High up in the mountains above the plains, where the British made their summer capital escaping the heat of Delhi – Shimla. It invokes a time of royalty, power and class-structure that was to come crumbling down with independence in 1947. Yet some of the grace of a quieter time remains. I like it here. At least you can walk towards Lakkar Bazaar and the Mall Road in Shimla without the constant pressure of horns honking and passing cars. I am just another traveler passing through on my own quest and open to where it may take me, though the questioning never stops. But this morning I found a self-reflective thread and I thought I’d share it. Namaste.
I sit early in the morning and wonder what will come out of these lines. My hand moves easily without the nervousness that often accompanies the movement. Clearly, I should give up coffee or other stimulants so that I can enjoy this moment when thought and movement are one. I do cherish it and would hope that it might stay with me. It is up to me. I know that.
Can I become a channel or a vehicle for the purity of my heart to come out? I seem far from that goal if it even truly exists. This is the time for me, the rest of the day answering my deficiencies with cups of tea or other distractions. It is hard to be alone and maybe that is what I most need now. How can I become something different, someone new, if I don’t go through some process of transformation?
What do I look for? What is behind all my searching? Is it just another ego-version of my former self or can it be something else? Is it the ecstatic union with the Infinite God that I look for? If so, how can that happen when I don’t spend my time in deep meditation? What big concepts they are. Why am I thinking this way?
I deal with sleep that often does not come. I deal with my physical body that feels weak and doesn’t want to support me. I deal with my mind that feels its vulnerability and most of the time runs away from facing its demons. Maybe it is like Rainer Maria Rilke said that they are just shortcomings, my fears, and that they only need love?
Perhaps all of the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its essence something deeper, something that leaves us unprotected and which needs our love.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Oh, that I could truly love myself. Instead, I spend my time lamenting about what could have been or feeling abandoned by life. What good does that do?
Let me be free of my judgments, of my crying out in anger, of my tears of sadness that don’t come. Freedom would be to feel the connection with a higher power all the time. To not be separated from love. Is this what the Gurus felt? Was their meditation the ecstatic poems they wrote? Am I too looking for my True Guru?
Oh my mother I am in Ecstasy
For I have found my True Guru
Guru Amar Das (Third Guru of the Sikhs)
There is a type of force pulling me in…that once again I feel by the simple act of entering a Gurdwara and finding sanctuary. It must be India, a land of so many contradictions and yet imbibed with so much devotion. Perhaps, it is the only way to survive, to believe in something higher than yourself. Whatever path I may walk on tomorrow, let it be only after finding something that truly matters to me. Whatever must open my eyes, must come from the heart.
It is not that I look for form or structure to pacify my fears of living, but rather a spontaneous reaction to life as Fromm talked about that liberates my soul from its constraints and allows its voice to be heard.
Spontaneous activity is the one way in which man can overcome the terror of aloneness without sacrificing the integrity of his self; for in the spontaneous realization of the self, man unites himself anew with the world – with man, nature, and himself. Love is the foremost component of such spontaneity…
Kabir said that the soul walks on many paths.
Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Khalil Gibran, Self-Knowledge, The Prophet
And so I walk, changing my clothes of who I am, towards mountains and rivers and oceans, looking for where the heart feels its home. Twenty-seven years ago a man asked me to leave my home and I have been wandering ever since. Is it that wanderers on the soul’s path have no fixed residence or place to call home? I have heard that home is where the heart is and your feet stop moving if only to catch the fragrance of the breeze there. Yet it is still an elusive dream for me and I find my feet moving taking me to where the heart will feel its home.