Monday, January 26, 2009

Seeking Refuge

Whenever I open my computer now, a tropical paradise appears before my eyes. It’s from Honaunau on the Big Island. The hard, black volcanic rocks are softened by the ocean waters, the palm trees that sway, and the indigenous human creations there. It’s not just beautiful. It’s a place of refuge.

This place was a royal sacred site. The fierce totems carved from trees stand guard, warning commoners to stay away. The Hawaiian society had strict kapu or taboos, enforced by a hastily dispatched death sentence. This served to maintain their social structure. It must have created a climate of fear.

Yet Honaunau was also a place of refuge. If someone who broke kapu could make it to the Kahunas, or spiritual chiefs, on this peninsula without being caught, they escaped the punishment of death, purified and forgiven through the Kahunas’ powerful rituals.

Seeing the picture of Honaunau reminds me that I, too, can seek refuge when the taboos of society or of my own mind condemn me.

Open hearted love is the sweetest place of refuge and service is its pathway. But it’s not easy to access from a place of fear or self condemnation.

It could be reached by going to a place of refuge here in Colorado: the mountains, the creek, my garden, my church, my bedroom. These places revivify my spirit with their inherent or accumulated grace. Just being there fills me with that grace, wellspring of forgiveness and peace.

I can also seek refuge in Great Beings, the super Kahunas of my spiritual world: Jesus Christ, Krishna, Our Lady of Guadelupe, Ix Chel the Maya Moon Goddess, and Archangel Rafael. I invoke their love and guidance through prayer and ritual. They protect me from the ravages of the human.

They clear the path for me to arrive at the deepest, most powerful refuge: Oneness with Mother Father God. Meditation is the path which they have cleared. It leads me to the Source, The Oneness where all is forgiven, all is released, all is renewed. Here the ravages of being human die and the spirit rises again.

The challenge is to escape the grip of fear and doubting, the voices of discouragement and the spell of distraction so that I can remember my way again to the place of refuge.

Where to you seek refuge?

by Terra Rafael

1 comment:

A Week's Worth of Women said...

I love the picture. It is eye catching and adds dimension to the words below. Plus,I am so thankful that you are adventurous and leaning new things ~ you are a great teacher. annette.