As that great hip-hop sage of the late 80s MC Hammer may have said... "It's Shiva Time!" (I was never really a Hammer fan, but I do have to give him kudos for the pants. And in his wild heyday MC Hammer had a bit of the Shiva about him...)
In Hindu mythology there are three distinct energies used to describe the three stages of being -- Brahman, the energy of creation; Vishnu, sustainment; and Shiva, transformation. Wild Shiva, with his dreadlocks, cobra necklace, third eye, vibhuti (ash markings) and animal skins is a powerful source for change. When we connect to Shiva we're calling forth the part of us that is willing to change and to bring about change. There's an inherent unpredictability in this. We're not sure exactly what the outcome will be, but we're ready to rock the foundation, regardless.
We are living in a time of Shiva. The current leader of the free world is an erratic, untamable force intent on tearing down everything that represents the status quo, including regulations to protect and sustain the earth, and laws to provide the shelter of basic health care for all, among many other things. Even the ethical foundations of our society are being rocked -- truth, justice, right, wrong. This leader attempts to redefine them to suit his own purposes.
What to do in the face of this kind of volatility? It would be imprudent to sit by and do nothing. So, we can...
2) Up-level our self-care and nourish our own joy so we don't burn out (dance, read a good book, dig in the dirt and plant flowers -- these are some of mine)
3) Recommit to our practices (yoga, meditation, prayer, go the gym - again, mine)
So, here's a chanting practice for you. I offer it that we may we each call on our inner Shiva and nurture our own strength right now; that we may transform that which threatens to destroy everything we value.
We need all the tools we have at our disposal right now. The voice is a powerful one. When we use it we increase our ability to communicate clearly who we are and what we stand for. We strengthen our willingness to be bold. We learn to express ourselves more easily and fully. May we all use ours wisely, courageously, thoughtfully and effectively.
(For more on the power of voice, join me for The Yoga of Voice May 19 - 21 at Kripalu and November 24 - 26 at 1440 in Santa Cruz, California. And check out related summer programs at Kripalu and Omega.)
May all beings be safe. May all beings be free. May all beings be happy.