The Beatitudes are a step by step transformational journey. They align with any studies of psychology, psychotherapy, mind-body based therapies and meditation practices I have studied over the years. After half a lifetime of searching, studying and learning I have found my truth to be so simple, so enjoyable to follow and so welcoming. Where do you turn when you are feeling lost, empty, distraught, sad…? Why not turn to the Beatitudes every day, a little at a time and also when feeling full, happy and connected! This is what I have discovered and with a name like Beate I am not surprised that the Beatitudes and I have found each other!
my name is Beate and while this is not an uncommon name in my country of birth, Germany, English-speaking people often find it quite tricky to wrap their tongues around it’s pronunciation. When I grew up I didn’t like or dislike my name and never thought about it either. It was simply how I was called. During troublesome teenage years, lots of fighting with my mother and the ring of her reprimanding voice calling “Be-aaaaa-te” in my ears, first thoughts of ‘who would I be if I wasn’t Beate?’ or ‘who would I rather be?’ began to take root. Leaving home followed, then leaving Germany. A boyfriend who casually stated in a discussion that Beate sounded like the brand of a refrigerator… was he trying to tell me something? Again the uncomfortableness of me. I needed to get away even further. Leaving Europe came next. In 1986, after traveling around the world for a year and a half, I emigrated to Australia where I have been living ever since.
In the mid eighties I changed my name. I sent a letter to a Guru in India requesting a new name, a spiritual name with a meaning, a message or a lesson maybe…? It lasted only for a short while. When my first daughter was born in 1988, I felt a strong urge to go back to my birth name and so I did. None of it changed anything about the fact that I felt in emotional turmoil inside a lot of the time. Having grown up in a family without much, if any, spiritual guidance I had begun to reject the idea of God early on and the older I grew the more I felt justified in my decision, considering that religions had been and still are causing division, judgement, guilt and war all over the world. Yet, in my mid to late twenties and living in a region of Australia where the health of mind, body and spirit were common topics of conversation, I again found myself searching… for something, for someone…
It wasn’t until about fifteen years after my father had passed on that my ninety-four year old aunt told me it had been him who had chosen my name. He chose, he decided and that’s how it happened. Beate – meaning blessed or happy. A lovely meaning, I thought as I began wondering about the significance and energetic vibration of names. How was I living up to it? Was I living it?
For my fifty-second birthday, a friend gave me a little book as a present, “Prayers of the Cosmos” by Neil Douglas-Klotz, a world-renowned scholar in religious studies, spirituality and psychology. In there I came across the Beatitudes in a way I had not heard them before and not the version commonly presented to us through the King James Bible. These Beatitudes are translations from the Arameic, the language spoken in the days of Jesus. They sound so very different – liberating, expansive and joyful whereas the King James Bible translations have always felt somewhat restrictive and have never made sense to me. Let me show you what I mean with one example:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:3, King James version)
Tuned to the Source are those who live by breathing Unity, their ‘I can’ is included in God’s. (Arameic version)
For the past two and a half years I have been traveling the journey of the Arameic Beatitudes. I also purchased a set of Audio CDs, “Healing the Breath”, by Neil Douglas-Klotz and began my studies which include learning and singing the Beatitudes in Arameic. This is a spiritual practice I look forward to daily and it is a journey of re-membering and finding my home in the breath, my own breath and the Holy Breath.
Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist says in Peace is Every Step:
“To me, breathing is a joy that I cannot miss. Every day, I practice conscious breathing, and in my small meditation room, I have calligraphed this sentence: ‘Breathe, you are alive!’ Just breathing and smiling can make us very happy, because when we breathe consciously we recover ourselves completely and encounter life in the present moment.”
It is this deeply personal journey I want to share with you here, not to teach, preach, convince or convert you of my way but to share my passion and inspire you to take a look, to listen, to feel and to think about how you can re-member all of you.
Should you feel inspired or even just a little curious now, please click on each Beatitude in the menu bar at the top and maybe…
… we will meet along the way.
Love, Light & Laughter,
P.S. I love my name!
I welcome comments.