Final 12 months, I accomplished a life-changing yoga trainer coaching and religious growth program at Supreme Peace Yoga and Wellness in Louisville, KY. One among its parts was the creation of Soul Collage playing cards which have been prompted by facilitator Jodie Tingle-Willis’s guided meditations.
The Soul Collage course of is just not solely a profound means of connecting to the divine inside and round us; for me, additionally it is a strong automobile for channeling poetry from this identical supply. My outcomes from this multi-step inventive course of have led me to discover some pleasantly shocking religious terrain.
For example, the cardboard above was created after a visualization train across the thought of group—particularly, the small cohort of girls in our coaching program, and the affect they’d on me as we labored and realized collectively:
After a while had handed, I revisited the cardboard and requested it as soon as once more to encourage me creatively. The consequence was this poem, which evokes an indigenous imaginative and prescient quest—an expertise I’ve not had outdoors of this inventive journey.
Imaginative and prescient
Collectively, with nice solemnity,
we eat the inexperienced buttons
we have now foraged within the desert
wilderness. It doesn’t take lengthy:
within the sky, above a crushing waterfall,
a stupendous lady seems
close to the disc of the solar;
she turns her physique
towards the celestial archer
as he takes type reverse her
within the sky, the fiery orb
She softens her face and opens
her robe to him,
baring her breasts,
inviting his piercing arrow
into her timeless coronary heart; he
releases the stress in his bow
as she receives the divine wound,
her blood pouring down,
mixing with the churning water.
We drink of the sacred stream
from gourd cups, and our
singing turns into one
with the chants of the traditional ones,
who reside eternally within the sand
beneath our ft.
The goddess smiles upon us
as she throbs with the ache
of our holy ecstasy.
My poetry usually appears to occur by way of me, relatively than by me; Soul Collage has been a means for me to interact with one thing past myself, to faucet right into a collective unconscious that lies past the senses. Creating this fashion permits me to ask communication from the realm of the highly effective divinities who create us, whilst we (paradoxically) create them. The ladies in my circle had impressed me by way of their warrior vitality, their earth-wisdom, and their radiant benevolence, they usually all got here by way of on this mind-expanding inventive endeavor.
One other instance is that this card, generated by the identical meditation train; the immediate invited me to think about how I could be an inspiration to the identical circle of girls in my coaching program.
After sufficient time had handed for me to gaze upon the cardboard with recent eyes, it yielded this poem:
Throughout the scrubby pasture,
I’m stunned to see
the corpse of a cow, her
life reduce quick by a hungry wolf
whom I’ve startled; he sulks
silently into the margins, his
quarry nonetheless heat. I draw
close to. I’m struck by
the peace in her face, her eyes
closed, her jaw slack.
The deadly wound, recent and moist
within the slant daylight,
presents itself frankly. I lie
down beside her on the dewy
floor, the odor of her pores and skin
and fur like a music of earth.
The still-warm milk
in her still-pink udder
begins to curdle; her
uninteresting, grass-stained enamel
are eternally stilled.
There’s a bell round her neck.
Her soul will need to have risen
because the bell rang with nice
urgency. I place my hand
gently on her aspect,
and say a small prayer
for this humble physique
that after held inside it
your complete essence
of almighty God.
After which I go away her
to the holy violence
of the gathering, drooling pack.
This poem teaches me that my connection to darkness and my friendship with dying can and do encourage these round me.
One remaining instance: this card was a response to a meditation train across the thought of inspiration.
And right here, the poem that this card generated:
They stoop, burdened
with the riches of the earth,
laying down their valuable
metals, aromatic resins,
and sacred herbs as they
take away their heavy crowns
and kneel earlier than their
sleeping God. They utter
because the stiff material
of their weighty cloaks
creases within the winter air.
The jewels of their pendants
glow within the flickering firelight.
Their eyes develop moist
with their overwhelming
devotion. However I do know
solely poverty and keenness
as I slit the throat of this earthen
lamb on my humble
picket altar. My earnest,
primitive music joins
with the lamb’s gurgling cries
of ache and desperation. Please,
settle for my bloody present,
this creature made not
of gold however of flesh
and bone. I’ve nothing
to provide however my violence,
my love. Please,
pity me, easy wretch,
along with your deep, emotionless
eyes. See in my sacrifice
that I like you
greater than all of the kings
and sensible males
As an artwork historian, I’m drawn to photographs that characterize various non secular traditions, together with Hinduism, Paganism, and Christianity. My very own spirituality is knowledgeable by all three. This poem led me to a shocking place the place I used to be capable of think about a ritual sacrifice of larger vitality and significance than any I might muster throughout the confines of any of those traditions in isolation.
BIO: Brenda Edgar is an artwork historian, poet, and yoga teacher in Louisville, KY. Her free month-to-month public speak collection, “Artwork Historical past Illustrated,” is obtainable on the Carnegie Heart for Artwork and Historical past in New Albany, Indiana. She additionally offers frequent talks and teaches courses nearly for Morbid Anatomy in Brooklyn, New York. Extra details about her work will be discovered at www.BrendaEdgar.org.
Her first ebook of poetry, Lifeless Flowers, shall be revealed in late Summer time 2023 by the Foremost Avenue Rag Publishing Firm. It may be pre-ordered at a reduced value by way of the Foremost Avenue Rag Bookstore.