April 3, 2015

Praise asterisk, from whom all blessings flow

Praise Star

Is that you, God?

Yesterday I attended a Juvenile Probation training on adolescent trauma, facilitated by an excellent speaker who filled her presentation with amusing and/or intriguing anecdotes, no doubt in an attempt to keep us all riveted for 8 hours in a stuffy, fluorescent-lit room. She did a great job.

One story in particular will stay with me, probably forever. In the context of discussing gratitude-and-mindfulness research, she talked about being at an ascension meditation retreat some years ago and, one morning when the attendees were preparing to spend a good chunk of time in focused meditation and chanting, their teacher wrote on the board the phrase she wanted her students to recite out loud: PRAISE [*] FOR MY LIFE. The asterisk, of course, was meant to be a placeholder for whatever ‘higher power’ was relevant to each participant: God, Goddess, the Divine, the Source, Allah, the Universe, the One — whatever.

But as the group began to chant out loud, she became aware that quite a few of the participants were reciting, ‘Praise Star…,’ because they’d interpreted the asterisk as “Star” — a name for the One. She was so enchanted by the idea that she adopted it as her name for God and still uses the full mantra as part of her meditation-gratitude practice.

Praise Star For My Life. It has a lovely shine to it.

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