Each year, Shambhavi chooses a theme for us to learn about, contemplate, practice with, and embody. Jaya Kula’s theme for 2023 is “Belonging.”
EVERYONE ALREADY BELONGS
A MESSAGE FROM SHAMBHAVI, JAYA KULA’S SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR
In the ancient Tantras and purānas, Lord Shiva is described as the Artist or Magician who gives rise out of his own self to the wonderous, diverse play of beings, worlds, and circumstances. Everyone and everything here belongs here equally from the beginning.
Over the past 15 years at Jaya Kula, we have slowly and steadily worked together as a community to make histories of violent exclusion more visible and to stop their perpetuation. But we also know that the play of diversity and equality lives in the heart of our practice and is the essence of the view of reality in our traditions.
In order to realize the view more thoroughly, we look for ways to embody this already-belonging-from-the-beginning. How can we tenderly and sweetly express the unconditional welcome to all that we discover within the heart of living presence? How can we more thoroughly embody the palpable, exuberent appreciation of diversity continuously expressed in the fine grain of the whole of an alive aware existence?
I want the work of repairing and preventing harm to be held in the context of what is not work, but is a profound relaxation and opening to the heart. I want our necessary but more ordinary strategies to be held within the deepening of natural appreciation and wonder at the diverse expressions of God. I want Jaya Kula to find more ways to practically embody the primordial belonging that is never in question and is impervious to our attitudes or limitations.
Our sadhana emphasizes discovering the wisdom and virtue manifesting spontaneously in the heart of reality. We do our best to practically integrate what we discover into our everyday lives. Thus far, integration has looked like the development of a culture of hosting and emphases on “come as you are” and “meet you where you are.” These have been good beginnings. In our 15th year, we’ll be contemplating how we can open more, give more, and more thoroughly embody our shared, natural belonging.