Day 51- om symbol meditation

When we arrived in Mexico City yesterday, I meet my niece, Sophia, for the first time since she was a baby. It takes less than ten minutes for her shyness to melt away and I get shown her room. This is any child’s rite of passage. You know you are accepted with a little girl when you are bestowed the high honour and privilege of being shown their favourite possessions. She is a clever, independent little angel, who loves the colour pink and wants to be a ballerina when she grows up. She chats to Andrew in Spanish, and when he asks her questions in English, she responds in perfect English. We are standing at the fruit market ordering fruit and I hear, “Tia, Tia!” I look down and she says, “Te amo.” I love you. I almost start crying as I pick her up and squeeze her. She kindly requests to be put down after a minute.

We spend some time walking around and around the market place known as the Ciudadela. On the way in, we pass a square where a punk band is playing and some older couples at the back are practicing their waltz. The ciudadela is the artisanal market and is a bright splash of colour, from Mexican rugs to skulls, religious icons, hats, bags, wooden toys and silver jewellery. After three laps of the market looking for a cross for my brother, I can feel Andrew’s frustration. I could stay lost in this market all day but eventually I buy the first cross I looked at and we walk out towards the car. The square is full of dread locks and covered in a cloud of Maria Juanita. The nearby police stand by idly and we joke that they are probably the ones selling. We stop to listen to the reggae band, but it is their last song so we eventually walk on.

After a day indulging my marketplace fetish, it is Andrew’s turn and we are again in a tattoo parlour. He has finally found a Mexican skull that he likes and most of the detail is right on his knee cap. I sit next to him in the small studio and consider offering him my hand to squeeze, as he had done for me the other day, but judging from the white knuckles on his own hands I keep mine in my lap. I can’t go outside in this neighbourhood by myself so I have no choice but to sit right where I am and meditate. My Eden cardigan has a big OM symbol on the back so I spread it open in my lap and stare at it. I decide not to close my eyes. With the sound of the needle, the occasional chatter around me and the sound of Metallica in the background, I need to focus on the visual representation of this symbol.

Om is an ancient symbol and its sound represents the vibration of the universe, the sound Brahma made when he created it and the holy trinity of Hinduism; Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and their associations of creation, sustenance and destruction as the cycle of life. Om reflects absolute reality, embracing the entirety of existence. Taken letter by letter as A-U-M it is the divine energy of Shakti. The shape of the symbol represents the four states of consciousness. Awake is the lowest curve and represents the material world; sleep is the upper curve; dream state is the curve in between waking and sleep and the dot represents the highest state of consciousness, Samadhi or bliss. The semi circle represents the infinite, the vast openness of the space around us.

As I meditate, I begin with the lowest curve and slowly my attention moves up until I can feel my higher self transcending beyond the room that I am in and my eyes are focused on the dot- the bliss. It feels truly blissful and when I am finished, I am pleased at my ability to do this in the environment that I am in. After a moment spent grounding, I open my eyes and look at Andrew’s knee. It looks amazing, so far and although he is laughing, I can see his hand gripping his thigh as though he might tear out his quad muscle.

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