Bhakti Yoga, Heart Opening to the Beloved

carolyn and priscilla lasecki kieber

Death reminds me that there is really only one way to live. From the heart of love.

Returned last night from burying Mom in North Carolina. A devoted Catholic, Priscilla Lasecki Kieber embodied the heart of bhakti yoga.

Whether she was sitting on the beach, enjoying the beauty of the rolling oceanic waves, preparing cake for a crowd of company, or volunteering in a community group, I’ve always admired the way she lived beyond the fray of “talk.” From a steady and patient center, she infused her relationships with the steady gift of herself.

Her home was was filled with Madonna icons and crucifixes ~ symbols of the objects of her love. She seemed happiest when she was in church, whether at daily Mass or evening novenas. A blessed string of rosary beads were never far away from her praying hands. If she missed a Sunday service, she was heart-broken. How soon would she return to the abode of her Beloved?

Her devotion to the Divine gave her a steady stream of wisdom and strength throughout her 87 years.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church window, Amherst NY

Friends sent me poems of comfort this morning. Here is a short stanza from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran:

Only when you drink from the river of

Silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain

Top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your

Limbs, then you shall truly dance.

In death, as in her long life, Mom is surely dancing with her Beloved. It is through taking small steps and opening our hearts, one kind word at a time, and refraining from one little meanness after another, that we can join her in this Blissful Tango.

Mom would have loved this video of Henri Nouwen’s sermon on THE BELOVED.

READ MORE: a lovely blog post on a bhakti workshop by one of my fav German yoginis, Lilylotuswillow:

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8 Responses

  1. I’m so sorry Caroline! Another passing, and so soon? That said, 87 years is an awesome innings and I love what you’ve written about your mother. I hope you are doing ok xo
    .-= Svasti´s last blog ..Involuntary actions – part 4 =-.

  2. Thank you Svasti. Yes. I’m OK….at times sitting and weeping, simply being with the sadness. Other times I am trying to express some of it in writing and artwork ( a relatively new outlet for me). I brought Mom’s easel and some of her paints home and have begun messing around with them. Hoping to combine visual and written art in some sort of collage-y creations.

  3. Carolyn-What a beautiful tribute to your mother and to your love. It sounds like she had such a rich life and a rich spirit. I know this kind of loss is never easy but you seem infused with the same strength and wisdom she had and I know that’ll help you through.
    .-= nothingprofound´s last blog .. =-.

  4. Carolyn,

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. The words you wrote about your mother really touched me, and the picture of you two is lovely. It seems there is so much love and wisdom around the presence of your mother – this will never be lost.

    I am glad you found ways to express your grief, it is important to let our selves feel what we feel, so we can truly heal.

    Finally, I’m honored my post offered you some insights on bhakti in this period of change.

    Blessings to you, and to your mom.
    .-= Lily´s last blog ..Samtosha und Krankheit =-.

  5. Marty, Yes, in Mom’s simplicity and practicality was her richness. Wisdom therein for us all, eh?

  6. Lily,
    “I am glad you found ways to express your grief, it is important to let our selves feel what we feel, so we can truly heal.”
    I’m working on it, though I think it’ll take a while.Trying not to project, but to maintain openness regarding the future.

  7. Dorothy Marie

    Carolyn’s mother Priscilla.
    Precious to her family.
    Responsible to Others.
    Interested in intellectual pursuits.
    Soulful self was demonstrated by her
    Charitable acts. She was
    Industrious and
    Lively. A person that
    Lived an
    Authentic Life.

    It was an honor to have known her.
    In love and light, Dorothy Marie

  8. Dot, I am very moved by your response to Mom’s death. Thank you for being a part of her life ~ and mine!

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