Monday, February 28, 2011

Baby Blessing and some Damn Fine Cookies

The hummingbird and I had quite and experience on Wednesday.

I've been going to kundalini center Golden Bridge about once a week--would be more if I lived closer. I went when I was trying to get pregnant, found it amazing, and I've been going since being pregnant. The Sikhs are incredibly present to and articulate about babies being the new souls that are coming to the earth to evolve humanity. It's a big deal to bring a child into the world and take the responsibility of raising it. Of course it is, we say! But there is something about the way they talk about it that honestly makes me feel that it is the greatest honor and the greatest privilege to be a mom. I have a favorite teacher there, Tej, and a few weeks ago--I hadn't been to her class in a while--I told her I'm pregnant, she asked how far along (15 weeks at the time), and we got to talking.

She told me about the Sikh belief that at 120 days after conception the soul of the baby enters the mother and the developing child. I believe in Judaism the belief is that it enters at the moment of conception; I'm not sure exactly what the Christian belief is; I know I've always believed the soul chooses the parents but I haven't defined when it arrives. She told me that if I were to calculate what that day was (as much as one can calculate--it's all a mystery) and come to class on that day, she'd do a blessing for the baby.

I love rituals. I am crazy for rituals. I get so into anything that channels and centers matters of the spirit, and the more belief systems I can draw from the happier I am. And that my teacher wanted to do one for me?! I left on a pink cloud--went home to figure out the date and make a plan with Tej to be in class. She suggested I bring something to share, as the whole class would be giving to me in their meditation. The day we went for our blessing was Wednesday. So Tuesday night I baked these:

Ginger Molasses Cookies. Recipe to follow.....

Wednesday arrives. We go to class. I have no idea what to expect. I feel a little shy walking in with my tin of cookies. My friend Rhonda is meeting me there. I set out my mat, and wait for Tej with everyone else. When she comes in she says "It's a big day for someone" and she starts to tell the class about me. Tells them there's a mother in the room and that it's time for the soul to enter her/me and the baby. And that this is a time when some very powerful very elevated souls are coming to the planet, and that everyone in the room today has the chance to participate in asking an one of those to come, a soul that will serve the earth and be part of a deep shift that's happening with human beings. She asks me to stand up and show everyone my belly (which is just starting to look a little bit pregnant but still, if you don't know me, could simply look like a big meal).

She starts class with a short meditation, as the big one is coming later. The kriya, or sequence in class that day, is one of grounding, balancing, and strengthening. There are lots of strong arm movements and swinging sequences--if you don't practice kundalini know that it is nothing like hatha in its moves, postures or sequences---- and lots of breath work. She talks a lot about the auric field: making it clear and strong. She talks a lot about feeling good. She happens to play music I love that day with mantras that are for healing and opening and again, getting strong. I feel myself going deeper and deeper into a quiet, profoundly happy place, and feeling so close and committed to this baby.

After an hour or so of that we meditate. In the meditation, all she talks about is me and my child. She asks everyone to bless me and thank me that I have chosen this incarnation in which I'm willing and able to bring a soul into the world. She asks them to thank me for my sacrifice (which doesn't feel like a sacrifice at all, but of course, parenting is a sacrifice of lots of things and I don't know the tip of it yet), and to with their prayers support me and everyone who will raise this child to hold the child in the highest vibration its soul will allow. She talks about the baby, and asks us to pray for a soul that will serve the earth and help to uplift us all. She asks us all to meditate on health and happiness and abundance for this soul that it may feel supported and able to do what it is here to do.

I don't know if I can describe exactly what I went through. I'll try. I've felt connected to this baby since before it arrived. I've written to her or him before I conceived, and I still do. I talk to the baby, sing to the baby. But something about a roomful of people, most of whom I don't know, and a teacher I revere spending their meditation time on me and this being I get to call my baby dropped me into a place of connection that is new. I feel, rather than just knowing with my head, how sacred it is to be a vessel for a new person. That I am the vehicle that a new being is passing through to get here. It is profound. My head can't even start to grasp it, but my heart is.

I didn't have a moment of knowing that Aha! the soul just arrived. It might have been then, it might have been that night when I slept, the soul might have been there all along especially if we want to get all trippy about time-space reality and everything happening now. It doesn't matter. The experience connected me to the magnitude of what's happening, and my gratitude has exploded 100-fold.

After class I handed out my cookies. Again, I felt a little shy but that all went away when everyone was congratulating me and being so happy for me. And the cookies were a hit. You can sub any spices you like. I've used nutmeg, I've left out the mustard, added mace. All up to you. And this time around I forgot to refrigerate them after rolling them and they were still great. Here's how to make them:

Ginger Molasses Cookies
adapted from the Food Network

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t ground ginger
1 1/4 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t mustard
1/2 t salt
few grinds black pepper
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c) unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 c sugar, plus a little extra for rolling cookies
1/4 c dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c unsulphured molasses
2 T ginger preserves

1. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and dry spices together in a bowl.

2. Beat butter and sugars on med-hi til light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat on medium speed til just incorporated. Add molasses and ginger preserves and beat about 30 seconds more, til batter is an even light brown color.

3. Ad dry ingredients all at once, beating slowly to make a soft smooth dough. Use rubber spatula to make sure all ingredients are combined. Beat again for 20 seconds. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate til firm, about 25 minutes.

4. Put about 1/2 c sugar in a small bowl. With a small ice cream scoop or sturdy tablespoon, scoop heaping tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Roll the dough by hand into balls. Roll the tops of the balls in sugar, and space them about 2 inches apart on a nonstick or slightly oiled baking sheet. Refrigerate again until firm.

5. While cookies are chilling, preheat oven to 375.

6. Bake until top is crackly and insides peeking out are dark and moist but not raw, about 15-20 minutes. Briefly cool on cookie sheets, then transfer tp racks to cool completely.

They'll keep for up to 3 weeks sealed.

Now I have to be patient and wait to feel the little bird moving. I'm almost 19 weeks, and some women feel flutters at 18. I haven't yet, and I want to! But it's that watched pot thing.....


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