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It’s autumn… and the forest welcomes me back…

It was an exhilarating return to the river reservation in the valley, after an entire summer of absence. The overcast skies and a light rain were not enough to deter me from visiting and checking on the health of my good friends. And so, I walked the wet and narrow fisherman’s trail by the river, and was welcomed with a familiar energy. It felt like a homecoming.

The transition to autumn was well underway in the forest, as there was already a thin carpet of wet leaves on the trail. The river nearby was calm and almost still, except for the the sound of raindrops falling steadily and sending ripples everywhere. The bright yellows on the trees were resplendent in the Noon hour, even under graying skies. The orange hues were beginning to emerge among the yellows and their stillness enveloped me, invited me to stand still so that the forest could do its work.

And so I paused, stood still, closed my eyes, and allowed the energy to do what it needed to do. The murmur of the river,

the play of raindrops on my head, the light scent of the lavender blooms, the holding of the earth beneath and the canopy of the trees and sky above – the cumulative energy and effect of it was all a bit surreal. Twenty four hours later, as I write about that energy infusion, my heart is still processing the experience.

It wasn’t like I hadn’t walked the particular part of the reservation, many many times before. And yet, this journey on a familiar path was transformative. I cannot explain why this experience was so different from all the ones I’ve had before. Maybe it feels transformative because this is the most recent experience and I have forgotten about the impact of my precious walks? Maybe it feels transformative because I have been diligent in my daily meditation practice, which in turn has made me more sensitive to the energy of the forest as it undergoes its own transformation? Maybe it is because I went into the walk without any expectation other than to simply walk, feel, touch, listen and immerse in the energy?

Perhaps the ‘why’ of the transformative energy isn’t as important as the direct experience itself. When does the energy flow around us become transformative? The first step is when we take steps to cleanse ourselves of the heaviness of anger, hate and energy-draining emotions – we balance our tamas, our propensity towards negativity. The second step is when we take steps towards proper actions in all our activities – we balance our rajas, our propensity towards outward activity. The balancing of tamas and rajas opens us to creating sattva or purity within, and allows for energy to reach deep into our heart.

In the perfect balance of our three propensities, we are ready to integrate, assimilate and propagate the energy which is forever flowing within and without us. On our spiritual walk, we now realize that every flower, every leaf, every drop of rain, every step on the trail, every living being, conveys energy to and through us. We awaken to discover that the door has been opened for us to transform into Shakti – that divine energy of protection, love, grace, and joy limitless.

And to think that it can all begin with a simple visit with a friend…


P.S. Join us Sunday, October 10 at 9amET for our weekly gathering on Twitter in #SpiritChat. Sunday marks the mid-point of the nine-day Hindu festival of Navratri, which celebrates the ‘Energy of the Goddess’. Enjoy the transformation! Namaste – @AjmaniK

A station on the trail… time to pause and absorb…