Tag Archives: Spirituality

Darshan: Hugs from the Divine Mother

During these 10 seconds of eternity, you forget what planet you are on. In her embrace, there is no genocide, only tenderness. There is no global warming, only compassion. So, for 30 seconds a year, you are off the hook, lifted to some other plane beyond politics and the wars with what is—-free at last. You forget the arthritis in your lower back and the pain that spreads down your upper legs. You do not blame yourself for not being on a rigorous regime of exercise. You forget that you still owe some taxes that you put of paying, but the bill from the IRS is there waiting when you arrive home. You are wise enough to know your bills have not disappeared, so you put off opening the mail as long as you can. Your suitcase sits on the bed in your guest room, and you prolong unpacking and doing the dirty laundry. Your guru did not magically remove the stains on your white t-shirts or wash your underwear while you slept.
Of course for those 30 seconds you stopped asking questions and were free at last, someone who was sitting twelve feet away was pissed because the guy who had been sitting close to the guru’s feet for that past two hours was obstructing his view. While your mind stopped screaming and you were not asking why war—why sickness, why suffering, why sunlight, why sky, why ocean, why us—someone else was furious with the woman who was rude at the bookstore.
Someone once told me, “Why is not a spiritual question,” and I was tempted to ask, “Why?” But when I contemplated this koan, I saw the wisdom in not asking a question that simply leads to another, and another, until we land full circle back at the beginning, and none the wiser. For those few seconds, nothing mattered but her smell of roses. You wanted only to breathe deeply from her warm body, as if she were your breath and blood.
When you return home, of course some local ashramites will immediately become engaged in some painful drama, as one woman feels she worked too hard without enough support from others, and her feelings were hurt by something someone said, and she doesn’t think the guru had paid her enough attention. I realize we humans simply cannot stop ourselves. Who would we be without the power struggling bitching and moaning? It’s terrifying to consider. Would we be living like walking flat-liners through this world of opposites, as if everything is actually okay when we all know it sucks and is actually not okay because we are not okay and anything that we touch cannot be okay? Or would we actually be able to have peace on earth and all get along? Will we have to resign ourselves to our 30 seconds of peace a year in the arms of our guru as the only way to be free from the illusion that nothing is okay and never will be?

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Filed under Spiritual Musings and Conundrums

Ashram Politics…

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.

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June 8, 2012 · 9:39 pm