Goddesses in the Dust: 11:11 - Avalokitesvara and a Spiritual Window of Time

An archaeologist unearths the divine feminine, one archetype at a time...

It all started innocuously enough. I would get into my car and see the clock read out:

Looking away from a TV show for a moment and glancing at the cable box:

Reheating soup in the microwave:

Picking up my phone to make a call: (yes, my precious, 16 1/2 year old Airedale is the wallpaper on my iPhone)

After a week, maybe 10 days, I began to take notice (yes, I can be a bit of a blockhead at times.) Why was it, every time I looked up to check the time, it was inevitably 11:11? Sometimes this would happen twice in one day. It caught me so by surprise that one day I decided to Google it - what did it mean -  if anything - that one would see 11:11 all the time, every where? And was this happening to anyone else?

The answer was surprising. Yes, it was happening to other folks. And the single answer boiled down to: the spirit world was trying to break through - Pay Attention!!!! It was just as if the Universe was reaching out to me, like a child tugging on my coattails, and demanding me to open up my perception. For weeks, maybe months, I had found myself in a bit of a slump. I had begun to send out queries about my book and had heard nothing back. It seemed as though no one was listening or paying attention to my work. So when the elevens started to happen, I took notice. Was there a bigger lesson I needed to be learning here? I was so invested in getting others to pay attention to my work, but I was neglecting my own writing. What were my reasons in wanting to have an agent? To find an publisher, of course. And what were my goals in getting published? To have my work read by others, naturally. But was it also about acceptance? Ego stroking? Maybe even fame?

Nothing wrong with any of that, but on some level I realized the heaviness I was feeling was that I was focusing too much on becoming accepted by others and not so much becoming accepted by myself. 

That's where Avalokitesvara comes in. As the Buddhist goddess of compassion, she is ofter referred to as the Goddess of Eleven Faces. 

The eleven faces have many interpretations. One story is that the goddess was so moved by the suffering of humanity that her head split into ten more in order to minister to them all. Another states that the eleven heads refer to the eleven stages of enlightenment, yet another says eleven refers to all the directions of space and that the goddess needed another ten heads to reach all planes of existence.

Seeing 11:11 everywhere has reminded me that we need to enjoy the creative process, enjoy the play, to be who we are, as there isn't anyone else like us on earth. To not be afraid to bring forth our gifts, as the world is in need of them. To work on our craft and relish in the play of creating. To send out our jewels into the world without expectation, but with clear intent. The results are not in our hands, but the Universe's. Elizabeth Gilbert says:

Your job is only to write your heart out, and let destiny take care of the rest.

Meditating on the goddess of compassion is not only to deepen our compassion for the world 'out there', but - because each of us creates our own world - we most of all need to invite the compassion of Avalokitsevara for ourselves. 

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