One of my favorite ways to mediate is to listen to a guided meditation or goddess story while in the bathtub. In the space between Election Day and declaring a winner, I had an epiphany listening to a Lakshmi story. I had heard the same story several times over the last few years, but this time I found new meaning.
Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of beauty, abundance, good fortune and generosity. She glows through the light of sunset. She is the energy experienced in a lush garden, in the woods or by the calm ocean. One calls on the goddess for peace, prosperity, sweetness and harmony.
In the story I was listening to Lakshmi chose to go the the slums of Varanasi to share money, food and feelings of happiness rather than to the homes of the affluent durning the festival in her honor. This caused the affluent to complain to her husband Vishnu, who then scolded her. Lakshmi returned to the slum temple and took up residence. The entire community began to transform. The streets were clean and gardens became abundant with food. Happiness began to grow in the community as people changed the way they lived.
I stopped the recording here because of what dawned on me; Lackshmi changed people not by arguments and yelling or smugness, but with her radiant being, calming energy, beauty and kindness of words and deeds. Compassionate generosity made a difference.
Those of us in the United States find ourselves in a deeply divided country. Anger and and finger pointing have ended friendships and torn apart families. In my search for understanding of how to move forward my thoughts keep returning to this story.
It is said to attract the grace of Lakshmi, one must become her through generosity, harmony of speech, goodness of heart, cleanliness, order and beauty.
While in the face of this ugliness, it feels justified to fight like Durga or rage like Kali but I am ready to attract and share the grace of Lakshmi. Will you join me?