I'll say a little prayer for you. Forever, forever, you'll stay in my heart. ~ I'll Say A Prayer For You, Aretha Franklin

I have a buddha in a bubble!

My children surprised me with a snow globe that houses a golden buddha. He's seated in a peaceful womb of golden sparkles that swirl all around and gently descend, finally landing on his head and his shoulders, in his hands and his lap, and even on his feet.

Every morning, I shake my buddha! And I watch as my vanity lights illuminate the sparkles, as they spin in their glittering dance to start the day.

At the closing of one of my very first yoga practices, I sat for the first time with my hands in prayer while the instructor said a few words. He instructed us to exhale what we no longer needed and to inhale some goodness into its place. I was so hypnotized by the practice that I would have followed any instruction at that point, and that had seemed easy enough. I was surprised at how visual it was for me. When I exhaled, what I imagined releasing was the color gray, and, when I inhaled, what I imagined breathing in was the color white.

At the end of subsequent practices, he'd ask us to send some positive energy to someone we loved. At that point, I hadn't heard that much about the idea of energy, but I'd find myself visualizing that, too. And what I'd imagine would be white stars falling upon the person to whom I’d choose to send some love.

With some more years of practice under my belt, those white stars have somehow turned to gold. And now, for me, these falling, golden stars have become a sort of visual prayer, the kind I say when I want to send a blessing. 

At one point, one of my instructors was not well, and for several practices during his recuperation I'd find myself imagining him seated like a buddha, with golden stars swirling all around and descending gently, finally landing on his head and his shoulders, in his hands and his lap, and even on his feet. And so it was with surprise that I received this most thoughtful of gifts, my buddha in a bubble, complete with the sparkles that were as gold as the stars that I'd send in my prayers!

Every morning I look at my buddha, and to me he looks blessed. He's sits there, dusted in gold, staring out of his bubble, oblivious to the fact that he's been covered in sparkles. He's even sitting in some. And what I see in this image is that it's possible to be covered in blessings, whether or not we're aware that we are.     

The blessings are there, because we are here. Still, it's not always so to see this. And it's not always so simple, either. And for some it can even turn dire. More and more, we are hearing about those who have made the tragic decision to make a sudden exit from life itself. Alarmingly, such events are on the rise.

And when I hear of such heartbreaking news, I can't help but make the simple wish that their lives could have been sustained by all the golden prayers that I'm sure were sent to them, and that I’ve no doubt they had sent to others. For surely they had to be sitting in some gold dust. Some of it had to be resting on their shoulders or in their hair or even on their feet. In fact, it's probably a safe bet that some has even been left behind in their footprints. 

I think it can be very difficult to exhale that which no longer serves us. Sometimes it can get stuck inside, and I think this may have been some of what happened to these souls. And that only makes me wish that more of us would have known of their struggles, so that as many golden prayers could have been sent to help in whatever way they might have.

The other night, at the end of practice, a siren blared as we sat there with our hands in prayer, the room quiet and the sky outside the window dark. The instructor said that he'd been taught to say a prayer whenever a siren went by, and so he asked us to do the same. He was asking us to say a prayer for someone we didn’t know, but, for whom, if we did, we’d love and bless all the same. 

After practice I made my way home and prepared to settle down for the evening. I looked at my buddha, sitting serenely in his bubble on my vanity. I picked him up, gave him a good shake, and set him back down, again. And when I did, I noticed that the reflection of the vanity lights had formed a halo around the buddha's head.

I watched as the golden sparkles swirled all around, but this time, as they gently descended, I grabbed my phone and took a picture. And before I climbed into bed, I sent the picture to my children, so I could send my love and say good night and give them both my blessings.