually translates as The divine spirit in me acknowledges the divine spirit in you. When we greet one another with this kind of awareness, we cannot help but be more conscious that we are deeply connected to one another and to everyone, because this divine spirit resides in all of us.
There are simple bows and complicated bows, and subtle variations carry different meanings depending upon where you are, who you are, and a number of other factors. But we can all practice bowing by simply bringing our two hands together in prayer and pressing the thumb side of our hands lightly into our chests. Keeping a long spine, simply bend your head gently down so that you are looking at the tops of your fingers. Close your eyes and breathe consciously, paying homage to your spirit, the same spirit that resides within all of humanity.
When focusing on the above greeting of Namaste, what comes to my mind are the opening words of Aleister Crowley's Liber AL vel Legis when it is recorded that "Every man and every woman is a star. Every number is infinite; there is no difference." We are all part of the divine, and as Nuit revealed, "I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to see your joy."
So when we are faced with the universal curve balls that seem to upset our best laid plans, we actually to have a number of choices. We can resign ourselves and allow to get hit by the ball; we can duck and avoid the oncoming missile, thus avoiding whatever lesson may be instore for us (and therefore never learning its true purpose); or we can catch that ball and throw it back, thus refocusing and regaining control of the ever changing ebb and flow that is the beauty of life itself.