On Friday night the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers held a sacred evening at the Urban Zen Center and it was the most beautiful, soulful experience. For me, it was the perfect environment to meditate and think about Stephan on the 10th anniversary of his passing.
At first, I wasn’t sure about having an event on June 10th, a day that is so personal and painful for me. I wasn’t sure if I would have the emotional stamina to be “on,” to host an event in Stephan’s studio. But, as I opened my heart to the idea, I really felt that Stephan was saying to me, “I know I can’t be there with you, so I am sending the Thirteen Grandmothers to be with you instead.”
Having the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers holding an evening of prayer and meditation was exactly the right choice; it was the most deeply exquisite way to honor Stephan – my husband and partner in all things.
Preserving the mind, body and spirit of ancient, cultural wisdom is something I fervently believe in. Yes, it is integral to the mission of Urban Zen, but it is also integral to my belief in humanity. We must learn from each other, we must seek out the wisdom of our elders and we must revel in our cultures. Friday night encapsulated all of these elements. Each grandmother was unique, wise, and openly generous with her wisdom.
There were moments of the evening that filled me with such a strong sense of community and left me feeling so lovingly supported. I was sincerely moved when Grandmother Julieta asked everyone to close their eyes, breathe deeply, and pray for Stephan so that “God may give him eternal rest.” In guided meditation she affirmed that we are all here to accompany each other on our journeys and to share in each other’s feelings.
One of the most meaningful parts of the evening for me was when the Grandmothers offered individual blessings for any person in the room seeking their council. I had the unique opportunity to have blessings from all of Grandmothers and the level of spiritual connectivity I felt as I kneeled before each beautiful Grandmother was extraordinary.
Our evening with the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers is everything I dream for Urban Zen. It was community brought together in a sanctuary-like setting for healing. It was an evening of dots connecting between the mind, body and spirit. It was an evening where we could all bask in the wisdom of ancient cultures and the wisdom of our elders. It was an evening that meant the world to me, and one that I will never forget.
To each of the Thirteen Grandmothers who joined us for this special event – I thank you. Your evening of prayer and meditation was a beautiful gift to the entire Urban Zen community.