Day 143- grocery wars

I am down the coast at my brother’s house minding his kids with my mum and I am in the mood to cook quinoa and roasted vegetables… My mother takes me into the local bulk buy discount super market. I am almost in tears as I leave. Everything is in a package or frozen! The fruit and veg section was tiny- they didn’t even have sweet potato! And all the veggies had plastic wrapping! I am so horrified and shaken up. As I almost cry, driving home with the kids asking when we will get home, the familiar orange sign of BWS (Beer Wine and Spirits) comes into my peripheral vision. This is my shadow saying, “this is too hard, just give in, become part of the consumeristic culture and just have wine and toast for dinner…” I don’t listen. I physically swipe my forehead, deleting that old samskara (habit) from my mind. I stay strong and cook lentil and roast vegetable pie instead. It is hard trying to be in this world and yet not be affected. I was so angry at the supermarket. Why do people buy crap to put in their bodies? Why does the food industry fill us with crap? Why so much plastic!? Where are the fruit markets lining the streets? You know you don’t belong in this shiny progressive brave new world when, in all its chaos, India makes more sense.

Then I receive an email from one of my friends from the STP course in India; she is an angelic singer and always finds beautiful songs in Hindi describing the principles of yoga. This song perfectly describes my present state and has come just in time as a beautiful reminder that this is reality- this is the struggle we must all face. It would be easy to retreat to a cave and meditate but then, I wouldn’t be learning what I came here to learn. I entered this lifetime, as a woman born in Sydney, for a reason and I must learn to be in this world. Wherever I am, I must find the guru within and learn the lesson I am being shown. These experiences are actually part of the path to enlightenment, not obstructions. There is no need to cry. Just observe, find the truth and always remember the way home is to turn within.

Below the song is translated:

All my wishes and desires are visibly written on my face/forehead.
What can I ask you, really? You yourself understand
Oh Master, Protector

There are only splits, pains in my fate, oh Master/Guru
Set my fate right, dear Guru
At your doorstep, I bow my head and thus, ‘I’ extinguish and am born again. Set my fate right, dear Guru

Whoever came to your doorstep, came with the intent of letting go
They came staggering inside filled with drunkenness of worldly attachments.
They came with a thirst which was unquenched outside, you filled him up completely, fully.
They were seen drenched in Light and thus, rescued.

Chorus: There are only splits, pains in my fate, oh Guru
Set my fate right, dear Guru

There was a fragrance leading me
I lost myself in its search, in the maaya of silken delusion and despite it, I kept yearning for it.
When I started on Your path, then Truth revealed itself to me.
I held within me that fragrance all along, You introduced me to this fragrance.

Of course, I knew only how to be shattered, unfocused and splintered.
I had not learnt to follow the one reason with obedience and surrender
Let me be in Worship/Meditation, Now, I won’t go anywhere else
Don’t turn me away this time. If you do, I won’t be able to pick/gather myself from pieces.

Day 139 – how sweet the sunshine

My last day in India. I am content to just be here right now. I don’t need to go anywhere or do anything. From 7am when I get up it takes about two hours to do my morning Sadhana but only fifteen minutes is trying to meditate. It is such a struggle that I just give up. I don’t know why it has become so difficult, why I get so easily distracted. I feel like there is an element missing. It’s like I am trying to pick something up but my hands are full. My mind feels stiff, like it is swollen. Flopping down on the bed, I realise that I have not yet found the one thing that can take me to samadhi. I keep practising, though, because the only way to go is forward but I when I feel exhausted and frustrated like this I wonder if I am not moving in the opposite direction. This whole time I have said that I am not searching for a guru. Whether I am ready or not, I have no idea but knowing I don’t come from this culture of guru/student learning I have not considered it seriously. The word guru literally means “one who dispels the darkness”, taking the student into the light. I don’t feel like I am in darkness, I feel as though my path has been illuminated all along, but perhaps the sky is overcast? Maybe I do need a spiritual guide?

Reading¬†The Journey Home,¬†by Radhanath Swami, I come across a passage in which Swami first meets his guru. ‘I felt that all of the events of my life thus far had been conspiring to bring me to this point.’ How often I have felt this, especially here in India. This journey has been so much more than ‘finding myself’. This has just been the beginning of a much deeper journey that is taking place, a a much more uphill path that I am destined to walk. Like the high altitude trek to Gaumukh, the air is thinner but it doesn’t matter because the view is breathtaking anyway.

The questions has been asked in coming to India; Who Am I? Everything now is about answering that questions. As I move through the world, she shares her beauty, wisdom and magnificence, teaching me and guiding me. Perhaps the rising sun can be my guru, the ocean my comfort, the wind my master and the earth my mother?

How sweet the sunshine

How soft he wind

How gentle the whisper

Calling me home