Wedding ceremonies are a fantastic analogue to relationships. You can choose the default, uniform way of doing things, or you can totally break with tradition, question everything, and create something uniquely tailored to suit your style. Désirée and I chose the latter option on both accounts.
Traditions are an ever evolving conversation between the collective soul and the collective consciousness; so listen well, connect authentically, and say something new.
The program from our wedding is shared below. Our intention with our vows is that they provide us a living, breathing color palette that give dimension and flavor to our relationship. Each passing day they grow stronger and evolve with us. We hope to inspire you to choose the latter option as well, and we welcome you to share all of your thoughts and reflections with us.
Our intention is to share with you a truly heartfelt, non-traditional and deeply spiritual ceremony. We’ve built a conscious life partnership together and we are inspired to create a celebration reflective of our values. Part of living consciously for us means that we strive to maintain a healthy awareness of our actions, and each underlying motivation. When it came to planning our wedding we consciously decided to prioritize our own authenticity ahead of following social norms and customs “just because”; or worse, out of dutiful obligation. We believe the energetic of obliged giving counters joyful giving. Giving is a loving act for us, and our underlying motivation is to share our love with each and every one of you by virtue of creating our own unique wedding ceremony to honor Love in the way that feels most genuinely us. Thank you for being here with us today.
Our Beloved Officiants:
HeatherAsh Amara is the spiritual director of Toci – the Toltec Center of Creative Intent, a non-profit organization in Austin dedicated to fostering thriving local and global community that support authenticity, awareness, and awakening. HeatherAsh says, “My life is dedicated to playful integrity, to living life fully from my center and enjoying every minute of it, from the blissful experiences to the challenging ones.” HeatherAsh has been instrumental in facilitating our spiritual growth in Love and self-mastery through her wisdom, and divine gifts for teaching and creating community. http://www.toci.org
Our Mistress of Ceremony, Sarah Rose Marshank, hails from Ashland, Oregon and is an Embodied Practitioner in the field of Integral Theory with an organization called Meta Integral. She is also on the Faculty at Toci in Austin and has worked with us both in exploring self-intimacy and deepening in intimacy with others. She has developed a method of working with people that integrates the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of being human. Sarah says, “I hesitate to call myself an educator at this point. But, in a way, I am that. And so much more.” http://www.sarahrosemarshank.com
We are overflowing with love and gratitude for the gift these two inspirational women are bestowing upon us today with their presence. Both hold a very dear and special place in our hearts and we feel so honored to have them in our lives as wise elders to whom we can turn for help traversing especially difficult challenges in our life journeys.
Our Beloved Friends, Family & Sacred Oathe Keepers:
Thank you for your help and loving support. Many of you have generously made much of your time and energy available to us around the planning and organization of our event and for that we give you our deepest appreciation. Know that our experience today has been significantly heightened due to your loving efforts. We both feel so blessed to have such loving human beings surrounding us in our lives.
Rather than choosing groomsmen and bridesmaids to comprise a traditional wedding party we’ve asked our closest friends and family to bear witness to our holy union and participate in our ceremony as Sacred Oath Keepers. These individuals have been invited to share their love in support of our marriage by helping us with the planning and executing of the event, or by some other gift they feel inspired to share with us during the ceremony and reception (i.e. song, poetry, music, speech etc.).
Thank you to those friends and family traveling from afar. Thank you for making it a priority to be here with us today. Finally, thank you to all those who could not be here with us today but are still here with us in spirit.
10:30am – Guests arrive. Ambient recorded music by Ravi Shankar & Ali Akbar Khan.
We greet our guests at the creek opening and perform smudging and receive affirmations.
We ask that all our guests consent to being smudged while we affirm their sincerity of intent. In some Native American ceremonies special herbs like Sage and Palo Santo are traditionally used to purify or bless people and places.
First Affirmation: Do you freely participate in this ceremony with open heart and genuine loving support of our sacred spiritual union?
Second Affirmation: Do you promise to carry the vibration of our love with you in your heart and honor our commitment to one another from this day forward by encouraging us to remember our intention set forth here today?
Any late arriving guests must be smudged by the ushers before participating in the ceremony.
11:11 am – The ceremony begins with a kiss.
(A Tibetan singing bowl played by Corey will begin sounding at 11:10 and 30 seconds)
Throughout our love story this specific time of 11:11 has been a significant one for us as a symbol of our togetherness and spiritual awakening. We notice this time of day by chance much more often than coincidence would dictate and we’ve created a tradition of celebrating our love daily at this time with a loving embrace.
- Sarah Rose welcomes the guests and introduces the families. Sacred Oathe Keepers hand roses to family as they’re called.
- HeatherAsh guides us through an energetic grounding practice.
- Angel walk blessing. Everyone rises and creates a pathway bordered on both sides by bodies and leaving just enough room for Desi and Rob to walk between on their way to the altar. Desi and Rob will receive loving touches, blessings and praise from everyone as they pass. Family gives flowers to us. Desi and Rob arrive at the altar and everyone takes their seats.
- Sarah Rose facilitates a Rose ceremony.
- Calling in of the Four directions by HeatherAsh.
- Tifphanie serenades us with guitar accompaniment provided by Desi’s brother, Spencer.
- Sarah Rose tells our Love Story.
- Osho reading on Love by Desi’s brother Alexander.
- The Ask: Rob/Desi do you give Desi/Rob the gift of beloved togetherness, to freely share your most authentic selves and intimate explorations in spiritual life partnership?
- Ring Ritual: Desi, please accept this ring as a symbol of my loving providership and commitment to our spiritual union.
- David Deida reading from The Way of the Superior Man by Rob’s brother Dennis.
- Kahlil Gibran reading on marriage by Rob’s sister Monica.
- Exchanging of Vows.
- Handfasting performed by HeatherAsh.
- Rumi reading by Desi’s brother Spencer.
- Matt, Natalie, Chris and Zac bless us with a song.
Declaration: We now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Lyón, beloveds joined in holy matrimony.
We’ve decided to each take on a new last name, Lyón, to complement our intentions to co-create a radically new way of living consciously and in harmony with the universe. We are very connected to and grateful for both of our lineages. We will always honor our roots and hold our forebears tenderly in our hearts. The name of Lyón chose us, and we feel it symbolizes the great courage required to live free and evermore towards the direction of Love.
~ Closing of Ceremony ~
Family Photography Session – guests who are not specifically mentioned below for photos are welcome to make their way over to the tables and begin eating at this time. Sacred Oathe Keepers will help facilitate food and beverage setup.
- Catering by Désirée Lyón.
- Kombucha kegs provide by local Austin purveyor, Wunder-pilz. www.wunder-pilz.com
- Ambient recorded music by Elvis and other golden oldies.
- Informal Reception Speeches – those inclined to speak from the heart during the festivities will have the opportunity to do so. Matt will facilitate the PA system.
- Live music provided by Phoebe Hunt – phoebehuntmusic.com
- Party Favors – We invite you to take your seat home with you and we have also prepared herbal tea bags filled with a special blend of Holy Basil and French Lavendar. Thank you all for coming!!
Our souls create such beautiful cosmic music together. I’ve been dancing to that music with you since the first day we met. I celebrate daily every note and pause as well as every action great and small that has led us to finding each other right here, right now.
I feel so immensely inspired to continue cultivating true Love with you and to follow the Toltec path evermore holding this intention.
I see you. I intention to ever be increasing my understanding of you, becoming an expert in Desi while ever maintaining a beginner’s mind. I love you for who you are, and I support you to fully embrace and express your own authentic resonating self.
I recognize the divine within you and honor your freedom with the same respect and appreciation I feel for Spirit.
And so we are both divine creatures of Love. Let us allow Love to continue blossoming in its totality within us and through us so that the fear of tomorrow does not arise any further within the consciousness of mankind.
As I Am, You Are.
We Are Lyóns.
I vow to going beyond all of my ego-defenses to fully initiate unity with you. I vow to take 100% responsibility for myself, no more no less. I vow to develop a state of openness towards you. I vow to always tell you the truth and bear myself to you beyond controlling my image or your reaction. I vow to appreciate your divinity. I vow to challenge you. I vow to ever seek a better understanding of your true essence and all the ways in which I can invite it forward.
I vow to:
Connect authentically with you
Engage in conscious relationship
Respond to your feedback
Minimize my assumptions
Maintain spiritual integrity
Maintain emotional integrity
Create laughter and smiling
Satisfy your sexual desires
Provide for you and our family
Nurture our mutual creativity
Facilitate our synergy
Commit to our continued growth and evolution
Achieve victory over our fears
Encourage you to always be you
Improve our already awesome communication
Assume your positive intent
Show my love to you in the forms you require
Appreciate all the information you share with me
Pursue our shared dream together
Receive the gifts of your beautiful brain
Pursue excellent health together
Forgive your mistakes
Facilitate our dreams
Explore together all that this life has to offer
Prioritize our relationship
Fully appreciate you and the feminine goddess.
(To friends and family) My friends and family! It fills me with unspeakable joy that you are here to witness my declaration of love and trust for my captain in the truth of his purpose.
As god is my witness I am elevated by my vows. I rebuke any claim of the state, as the laws of man cannot contain or define love eternal.
I consciously choose to be married to this beautiful being before me because I desire recognition of the truth of our commitment from my community. Only the one living god, acting through us, can unify us as husband and wife.
AND SO IT IS.
My beloved Rob:
- I am deeply and fully committed to consciously relating with you as a spiritual practice by the four agreements.
- to honoring the Christ consciousness of your being.
- to understanding you.
- to going beyond all of my ego-defenses to fully initiate unity with you.
- I am deeply and fully committed to taking 100% responsibility for myself.
- to developing a state of openness towards you.
- to offering spaciousness within and around you.
- to telling the truth and bearing myself to you beyond controlling my image or your reaction.
- I am deeply and fully committed to actively appreciating you.
- to challenging you.
- to being curious about your true essence and ways I can invite it forth.
- to loving you as much as I can from wherever I am.
I honor these commitments by happily and gratefully choosing the following actions of loving practice:
* Noticing my state of openness to you
* Expressing myself in vulnerability by sharing my hidden feelings and withheld truths
* Replacing defensiveness with wonderment and truth-speaking
* Demonstrating unconditional positive regard for you through my questions and interactions
* Actively engaging with you in meaningful ways that increase our mutual understanding
* Owning what is mine
* Acting from empowerment
* Pursuing my creativity and bliss
* Sharing with you my deepest desires and needs
* Offering options for intimacy building
* Being clear about boundaries
* Trusting the universe for the highest good
* Returning to vulnerability as the remedy for fear towards intimacy
* Continuously choosing pure speech as the antidote to distortion and theft
* Committing to self-love, to being seen beautiful, and to drawing to me, through divine love, those beings who seek enlightenment through my process -a sharing that elevates us all now
* Asking about and acknowledging your feelings
* Honoring you by demonstrating thoughtful appreciation in your specific language of love
* Deeply listening to you
* Showing you plentiful affection
* Telling you I love and adore you
* Prioritizing my growth
* Prioritizing and holding an attitude of unconditional positive regard for your growth process
* Prioritizing authenticity above illusion
My beloved, I see you!
Even if I live to be 150, I cannot imagine there being enough days in my life that could satisfy my desire to be with you and know you!
I have experienced with you that 1+1=10,000–> I have faith in our ability to be, do, and have anything we choose.
Lover of my soul, I am fervently committed to living the greatest love affair of all time.
AND SO IT IS.
Where Everything is Music
Don’t worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it doesn’t matter.
We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the whole world’s harp
should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments playing.
So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint, and a spark.
This singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.
Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge
of driftwood along the beach, wanting!
from a slow and powerful root
that we can’t see.
Stop the words now.
Open the window in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out.
— Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (Jalalu’ddin Rumi, Maulana), 13th century Persian poet, founder of Mevlevi order / Whirling Dervishes of Sufi tradition.
“Then Almitra spoke again and said, “And what of Marriage, master?” And he answered saying: You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Chapter 1 of Love, Freedom, and Aloneness by Osho
“Love is not what is ordinarily understood by the word. The ordinary love is just a masquerade; something else is hiding behind it. The real love is a totally different phenomenon. The ordinary love is a demand, the real love is a sharing. It knows nothing of demand; it knows the joy of giving.
The ordinary love pretends too much. The real love is nonpretentious; it simply is. The ordinary love becomes almost sickening, syrupy, drippy, what you call “lovey-dovey.” It is sickening, it is nauseating. The real love is a nourishment, it strengthens your soul. The ordinary love only feeds your ego – not the real you but the unreal you. The unreal always feeds the unreal, remember; and the real feeds the real.
Become a servant of real love – and that means becoming a servant of love in its ultimate purity. Give, share whatsoever you have, share and enjoy sharing. Don’t do it as if it is a duty – then the whole joy is gone. And don’t feel that you are obliging the other, never, not even for a single moment. Love never obliges. On the contrary, when somebody receives your love, you feel obliged. Love is thankful that is has been received.
Love never waits to be rewarded, even to be thanked. If the thankfulness comes from the other side, love is always surprised – it is a pleasant surprise, because there was no expectation.
You cannot frustrate real love, because there is no expectation in the first place. And you cannot fulfill unreal love because it is so rooted in expectation that whatsoever is done always falls short. Its expectation is too great, nobody can fulfill it. So the unreal love always brings frustration, and the real love always bring fulfillment.
And when I say, “Become a servant of love,” I am not saying to become a servant of somebody whom you love, no not at all. I am not saying to become a servant of a lover. I am saying become a servant of love. The pure idea of love should be worshipped. Your lover is only one of the forms of that pure idea, and the whole existence contains nothing but millions of forms of that pure idea. The flower is one idea, one form, the moon another, your lover still another . . . your child, your mother, your father, they are all forms, all waves in the ocean of love. But never become a servant of a lover. Remember always that your lover is only one tiny expression.
Serve love through the lover, so that you never become attached to the lover. And when one is not attached to the lover, love reaches its highest peaks. The moment one is attached, one starts falling low. Attachment is a kind of gravitation – unattachment is grace. Unreal love is another name for attachment; real love is very detached.
Unreal love shows so much concern – it is always concerned. Real love is considerate but has no concern. If you really love a man you will be considerate of his true need but you will not show unnecessary concern for his foolish, stupid fantasies. You will take every care of his needs, but you are not there to fulfill his fictitious desires. You will not fulfill anything that is really going to harm him. For example, you will not fulfill his ego, although his ego will be demanding. The person who is too concerned, attached, will fulfill the ego demands – that means you are poisoning your beloved. Consideration means you will see that this is not a real need but an ego need; you will not fulfill it.
Love knows compassion but no concern. Sometimes it is hard, because sometimes it is needed to be hard. Sometimes it is very aloof. If it helps to be aloof, it is aloof. Sometimes it is very cold; if it is needed to be cold then it is cold. Whatever the need, love is considerate – but not concerned. It will not fulfill any unreal need; it will not fulfill any poisonous idea in the other.
Search into, meditate on love, experiment. Love is the greatest experiment in life, and those who live without experimenting with love energy will never know what life is. They will only remain on the surface without going into the depth of it.
My teaching is love-oriented. I can drop the word God very easily – there is no problem – but I cannot drop the word love. If I have to choose between the words love and God, I will choose love; I will forget all about God, because those who know love are bound to know God. But it is not vice versa: Those who think about God and philosophize about God may never know about love – and will never know about God, either.”
Excerpt from The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
“The best way you can serve your woman is by helping her to surrender, to trust the force of love, so that she can open her heart, be the love that she is, and give this love which naturally overflows from her happiness. THIS DOES NOT INVOLVE ANALYZING THE BLOCKS TO HER LOVING. Analyzing blocks is a man’s way. Men love to analyze blocks, on the football field, the chess board, in the stock market, and even in their intimate life. But it’s important that you, as a man, don’t project your way of doing things onto your woman.
Let her be the ocean. Encourage her to be as free as the ocean, as deep as the ocean, as wild as the ocean, and as powerful as the ocean. Be so full in your loving, so strong and stable in your presence, that she can just let go and surrender the limits she has put on her feelings. Let the emotions of her heart flow unguarded. Let her love be expressed with no limits. Let her go mad with love.
Love has its own intelligence. Honor love’s intelligence by realizing that analysis is not usually necessary to serve your woman’s openness. Love your woman with your whole body, perhaps pressing her against the wall with your belly and chest, pressing your love into her, breathing with her so that she relaxes her tension and surrenders to the love in her heart, and let her relaxation and surrender liberate the wisdom inherent in her loving. You have much to gain from the depths of her feminine gifts.”