“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
Today I listened to some music that touched my soul.
I stopped what I was doing. Stood still. Listened.
Tears came to my eyes.
Rather than brushing them away with the back of my hand, I let them flow.
I leaned into what I was feeling.
And heard my inner voice say ‘Thank you God’.
Thank you for helping me feel the rapture of being alive.
Rapture – a vibrant, rich word.
One that is rarely spoken as part of our lexicon.
Here are the first 3 meanings from Dictionary.com
1. ecstatic joy or delight; joyful ecstasy.
2. an utterance or expression of ecstatic delight.
3. the carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence.
When I initially read what Joseph Campbell said about the ‘rapture of being alive’, it was as if he was speaking to me personally.
I finally understood that what I felt when playing the piano since I was a child wasn’t just about expressing my emotions.
It was much fuller, deeper, richer.
An experience so magical that it transported me to another consciousness.
You have the ability to feel the rapture of being alive.
It’s gurgling inside of you – waiting to bubble over and take center stage and dance like a whirling dervish.
The key is to allow your soul to open wide and deep.
And let the feelings sweep you away to a glorious, reverential consciousness where time and thoughts are inconsequential.
1. Take note of when something grabs you emotionally.
It can be anything ~
An old man sitting on a park bench with a cane next to him
Birds chasing after crumbs that have just been thrown onto the ground
Forces of nature – the sun setting or rising, a full moon, stars, clouds, snowflakes
Plants – a magnificent landscape, a flower up close, the bark of a tree, leaves
Music – classical, jazz, bluegrass, classics, rock ‘n roll, etc.
Books, musical instruments, stones, a piece of pottery
A conversation with anyone – including strangers
2. Slow down and observe.
Sure you can notice a beautiful rose in full bloom as you walk through a park.
But if you get up close, look at is magnificence, inhale its scent, and feel its petals
A deeper emotional chord is plucked.
You can look at the old man on the park bench as you jog by.
And ‘have a moment’ where you feel some emotion stirring inside of you.
But what if you took even 5 minutes, sat down, and observed him?
What might you notice about him? His eyes and hands?
Can you imagine what journey he has taken to get to where he is today – and how he experiences being old?
What do you feel? Maybe empathy, curiosity, admiration, sadness?
Do you experience a connection?
3. Create A Sacred Space
An ordinary place – indoors or outdoors – can be transformed into a sacred space.
It can be as simple as having a candle, a flower in a vase, stones, shells, quartz.
Make the space special for yourself – so that when you come daily to do your spiritual practice
Or to sit quietly and just ‘be’.
The sacred space welcomes you with joy and love.
4. Have A Daily Spiritual Practice
Find a time or place when you feel more open and emotional. Be silent.
It might be after meditating, writing, playing or listening to music or chanting, being in nature, walking, or cooking.
It might be having some poetry, quotes, or reflective thoughts at hand that lift your spirits.
It might be some kind of religious ritual.
Lean into how you’re feeling. If you give yourself permission to prolong that experience, what happens?
There is no one way to practice.
Discover and experiment with the spiritual practices that work for you.
Use them to help open your heart.
“Slowly you will become a master of your own bliss, a chemist of your own joy, with all sorts of remedies always at hand to elevate, cheer, illuminate, and inspire your every breath and movement.” Sogyal Rinpoche
5. Be In Nature
It never fails. Nature is an infinite source of inspiration.
Be in silence.
Observe. Listen. Smell. Touch.
Do you see the flower growing out of the crack in the pavement?
Or the bird gliding through the air with unbridled freedom?
The brilliant stars that are gazing at you in the dark of night?
How the waves are lashing against the shore?
Do you see the magnificence in everyday things?
And in yourself?