I just returned from a month-long pilgrimage in India!
Wow! The serendipity of the journey offered up more perfect experiences than I could ever have imagined for myself. Given all that… I ponder… what can I share… how can I reduce the experience into one lesson… one message…
So, I decided to tell you one story… a small nugget of how the experience changed my view of myself… I hope it serves you!
While I lived for three weeks in a Southern Indian ashram, my room was a small, concrete room that looked much like a “monk cell” from long-ago monastic days. A solid wooden door with one square, barred window without a screen, and cracked wooden shudders that needed to be closed at dusk and dawn to keep out the hungry mosquitoes looking for a cheap meal. Inside were three, solid shelves built into the wall, a simple, square wooden? desk with a plastic patio chair, and my infamous wooden bed with mosquitoes netting that longingly reminded me of my Girl Scout camping days when I had a younger, more flexible back!
You might notice I didn’t mention “mirror!” In fact, there were NO mirrors in our lodging area save one. On the outside wall of the two open-air bathrooms hung one notebook-size, shiny rectangle, which happened to be hung for taller-than-me size people, so when I peered up… all that peeked back was a pair of deep-set, brown eyes and a forehead with very short dark hair. Nothing recognizable!
Even with the contrasts to my home comforts… My life in the ashram gradually grew familiar and comfortable… quiet meals, five hours of chanting and meditation daily, candlelight most nights because the electricity was off. Oh… and the gorgeous fireflies that lit up the trees in a whimsical fancy and sometimes visited me in my room at night. Before long, I grew to relish the simplicity and state of being myself without needing to uphold appearances of almost any kind. I didn’t even know what I looked like anymore!
When I walked into a city hotel room where we stayed before flying home, I nearly jumped out of my skin, when without thinking I walked past a huge wall mirror! OMG! I’d totally forgotten I had a body…? seeing the substance of my form was quite shocking because I’d been living in a world of primarily thinking of myself as free… like the fireflies… Without realizing it, my physical form had become almost invisible to me!
For the first time the phrase, I am not my body really felt like the truth… “I”, the me that is spirit… is much lighter, freer and a whole lot more fun when it’s not limited to being a body!
This month’s meditation is dedicated to your free spirit!
Your True Self Meditation
As you gently close your eyes and look upward in a reflective gaze, you begin to notice your breathing… is it your chest rising with each breath or maybe your belly?… shallow or deep?… rapidly or slowly?
Noticing whatever pattern… follow your breath with your attention and settle into a deeper place in your body… as you naturally and easily become more aware of yourself from the inside out… with all your thoughts… go ahead and notice them… and all your sensations… yes take time for them, too… and most of all your feelings… regardless of what they are happy, sad, tired or energized… angry or loving…
Taking a moment of silence, gently and naturally open to this inner space that is totally you… as your attention gently shifts to that part that observes everything … where is it… this warm place where the seer in you feels quite comfortable…and can use imagination to go anywhere in the Universe without moving a muscle.
Sensing it… your attention is magnetically drawn into the center of this beautiful, shining spot wherever it is in your spaces… hmm… it feels so good to sense your true inner self… the part of you that sees and knows things that your intellectual mind cannot comprehend… YES… you are more than your body… Yes… you have a body and you can’t be contained to this body… because you are more.. than form…
As you remember, you easily move your attention into your forehead right between your eyebrows and look out at the world through this spot where you abide in “who you really are.”? Looking out of this view at the world, notice the different perspective… the sense of emotional non-attachment and expanded awareness… how amazing it is… to realize this awareness that is your true nature.
Yes… you and everyone is this… this expansiveness… this freedom… this profound awareness that is more-than-enough… no matter what’s happening… your inner sense that you are more than a mundane, human existence… is actually true… YOU ARE! You are free and infinite with a intuitive awareness of the Universe without having actually seen it… YES… YOU ARE THE GREAT BEING you have always suspected inside, but were afraid to acknowledge because it sounded arrogant…
YOU are more than a body…
YOU are a Great Creator… of Your Life
Many Blessings to You and Your Loved Ones,