Dear Viriditas Community,
Happy Valentine’s Day!
How I love Valentine’s Day and the celebration of love. I thought I would start out this month’s newsletter with a description of the legend of St. Valentine. I didn’t know anything about the legend until I stumbled upon this reading from “A Deep Breath Of Life” by Alan Cohen. Here is what he writes:
“The legend of St. Valentine goes back to the early days of Christianity when Christians were being persecuted by the Romans. One Christian, Valentinus, was tried as a heretic and sentenced to death. In prison, Valentinus befriended a guard who respected his wisdom, and soon the guard brought his seven-year-old blind daughter, Julia, to Valentinus for lessons. Daily, the two talked of important things, and Julia developed a deep love and respect for her mentor. One day Julia asked him, ‘Valentinus, do you think I will ever be able to see?’
Valentinus thought for a moment and answered, ‘With love in your heart and belief in God, anything is possible, Julia.’
At that moment, Julia was overtaken with a flash of light, and suddenly her eyesight was restored. ‘Valentinus, I can see!’ The child shouted.
‘Praise be to God,’ he humbly answered.
The next day when Julia came to visit Valentinus, he was gone. He had been taken to his execution. Julia found this note:
“My Dear Julia,
Although we shall never see each other again, know that I will always love you. You are very dear to me. I will stay unseen by your side, and I will live in your heart. I believe in you.
It is love in my heart and belief in God that has enabled me to get up early each morning these past weeks to work on my lessons as part of the Yogic Mystery School. These day I begin my morning meditation (accompanied by dear husband David!) with Sahana Vavatu, one of the key chants of the curriculum. The chant says:
“Together may we be protected.
Together may we be nourished.
Together may we learn vigorously.
May the divine fruits of our learning shine equally upon each of us.
May there be only harmony between us.”
Another labor of love is the new blog series: “A three-fold journey with St. Hildegard of Bingen.” On my blog you will see that there are now three posts in this series. Each post is written in both German and English… such a joy! I am immersed these days in the translating of “The Life of Saint Hildegard of Bingen: A report from the 12th century written by the Monks Gottfried and Theodorich.” How I appreciate my deep connection to the German language. Mastering it has given me such inner strength and organizational skills. This little book I am translating has been one of the key pieces of my connection to St. Hildegard. I read it for the first time when I was writing the script for “Feathers On The Breath Of God”. Diving into the pages of this little golden book was like diving into the heart of Hildegard and having her hold my hand. The love that the two monks had for this magnificent lady is palpable in the pages of this biography. It is also a great joy to be able to use the photographs that David took during last year’s pilgrimage to St. Hildegard’s homeland. Here is the photo we used in the most recent post.
The sun’s rays shining upon the current Disibodenberg.
Check out the blog and FEEL THE LOVE!
David and I felt the love flow in our last Tap Into Transformation on February 7th. Our theme was Appreciation, and David and I created a group dance to a song we wrote and recorded specifically for this event called: “We appreciate”. The highlight of the dance was the opportunity for the group to dance our appreciation for each one of the guests who attended the event. How delightful and heart-warming to experience the group come together with such joy. After a scrumptious vegetarian feast, we continued our journey with the Sharpettes. Each one of us pulled the name of another participant from a bowl. We then each wrote a Sharpette of appreciation for that person. Here are some examples of the stunning Sharpettes that were created that night:
Willing, loving; kind, heartfelt.
Like a radiant, jubilant nightingale.
Sparkling priestess, joy incarnate.
Like a ray of sunshine warming my soul.
Master of dance; teaches us All
Like a performer his presence is Now.
As the group dispersed out into the starry night, I basked in the knowing that each one of the people that had come together that night had been blessed with an immersion into Appreciation. And as Voltaire says:
And if you really want to feel good come to the upcoming workshop David and I are hosting on March 21-23. The workshop, Tap Into Power For Life will begin on Friday night with a special performance by David and me. We are going to show the highlights of our journeys with tap dancing! Dinner and group tap dancing will follow the performance. The Friday evening performance and dinner costs $25 and is free for those who have registered for the workshop. David and I are going to reveal how tap dancing has been an amazing source of happiness and healing in our lives. During the weekend we will show you how the myriad of human emotions can all be expressed through tap dance and how to use tap dance to transform pain into joy and joy into fits of laughter. No previous tap dancing experience is necessary!
And when it comes to joy, I wish you could have been a fly on the wall last week when David and I created a one-minute tap dance that is going to be on the radio! Yes, you got that right…ON THE RADIO… We submitted a piece we are calling “Heaven and Earth” as part of the Radio Dances Project which is being created at Colorado Public Radio. For now, here is the description of the dance as well as the photo we submitted to CPR:
“Our dance is called ‘Heaven and Earth.’ It is about what it feels like when you are grounded and can fly at the same time. The dance begins with the steady beat of the Earth. Heaven’s soaring rhythms then connect with the Earth’s solidity. You can experience the union of Heaven and Earth in the final seconds of the dance. ‘Heaven and Earth’ allows the listener and dancer to move up and out into the world with power and joy.”
Finally, to end with a fun note… it is time to tell you which African country the piece of music I shared in January’s newsletter is from. Yes, it is Egypt!!! Bravo to those of you who guessed Egypt (and yes Larry, that includes you!!!). Now… here is the next piece of music. See if you can guess which country this is from!
May the love of the divine flow in you today and every day.
Love to each and every one of you!