Returning from the Ashram
It has been my experience it is possible to be in Nirvana one moment, and in the very the next moment, descend into the depths of that all too familiar, confining, egoistic hell. Just because you have spent hours sitting at the feet of some enlightened being, who may even be recognized throughout the world as at least on par with Mother Teresa, when you return home from a two-day retreat with your guru, you will probably find you are still living there. You will probably still turn on the television to watch Court TV if that is your habit. You will still desire the coffee that comes from the cappuccino machine at the BP gas station, where you will continue to stop each morning before work, and, putting your $1.25 on the counter, walk out with that sugary concoction of the total bastardization of coffee, and guilt-trip yourself on your way to work. Had you chosen the freshly-brewed, organic blend from the container on the counter, you would be sipping it throughout the hour, it would have been the conscious choice – it is of course, a Fairly Traded brand. However, the first thing you do when you return to town after having spent two days with your guru, is stop at the BP and fill up your cup with that sweet, foamy, liquid blend of chemicals, sugar, and artificial flavoring. At least, you rationalize, you did not pick up the glazed doughnut.
Your beloved guru may kiss you and take you in her arms, whispering sweet nothings in your ear, the promises of bliss, and for a moment you are able to simply be. You are able to taste a moment’s freedom from the world you have been battling with every day of your life. You are, after all, at war. You are in constant battle with what is. It starts when you open your eyes in the morning and wish you could close them and go back into the void, a tendency you have fought against since childhood. It continues as you wish you did not have to go to work, but would rather read your novel. You resent having to face, once again, the call of duty—the bills to pay, the dishes to wash, the demands of your job. If only you could see the face of your guru in the dishwater, see the face of God in the garbage. But, for about 10 seconds, while you rest in your guru’s arms, you are simply loved. So, for 30 seconds a year (the equivalent of three hugs), you have this blessing, this gift—she enfolds you in her embrace and presses you to her; you feel like Neo being unplugged from the matrix, as she releases you from mortality.