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!