“Life in love with you
Is a poetry of the heart
Is a song of divinity and
A cosmic dance.”
Last week, I attended a funeral that could only be described as cosmic. Yes, you read that right, I said funeral. Cosmic.
I’d found out the evening before that my friend Ken’s girlfriend Sali had passed away the previous weekend and the service would be the next morning. Of course I made arrangements to go in order to support Ken, who’d become both a supportive fan of my book and a dear friend. Little did I know this funeral would be lifting me up and shifting my entire view of love and relationships.
Though I’d never met Sali, I felt like I’d gotten to know her, at least to some degree. I’d spent plenty of time with Ken at a local lunch spot, during which he’d tell me this and that about the special relationship he’d shared with Sali. Over steaming bowls of ginger-filled vegetable brew, he would read me her poetry, talk about his feelings of absolute devotion to her, and how she had transformed his soul with her purity and love.
Sali, I’d discovered, was no ordinary woman: she had never been married and had no children, opting instead to devote her life to her spiritual path and her guru. It was only towards the end of her life that she decided to be with a man, which engendered a new world both for her and for him.
The more Ken told me about how they connected and communicated with each other, and how mutually supportive they were toward each other, the more undeniable it was that they were brought together for a higher purpose, that both of their spiritual paths would be expanded by being together. And I should mention that for the past seven years, Ken had stayed by Sali’s side as her mind and body deteriorated from the effects of dementia. Day after day he was by her side, feeding her, reading aloud to her, loving her.
As her time of passing approached, Sali had requested a traditional Vedic ceremony be held prior to her cremation. This ancient ritual, known in India as Antyesti, was led by an amazing woman named Jennifer Hamilton, who’d been trained and was practiced in both Eastern and Western funeral rites.
I arrived right on time, and as soon as I sat down, one by one people stood up and talked about what a beautiful person Sali was. Sincere testimonies all conveying gratitude and praise for this brilliant thinker with a heart of pure gold. I found myself becoming emotional thinking about the light that lived within her. It reminded me of all the kind words people had said about my mother at her funeral. I had known that light, because I was raised by a mystical woman. The feeling was so familiar, as I sat in this typical Midwestern small town funeral home, surrounded by mostly strangers.
Then Ken stood up to speak. Holding back the tears, he read some of her poetry and from some of her unbelievable writings about her days in India, pilgrimages through the Himalayas and tales of enlightenment. As I continued to bask in her words, a silent, yet very pure and potent spiritual energy was starting to rise up inside of me. I could barely contain myself. I could feel Sali, and she was there showing me what true love looks like. Her funeral was beginning to feel like perfection in the midst of the most unusual setting.
Time was slowing down; the words Ken spoke, his love for Sali and the loving energy from everyone in the room gradually downloaded into my cells. He spoke about his transformation through her, how she showed him how to love and to finally become the man he never knew he could be.
Moments later, Jennifer led us in a short, silent meditation, then began chanting the Maha Gayatri mantra (“Let us meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this Universe… May He enlighten our minds.”) and my whole body began filling up with a current of energy that was… well, truly cosmic.
As she continued chanting, the 70 or so people present all began filing up to where Sali’s body was lying wrapped in white cloth in a simple coffin. There was a large bowl filled with thousands of flower petals of all different colors. One after another, we each grabbed a handful of flowers and spread them across her body. This rainbow of petals made for a vibrant contrast with the white cloth. The combination of smells in the room were super-strong, too: from the many floral bouquets people had brought, to the burning incense, to the “kunkumam” (lime-slaked turmeric) powder Ken was sprinkling over the body.
At the end of the mantra recitation, she kept saying “shanti” to end with a prayer for ever-widening peace. The vibration and the tone in her voice seemed to cause a tidal wave of energy in my body. I found it difficult to stay in touch with reality. It felt as though I was being lifted both physically and spiritually. But I didn’t fight it. I stayed with it, let it embody my spirit, and let the information download. Something much larger than me was giving me a clear message. “This is what love looks like, you are love, love alone matters.”
In my mind I “saw” the words: “In cosmic union, we are gods.” Then, I knew what it felt like to love someone in a past life, to love in the present moment and to love in my future lives. This all happened in a matter of minutes. And it forever changed me.In cosmic union, we are gods. Click To Tweet
I skipped going with the procession down into the basement to cremate her, because I literally thought I would blow up if I went down there. Instead, I decided I needed to go outside for some air.
As I walked out of the funeral chapel in a daze, I was reeling from what had just happened. I had been in the presence of greatness and I felt blessed. I had experienced unpolluted love, expressed through shared vibrations, through the merging of souls that were showing me a higher path. Years ago, I would have turned my back on this experience—but this was a new day.
I have been quietly observing relationships for years, feeling when it’s real and when it’s not. I have had the honor of knowing some really solid couples who have been blessed with this rainbow connection. I spend time with them, I ask them questions, and above all I take in their positive energy. I have begun to embody them, alone. I’m highly aware of when it’s right and when it’s dead wrong, and I act on those instincts. Quietly, I am setting myself up for greatness, waiting on the love I deserve—the love we all deserve. And through silence, I’m transforming myself. The place where all big love begins.
“Real love is a cosmic force which goes through us. If we crystalize it, it becomes the greatest power in the world.”
This is the dream. To settle for anything else is the nightmare.
Peace & Infinite Love,