Maria attended one of our retreats a few years ago. Now in her fifties, she has been practicing meditation, which she had learned from a well-known Indian guru, for more than thirty years. She had a very calm, empty, silent presence. She dressed in plain, very sensible clothes, and her gray hair was cut in a short, boyish style. After some days, she told us that her greatest difficulty and disappointment was that she still had strong emotions. She felt herself overwhelmed by grief or anger from time to time, which both she and her husband agreed was a sign of weakness, a lack of depth in her meditation practice.
Everything changed one morning when Chameli spoke to her.
“Your feelings are beautiful, they are your gift to your husband and to all of us. They bring color and texture to man’s world, which can so often be gray and burdensome. Over the next days, please show us all what you are feeling, not only with your words, but with the way you move, with your laughter and your tears.”
Maria was more than a little disoriented by this invitation, after so many years of practice and masculine discipline. But the transformation that followed was dramatic and inspiring. At first she experimented, a little clumsily, by expressing quite chaotic and painful feelings that had been locked in her body for decades under the mantle of masculine spirituality. But we all also witnessed her tears of joy and her immense tidal wave of love, which was big enough to drown the entire retreat many times over. On the last night we had a party. Everyone dressed up beautifully. One of the other women, a teacher of sacred Indian dance, helped Maria dress in flowing, colorful clothes. She was transformed.
Watching Maria dance that night was something I will never forget. She was in pure rapture, taken over by God. Tears streamed down her face, and she poured love into each person in the room, one after another. When I looked into her eyes, I saw that look; she was taken, transported, she was dancing in her heart with Mira and Mary and Sita. Since then, Maria has met often with other women to deepen her translucent feminine practices; she dances every day. The transformation of Maria from chrysalis to butterfly is ongoing.
For thousands of years, men have blazed almost all spiritual trails, so we only have models for masculine wakefulness. When feminine people long to live their awakening more deeply, they feel they have to watch, to be very present and empty. Some even shave their heads and look like men. So for most feminine translucent people, the invitation to relax into what is natural for them can be a huge relief. So many feminine people long to be invited to flow in an endless river of feeling, to confirm what their heart already knows, that all feeling is the kiss of the divine.