For most of the years that the weekly #SpiritChat has been around, we take a break from our Sunday morning Twitter gathering on Easter Sunday. It has become a bit of a tradition, if you will.
This Easter Sunday, we are going to ‘break with tradition’ because my heart has invited me to do so. Let me elaborate.
I usually wait until after my Saturday morning meditation hour to choose a topic for our Sunday chat. Clarity usually comes to the heart after meditation. As I sat for today’s hour, I didn’t even ‘ask for a topic’ because I wasn’t planning todo the chat anyway.
And yet, the universe had different plans. As my thoughts receded and the noise was replaced by a fullness of warmth and light that first came as a trickle, then a flood, and then a stillness that just sat there, my heart’s master said — “hold space for them like I am holding space for you.”
Who are these them, I asked? They are those who want someone to celebrate with, but can’t. Or they are those who want to simply share with someone about their week. Or they just want to see a friendly face, like your friend, the veteran who stands under a tree outside the local post office holding a “be kind” cardboard sign – the one you stop and chat with every single time you see him, inquire about his health issues, share some prepackaged food or a mask, and more. Yes him, who often reminds you of the fullness and richness of your life, as he says “God loves you” at the end of every one of your street conversations.
Yes. Hold space for them, because them includes you. Be the vessel that can be filled with potential. That was this morning’s invitation, and I accepted.
What is fullness or emptiness? It’s relative, isn’t it? To paraphrase Lao Tse, “we focus on the beauty of the vessel, but its usefulness, its potential is in its emptiness”. When the heart’s vessel is full, we feel led to empty it, to share what is held within, whether it be joy or sorrow. When the heart feels empty, we want to fill it up again.
Back and forth, the pendulum swings, and a time comes when our heart’s fullness is permanent. We are home again to love. We can all celebrate that, can’t we?
P. S. Join us for our weekly chat, Sunday April 4 at 9amET / 630pm India in #SpiritChat. Bring some goodies to share, and we will celebrate fullness. Namaste – @AjmaniK
As I walk outside on to the deck just after sunrise, I am greeted by a symphony of sounds and colors that are unmistakably spring. The blue hues of the lake shimmering reflections of the sky remind me of the much more expansive palette of the skies and waters of the Caribbean at sunrise on any given morning.
The greens of new buds on plants and the tiniest of leaves on trees in the forest encourage the grasses that are meandering their way back to life. There aren’t many reds or oranges or yellows or such yet, but I am sure that that palette will appear later during the sunset hour. I muse over my cup of tea…
What would our lives look like without the existence of color, or our ability to discern the beauty that the myriad colors of people’s experiences add to our lives? If our true wealth is the sum total of our shared experiences, then would we not be paupers without having experienced a multitude of hues of faiths, beliefs, cultures and such? Why is it then that…
There are so many who continue to insist that it is their color, their truth, their experience, their waters, their way of life, their spiritual practices, their books, their philosophy, their mythology, their culture and such that is superior and deserving of domination — and that all else must go.
It is like me trying to color the world around me with “my favorite color”. Or, perhaps it is like a color-blind person (yes, that’s me in real life) saying that a particular color doesn’t exist or cannot possibly exist or has no value because I literally cannot see it. Imagine if the extent of our universe was limited to our senses and their perception – would we not be living in denial of a large part of our human experience? I perhaps digress…
On this full moon of March, a weekend that marks the “festival of colors” or Holi in India, my heart asks more questions. What is the color of the falling rain or the dew drop or the tear in a mother’s eye? What is the color of the breeze that awakens the buds in spring? What is the color of the heat that warms the earth and causes the roots to stir to life? What is the color of love or fear or hate or joy or awakening? I don’t really know…
I do know that it is perhaps in embracing all our transitions through the experiences of all the myriad colors of our life, that we can prepare ourselves for the experiences which are colorless, formless, infinite and permanent. It is a form of Yoga. If we were to deny or negate the diversity of color in our world, how would we ever arrive at unity, let alone experience Oneness in our heart?
So, bring on Holi, I say, with all of its vigor of color, joy and celebration of all of humanity. Let there be color everywhere through light, so that its source can infuse love for all in our hearts.
P. S. Join us to celebrate and share the colors of your life in our weekly chat – Sunday, March 28 at 9amET in #SpiritChat on Twitter. Namaste – @AjmaniK
As late as last Tuesday, it appeared that we were drifting towards “skipping Christmas” this year. For whatever reason, and I can probably rattle off a lot of them, the family, including me, just didn’t seem to have caught the spirit of the season. We all seemed to be in silent agreement about the skipping and sleep-walking towards 2021. Some things are not meant to be, I thought.
And then came the snow on Wednesday evening. It wasn’t the violent snowstorm that had come a couple of weeks ago and dumped more than a foot of snow on us in the span of twenty four hours. No. This was the gentle, quiet, languid snow where every flake takes its own sewer time drifting towards the earth. There is a haze that sets up at sunset and it’s almost as if the overcast sky holds the last light of the day in its arms such that the radiance makes the night as bright as the day. The lights around the neighborhood come to life and their reflection against the water and the falling and fallen snow creates a sort of magic that extends the silent invitation.
Come play, it says. Come revisit. Come and remember. Find a single reason for Joy. You look at the new puppy sitting by the patio door with wide eyed pleading, waiting for you to open the door to the deck so she can go out and roll around in the fluffy white, even feast on it. Silently, the tide turns and my daughter announces that mid-Thursday that she is done with all her finals. My wife decides that enough is enough. She goes to the basement, and while I am on a work telecon, single-handledly digs out the eight-foot high tree that has been wondering if it will get to see the lights this year.
I am still wondering about reason, but the snow falling and the water swirling around me has other ideas. My daughter has decided that she is going to play with the gingerbread cookie kit sitting in the box. With that, the tide has fully turned. Cookies, my friends!
I am transported to a time where the heart feels like it is bobbing for waves in the ocean, where you have waded in just far enough and deep enough that your feet can still feel the earth. As you hold ground with the tips of your toes, every so often, a wave comes and lifts you clean off of the ocean floor into moments of joy and exhilaration. Every time you think you’ve had enough of the waves and try and return to the shore, the slightest of undercurrents invites you to stay a bit longer.
Revisiting Joy doesn’t happen like a flash of lightning during the middle of a late summer thunderstorm. It happens with the slow drift and soft lullaby of the peacefulness of every snow flake that is grateful that their falling has been cradled by grace and give brilliance to a single heart on some of the darkest nights of the year.
My hope is that you get to revisit too. We can only resist the invitation of nature for so long. We can resist our intrinsic nature even less, and our intrinsic nature is Joy. That is what we were built for. To remember, experience and share it.
Joy to our world. Let us revisit and soar again.
P.S. The house keeps filling up. Lettered stockings have now appeared on the fireplace. Santa is getting his delivery ‘truck’ ready… Come join us and share your story of Joy. I hope you can find a reason. Namaste – @AjmaniK
The longer I wait to write this post on Saturday morning, the shorter the shadows get in the back of the house which faces west. The Sun, slowly ascending towards its peaking of the day, on this day when daylight reach its ascendancy over darkness in the northern hemisphere, I contemplate union and unity.
A tiny baby dragonfly in resplendent blue with translucent wings lands in the center of the rainbow colored hula hoop encrusted with silvery highlights lying on the floor of the deck. An orange winged blackbird lands on the wrought iron post holding the bird feeder, squawks loudly as it departs without partaking, as if to say that I need to fill it again. The two boys on their swings across the lake have been going back and forth for the past half hour, unassisted, as they have surely mastered their art of Joy. The lake glistens and ripples as it often does in the harmony of the slight breeze and the low angle of the Sun’s light from the East. My cup of tea is empty but I am too enamored by it all to move off of the deck, lest I miss something vital.
Where was I? Ah, yes. Union and Unity. In the 5th century BC, the Indian sage Patanjali, compiled a treatise called The Yoga Sutras. It is said to be the collation of the knowledge and practices of the lives of the practitioners of Yoga of the time. Patanjali wrote about Yoga as a thread of aphorisms explaining the relationship between the natural world, the inner spirit of humans, and the unity between them.
The practice of Yoga can be simply described as any practice which leads to union between the external and the internal. Yoga is the manifestation of the unity that we often intrinsically seek in the paradox of living in the transient external world while seeking the permanent within.
Swami Vivekananda describes this striving for union in the form of four paths of Yoga, all emerging from One as we move outward on them, and then converging into One as we return home. These four paths are the path of work and action, the path of knowledge, the path of devotion and the royal path of meditation. Why do we need four paths? Why not just one?
Perhaps because all humans, like the colors of the rainbow, have different propensities and inclinations that they bring into their physical existence. So, the offering of four distinct and yet non-exclusive and equal paths of Yoga, invites the practitioners of love to practice love in the way that they may be most attracted towards in their current state of life. Very often, a human may practice all four paths simultaneously, with different levels of intensity at different times of the day and night.
The Yoga of action may dominate during the day, knowledge path may prevail during reading or observing nature, devotion may take over during prayer, meditation may subsume one at dawn or dusk or other times. Yes, we are all practitioners of multiple paths, whether we are aware or conscious of the particular path, or even the goal, for that matter.
And the goal? One goal is to manifest the unity of the four paths into the realization that our true state is where the states of permanence, knowledge, and bliss, unite us in our union with the One.
A sense of unity often precedes Union. However, we know that unity cannot be decreed by a constitution or any number of bills of rights or legislatures or courts or executives and their orders. It is just like a rainbow cannot be decreed to appear or be perceived — the sun and the rain drops and a number of other conditions have to come together to create it with harmony. The rainbow appears when human nature recognizes that the union of colors, while maintaining their independence and their right to individually exist as equals, can only enhance the beauty of the world for all who set their eyes upon such a union.
How does union and unity manifest? We can observe union in father-children relationships, in a bride and groom’s joyfulness on their wedding day, in a decision to be aware of and celebrate all the physical light steaming upon us during summer solstice. Perhaps the greatest manifestation of unity and union is in an individual’s decision to work towards their union with the divine through the path of Yoga of their choice.
To be friendly towards those friendly towards us, to be joyous for them in their joy, to be empathetic towards those suffering, and to be indifferent without attitude towards those with evil intent – these four practices of maitri, mudita, karuna and upeksha – are considered to central to Patanjali’s definition of Yoga.
As I finish writing this, a baby sparrow has arrived on the deck and is loudly tweeting in a sliver of shade by the bird feeder. It is as if she’s asking me to get off the couch stat and do my Dad Yoga of re-filling the feeder. Such is the life of a householder- to stay unified in the heart while performing the actions related to the feeding of the world around me.
Now where did I put away that 50 pound bag of bird seed anyway?
P.S. Join me and the #SpiritChat community in our weekly twitter gathering on Sunday, June 21 at 9amET/ 630pm India. We will integrate Fathers Day (US), International Day of Yoga, Summer Solstice and the kickoff of four days of online and offline events for my niece’s wedding in India… Namaste – @AjmaniK
She was sitting on the bathroom floor in the basement, cleaning the concrete in preparation to replace the flooring which had been damaged by a water leak. As is often the case, she is really good at “walking and chewing gum”, and so she was listening to an NPR podcast on her phone. “This is a really good one”, she said as I came downstairs to check on her progress. “They are having a really good conversation about truth”, she added in a matter-of-fact way. I wanted to listen, but her “guard dog” knew that Dad was home from work, which meant it was time to be walked.
I picked up a broom to help out a bit by sweeping the work area and to delay the walk, so that I could listen to a bit of the stream. I heard them talking about the history of truth, how it used to be communicated in the past (hint: poetry!), and the attempts of truth seekers and truth tellers in answering the seminal question – what IS truth? I only swept the floor for a few minutes before the puppy sensed my delay tactics and rushed me upstairs and straight to the front door.
It was only Tuesday, and yet, the seed for Sunday’s conversation had been planted. As most weeks go, this was a welcome early start for me, because I usually don’t figure out the week’s #SpiritChat topic until Friday or Saturday. Over the next few days, I mulled upon the topic of “truth” and the role that it plays in our lives. It wasn’t until Friday night that I had a chance to search for the complete podcast, and to my delight, I found that NPR’s ‘On Point’ has recorded a four-part series on truth (starting Feb 24) – I even found the ‘study notes’ for their first conversation.
History has a way of returning us to the beginning. If we choose to learn from history, we have an opportunity to not repeat it. History can inform individuals, communities and nations about the pathways that can move them to a higher level of awareness about the truth. History has some definitions of truth for us…
Truth is evidence-based knowledge
Knowledge can come to us through various sources, our senses being one of them. And yet, our senses can often lead us us astray, can they not? Senses can misinform us when only one of the many are engaged in information gathering and processing. Sensory information and facts need to be able to be independently validated and verified, so that they can lead us to the truth. Revelation and reason, just like spirituality and science, both have great value in defining the truth for us – what do your heart-mind think about that? How can we engage multiple senses at the same time, through multiple sources, to arrive at evidence-based knowledge?
Truth is often based on our narrative – we ignore that which does not fit our narrative because our brains understand causality (cause and effect)…
There is ring of truth to that, isn’t there? In our often busy lives, amid a pandemic of mis-trust, it is so much easier for our heart-mind complex to stay engaged with the sources that feed our current narrative. We dig deeper and deeper trenches with our rhetoric as we cherry-pick from among the truth-based facts, to stay safe within our stories. How do we get back to reason and create a new narrative based on some eternal truths?
One way to return to some eternal (truths) is to ask questions of our biased narratives. How can we engage in dialogue with those who have a diagonally opposite narrative from our our own? Further yet, how can be bring together people with diverse heart-views and mind-sets to have a fair and balanced conversation about the facts to arrive at some common truths? Maybe it is too much to ask. Maybe not. And yet, let us not stop from engaging in dialogue, regardless of what we believe in.
We can ask — what is the permanence that we we truly believe in? The answer to that question can inform our heart’s truth, guide us to the heart of truth, inspire us in our personal practice. It is in the heart’s search for permanence that the truth is often brought to light — and, like the sun, That is a light which we can freely share — even with the ones who choose to walk a different path than ours.
P.S. The basement project is currently on hold, as we try to decide on the type of flooring amid our celebrations. Meanwhile, our search for the heart of truth continues, individually and as a family. Join us on Sunday, March 1st 2020, as we celebrate some of each others’ truths in our weekly twitter chat at 9am ET / 7:30pm India. We will multilogue in #SpiritChat over tea and cookies, and maybe even some cake! Namaste – @AjmaniK
Every time I walk the path, sit on this bench, I see, hear, smell, feel, sometimes even taste something different – I view it as gathering new evidence of the truth… or is it?
In this last week of September, as it is often its wont, my corner of the world begins a beautiful journey from summer into autumn. The fact that I have been part of this journey every year for over three decades, does not diminish the beauty of the transition. In fact, with every passing year, I seem to look forward to this transition more and more.
The falling of a single leaf, when witnessed with a cup of tea in hand while sitting on the deck, or in the midst of a nature walk in the reservation, is often an event of great silence. It takes me back to my first autumn in Southwest Virginia, and the surprise and immense joy that I felt when I saw, for the first time, all those trees change color. The oranges, yellows and reds and many more colors in between, seemed to create an aura of special warmth in my first season away from home. Autumn seemed to say to me – I feel and see your great transition, and I am transitioning with you. I will be your companion on your journey.
That was then and this is now. My journey, my transitions continue – and so do hers. Awareness informs me that every moment, every breath, every heartbeat is a transition. The loss of a beloved one, the birth of a new flower, sickness and storms, celebrations and new beginnings. The impermanent nature of life as we know it means that transitions are our constant companions. And yet, there is a certain fabric of permanence on which the needle of life’s transitions creates its embroidered artwork. The colors and the thicknesses of the threads may be vastly different, but so what? Is not Autumn present in all her brilliance for all of us who choose to see?
Just this week, I walked two long walks in two separate parts of the reservation – the river valley and the lagoon – three days apart. The river was shallow enough that I could walk into its middle and look back on each of the banks, and upstream and downstream. When the sun rose high enough above the trees on the cliff side of the valley, it shone its light on all that came in its path – every tree, every changing and falling and fallen leaf, every boulder and rock and piece of broken off shale, every flock of geese that let itself be carried downstream by the gentle streaming of the river, and more.
I observed that all they needed to do to be illumined was to be present to the sun’s light with patience – for the play of light and shadow changes day by day, hour by hour, instant by instant – such is the nature of transition. And what about those who seemed to be in ‘permanent’ darkness? I am sure that, in a different season, when the sun’s angle changes, or they choose to bend ever so slightly towards the sun, they would find luminosity too.
So, if you are like me, and you love and cherish autumn as much as I do, you are already well equipped to be in harmony with life’s transitions. If you are like some, who are in love with the idea of an eternal summer, you may want to consider taking a walk into the beauty of autumn.
Go. Stand in place or walk into the middle of a shallow, softly flowing river. Open your heart and take in a 360 degree view. Did you see any transitions?
P.S. Join us Sunday, September 30 at 9amET in our weekly gathering on Twitter. I will bring some fabric – you bring some colored threads – we will create some transitions. Namaste – @AjmaniK
There was a confluence of events which occurred over the past week that reminded me of “the heart’s intelligence”. Two back-to-back lectures by a visiting monk from the “Vedanta society of Houston”, two pieces of mail that arrived on Thursday, and my stumbling on a few personal notes from a book that I had read a few years ago.
The Vedanta lectures address some important questions – Who am I? What is real? What is the truth? What is awareness? And more. My one takeaway was that the mind is not real. From the physical plane, the ‘mind’ is fed inputs by our senses, and creates reactions, which we then respond to as actions. So, what is real? Our awareness that ‘we exist’, even when we are asleep, is a reality. Where does this awareness register? It is in the ‘heart’ – not the physical heart, but the ‘heart’ of every cell of our body. That is the “heart’s intelligence” fed by our spiritual practices.
Fast forward to Thursday morning, when I was “celebrating all my sisters, then and now”, on the day of annual “brother sister festival” called Rakhi. Phone conversations with my sisters in India are a must on this day for me – I actually get to hear their heart’s, share my heart, and there is much laughter and good-nature’s ribbing. They both always ask the question – “did you get my ‘Rakhi’?”
In both cases, I had to reluctantly say – no, not yet. In both cases, I said with a confident heart – “but I am sure that it will come, right on time, in today’s mail”. It is a festival of the heart – and yes, each piece of mail, after traveling 7500 miles, arrived that afternoon. The heart’s intelligence grew a bit more, with two shiny threads from my sisters this week. They’ve been sending me love-filled threads for many decades. I am in awe of them and their hearts.
“The Heart’s Code” was a wonderful book that explained the multiple dimensions of the “heart” and its importance, as I started a focused meditation practice a few years ago. Sorting through my electronic notes this week (getting ready for my “book”), I stumbled on some treasures. First, there was this reminder, to take time to receive.
Take time every day to be open to the energy those you love give off; let your heart receive that energy, store it, and recall it as often as you can. Look, listen, smell, touch, and feel with your heart those you love as profoundly and deeply as you can while the physical manifestation of their energy is still yours for the feeling.
Then, there was this reference to the heart’s role as a ‘memory-keeping’ intelligence portal.
The brain is very busy with its own memory system. It is less sensitive than the heart to the more subtle energetic memories. By putting our heart into remembering those we love every day, we are recovering cellular memories…
And finally, this note spoke to a special propensity of my mine, and perhaps yours too…
When poets describe love as “giving our heart away,” they are cardio-energetically correct.
All the events of this week were designed to remind me that there is perhaps no better return on investment than in growing the heart’s intelligence. I am thus inspired to focus on tearing down my walls of intransigence and prejudice, so that I can heart-connect more often with more of my brothers and sisters across the world. Join me in growing the world’s HeartIQ, will you?
P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering of brothers and sisters in #SpiritChat on Sunday, Aug 18 at 9amET. I will bring some sweets – we shall grow our hearts. Namaste – @AjmaniK
Summer is often a season of travel, of new explorations and discoveries that often lead to further explorations. It is a season of days with long hours of sunlight, of watching fireflies and sunsets and moonrise. Summer brings heat and sweat and thunderstorms and awareness of climate change. It is often in the early morning coolness and long, late evening twilights that I find opportunities to reflect on, to review and renew my cores.
The core components that I find myself focusing on are the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual. While they are all distinct cores, they are also all connected like the members of a multi-dimensional honeycomb. Our mental core affects our psychological core, which in turn affects our physical core, and so on. When the state of any of our cores is less than optimal, all our states suffer, and pain in one core begets in in another.
Self awareness teaches us that it takes a bit of (self) discipline to develop and maintain sustainable, holistic practice for the best health of our cores. Our practices are influenced by our core beliefs, our core values, our core inputs and our core connections. These can be viewed as our four core quadrants. They are like the four legs of the lunar lander – if any of the legs were to be unduly compromised, it could lead to a failure of our spiritual core, our journey and our mission.
Inertia is often what stands between us and the adoption of new disciplines and practices. Our unexamined state of idleness, or even our accepted state of motion, takes a certain amount of ‘force’ to effect internal change of speed or direction. It often takes an (unanticipated) life event to shake us out of our inertia or reverie to ask – what are my core values, beliefs, connections and inputs? How do they influence my daily core practices? How do they affect my spiritual core?
For me, it all began with a simple question – how do I get out of the state of my spiritual inertia? I made small changes in my physical core (waking up rested, walking in nature, eating better), my mental core (guarding my input gates, meditating) and my emotional core (friend and family connections, my reactions, my judgements). Over time and space, every meditation hour, every small nature walk, every new association with fellow travelers, has added up to a perceptible change in my spiritual core.
The result of a renewed spiritual core? I have good quality fuel and oxidant, guidance, and company for the journey ahead. I have appreciation and gratitude for all those who have inspired me, walked with me, celebrated with me, and continue to do so. Awareness, joy, silence, solitude and stillness have become my reservoirs. ‘Thou art That’ has become my internal engine. ‘For the benefit of All’ has become my charioteer. All the quadrants have become focused on the center, where the heart flows love and light abundant, which empowers me to share freely, without hesitation, and with a core spirit of celebration.
P.S. Join us as we gather for our weekly chat, Sunday July 28 at 9amET on Twitter in #SpiritChat – we will celebrate our cores, all of them, as we complete eight years of our journey together – Kumud.
A return to the core space – where the five elements meet for renewal…
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.
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!
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.
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…