We are elemental creatures, whether we like it or not. Chemistry, Alchemy, Physics, Metaphysics... it is like blind men describing an elephant. Of the many different things which we are made of though, almost 80% of our matter contains water. We might have even come from water, an evolutionary path out of the primordial ooze. It is a precious thing, water... coming in many forms: vapor, solid and liquid. It is adaptable, destructive, nourishing, cleansing, vibrational; water is a universal element, a current and nourisher of spirit. Water is healing, above all else. When people are in hysterics or stressed often a hot bath is suggested to soothe nerves. Hot herbal teas release comfort not just in the medicines released but the warmth given too. Our ancestors knew water for the resource it is, some still do worship at sacred springs, rivers, falls and lakes. The ocean is often considered Mother and we, Her children, do not treat Her as such...for if we did half the things to our actual mothers as we do unto the world's oceans and lakes, well it would be considered a shameful abuse.
The spirits of water are not always the cute little sylphs and sprites often shown in fairy tale books. They are not just lovely mermaids combing their hair on boulders and rocks, singing songs to sailors. They can also be immense like dragons, watery serpents who hide wealth and hold back disease. Several years ago a mentor of mine challenged me to connect with these spirits as a remedy for my own depression... as a way to cope with a close friend who was suffering from lymphoma... as a blessing to the genus loci, local land spirits who inhabit the environment surrounding the waterways of Northern California. Every dark moon, I visited a local running creek, grotto, waterfall... I went everywhere I could think or that was convenient to give prayers to the Naga King, who rules them all. Milk and honey, poured out with a mantra (received from both His Holiness Serkong Rinpoche and Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, not transmitted personally):
TAYATHA OM TATHAGATA BHAGAVAN NAGA RANDZE SHORA
ADHISHTHANA ADHISHTITE SOHA
I did this for 2 years consecutively, even when a Wiccan lady freaked out saying I was feeding 'demons' or random dis-incarnated spirits. Even when I was accused and trash talked, I knew in my heart of practice it didn't matter. If there were suffering Be-ings floating by who partook of these offerings, so be it. The merit was passed on to them all through the act of heartfelt giving and the intention of alleviating suffering for all, including myself.
Time went on and I abandoned the practice, becoming busy in my new motherhood and graduate studies. Earlier this year I began a water practice that was similar, an on-going global ritual Mother of the New Time; every full moon blessed and charged water that I partake of as well, then pour into a jar collected over the year. On New Year's Day 2014, I will release this into one of the nearby bays. With the moon risen high and the cold clouds forming a halo, tonight I stepped out and performed my ritual with thoughts of a familiar challenge.
Just in the past few days, my mentor from years ago has called me to take up this challenge again and I accept with loving gratitude. Instead of only a few spiritual workers we are now integrating more on a global level; the project has been translated into French and soon Japanese. Our Oceans have been calling us and I hope many of you will take up the mantle of protector and answer the challenge as well: Our Ocean Project.