beautiful Buddhist ceremony*

{Katie & Lisa chanting}

When we were still living in the blue cottage, there was a time in between tenants where this yellow home was empty. The landlord let my sister and I (who was visiting at the time), walk through. I remember us sighing at every turn. It was so adorably charming. But along with the feeling of familiarity for me, there was a heaviness in my bones. I had chills as I walked up the stairs and I couldn't quite place why. My sister felt it too and after we sat in the blue cottage and gushed about our walk through, we both admitted to one another that we felt a spirit in that house. I thought it was just me feeling this.

Almost a year later, during the first week we were in this yellow house, I continued to feel that same spirit or energy. I wasn't afraid of it or threatened in any way. I felt very at peace in this home and like we were supposed to be here. I just felt an uneasy energy. I felt a sadness. A longing. And I felt it most when walking up the stairs where the two bedrooms are (ours and Cedar's). Our cat Elvis began to sit at the top of the stairs and cry in the middle of the night. It was then that I began to really try to connect with what was happening.

I have always been sensitive to energies or spirits and until I accepted this about myself in my later twenties, I became less afraid and more open to what was trying to be communicated to me. I felt like this spirit needed something from us. My husband felt the same energy.

I had heard from a friend (a previous tenant) that two women used to live here in the early 1900's but that is all I knew. So I shared with a neighbor, that has lived in this neighborhood for years, what we were feeling in the house. Our neighbor went onto share that in this home lived a widow and her daughter. The daughter was more a servant to her mother and was sequestered in the home to attend to her mother's needs. Her mother didn't allow her to have relationships or interactions outside of the home. So the daughter grew to be somewhat of a recluse. When her mother passed away from old age, the daughter lived here alone until she died, an old age. My neighbor was able to meet the daughter before she passed away, tried to help take care of her and was told first hand, the story. Hearing this, it all began to make sense to me. This daughter's story of longing to be free and released from this house when she was living and perhaps this is how her spirit or soul lingered.

Almost a few weeks into our move, when we were still slowly moving things from the blue cottage to this house, our dear friends Katie (owner of Lotus Wei) and Lisa (owner of Wei of Chocolate) were visiting both for business and pleasure. While they were here in our home, we caught up, went on a forest walk and then later snuggled up near the fire.

It was on the couch that I shared about the history of the house. Soon after, Katie offered for them to come back the next morning and do a beautiful Buddhist chant and ceremony to help release this spirit where it needs to be. It is an ancient ceremony that they had both learned in India - Lisa, when she lived in the Himalayas for many years, and Katie, who went to India with the purpose of learning this ceremony.

My husband and I both felt so at peace about this. The timing of our dear friends being here and them both feeling a strong desire to offer what they had learned felt truly divine. The process they explained to us felt gentle and loving, connecting and peaceful. Just what we as a family are cultivating in our life and what I imagined the spirit of this woman, needed.

So the following morning, Katie and Lisa arrived. At first Lisa walked around our home collecting flowers from our yard as an offering to the spirit.

I felt really deeply that the ceremony needed to take place in our upstairs bedroom. I had incense burning for them and I gave them some quiet time to set up. They told us that we could be there in the room and hold the space with them or we could not, it was up to how we felt. Of course we shared we wanted to witness and I had a feeling Cedar needed to witness it too. So my boys and I laid on the bed as they began the long beautiful chant.

Immediately, a peace washed over me and both my husband and I closed our eyes. I could feel the vibrations in my chest. Cedar moved around here and there to grab toys and bring them on the bed. In moments he stared in awe and other moments, he rolled his car or helicopter over our bodies to the sounds of Katie and Lisa's vibrations. At times he giggled at the sounds coming from their mouths. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my entire life. I felt such a trust and surrender and a hope for us but even more so for this spirit.

Then there was this moment at the end of the chant where along with a particular quick yelp sound, I saw a white light before my eyes completely vanish and a heaviness from my body lifted. In that moment, I felt an energy leave and the lingering feeling was freedom, happiness, joy, release. When the ceremony was finished, we sat and talked a bit about what we all experienced. Lisa and Katie shared with us how our home is now protected and that good energy will come in and that the home is very happy about Cedar being here. That Cedar's laughter is healing. But truly, I felt this already even before they shared this with me. We all did. There was just a collective knowing. Instantly, the house felt like it took a deep breath and my chills vanished and I felt a deep solace and peace between all of these walls.

The remainder of the day there was a sense of lightness between all of us. They offered to help us finish the remainder of our move into the yellow house and we were so humbled by their gracious hearts. Their presence is so calm and comfy and of some of the purest love I have ever been near. We acknowledged the ease we felt with one another and how the energy exchanged felt so heart lifting. I am in awe of the souls we are beginning to attract into our life. It truly makes such a difference when you are clear about what you need.

And today the home continues to feel this peace. Every time I walk up the stairs I think about the daughter and how her spirit is finally free. I think about how safe and protected I feel and how I knew there was a deeper purpose to us being here besides rooting ourselves and creating a life in nature we so deeply craved.

I think how I could have just let this linger and made it all about what I felt rather than what this spirit needed from us. I think about how I could have allowed fear to overcome me and pray this spirit away with this idea it was threatening to us in some way. These are all very old ways of thinking and feeling for me. But I breathed through it and I listened and I sensed something deeper and when I opened myself up, surrendered to what may be needed from me, Katie and Lisa came into our home and together, we offered our gifts.

Ever since spending time with Katie and Lisa in San Diego before our move, both of their products (Lotus Wei flower essence elixirs, serums and mists and Wei of Chocolate yummies) are a big part of our every day.  In fact, Cedar savors what he calls his "night night chocolate" an hour or so before bedtime.  We have the chocolates in a vintage jar and Cedar delights in dipping his hand in and picking out his favorite.  Throughout the day we drink elixirs and spray the mists that our bodies need.

Here are a few images of when we first moved to Washington.  Katie & Lisa sent our family a care package to help us settle into our new h*OM*e.  Mmmmm.

{last two images taken May, 2011}