Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Ordinary Mystics 5: When to take the Nazirite Vow

Chapter Three: When to Take the Nazirite Vow?

The way of the Nazirite as I am outlining it here is all about undermining the illusions that keep you from realizing your true nature and relationship with God. There is no bad time to do this, but there are moments that are more ripe than others, specifically birthdays, anniversaries, and periods of major life-transition.

Birthdays are celebrations of beginnings. Rather than celebrate yet another year’s extension of what was, take the Nazirite Vow jut before your birthday, and engage in a bit of spiritual house cleaning: clearing out the intoxicating yet no less illusory dramas that define your life, affirming your power to change and grow even in a world that would rather keep things stagnant and status quo, and identifying and avoiding the ghosts that keep you stuck in lifeless imitation of the past. A week spent repairing your soul would make the day that honors the birth of your body all the most meaningful.

Anniversaries are another good time to take the Vow, especially if both partners agree to do this together. Imagine what might happen if you and your partner spent the week prior to your anniversary focused on each other rather than on the things that distract you from each other; devoted to growing each other’s power, and seeing where the relationship feeds each other’s uniqueness and creativity and where it saps it; helping each other identify and weed out the ghosts that haunt the relationship: dead habits of heart and mind that devour love rather than feed it.

Preparing for weddings, births, and deaths are also times when the Nazirite Vow makes great sense. So too times of transition like losing a job, looking for a new one, and retirement. Once you start thinking about the Nazirite Vow in this way you can come up with a variety of times when it would apply. But be careful not to overdo it.

The key to the success of the Nazirite Vow is its brevity and rarity. If you could live the Nazirite Way all the time, you wouldn’t need the Vow at all. The intent of the Nazirite Vow is to allow you periods of cleansing and clarity. These moments will impact the rest of your life, but they need not define the rest of your life.

Taking the Nazirite Vow will change things. As you become clearer about your relationship to God you will become more godly in your relationships with others. The Nazirite Vow is like a spiritual booster shot. It makes sense once in a while, but it can be deadly if done too often.

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