It is the final day of the final lunar fortnight of the year (according to the Hindu calendar) and I sit in the low slant of the fading light of autumn as the sun starts to descend behind the trees in the distance.
The sunrise tomorrow (November 4th) will herald a new moon, a new fortnight, and will set off celebrations of the “Festival of Lights” (Diwali) for hundreds of millions in India and those of Indian origin across the world. It is perhaps apropos to note that this year’s Diwali festival comes after a year of particularly deep pain, darkness and suffering in India, due to the ravages of COVID-19 earlier this year.
However, as is light’s wont, it cannot be hidden for long by even the deepest of darknesses. Spiritual teachers and texts often remind us that we have the capacity to accept whatever comes our way with grace, as divine grace. We also have the infinite capacity to learn to lean into the permanence of light, even though we tend to forget the Infinite when we get caught up the impermanence of darkness. Light is often merely a word away.
Joy, Love, Hope, Grace, Peace, Truth, Giving, Health, Purity, Kindness, Gratitude, Lightness, Simplicity, Equanimity. How do you feel when you read any of these words, or speak any of them? I posit that every single one of these words elevates your heart, mind and spirit in some way, however small. If it elevates you, then every single word like say, JOY, becomes a bearer of the energy that can transform this moment for you into LIGHT.
Try it some time. When darkness tends to weigh on you, first say to yourself, ‘this is impermanent’. Then, say out loud (or within your heart) a single word like JOY. Repeat. What if you could create a regular practice that engages you in light-filling actions and leads you to light-fulness? What if the next time you go for a walk, or watch the sunset or sunrise, or drink a cup of tea, or are folding the laundry, or washing the dishes… you were to repeatedly say to yourself… JOY, LOVE, PEACE. Joy, Love, Peace. joy, love, peace.
Imagine that every moment were to become an awareness of the permanence of the light within you, and a celebration of the source of that light. You would then celebrate the sunsets for the stars that they reveal, and life’s dark turns for the grace of light that awaits. Like a fish in the ocean that knows no separation from the water, you would then know no separation from light.
It’s time for me to return to my tea and watch the fireworks that the sunset is surely going to set off among the clouds. It’s time to light the evening lamp to welcome the year of light arriving with tomorrow’s sunrise.
Joy. Love. Peace.
P. S. Join us for our weekly Twitter chat, Sunday November 7 at 9am EST / 730pm India (time change in India due to shift to Standard Time in the USA). We will celebrate the light in our lives, and bring some light to those who may need it. Namaste – @AjmaniK