Phoenix Rising

[The following is one of three short talks delivered by Lao Gan Ma at The Phoenix Rising Experience on September 11, 2010 in Marin County. Each talk served as an introduction to the performances that followed.]

Phoenix Rising

The phoenixIn a land far away there lived a King who had a wise and loyal advisor, who, according to the King, had the most annoying habit of responding to every occur­rence, no matter what it was, by simply saying, “That’s good!”

One day, the King loses a finger in a hunting acci­dent, and when he returns to the palace, his advisor says, “That’s good!” The enraged King dismisses him and has him removed from the palace. On his way out the door the advisor turns and says, “That’s good!”

Several months later the King, out hunting once again, is captured by a group of barbarian tribesmen who plan to use him in a sacri­fi­cial cere­mony. While preparing the king for sacri­fice, the tribe’s shaman discovers that the king’s finger is missing, and declares him “imper­fect” and there­fore unfit to be sacri­ficed. The tribesmen let the king go.

Once safely back in the palace, the King orders that his former advisor be found, brought before him and imme­di­ately rein­stated to his former posi­tion. “You were right,” the King said, “It was good that I lost my finger, for it saved my life today. But why did you say it was good when I fired you from your job?” The advisor answered, “Your High­ness, I cannot see the future, but I have learned to trust that some good always comes from each event. Today I see what that was for me. For as you know, I am loyal to you, and had you not fired me, I would have remained with you when you were captured by the tribesmen. And because I have all my fingers and all my toes, I would have been next in line to be sacri­ficed. So, that’s good!”

This is an auspi­cious evening — the 9th anniver­sary of 9/11.

We live in tumul­tuous times.

Advanced tech­nology and modern habits of thought seem help­less in the face of our new century’s multiple threats and the fear and depres­sion that accom­pany them. People face a chal­lenge: how can we look beyond these dreadful disas­ters to find a point of equi­lib­rium? How can we be recep­tive to ageless sources of guid­ance? And how can we say, in the face of all this adver­sity, “That’s good?”

The 21st Century has been termed an “Ancient Future” – it has been fore­told that now is the time when the wisdom of the ages will be re-discovered, re-calibrated and reaffirmed.  It is the time of Phoenix Rising.

Most are familiar with the Taoist concept of yin and yang – the inter­de­pen­dence of oppo­sites. Yin is part of yang and yang is part of yin. There can be no yin without yang, or yang without yin.

Dark is part of light. There can be no light without dark­ness. And since it is light that we seek — the light of enlight­en­ment or simply the light at the end of the prover­bial tunnel — then the dark­ness we expe­ri­ence in the world today is good.

This prin­ciple extends to the two ener­gies at play in the world — posi­tive and nega­tive … creative and destruc­tive… or what the Ancients called “peaceful dragon energy” and “turbu­lent dragon energy.”

These Ancients also speak of a third energy — Phoenix Rising energy – one that trans­forms and synthe­sizes the others – bringing with it balance, wisdom, hope and joy.

The Phoenix is an ancient symbol.

In nearly all the world’s cultures, there are tales of a divine bird. “Garuda”, “feng-huang”, “mystery bird” or “bird of life” are all alter­nate names for the Phoenix

The Phoenix Rising legends of Western and Eastern cultures show remark­able simi­larity. They all tell of a great bird that consumes itself in flames and is reborn from its ashes in each millennium.

The Phoenix is the embod­i­ment of an ordering prin­ciple in the world: a symbol of promise and regen­er­a­tion — one of the highest forms of energy in the cosmos — the energy of the Divine Mother.

Phoenix mythology holds a concealed and enduring message: that we are each bearers of this powerful Phoenix Rising energy, held deep inside — and in trying times such as these it can be awakened.

The culti­va­tion of this joyful rising Phoenix within each of us can coun­ter­bal­ance the “turbu­lent dragon energy” we expe­ri­ence in the world, and trans­form it into “peaceful dragon energy” — bringing with it higher aware­ness and a deeper connec­tion to our own Divine Inner Nature.

So then, why not heed the advice of the King’s advisor? Though we can’t predict the future, we can trust that some good always comes from every circum­stance, no matter how bad it may seem. And like the myth­ical Phoenix, each one of us is capable of rising above the pain of personal suffering and expe­ri­encing a tran­scen­dental reality of Pure Joy.

A powerful way to bring the Phoenix Rising energy into our lives is through sound — specif­i­cally ancient mantras. Mantras carry a sacred vibra­tion that unites us with the Universe in order to receive healing energy, courage, freedom, wisdom and blessings

By chanting mantras, we call the Phoenix. By listening to mantras, we hear the call of the Phoenix.

From the ashes comes rebirth. The end is the begin­ning. Yes, some­thing we know will be gone, but some­thing new and inde­scrib­ably deli­cious will take its place. And that’s goooood!