“we stand at the threshold
learning to be
hard and soft at the same time
how to hold ourselves
and still keep our arms open”
-lisa kagan, 2009

Lalita Devi is a strange name for a pagan but what can I say…it was given to me by my first spiritual teacher and it stuck. I was given the name by Swami Durgananda when I was 19 and living in an ashram. First, she did ceremony where we chanted my mantra (om sri durgayai namah) until she felt the vibration was sufficiently resonating. Lalita Devi is the goddess of play and bliss. Sometimes I feel far to serious for such a name and then remind myself that I probably ought to lighten up and having a name like this makes for a really great reminder of that.

The name is one of the names of the goddess. One of my favorite of all hindu scriptures is the Lalita Sahasranama. The text is a long hymn, 1000 salutations to Her and it is absolutely beautiful. Chanting the Lalita Sahasranama is supposed to give the devotee divine bliss, protection, health and abundance. I don’t chant it that often (reading sanskrit ain’t easy, folks!) but I do adore reading it. I love even more that I am named after divine creation. It reminds me how effortless it is to have relationship with the Gods when you are open, devoted and full of love for them and you and me and us (all one!).


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