I have eluded to the fact that some very strange things happen in the ashram and that while on the surface it looks like business as usual – it is a profound place with a subtle field of intelligent pervasive wisdom that ‘souls’ purpose is to show you, YOU!
Swami Niranjanananda said once when asked during a satsang if his role to disciples was to give them purpose or direction in their lives to which he responded – ‘No that is your job! I am here ‘merely’ (one massive task of sublime artistry) to show you the best and the worst of you. What you do with that is then also up to you!’
Coming face to face with yourself in all its glory and ignorance was an extraordinary experience and I only just scratched the surface. It takes time to mine the depths, to slough off the surface noise to hear that gong of truth hidden in your heart and the orchestra had just started its first opus when I left. Some nights as I am falling to sleep I can still hear that insanely complex, beautiful full bodied and rich masterpiece sound in my awareness.
Let me share the scale of one such experience of awareness that is still echoing through my blood.
I have always been pretty regular with my period (menstruation) – always heavy, strong and long however a little while before the ashram things started changing….I would ran a few weeks late which was VERY unusual for this Swiss Timekeeper of a Body! I worried that my body was changing, aging and perhaps I was hitting menopause.
I got to the Munger ashram just in time to help set up and witness my first Yajna which was the powerful Basant Panchami performed by the Tamil Yoginis whose purpose is to awaken consciousness. I knew nothing of such esoteric practices yet was immediately messed up by them – quite literally!
On the final night of the Yajna my period came unexpectedly and my pretty yellow skirt was stained red as though a massacre had occurred – it was more than usual – fast, furious and ferocious! There was blood everywhere and there was nowhere to hide. My accommodation was at the opposite end of the ashram and I had to move through about 1000 people to get back to my room to clean up! What a mess. Surprisingly – I could only laugh….I wasn’t embarrassed, ashamed or anything. I just thought I was a woman having a moment in public albeit in culturally rich India ;-)
And that was the last day I had my period while living in the Ashram….It never came again while living in Munger, for months and months and months – nothing. Not only no blood but no physical symptoms of bloating, cramps, irritation, headaches, moodiness – all the things we women manage every month were suddenly absent. I spoke to the nurse (who lives in the Ashram) about this anomaly and she said that this happens to some women. I asked if it was because I was too sexual in the past and this was the ‘fields’ way of toning me down or balancing me out along with expressing concern about hormones – are they affected by not expressing regularly when the body is built for this? To which there was a response of ‘nothing to worry about it – it will resume when you leave’….my rational mind certainly had my doubts!
Yet on I went – noticing but not concerned by its absence all the while becoming increasingly aware of my acuteness in sensitivity, ability to dive very deep into practice, concepts and subtleties of living yoga. My progress felt fast and felt like I was able to see clearly my beauty and darkness on a daily basis yet mostly with a calm awareness….but sometimes shit would hit the fan! The ashram is no perfect paradise where people float around on white shanti clouds of awesome every day. Ashram a real place of HARD LABOUR and this is the work we signed up for but even so it always felt useful!
I then tuck my questions about my missing flow behind my daily thoughts and as is the way, I am given the Sannyasa Darshan (an original version) and read it voraciously when I stumble across as section in the book about keeping your power for spiritual practices. That one should always aim to contain oneself – men your semen and women our blood, as a lot of energy and power is lost when releasing these ‘flows’ from the body. If they are contained and drawn upward then spiritual fervour is increased! HOW INTERESTING I thought ;-) – Thanks Guruji x
And so with the added boost I got into it and was ready to face myself. To use that energy to smash my obstacles and become awesome!!! However the road home is not for the cavalier and cocky and I immediately came up against my biggest issue yet. It tore me apart at the seams – rocked my very foundations. There were explosions everywhere. That deep wound that had been hidden, protected and stupidly nurtured was now exposed and I came out swinging. It was so painful, real (or so I thought), raw and deep. I ached, my whole being suffered due to my thoughts, associations, judgements, ignorance and memories. Yet still there was no blood!
Slowly a sliver of dawning wisdom came and I could see! I could see how I distrust, control and create distance when all I want is connection and so some surface was sloughed off and a little sensitivity arose.
We then went to the Rikhia Ashram which I fell in love with – my beloved Guru was everywhere and I got to be near him daily. And here I bleed!!! The earthliness, the rawness, the giving of this place allowed my body to flow, to serve and wash itself clean. To let the abundance of my nature overflow and give of my femininity – this was a place to pour yourself out, not to be contained. Yet here I saw the purpose of each place – Munger was the place to fill up, to control, contain, refine and discipline the very essence of your being while Rikhia was a place where you could bleed yourself dry! Give, Give and Give some more xxx You would NEVER be asked to stop giving and at that time – it felt so right for me!
We go back to Munger and immediately my period stops again and I chuckle at the wisdom and purpose behind these places, managed by these magicians who can alter nature by a mere thought and enable their disciples to harness the fullness of who we are and who we are not!
I have left the ashram and my period has returned to normal – I am now tossed about and my nature dissipated by the cycles of Mother Nature – I am no master and merely at her mercy. I watch now my physical body resume is surges, changes and ebbs & flows of functions, my emotional surges become more tidal and mind more dramatic and flighty yet still I can see the grace. I was able to see behind the whims, lila and diaphanous distractions which keep us caught and removed from our Selves.
For a time I lived in the mercy and grace of a great master who could control and design nature according to his highest intention which was to show us, us!
Swamiji – I saw you, I see me and forever humbly THANK THEE!