Aha! So this is why it’s called “weed”….
(It literally grows on the side of the road here.)
But I’m not quite sure how time spent in this field is gonna appease his munchies.
And perhaps I should convert to calling my rucksack a book bag?
(This pile isn’t even including the books that I’ve distributed among my students or the two I bought on the way to this internet cafe.)
Thus illustrating my insatiable appetite for the school of spirituality. I recognize now that my passion for this subject gives me the same cellular vibration of excitement that I get every time on the salsa dance floor and the same enveloping tranquility that I feel while buoyant at the bottom of the ocean. Peace and joy. Joy and peace. Now this is emotional homework I can handle.
And so I’ve come to a very important inspiration in my life. I’ve decided that I will officially attend this School of Spirituality. My course questions will be the following:
1. Who am I? From where have I come and why have I come? What is my relationship with the manifold universe and other human beings?
2. What is the essential nature of my being, and what is the essential nature of the manifested world and its cause?
3. What is the relationship of the center of consciousness and the objects of the world?
4. What is the nature of the forms and names of the objects of the world and how do they serve the essential nature of man or universal consciousness?
5. What are the guidelines for action as long as we live in the natural body? Do we live after death?
6. What is truth, and how do we arrive at rational conclusions on questions of truth?
Lucky for me, Eastern scholars have been studying these questions for many millennia and consequently, Indian Philosophy is now divided into seven systems (Vedanta, Yoga, Samkhya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa, Nyaya and Buddhism) that address these exact questions.
Let me pull out the word Yoga here as it is desperately in need of redefinition.
Yoga is NOT (as commonly misperceived by the West) a set of body stretches and exercises taught in a one-hour session at the local gym. In the Tradition of Yoga, these body postures (called “asanas”) are only one component of the entire philosophical system.
Here is Yoga as defined by my “Living with the Himalayan Masters” book;
“In the Yoga system of philosophy, the individual soul is a seeker, and cosmic consciousness is the ultimate reality it finds within. Yoga accommodates all religions and all systems of philosophy as far as the practical aspects are concerned. While dwelling in the manifold phenomenon of the universe, the soul must take care of the material body, purifying and strengthening its capacity. In this system the individual must practice the highest principle of behavior and the control of the various modifications of mind through the commitments called “yamas” (“ahimsa” *non-violence*, truth, non-stealing, non-materialism & continence and “niyamas” (right speech, purified body and mind, contentment, self-study & oneness with all). By practicing stillness in posture and breath, one then transforms oneself by having control over the senses with concentration and mediation and finally attains “Samadhi.” This yoga system was known and practiced several millennia before it was codified in the first century A.D. in the compilations of 196 aphorisms call the Yoga Sutras.”
I spent the last week living in a Yoga Ashram — a place where a community of people have come together to share in a disciplined (and individual) study and practice of Raja Yoga as it is defined above. There are many such ashrams all over India (and all over the world, including the United States, although unfortunately, simply because they have no organized religious affiliation and appear “different” — they are often slapped with the title “cult” by those who presume without asking questions. (In my opinion, so long as the members of the community have 1. unrestricted freedom of body, mind and spirit and 2. find new joy in their progressive learning, then I refrain from judgment upon the community.)
In any case, I have decided to join a Yoga Ashram.
Actually it was not so much a “decision” as it was an “understanding” of a choice that I’ve been waiting to arrive at all my life. Feels all kind of like a distant dream coming back to me. My path was always evolving this way. I’ve only just become conscious of it. And this revelation – this inspiration – has sent me soaring.
Of course there are many very big questions I have yet to address. What ashram? Under which teacher? In which country? For how many years? And when in my life? All this under the particular consideration and constraint of the fact that I have no money. 🙂
But I have no fear of these factors or worry over these questions. That is the absolute joy that comes from knowing *intuitively and confidently* that I am on the right path. For ala “The Alchemist” once again, “…the Universe always conspires to help the dreamer.”
It is only for me to make the dream. To conceive the inspiration. And to send out my intention to the Universe.
Although I have complete faith that the she will prevail (as she has consistently done so far), we will let it be a test. Cause I have a feeling that the Universe does not want her name to go down even on “blog” as not coming though on her side of the deal with one of her devoted.
Of course, because Time does not exist where my intention was sent, there are no time-constraints on this deal with the Divine. I am joyfully patient. After all, I’m a lover of every step of this path.
And thus the happy pilgrim, with a new dream tossed over her shoulder, treads on.
ps. Since a few have asked, let me just post for the record that regardless of where my travels take me (outward, inward) I have no intention of ever stopping blogging. I ask only two things of myself in this life; 1. To seek inspiration and 2. To share it. This blog brings that mission full cycle and I consider it an vital component of my self-realization. I’ve found that Inspiration is like two mirrors facing each other. The image within is not only reflective, but indefinite in replication. So thank you for sharing my inspiration with me and playing a critical role in the development of that which resides in both you and me. 🙂