Spirituality and Exploration

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Our existence is closely connected with our spirit of exploration. Ever since we were born, or ever since we developed an awareness of our individuality in the universe, exploration has perhaps been an integral part of that which defines us. The inquisitiveness of infants is essential to their learning and education and identity. The discovery of cause and effect, colors, shapes, patterns, textures and the like, become the toddler’s playground.

As we grow a bit older and traverse through grade school, middle school, high school and college education, our desire for exploration of the world around us often expands. The more we know, the more we often want to know, for we discover that we know but little. It is this innate internal programming which is connected to our survival as a species, that inspires us to send probes, robots, and humans to explore space, our own moon, moons on other planets, and the planets themselves.

Fifty years ago, in what was then a ‘race to the moon’, we saw human beings and human teams undertake an exploration journey that still inspires many. The landing of Apollo 11 on the lunar surface was an event that crossed national and continental boundaries in its impact. Humanity at large, believed a bit more in themselves, in their ability to dream big and achieve those big dreams. The event brought us closer to the stars. More importantly, when the lunar explorers looked back at earth from far off distances, their photographs of earth brought us greater awareness of our own planet.

It is human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand. Exploration is not a choice, really; it’s an imperative – Michael Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut

And that is the serendipity of exploration. The lunar missions were primarily focused on going further than humans had ever gone before. They were, in a sense, outwardly directed, away from earth. However, the farther outward they traveled, the greater awareness, appreciation, and reverence they developed for ‘home’. Many an astronaut has often remarked about the sense of Oneness that they feel with Earth when in orbit. This cognitive shift in awareness is called the overview effect. Exploration is perhaps akin to having a spiritual realization, a kind of enlightenment, about the connectedness of it all. It ought to be no surprise that those who have traveled beyond, are often the greatest proponents of exploration.

As we celebrate Apollo 11 fifty years on, it is reasonable to ask – why did we stop? Why haven’t we returned, or even gone beyond? Did we lose our desire, our will to keep exploring? Perhaps it is no different than when we reach a certain ‘milestone’ in our inner exploration. We start thinking that we have ‘arrived’, and that we don’t have much more to discover. Distractions and complacency sets in, hubris grips us, and ‘fifty’ years may go by before we realize that we took just one small step… an important step, but it is time to awaken and take the next giant leap.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering on twitter – Sunday, July 21 at 9amET in #spiritchat. We will share stories about exploration, discovery, the explorer’s spirit, and much more. Namaste – Kumud.

Earthrise apollo8 full“We set out to explore the moon and instead discovered the Earth.” – Bill Anders, Apollo 8 Astronaut (‘Earthrise’ photo by Bill Anders)

Common Sense Spirituality

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While preparing for last week’s chat on freedom, I had come across a reference to Thomas Paine’s essay titled “Common Sense” – an essay, written by an Englishman, published anonymously in early 1776, that is said to have greatly influenced and inspired the writers of the American Declaration of Independence. I was intrigued enough to get an electronic copy, and have been reading it this week.

Towards the end of the week, my reading of “Common Sense” was complemented by my (re)reading of “Practical Spirituality” by Swami Vivekananda. I couldn’t help but be struck by the common threads in the two writings, by two people who were so far separated by time, space, and causation. However, as often happens, when East meets West, and the waters of thought and action meet in Oneness, harmony is the result.

So, I paused to consider. What is the message of harmony that I could take away from these two treatises, for the cause of “Common Sense Spirituality”? Let me share with you the four quadrants of the message – I invite you to play in the template of four quadrants and arrive at your own interpretations of “Common Sense”.

Identify, focus on, and devote your best energies to the “big rocks”. How often do we begin the day, the week, the month or the year with good goals and intentions, but tend to “lose our way” among the little pebbles of life? For me, some of the the big rocks are morning meditation, tea and coffee conversations, walking in nature, sitting in evening reflection, and such. What are your “big rocks” and what quality of time, space and energy do you invest in them?

Feeding is important. It sounds simple, but the quality of what we feed our mind, body and spirit greatly influences the quality of creative energy that becomes available to us. Common Sense invites us to evaluate our feeding, our intake through all our senses, and develop awareness of our output. Are we emulating GiGo Garbage in Garbage out) because we are led by FoMo (Fear of Missing our)? If so, we are spirit-bound to course correct and improve the quality of our intake.

Weeding is directly connected to feeding, and the two combine to influence growth. As a gardener, I am well aware that no matter how hard I try, weeds have the propensity to appear “out of the blue” with alacrity and regularity. In order to prevent the mind garden from being overrun by weeds of fear, hate, judgement and the like, regular weeding is common sense. Regular weeding also ensures that our spiritual feeding has the maximum nutritional effect on our subtle body.

In the fourth quadrant, is breathing. Although breathing is an autonomous function, which is a good thing, we do have the ability to develop control over its rhythm. Beyond the purely physical benefits of breath awareness, the art of breathing directly influences our nervous system, its currents and its energies. The common sense way to regulate the perturbations in our emotional state is to watch the state of our breath. Emotions feed our thoughts, which often feed our focus and the actions that we take in the first quadrant of “big rocks”. Harmonize the flow of life-force provided by the breath, develop flexibility and resilience, and all the four quadrants can come into harmony by returning us to the center of wellness.

Namaste,

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. I am sure that you can think of many different “common sense” ways to fill the four quadrants… share with us your ideas in our weekly gathering, Sunday July 14 at 9amET in #SpiritChat on Twitter. Namaste – Kumud

The “four quadrants” of Common Sense

Gifts of Freedom

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The waxing first quarter moon flirted with me from outside the upstairs window as it emerged briefly from behind the clouds at late twilight. I had just finished my evening meditation, and was slowly emerging from the gift of freedom from being immersed in a deep peace from the stillness beyond light. The gift of the moon made my heart feel like a lotus that opens its petals at the first signs of light.

I needed to see more of her magic, so I walked downstairs, and on to the deck outside, just to catch a few clear glimpses before some dark clouds engulfed her for the night. Just as I was to walk back inside, out of the corner of my eye, I saw yet another gift – the first summer sighting of a firefly in the grass. And as I swept my gaze towards the trees, I saw a forest full of fireworks – hundreds of fireflies silently floating, dancing, sharing their light from within. The Fourth of July fireworks from a distant suburb that sent ‘lightning’ into a clouded sky barely held a candle to this gift of Mother Nature.

So often it is the inclination of our human nature to get focused on, get trapped by, or even become despondent in despair about our lack of freedom, or the state of our independence in the world. When we forget about our gifts, it often takes a few courageous men and women to stand up and say – enough. Inspired by divine providence, they draft a new declaration, and then pledge to it their lives and sacred honor. Then, the battle to reclaim the gift of freedom, truly begins.

Such is often the state of our inner world too, isn’t it? Immersed in fear, doubt, anger, envy, and our desire for likes, we forget the gifts of our truths. It often takes a new declaration, a new resolve, a new inspiration for us to be (re)awakened to walk our path of constant remembrance of the gifts of our freedom. It is when we are awake to our inner gifts of peace, joy, silence, stillness and more, that we can pledge to share the same with our fellow freedom fighters.

That is perhaps the significance of the Fourth of July, Canada Day (and similar ‘Independence Day’ celebrations) to me. In addition to the fireworks, the concerts, the picnics, the road trips – it is the freedom to observe and embrace the gifts of light, however small or slivered they may be, that glow constantly within my reach.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us for a community celebration of our gifts of freedom – Sunday, July 7 at 9amET on Twitter in #SpiritChat – Namaste. – Kumud

A (de)light gift of summer that burst forth this weekend!

On Spiritual Flexibility

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It was a bright, sunny early evening when I left home to head out for the Friday evening lecture hosted by our local Vedanta group. By the time I got to the highway a few minutes later to head east for a few miles, the skies had suddenly darkened. A mile or so later, it was pouring down, torrential downpour – severe enough for me to consider pulling over and let it pass.

I slowed down but decided to keep going, hoping that the thunderstorm would pass through. By the time I arrived at the venue, I realized that I had arrived at the eye of the storm, which included the steady drum-beat of pelting down pea-sized hail. I decided to wait it out in my car, for to step outside would surely mean an instant shower. Maybe I should have stayed home today?

The speaker was a young monk from Hollywood, California, who had arrived in the USA from India, less than two years ago. As he started his lecture, it was apparent that his (very good) English was still heavily tinged with Indian accents. However, his two-part message, of which, “flexibility in spiritual practice” was the second part, was unmistakably clear. With story after story of how to practice spiritual flexibility in life with respect to time, to people and to situations, he held the audience in rapt interest.

The gist of his message was that spiritual flexibility is one of the best ingredients to create inner peace.

Have you ever read or listened to spiritual and religious material(s) (books, essays, lectures, scriptures) and wondered why some of the messages within them seem anachronistic (out of time and place) with modern life? If yes, then his suggestion was to put a ‘time context’ to those material(s), and allow for temporal flexibility of the message(s) contained within them. The message(s) that made ‘sense’ then may not necessarily make ‘sense’ now. We may have to re-visit, re-classify, re-evaluate, and maybe even reject certain old doctrine(s), so that we do not become prisoners of dogma. This is called spiritual flexibility in time.

Have you ever wondered why certain people get attracted to certain spiritual practice(s) while some seem totally disinterested in them? Some may prefer yoga or chanting, others may prefer going to places of worship, while others may choose meditation or something entirely different. To each their own. There are also those who have developed a variety of such practices. Such people have the ability to be flexible in their understanding of, and their response to, different types of people. Diversity of spiritual tools allows us to practices flexibility with people.

Have you ever felt that your beliefs, your responses, and your outcomes to seemingly similar life situations have changed over time? An event or situation that would have sent you into a tail-spin a few year ago barely registers a blip on your emotional radar – this is a sign of growth in emotional intelligence. Similarly, our ability to respond with equanimity to ‘good’ and ‘bad’ events in our lives, and keep on doing good for the greater good, is a sign of spiritual flexibility in life situations.

Spiritual resilience is a benefit of developing spiritual flexibility. We learn the art of being flexible, and adapting with time, with people, and with life’s situations. What other pros (and cons) may be the result of practicing spiritual flexibility? I invite you to come and share with us in our weekly gathering. Namaste.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering on twitter – Sunday, June 30 at 9amET. I will bring some questions (and answers), and we can help each other build resilience as we walk our paths forward. Namaste – Kumud

The tree trunks, the branches, the leaves, and the not-visible roots… they are flexible, they all bend to the light and the wind… and hence transmit peace

Spirit of Inclusion

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Spirit of Inclusion by Christy Johnson (@Intuitiveheal) 

(for #SpiritChat Sunday June 23rd at 9amET )

In re-reading Pema Chodron’s Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living, I’m struck again by how much of our suffering comes from wanting to exclude or resist certain aspects of ourselves and of others. Our desire to avoid comes from a helpful place since we wish to sidestep pain and thus do our best to stay away from anything that could cause it. Unfortunately this avoidance brings more pain rather than less. Those who hate others or themselves or life suffer deeply.

 

Inclusion extends to all the other people on this planet. When we attempt to “other” people by placing them in groups that are supposedly different than we are, we alienate ourselves in the process. The other is within us, we are within them, and we’re all more the same than different.  

 

From both a Buddhist and Akashic Records perspective, our core goodness is a constant. However, our perception of our fundamental goodness may be clouded during life’s challenges and difficulties. Somehow we have to awaken from the nightmare that we aren’t enough, we don’t have what it takes, as well as the false belief that anyone is “less than” based on race, religion, sexual orientation, degree of consciousness, or any other arbitrary differentiator. We all suffer and we all have difficulties. We also each bring something to the world that’s unique in all time and space, a valuable part of the whole.

 

Consider all the ways we humans exclude. Extreme examples include the Holocaust and slavery but on a much smaller scale it happens within us every day. We exclude what we hate and what we fear. The more we get over our desire to escape the discomfort created by our minds, the more inclusive we can be.

 

Please join us as we explore how we might we grow our willingness and desire to be inclusive of all of life – everyperson, every experience, and every feeling.

 

Note: After I wrote this post, I realized another book I read recently influenced my focus on inclusion. I highly recommend reading Compassionate Counterterrorism – The Power of Inclusion in Fighting Fundamentalism by Leena Al Olaimy, a Muslim woman with an intriguing and hopeful perspective on what may otherwise seem an unsolvable problem.

 

Dr. Christy Johnson quit her decades-long engineering career in 2010 to open her integrative energy healing practice. She helps clients grow and evolve via soul level information and energy work including many self-helps tools. You can connect with her via her website www.intuitiveheal.com or on Twitter @IntuitiveHeal .

On Fathers and Spirituality

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I would like to believe that spirituality is gender neutral. If our spirit – that which is beyond mind and body, beyond the influence of space and time, is gender-neutral, then so is perhaps our ‘spiritual path’ that connects us to It.

This is not to say that we live in a gender-neutral physical world. Our very physical inception as humans required the union of two different genders. For some of us, the propagation of our genetic inheritance leads us to one day inherit society’s label of ‘father’ or ‘mother’. In my case, unprepared as (I thought) I was, on that day when she was born, I said – now what?

Many a ‘Fathers Day’ has passed since that day. In times of totally being at sea as a Dad, I have often searched for calm waters and warm breezes among the wisdom memories of my own fathers (birth Dad, my two uncles) and my grandfathers. I have walked, bhikshu bowl in hand, for morsels of advice at the doorsteps of my peers and friends who have walked the path ahead of me. I have asked for many a blessing, invoked many a fervent prayer, in many a house of worship. I have sung many a song to evoke grace and received many a poem in trail, on many a trail of mother nature’s infinitude.

In the process of doing ‘fatherhood’, I have unfolded a ‘becoming a father’. It has slowly dawned on me that the greatest legacy of my ‘fathers’ was their dedication and devotion to their practice. They did not shy away from prayer, from honoring the divine, from practicing their faith, from singing the songs of their mothers and fathers. They subscribed to the practice of silence and stillness as a love-form, speaking soft yet weighty words with lovingly measured tones, and looking me in the eye with tenderness when they deemed that I was in veering towards being lost at sea.

As I reflected on the spirituality of my fathers this week, I realized that I have much to learn and practice. I have discovered that I am fortunate to have a wisdom treasury to draw upon when needed – for they all conspired, in their own way, by their own spiritual walk, to connect me to the treasury of the Infinite.

Kumud

P.S. This is not an eulogy to my fathers, or fatherhood in general. I realize that your experience(s) as fathers, with your father(s) and those that played such role(s) in your lives, may be far from, or totally opposite of what I have described. No matter your experience(s), I hope that you will choose to reflect a bit, and join us Sunday June 16 at 9amET in our weekly twitter chat in #SpiritChat – Namaste. Kumud.

Spiritual Summer Camp

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The outage started at about 10pm on Thursday evening. It was at about that time when we pulled into the parking lot of the camp ‘in the middle of nowhere” where the eastern and western branches of the historic Delaware river meet. The seven hour drive across rivers, valleys and through the mountains of the lower tier of upstate New York had been scenic and educational.

We arrived to pitch-black darkness under crystal-clear skies with the sliver of a new-moon slowly rising into wispy clouds and the brightest carpet of star-studded diamonds I had seen in a long time. My daughter announced – “there’s no signal, Dad” – a sign that cellular coverage had been reduced to zero. “I am sure they have Wi-Fi” was my palliative response, to instill some hope, even though I knew fully well that that was not to be the case (at for her).

Ten weeks of ‘summer break’ from school usually include at least a few weeks of ‘camp’ for most families, and ours is no different. This year, she decided that she was ready to try ‘sleepaway camp’. So, here we were, to begin three weeks of a journey into a new paradigm without internet, to be (hopefully) replaced with all kinds of activities including outdoor activities and water sports, theater, magic, music, art, and much more. Her ‘device’ is loaded with music and books, but I have a feeling that she will be hard-pressed to find time for any of that.

During the drive out, I couldn’t help but wonder – what were my ‘summer breaks’ like growing up? They were mostly spent visiting family, and traveling around in the areas where my Dad was stationed. Multiple summers were spent in Kashmir, Assam, Arunachal – the far North and Northeastern states of India were my playgrounds. And how about you – what were your ‘summer breaks’ like? Did they include any ‘summer camps’? If so, how did they influence your ‘education’ outside of formal schooling?

As adults, it is perhaps in summer-time that we feel a little bit of extra freedom to take time out for ourselves. As a society, it is a season where it is ‘acceptable’ to take time to be on family vacations, retreats and related travel. ‘Summer-camps’ for adults may look a bit different than those for kids, but the intent is perhaps the same – disconnect from the everyday routine, experience a new (unfamiliar) environment, try some new activities, learn some new skills, make some new friends, and emerge with energy, enthusiasm, and excitement about ‘back to school’ at summer’s end.

So, what would ‘Spiritual summer-camp’ look like for you? Have you ever been to one in the form of a ‘spiritual retreat’ away from home? If so, would you do it again? Have you ever experimented with an ‘in-home’ spiritual summer-camp which involved a new routine, new skills, new connections, internet disconnect, and more?

The outage (for me) lasted well after lunch on the next day. In the morning, it did feel a bit strange to pick up the phone, only to find out that I was still ‘lost’ to the outside world. I will admit that I suddenly ‘found’ a lot more hours in the day… to take a long walk by the lake after breakfast, to sit in an adirondack chair in the sunshine after lunch and doze off into day-dreams, to sit on the hill before dinner and watch the sunlight filtering through the tall trees creating musical patterns on the water…

Total disconnection from the internet, forced upon me as it was, even though it lasted less than a day, allowed me to get a wonderful glimpse of what I had been missing by not ‘going to camp’ as an adult. I was glad to ‘return’, but I secretly wished that my camping adventure had lasted a bit longer…

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.A. Join us Sunday, June 9th at 9amET and share some of your “summer camp” experiences. I will bring some questions, some lemonade and watermelon. You can bring a camp chair and some marshmallows – Kumud

A ‘slice of heaven’ in the Catskills

Towards Spiritual Graduations

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As life-defining events go, “graduation” is often considered to be one of the primary ones. For some, it can be a time to celebrate the milestone that has been accomplished, a time to reflect on the journey that has brought one this far, a time to express gratitude to all those who may have helped us along the way, and a time to look ahead to the next milestone. For others, graduation can be a portal, a doorway, an opportunity to begin anew, a new journey and a new phase of life.

My personal journey of formal education gave me many opportunities to graduate, and even though I did not attend any of the ceremonies until the one for my final degree award, they all were significant milestones. Each graduation opened the door to a new learning environment, new teachers and friendships, a breath of fresh ideas, and an awareness that the world was indeed my oyster. All I had to do was accept the opening invitation.

It has been many years since my own graduations, and now, I look forward to experiencing them every year through the eyes and words of my friends’ and relatives’ children. The light in their eyes, their hope to effect change and transformation, their desire for improved equality and justice, and much more, is written large in their essays and stories and actions.

So, how may we, our generation, best serve the graduates of today? If personal example is the best way to demonstrate leadership, then perhaps we can ask — what is our next graduation milestone? What is our (spiritual) curriculum? Who are our friends, our teachers, our guides, our mentors, our confidantes on our (spiritual) journey? Are we going regularly to ‘class’ or are we ‘sleeping in’ more often than not? Are we taking initiative and ‘asking for help’ outside of class when we know we are stuck on a project or assignment? Are we aware of our fellow students’ struggles and lending a listening ear or a book or a song, or providing a gentle nudge when we discern the need?

Yes. Graduation can take on many colors and hues and in this season. Maybe our own progress towards painting our masterpiece is light enough for others to pick up their paint brushes and share with us their strokes of genius.

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join us in our weekly conversation on Twitter – Sunday, June 2 at 9amET / 630pm India, as we continue our journey. I will bring some questions, along with some tea. It is in the journey together, towards graduation, that we can unveil the answer to the grand question – “what is That, knowing which, all else can be known?” Namaste – Kumud

Looking ahead – towards the next horizon, the next graduation…

On Loving Remembrance

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How are our memories created? Where do our memories reside? What makes certain memories indelible while others fade away over time? How do the memories of those we love, those we live with, affect our lives? What is the best way to pause and honor the memory of those whom we never knew, but who made great sacrifices for us?

Some of these questions filtered through my head as I sat in the parked car, contemplating the path I was going to walk in the forest yesterday. I thought of the questions, and then let them go with love in the breeze, as I began the walk towards the river. A few minutes later, I was at one my favorite junctions, and the choice lay ahead – to walk the broad familiar or the unexplored narrow. I did not have my best walking shoes on, so, as if to say ‘what of that’, I chose the latter.

I followed the riverbank for a short while, and then re-traced my course in the other direction, pausing for quite a while on some of my favorite rocks in the middle of the river where the waters had receded enough to allow me passage. And, as often happens, the muse flowed words of remembrance in response to my questions. Some of these, I share with you. Maybe you will find some answers within…

Out of the corner of my eye
I saw the heron with full wingspan fly
Over the river flowing shallow ;

I must have interrupted her morning sojourn
As I knelt and bowed at many a turn
To walk the fisherman’s walk ;

No fishing pole in hand I held
Except for a camera with phone 
To come closer to the river flowing swift
And listen to the bluebells alone ;

And the chipmunk who stared at attention
In his stance from the fallen tree trunk proud
What beautiful solitude awaits us
A mere few yards from the madding crowd ;

I can hear the chirping of fledgelings
And the rumble of motorcycles loud 
I pause to kneel, to sit on haunches
To breathe in the earth's green cloud ;

And the flat rounds on this bank remind me
Of skipping stones in the Indus in Leh
So much is different and yet the same
Water, air, sun and swallows hold sway 
My heart feels like it’s going to burst forth with memories
Of lullabies filled with love from that day;

And the dancing of sunlight on ripples
Asks - does it take much courage to flow?
Or does it take courage to stand...
For the truth we've all have felt from beyond the know ;

Yes, yes it does take courage to admit of tears
Of all our meager holdings to let go 
We swim in the river of desires
Forgetful of love's seeds given us to sow ;

So when this world weighs you down now and then 
Find a river whose other shore you can't see 
Remember -- love's courage helps us walk
And leads us to who we're destined to be... ;

Yet forget not that for love to bloom life
We need to master the courage to die ;

But what is it -- that we are to die to and for?
That is perhaps the question's cry
I often wonder, and try to remember —
As I watch the swallow who's learning to fly... 

Kumud

P.S. Thank you for reading this far, and letting me share my musings with you. May 26th marks the observance of Memorial Day Sunday in the USA. Join us on twitter at 9amET, as we discuss some (spiritual) aspects of ‘loving remembrance’. Namaste. – Kumud @AjmaniK

Nature's Loving Remembrance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towards the end of the circle of my walk, I came upon this young tree with fresh green leaves, seemingly growing almost horizontally out of the love of the soil accumulated around the tree trunks of fallen trees… #MemorialDay

Coming Closer in Silence

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I arrived at “Unity Center”, just as MM was walking into the hall where she was going to conduct the morning visitation. Draped elegantly in a silk safer, her graceful figure walked silently by all those (including me) lining the hallway, with the softest of half-smiles on her face.

I made my way quietly to the far right corner of a row about 12 rows from the stage, and sat four seats in from the corner. There was almost total silence in the room — something that is unusual to find these days, particularly in a large group setting of a 150+ people. I rarely need an invitation to be silent, so I felt immediately at home.

With my eyes firmly closed, almost half expecting that she would start speaking or chanting from where she was seated on the stage, I slowly realized that silence was all we would all hear from her. The only thing I could hear was the occasional shuffling of feet and knees as each row took turns lining up, and the moving forward in the center aisle, on their way to the stage, where they would get their individual visit with her.

After about what seemed like a really short thirty or forty minutes in the silence, I heard movement in my row. Our turn had come. A volunteer was motioning to folks in our row to join those waiting in the center aisle… and we shuffled ahead slowly in growing anticipation of soon being on stage, and then, eventually, directly in front of Her for our silent visit…

At any given time, there were four people on stage. One directly seated in front of her, and three people waiting their turn. When I was one person away from my personal visit with her, I noticed a small sign next to her on the floor saying two words – “come closer”. This was purportedly so that she would not have to lean too far forward in her small chair to reach each person, and hold their heads in their hands. In addition, if we paid attention to the sign and did “come closer”, the better would perhaps be the transfer of love in the moments where she would look directly into your eyes and you could see the entire universe of love in hers.

After I came off of the stage, swimming in transformative energy immersion, I wondered if I had taken the “come closer” sign too literally. Perhaps the “come closer” invitation was a reminder of the emotional and spiritual gap or distance that we consciously or sub-consciously develop, the walls we build around our hearts, due to our inherent distrust of our ability to experience the energy of pure, divine love.

After I had returned to my seat and reverted again to silence, the shuffling of people in the center aisle and on stage stopped — now, there was Total silence. Even the whirring of the oxygen machine that an older lady had been using a few rows ahead of me, stopped. This totality of silence was accompanied by a marked and perceptible shift in the energy in the room.

After what seemed like ten minutes or so, the energy shower was turned off, I raised my head, open my eyes ever so slightly, to see that the She was making her way out of the hall with eyes gently lowered, through the very same center aisle in which we all had waited a bit earlier for our personal journey to “get closer” to her. An incredible morning session that lasted a total of seventy-five minutes had now come to a close.

I wasn’t sure that I was quite ready to socialize yet, let alone indulge in any conversation – so I sat for a few minutes in my chair, after which the lady who was sitting next time, inquired of me with a hint of disappointment – “why didn’t she speak? I thought she would give a lecture or something.”

I wanted to say that perhaps she wanted to “come closer” to us in silence, and that it was her chosen medium, rather than words. But, I wasn’t sure how my reply would be received, so I simply said – “I am not sure. Maybe she will speak next time.”

What do you think? Can silence bring us closer to our spiritual self? Can silence be a better medium than words? If so, then why does silence make some of us uncomfortable? What are some fears that stop us from “coming closer” in silence?

Kumud

P. S. This was my second visit with MM (Mother Meera) in the past three years. She reminded me of the power of renewal in silence. Please join me and the #SpiritChat community on Sunday May 19 at 9amET – we will try and “come closer”. Namaste – Kumud

“Silent Spring”