the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon (...a re-dedication, nevertheless.)

For a number of years, my dear friend, Jim Tilly, used to produce the Holiday Harvest CD which was a compilation of seasonal songs from artists around the region. Proceeds went to the Community Food Bank. It was a really wonderful tradition he had going. ....One year I wrote a Hanukkah song for it with the traditional Ma'oz Tzur liturgy. My Hebrew's not so great, but here it is:


So, last night I made a fire for the Winter Solstice.... thankful the days are growing longer now, finally.... (there's something to just plain and simple paganism. Especially this time of year ;-)

But religion is great and useful, (...unless, of course, you're killing because of it,) and just after my Boss RC-20 Loopstation, it's my most favourite tool,  I've done some form of Yoga all my life, and probably the best thing i've ever read are The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. (Andrew, my Ashtanga Yoga teacher gave me the book a long time ago.) But, I was happily raised Methodist ("faith without works is dead"), had some experiences with speaking in tongues in my early teens (thanks to some Charismatic friends), slowly became an athiest (late teens) but grew miserable, so switched to agnosticism, which led to studying existentialism, which led to Buddhism, which in turn led me to some time at Plum Village in France (where I found myself one winter doing a hundred deep prostrations face and body all the way to the ground, along with about one hundred other people from around the world in celebration of New Year's Eve...and that was a memorable turn of the year.)

Found it hard to practice Buddhism after moving back to the States.... (I think the drive that it takes for the ego to maneuver around this 'culture' plus not finding a sangha with which to practice made it difficult.) So, while being deeply entrenched in a Catholic community, I began having a series of dreams of a Torah procession....which led me to visit the Synagogue in my neighborhood, which eventually led to my conversion.... which has led me full fool circle back to being a pagan....

And so this week, I'm lighting the Chanukah candles, back to practicing Yoga and doing sitting meditation, back to finally learning the Band's, "This Must Be Christmas Tonight", and back to walking around the Medicine Wheel and the Winter Solstice Fire.