Standing with Commitment

by Ruth Manning, h5 student

This past Sunday, just a few days ago, I attended the east coast h4 commitment ceremony.  I had never witnessed a commitment before, although I was a participant in my class’s ceremony, one year ago. My experience as a witness startled me.  I felt as if something had eluded me last year; I had missed, overlooked, something.

I feel some strong connections to this class.  Our classes met on the same weekends for two years; the healing tents (our classrooms) were pitched near enough to hear each other's laughter, tears, silences. Occasionally, we shared thoughts during breaks or meals. We, as the "older" class, had a responsibility to hold space for the newer students, particularly in their first year. In turn, they helped us see the progress we had made.  I also cooked for two of their classes, which led me to reevaluate my concept of nourishment and support.

Sitting before them on Sunday, as they shone-glowed-emanated potential and love,  I experienced a different sort of connection and knowing.  Each made a personal commitment, but we witnesses could see the Place these remarkable individuals have become. The individuals of the class came together and are united as a distinct entity, which they referred to as "Us" during their ceremony. And they reminded their witnesses that all of creation is connected in and through our love. They embraced us all, and through their alchemy, they absorbed their witnesses into the greater "Us," too. Their ceremony was not only a compilation of individuals committing to their visions, but an invitation to the rest of us to join them on their journeys, each different from the next, toward their visions.  It was a manifestation of their collective vision, and a healing.

The ceremony concluded, but the connection remained as the class gathered us together to share a meal of thanksgiving before we went our separate ways.  But I have not yet separated.  I am still standing in this contact through the endless questions that have been bubbling up from the spring of Mystery, enjoying, for perhaps the first time in my life, the wonders of depth and dimension of community and myself, dwelling in this questioning.  

I invite you to explore these questions with me.  What have we missed?  Why was it overlooked? What reparations are necessary? How have we separated? How have we made contact?  Where do we stand with our commitments today? Have they evolved?  Are they still raw and edgy and fresh?  Are they still alive? Have they been abandoned? Do they exist in our bereavement and loss as well as in our joy? Are my classmates still a part of my container?  Am I a part of theirs?  How have we changed and where can we go from here?  Who needs help?  Have I finally learned to surrender? Can I become a purer vessel of healing?

Thank you to this beautiful tribe, this “Us," for drawing me into this depth and connection!

Sarah Moon