I could not sleep.I could not quiet my mind.
Four or five times I rose and left my room,
for I could not find peace.
But I found a nun, a trustworthy woman.
She taught me of existence, the senses,
the elements, the truth.
After that, I sat for seven days silent and joyous.
On the eighth day I stretched out my legs,
having conquered darkness.
-Buddhist Therigata, Songs of the Sisters
To many women, turning to another woman for spiritual direction is difficult.
My first impressions reading this lead me to question whether this difficulty was a subconsious one, and issue of balance. Often the way that little girls favour their dad's while little boys favour their mum, in who they will go to for comfort and/or advise. I never did reach a resolution with that, in part because, on spiritual matters, I don't really have a problem speaking to either gender, it's just a matter of the person themselves... which I don't know if it makes sense.
My day today hasn't really been very much about the spiritual, in fact it's been very physical, secular and logical - organisational... about the everyday and for that reason perhaps I brought to mind frequently the thought that our wedding, Mir's and mine, was performed by a female minister. Even in that, we asked for her to avoid too much mention of "God" and it is that, I think, (the mention of god) that the text means by 'spiritual', which to me is not necessarily true. To me, spiritual is far more than just god - it is all things... it is my connection with everything and everyone... it is the inner life and harmony with the outer, which is a tough ask sometimes - often maybe, but certainly not just about God.
In a book I have just read, (The White Mare by Jules Watson) the characters are living in pre-Roman times in a culture where women were seen as a spiritual fount of knowledge, wisdom and energy. Women and especially priestesses were respected as speaking with Her voice (the voice of the Goddess/the Land), Her wisdom... whether that be in the squeak of an animal, the cry of a bird or the splash of a fish - all were valued and listened to as should be, for in my opinion, spiritual direction comes not in words only.
Woman speaks with Her voice -
Her wisdom - we are one.
Sisters of the Water, guide me
to feel Her voice in the lapping
of your waves - we are one.
Brothers of the air, guide me
to breathe Her voice in the melody
of your son - we are one.
Children of Earth and fire, guide me
to live Her voice in the burning
of your passion, in the growth
of your hearts - we are one.
May I speak with Her voice -
Her wisdom - we are one.