Old Testament ~ “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” Isaiah 7:14 

New Testament ~ In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1: 39-45 

Spiritual Focus ~ “We are all of us together carried in the one world-womb; yet each of us is our own little microcosm in which the Incarnation is wrought independently with degrees of intensity and shades that are incommunicable.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 

Breath Prayer ~ Inhale Joy, Exhale OM (allowing the vibration to join together, and resonate with the universe.)

Devotion ~ Joy and happiness are often used interchangeably, however, there is a difference between them that we witness in the story of Mary and Elizabeth. Happiness is an emotion related to circumstance such as when Mary and Elizabeth meet and are happy to see each other. On the other hand, joy resonates at a deeper level and holds in its definition a strength, a deep-seated awe and wonder, perhaps even an inner vibration. In the New Testament scripture passage, we witness joy as Elizabeth’s child leaped for joy in the womb. In the dark comfort of the womb Elizabeth felt that vibration. 

As we journey in Advent reading the story of Mary, we sometimes lose sight of Mary as a human being. Yes, it was her body, her womb—that dark, quiet, sacred inner sanctuary—that nurtured life, the baby Jesus. And it was also her soul and her mind that carried that baby within her. Mary was her own microcosm of God’s creation with an independent intensity and vibration. The Eastern Orthodox Church gives Mary the title of “Theotokos”, or Mother of God. Carrying the Divine within her, Mary’s joy and love are so embodied that it goes beyond explanation only to be experienced as a vibration.

Yoga incorporates the concept of vibration in its practice and philosophy. When we chant OM, it is with the intention that we join in the vibration of the universe. Each of us can experience this vibration deep within our being that carries into the one world-womb of God’s beloved creation and Mary’s embodied joy.    

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