Retreat (Meditation on the Psalms: I) and Grand Canyon OM


Colorado River, Grand Canyon, November 2009

I sought the valley of Ritu, where prayers are written on the mountainsides and adorn the bridges in colorful tatters; I sought the coffee fields of Manizales and the religion of a violent city; I sought the deepest canyon where the walls were made of your ten thousand faces.  In the faraway places, God is my shield and my glory.  Adorning ninety-one bright flowers as a crown to bear in mind the victory, the design spells his excellent name and the enemy is stilled by its might.

The flesh is stilled in reverence.

On the first anniversary of the rebirth, I was at the river-bottom of the Grand Canyon with my future husband (though it would still be three years before we would become engaged) and fourteen other fellow boaters.  It was the week of Thanksgiving and the power of heaven had its hold on me and I was very strong in faith, if not still outwardly aloof in social situations.  I attribute this to the heterodox way of coming to know God: the rebirth.  And I spent the last year awakening, in a confusing breakup with a satanic being, working with adjudicated youth in the New Mexican wilderness, getting to know Joshua, and communing with the seven symbolic colors that comprise my personal cosmology: black, turquoise, indigo, coral, fuchsia, scarlet, and violet.  I contemplated and prayed every day, nearly all day, saying as little as I had to in order to keep my job (despite Jon, the therapist, encouraging Joshua and me to “be more interrogating.”  The company folded at the end of September anyway.)  “A weird religious experience,” some people want to have nothing to do with, and I’m branded.

The Lord hears the desire of the humble and prepares their hearts and ears, even the enemy can be touched by mercy!

He blesses his people with peace.

Though somewhere amidst the confusion of the world, some lose their sense of brotherhood, believing it is their right to enslave one another; the steps of the good man are ordered by the Lord, with a peaceful soul despite his circumstances.  He delights in his way, and though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down.

Culpa: I have been the source of persecution for my brothers, not delighting in their walk with God.  I have become what I once despised; I am corrected and despise no more.  My friends and family stand aloof from my sore and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things.  But the sound, the sweet sound of you hearing our pleas:

“Whoso offers praise glorifies me: and to the one that orders his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.”

The sweet sound of hearing.  I retreat to be created in me a clean heart.

Here on this day of the galactic gate the world forms to my humble hopes. I felt when we left camp a bit of a chill as the sun was out and above, yet weakened by morning clouds. Please on this divine day let the sun shine through and burn off the lingering morning dew, and stay with us today. So it was, and the whole canyon shifted direction and the river bent northward, allowing us to bathe in glory, even through evening camp set-up. Oh, I am a grateful one. Later, illumined by smiles, the moon was simultaneously hot and cold in color. Our Thanksgiving dinner came early (and perfectly) as it was the time to read about OM in Siddhartha. On the hike to the waterfalls and through the Bright Angel and other archaic voices, we laughed like children. During lunch at the second waterfall I distinctly heard the holy and primal vibration emanating from the canyon wall. Oh to be a part of heaven!  Brian, Joshua, Mitch, Thatcher, and I shared a group hug and “OM” and joy.

But remember it is more difficult to sense the angels if the mind and body are foggy. Of course they are still protecting, but what happiness comes to know and feel, and to see them! Oh God, renew a right spirit within me.

Let me see your examination and if I indeed speak righteousness.  Do I hearken to your voice or to that of charmers?  And should I discern in the moment that I am tempted by charm, and confess, will I feel the burden of their weight?  Or should I measure the words lighter than feathers of a bird, as the world does?  If the charmers should seek after my soul, let them be confounded.  And let those who love salvation say, “Let God be magnified.”  So I go into the sanctuary to understand their end, and to be guided by your counsel.  Afterward I am received to glory.

On a pirate day I did not participate in yogic activity, aside from laughing with the group during our games. But then we were flushed out, Jesse, Mitch, and I. And what fun, swimming in love and eternity, this mighty Colorado River! Sometimes I wonder what all of this means and I must remind you and I that the universe has a fantastical sense of humor. I feel my family of the canyon is falling in love! Joshua told me, “I cherish you and our moments together,” and he said I radiate love. It warms my heart deeply to feel this gratitude, and to know directly that my deepest hopes of God living in and through me are coming to fruition by melting into the energies of others. He was mesmerized when he first saw me “in my groove” at South Fork. He gets me and I wonder if others do as well?  I must continue to shine and to practice humility. The paradox!

The ones who reared us in our childhood may walk on in darkness. To them, all the foundations of the earth are out of course and why my soul is full of troubles: free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, cut off from your hand.  And mine.  You answered them, O Lord, and forgave them, though you took vengeance of their inventions. But how manifold are yours, which in your perfect wisdom you have made.  The earth is full of your riches.  In the multitude of thoughts within me, you delight my soul.

How great you are, this blessed dialogue.  Like the mighty river, supporting all life.

© 2016, Amaya Engleking


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