I can’t say things have been easy.
Almost every day, I am getting different realisations, insights into life and how things are, that destroy over and over any set way of anything being in any way. I question what it’s all about, over and over. Where people dedicate their lives to their cars, households, jobs….and there’s a general encouragement from near enough everyone around me to at least try to do the same. And ever since I was a young teenager, I knew that it wasn’t going to be straightforward, at all, where this life would be heading.
I try to tell people that I’ve seen things that are too special to live this normal life whilst carrying. It’s hard to express this to anyone, except who have lived through it too. I saw Swami Durgananda at Skanda Vale last weekend, and with him I share this total understanding and relating of it all. We lived through all of what built the Somaskanda temple. I still get fairly short of breath thinking about when he was separated from the temple on the day that the murthis arrived, and I was put in charge by default for doing something that I hadn’t been instructed about properly. It was the most important day for the temple upto that point, and somehow I was there to organise everything, without speaking the language, and without any drawings showing where each part was due to go. Yet, it was okay. Swami Durga arrived back just after the last delivery had been finished. And that is what we lived through together. He needed me to take some of the weight. It was what I was there to do. I could take the energetic load.
I have been building a website for Bob, whilst he’s maybe in his final days of life in this realm. He’s a kind soul, and saw that I needed to take on this last wish of his in his long life. I’ve only known him a year, yet have been directed into his most significant karmic episode. I’ve taken it all on as it is. I’ve just watched what’s gone through myself with it all. There isn’t sadness inside me about what’s going on. There’s joy where there are breakthroughs. I had a big block with the website, made some breakthroughs yesterday evening, and then spoke to Bob on the phone today and was really happy to speak to him all about it. It’s funny though – it’s a job that I’ve needed to be able to dedicate myself completely to in my spirit, and I wouldn’t be able to do that if I were working a lot, or busy in any way in life. As life has seemingly come to a halt of some kind, it’s opened things up to allow my focus to be much stronger, and more devotional.
My relationship with my shrine has gone in different directions. I’m feeling myself slowly getting more and more into a meditation practice, for the first time in over 4 years. Things are slowing down, and it’s become possible again. It’s always felt important for me, but never been possible. Bhakti has been my sole practice as a result – but deep meditation practice is what I lost. Devotion and meditation should go together, but it’s hard, and seems to need such a deep processing of so much stuff.
I also have started to go for walks again, for the first time in many months. I hadn’t been for any proper walks by myself in about a year. Then, with this snowstorm coming over us last week, it opened up this beautiful, magnificent world to me all around me. I just need to chant all the time. Chant and be happy, so they say. But chant, no matter what, and there’s unlimited protection there all the time. You need to break down in order to refind. I broke down a lot of what has been beneficial to me over recent years, and it’s come back to me gradually, and I notice it’s importance, I notice it’s effects. I became complacent for years. I’ve been divinely blessed with this opportunity to come back to myself. To refind myself. And it hasn’t happened quickly at all. In the spirit of just letting everything happen, because there’s nothing gained from forcing anything (on a deeper sense), I’ve just waited and it’s come.
The world around me, as well as the world inside me, has seemed and felt much more illusory in recent times. All this stuff that’s written in the news, or on social media….there’s this question inside me, that says, ‘and so…?…what is this? what, really, is this?’. There’s so much relative suffering everywhere. And most of it comes out of disconnecting from nature. It comes out of having a huge disconnection from all life all around everywhere. In Brading, we have few birds, or any wildlife for that matter. There are no foxes, or badgers, or deer. I heard the dawn chorus this morning, but only because I hadn’t gone to bed yet. After the dawn chorus, there’s no bird sound till a little around dusk. The energy around these parts is shaky, like lots of not so good stuff has gone down over a long time. But it’s all quite hidden – people just keep to themselves, and you see nothing. It feels safe. But there’s something really missing. There’s a barrier between everyone and everything. I spent one day in Freshwater, seeing Raymond, and everything was the opposite. There were birds everywhere, playfully dancing about in the winds. People talked, and laughed, and eye contact with everyone, everyone noticing everyone. It had a glorious feeling. It felt like something to work towards. No holding back, no inhibitions.
This body cries out for different things. I offer it all up. I needn’t be in puja or meditation to offer everything up. Just offer it all, as it is, in every breath. Today I found a solution that felt right for my long-term problem of not being able to run. I really feel I can definitely run now, and I’d love to run, but my feet have not been good when I’ve been running. I found that there are minimalist shoes that can be bought very cheaply, in the form of water shoes. I’m excited for running to St Helens along the old road. It feels like that’ll be my running route – though I don’t know which way I’d run back. I’d love to run a half marathon again sometime. And maybe I can get to be in good shape for longer runs. 10 years ago, I needed constant exertion. I couldn’t deal with life without it. I would get headaches and anxious if I hadn’t had a proper exercise in a few days. Now I don’t get that, but I feel not quite right most of the time. Running is the way, because I have learnt deep secrets in how to run, to run to commune with all nature and all things.
I still offer, in many moments of every day, this feeling and suggestion of life going in the direction of a monastic commitment. It would just be a confirmation of how I’ve been living anyway, should I make the commitment. But to live in Skanda Vale would give me much more support, which I’ve noticed the importance of since leaving. And recognising my potential place in the community, that I would have a very real role in fulfilling the works of Guru Sri Subramanium. I will continue to offer in every day. But I do pray, also, that I get given much grace to enjoy dimensions of life where I am now that I would not be blessed to experience once rooted into community life.
I’m eternally grateful for all of the clarity and understandings that I have received in recent times.