Saturday evening, I got to witness Ariela and Gerardo’s fascinating shamanic wedding ceremony, conducted by Mary Coba. I then officiated their Jewish wedding ceremony. Both ceremonies took place on the
beach of Villa Chenera on Isla Mujeres outside .
Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests: Cancun, Mexico
I ask couples to review about a list readings, and see if they want to incorporate any of them into their ceremony. I always recommend that they NOT incorporate a reading, just to have a reading. Rather, I encourage them to see if they connect with any reading, if they feel like it describes their love story. In Ariela and Gerardo’s case, not only did they find such a reading; they so “hit the nail on its head”, in describing their love, that I felt like I had to incorporate it into my remarks, something I rarely do.
First, though, what is Ariela and Gerardo’s love story all about?
Listen to Ariela describe it, “It’s all about seeing things in a mindful way, understanding others and having compassion. It’s about unconditional love for yourself and others.”
Now, you might be scratching your head right now. That’s not about THEIR love story, you might be thinking; that’s about how they feel about the world. THAT my friends, is entirely the point. If this unique ceremony is telling you anything, it is that THAT is Ariela and Gerardo’s approach to spirituality. It is about mindfulness, but not a mindfulness that just looks inward. It is about a mindfulness that takes in and cares for the world. Their mindfulness is about one word, love, in its broadest sense.
So, now, listen to this reading from The Alchemist. Not to belabor the pun, this is pure gold:
“When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”
Wow. Is that powerful or what?
OK, so you may again be wondering: Wait a minute, sure the reading starts with a universality of love, but doesn’t it then veer towards a uniqueness of the love between two lovers? Well, yes it does, and once again, THAT is the point.
The ideal love is one that bears within it that contradiction. It comes from, “an unconditional love for yourself and others,” as Ariela described it, in a language that everyone can understand, as the Alchemist author puts it. Yet, at the same time, such love causes one to feel like one is in the presence of the only other person in the world. Everything and everyone else melt away.
Finally, this is the same message expressed through the Seven Marriage Blessings, which come a little later in this ceremony. The first five don’t even talk about marriage! They talk about love for the world, humanity, and redemption. The final two talk about marriage, and invoke the Adam and Eve story, the only love story where two lovers really are the only persons in the entire world.