Scripture ~ You (God) rule the raging sea; when its waves rise up, you still them. Psalm 89:9
Spiritual Focus ~ “Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.” Jonatan Märtensson
Breath Prayer ~ I ride, the wave…
Story ~ The story of Holy Week challenges our emotional well-being unlike any other story of Jesus in scripture. We enter the story riding high on cresting waves of joy and hope for the oppressed, that a king has finally come who is FOR all people. The palm parade sings its way into Jerusalem for the Passover. There is the typical activity inherent in the festival and a new energy circling around the one who calls himself the Son of God. However, soon hope becomes tenuous as the energy turns toward chaos and the wave breaks. The story moves to the Passover meal on Maundy Thursday where Jesus, a servant king, washes his disciples’ feet. Compassion swells like a new wave in the hearts of believers. Then a betrayal, trial, conviction, and death on a cross. Fear realized and hopes dashed on the sandy beaches of our hearts. The story moves to silence and grief. The tide recedes, taking with it dreams of a new way of being. There is stillness.
Our scripture from the Psalms is often read as part of the Holy Saturday Easter vigil. Psalm 89:9 recognizes the tumultuous nature of the Holy Week story and offers a holy pause for us to sit with the emotional waves we feel. For people who enter the Holy Week experience intentionally, Holy Saturday is often the most difficult day, the hardest day to stay present to the emotions it exposes. As post-resurrection people we want to fast-forward to Easter and the empty tomb. We cannot stop the waves of emotion from coming when revisiting this story. However, if we learn to ride them, we find we are not our emotions and they eventually recede. We find our emotions inform us in a way that allows us to experience the passion of Jesus—a love story that carries us as the ocean carries every drop of water.
In Kripalu Yoga there is a technique called “riding the wave” that uses the breath to quiet the mind. The image of the ebb and flow of the breath like the ebb and flow of the ocean guides students in exploring the edges of their emotions. Students learn to ride the wave of emotions like a surfer without allowing the tidal wave to pull them under. The technique teaches students to go with the flow rather than resist it. In this same way, if we enter the Holy Week story and ride the wave knowing God rules the raging sea, we, too, will experience the passion of Jesus.
In a seated easy pose, find a home base. This can be your breath, a drishti (focused) gaze or a sensation in your body.
Practice equanimity. This means to accept thoughts without attaching to them. They are just there. Come back to your home base without judgement and an abundance of grace.
Simply receive, no need to do anything, simply ride the wave of love.