This day, bow to the universal Mother in gratitude and blessing.
Mother, you are the mystery of creation.
You hold the light and darkness, birth and death.
We your children are the blossoms of your seed,
the fruition of your imagination.
We bow to you in gratitude and blessing.
Celeste and her mother, Millie. Photo by Jennifer Esperanza
It was an honor to give my Mother a Chi Nei Tsang session. Chi Nei Tsang is Taoist abdominal massage that brings energy to the internal organs and facilitates emotional release. She lay on my massage table with her abdomen exposed offering herself to me in love and trust. As I explored her umbilicus and felt her breath deep under my hands, she looked up at me and said, “You are massaging where you came from.”
It was a profound realization. I was planted there inside of her as a seed is the potential blossom. She prayed me into being. She nourished and breathed me. I saw through her eyes the beauty of the world and her voice soothed and comforted me. Her heart was mine until I grew my own. She blessed my soul.
This life-giving energy is known by many names. Every culture has a creation story, how they came to be. It’s larger than gender yet in our culture these qualities are often attributed to women: nurturing, creative, sustaining, compassionate, intuitive, receptive, patient. Feminine energy is also strong and fierce.
Mother Earth is a perfect example with her cycles of birth and death. A seed sprouts, grows and matures with seeds. The plant dies and its seeds sprout, no tears here. It is reborn generation after generation.
I see the Great Mother everywhere, as the pregnant clouds burst with rain and the wet soil germinates the seeds in spring. Her sweet fragrance scents the summer breeze we breathe. Her abundance is harvested in autumn to sustain us through the dormant winter. She is always with us, in all our phases. She is the moon, the star-filled sky. She is the newborn baby nursing from her mother’s breast. And she is the storm and upheaval that tumbles and transforms.
We carry her long lineage that beats our hearts and flows through our veins. She answers our call but has never really left us.
My Mother is 95 now and I adore her. She is vital and beautiful and comes to stay with us in Santa Fe a month every summer. Sometimes I feel like her Mother now, holding her frail body as she shrinks back to the womb of the mystery.
When I had the vision for my book How Do You Pray? and invited her response, she was deeply touched as she always embodied love and kindness as her religion. Here is the prayer my mother, Millie Yacoboni, shared:
As I awaken each morning I am surprised and happy because I am still here after 92 years. I talk to God, or sometimes to Mother Nature, or to Creator of All Things. It’s all the same to me, but mostly to God because way back then it was only God. I give thanks for another day on this beautiful and mysterious planet.
My first prayer is for my children and grandson. Thank you God for their very good health and may they always have love, compassion and laughter.
Throughout the day I give thanks for many, many things as they happen.
I ask for help as I hear a crying, hurting dog. As I hear and see threats of an oncoming storm. As I hear of a sick neighbor, and as I drive by a curled-up man lying in the street.
My day is filled with prayers.
Each night I sit on my bed and give thanks for the past day. I ask for these people-killing wars to end and for the military to return home to loved ones, and I pray they can live a good healthy life regardless of the horrible memories of war. And please, God, may we not have future wars.
I pray at this time especially, may our politicians be more worthy of the titles and positions they hold.
I feel each contributor to this book is a link in the chain of world love — a chain with no end.
Many thanks, and always, my unconditional love.
Millie’s prayer is from How Do You Pray?, Monkfish Book Publishing Co., 2014