Creating personal rituals, altars and prayers.
I do believe in this: making offerings.
And in that, making place for that to happen. Making Place. For Offerings.
What that might comprise, those offerings, is about the nature of what is offering, and what is prayer.
Because most offerings do that — they are a prayer.
My experience in offering is deep and long running.
Perhaps my first exposure to powerful offerings was in Tibet — there, an offering is about prayer, meditation, and taking things that move from voice and mind, to something that becomes diaphanous, vaporous, aetheric and smoke bound. And that smoke, that transmission, by aether, has meaning:
[Origin: 1350 1400; ME < L aethÃ©r the upper air, pure air, ether < Gk aithr, akin to aÃthein to glow, burn, OE Äd funeral pyre, L aestus heat]
The Tibetans believe in the idea of oil lamps, literally thousands of them, as a way to create groupings of offers, that take their prayers and dreams heaven-bound. In my first time, seeing that, in the darkened and smoky spaces of Tibetans, at Lhasa, in Barkhour — Jokhang — the very heart of Tibetan Buddhism, the most sacred place on earth.
From there, I had other experiences.
Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia:
Bhutan, Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia. And in each, the prayer is about smoke [read: http://tim.girvin.com/Entries/?p=348].
It’s about that meditation, that prayer, that moves skyward:
Whether it’s prayer flags on the wind, prayer wheels turning in water, vast bundles of sticks of burning incense, it is always about the aetheric transmission — from mind, to voice, to offering, to air.
So I do that: make offerings. I’ll write a meditation on a piece of paper, cast it the flames, in a special place, send that skyward. And watch that.
So first, the place, offering space, altar.
There are two of them, two cairns — one in memorial to the passing of my brother Matthew Girvin, who crossed in 2001. And the other, a view to the South, water glancing.
Here’s the one, the first:
Views, west, the first memorial cairn, for Matthew.
Here’s the other, the second:
A view to the mist, South.
South, moon aligned.
A view to a Kingfisher.
The spike, balanced on the Eastern rising moon.
And here, the images of the offerings, at each cairn.
What gathering, then; what potential, found; what gift, skybound?
Each of us can have our own rituals, our own way of making offerings. And, that is simply all, to my exploration.
Just that idea. Make an offering.
Turn to smoke. Send to air…
And contemplate that movement from the soul, the mind, the voice, the gesture, and its vaporization.
Everything goes that way…
tsg | decatur island 3.33am