the vows

We gathered at the top of the Berkeley Hills, where Summit Road and Atlas Place meet. Beneath this sign is a barely visible entrance into Tilden Park; I walk up to this trail nearly every day. The ceremony looped us around the path, each stop a station for vows, each step a pilgrimage of love.

After words of welcome, each council member selected one of my scarves to wear (a lucky addition, since it was bloody freezing that day!) and selected a stone from the bowl.

Just inside the park the path splits. I love this triangle; I've yet  to pass it by without walking all three sides and offering a little prayer at each point. I can't help it.

And so this became an obvious place to take refuge in the Triple Gem. I also invited the council to imbue their stone with something they'd like to leave behind in these woods. 
The stones were then placed in the bowl of water in the center of the triangle. 

On to the next station...

"And so, it is down to you and it is down to me..." (A laugh for all 'The Princess Bride' fans!)
At the top of the hill I took Christian monastic vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. 
 I asked each of us to call to mind something we'd like to invite into our lives. Then we drank to those, in the Eucharistic spirit, with some killer port.
Click here to learn what's behind these traditional vows for me.

Ever onward...

On an even higher hill, I gave thanks for the presence of my council members, making plain my inability to do this year on my own. I asked each of them to find some small token on our way back to the beginning station, where they might offer me a few words of wisdom. I would make a bundle of their gifts, to live on my altar at home. 

We only seem to walk the road alone.

Back where we began, I made a simple vow to let every decision this year come from my intention to get quiet, be still and listen for God. And I vowed to everyday practice meeting fear with love.
The Final Reading

The gifts. The wisdom.

The bundle.

The love.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.



I love the photo near the end of the your pictures where the sign in the background only reads "any time -->"
as this makes me think that we can at any time, with concentration and practice, place ourseleves in the "present" moment and connect with our "Being". ~ May peace & Love ~ be with you every moment. Bryan :>)

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