Menstrual Blood and Sacred Sylables at Three AM

And Athena Grace LMNOP said, “Let there be hella books!”  And guess what?  There WERE hella books!  I am surrounded by titled spines and it is as if I can feel all the minds and eyes that have traversed the papery fields of words over years and days and moments.  Can you guess where I am?  If you guessed the library, you WIN!  I am a woman who requires fresh stimulation on a regular basis; otherwise I stagnate and start to gnaw at my own fleshy bondage.  It gets ugly.  So I thought I’d give the library a try.

I adore books.  But not in the biblical sense. (Grin)  I have been a reader lately, but I have had many literary droughts throughout my life.  You see, I’m kinda ADD, so it takes a lot for me to hunker down and FOCUS.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally worth it.  But the amusing thing to me is that even when I’m not in a reading phase, I still get off on books.  I take them off my shelf and set them on my nightstand with the best intentions… until my nightstand becomes a mountainous stack of ocularly untouched wonders which eventually becomes unbearably tall and unruly and I am compelled to reorganize them lovingly upon the book shelf.  When I travel, my backpack is HEAVY with books, because who knows what I will be in the mood for… Fiction?  Spirituality?  Poetry?  Journal?

Books.  They’re not just for reading, you know… I believe they have osmotic powers.  Like even just being near them is enough to slurp up their stimulating, rich, creative vibrations.  That said, it’s a little overwhelming being surrounded by them on all sides right now.  In the best way.  Libraries might SOUND ungodly quiet, but that’s only if you can’t hear each and every book silently screaming its entire story all in an instant, from its patient place on the shelf.

Last night I was awakened at 3am by a deluge of menstrual blood splashing out from my womb.  Time out.  I want to say that I realize that menstrual blood is one of those taboo topics, which befuddles me, since it is one of the most natural and UNIVERSAL experiences of woman.  Culturally, women are conditioned to feel shame about this powerful expression of our femininity, our capacity to create life and attune to the cycles of nature, namely our one and only holy missus moon.  My mom never told me much about bleeding.  I knew she bled…  I knew I would some day… but that’s about it.  I didn’t ask, since I felt intuitively that it was a source of embarrassment.  Over the years, I have formed a new relationship with my moon time, my blood.  I find it beautiful and fascinating and powerful in a way that I can not even fully grasp.  I like to let it be messy.  I don’t just shove an endless barrage of tampons up my pussy. (No offense to tampons… they’re plenty useful given the right circumstances.)  No.  I like to FEEL the flow, see it, smell it even.  Sometimes I make a sacred blood offering to my beloved plants.

Time in.  So I wasn’t wearing a tampon or a pad at night.  (My flow is mild.  It stops and starts, has a life of its own, independent of convenience or predictability… it’s certainly not a bloody version of Niagara Falls or anything.  But last night it woke me up and I made a beautiful, bloody mess of my sheets and a dribbly trail to the bathroom.  (I am telling you this with the intention of creating a new relationship to blood for all women, as well as men.  It is not something to hide or be ashamed of.  It’s just not.)  I laid a towel down beneath me and climbed back into bed… but shoot, now I was wide awake.  I started to panic.  (mildly)  And then I realized it was a perfect time to say my mantra.

My mantra~ I received it from the Holy Mother, herself, Amma!  While I swam through viscous, aqua heaven this morning, I was remembering the weighty moment when Amma spoke it in my ear.  It’s a moment that I wish I had kept in a teensy bottle, like people do with ancient pirate ships, loaded with treasure.  I would wear it around my neck, and whenever I needed to (at least once a day), I would pop off the cork and peer inside with a squinted eye and an open ear so that I could become drunk on that holy moment laden with divine nectar; sustainable, sober ecstasy.  Her voice!  All at once husky, durable, sturdy and soft and loving as celestial kittens.  And of course rounded and burbling like a stream flowing from Heaven, to Heaven, through Heaven.

When I first received the mantra, I said it with such devotion and care.  But over time, my mind became skillful at thinking about whatever it fancied while also mindlessly repeating the divine syllables.  So I stopped saying it for a while.  I decided to go grass roots with my meditations and simply sit in silence.  But since seeing Amma recently, I have been filled with a fierce yearning for her.  I miss her already and the best way I have to connect with her omnipresent heart is to chant the mantra she spoke in my ear that hallowed night, three-ish years ago.  (I can’t tell you what the mantra is, because I promised to keep it to myself.  A sacred secret between me and the Holy Mother of the Universe!)

Saying it in bed is different than at my altar, one hundred and eight times.  Instead of whizzing through it so that I can get up and go eat breakfast, (not the most spiritually inspired, eh?) I let each word take up space in my mind.  Every word landed on the surface of my mind with a substantial plop, like a pebble cast into a lake.  I felt into each syllable, letting it resonate in concentric circles through the layers of my mind and body.  I relinquished my attachment to sleep, fully present in the life of the sacred mantra.  Soon enough I was back to sleep.  But instead of calling it “insomnia”, I call it “quality time with the Divine”.   Amen.

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