So this Yogic path is never boring, forever challenging and deeply revealing about who we are and what we have to work with. At times I feel like I make progress but really, these are just inspirations to keep me doing the daily hard work of finding and revealing myself.
For some reason – for which I can’t explain other than, to use the term GRACE – when I am in India, for the first time in my life I make sense. All the things that are so awkward, difficult and abrasive within my nature seem to find a fluid and beneficial expression which leads to me having a much kinder view and experience of myself.
There are many branches of Yoga and within our tradition – SATYANANDA YOGA – it is an integrated approach which means that through the course of the day we practice karma, raja, hatha, jnana and bhakti yogas along with unpinned Tantric rituals and practices which include Yantra, Mantra & Mandala. Ultimately the aim is to liberate our energy and expand our consciousness on all levels of our being/nature which we do by applying these practices…it is slow and often difficult work but the results can be profound and lasting.
The issue of Love and Relationships have never been far from my experience and when I was in a more basic state – these expressions came in the form of sexual exploration and so I equated love and relationship mostly with my exchanges in sex. The blessing of being celibate is that the fundamental need I have to explore Love and Relationships in this life (a very strong astrological aspect for me) has to be redirected and find another ‘playground’ for this work to be carried out, refined and hopefully one day offer full articulation of what this means.
Love now comes in the form not of a person but of lessons and experiences which allow me to feel so much love for myself which can then flow out to other people – as there is no fear or need of another. This can be explained through an experience I had while in the ashram recently where I was asked to clean a bathroom on my day off. To put things into context – during the Yajna season in India there are no days off, no ‘me’ time or hours of work. You work until you sleep and then you continue again. It has been said that day and night don’t matter and there is no such thing as a weekend. We just work which I usually LOVE. However after a few months of solid intense work and exhaustion slowly seeping into my tissues, the offer of a day off came as a blessing for all. I washed, cleaned, preened, sang, danced, practised and slowed right down – it was delicious. Strangely though, with that extra time, I started obsessing about a boy (however this is not your regular kind of boy)…I can’t seem to help myself! And when this spiral began to deepen just after lunch, I was called into work.
Not just any work – I was to scrub a bathroom that hadn’t been cleaned for years from top to bottom with acid – ALONE. A regular clean was never going to show progress in a room like this. It was caked on filth. The blue tiles had a brown film half way up the walls, which even the acid wasn’t removing. So there I was on my day off – grumbling about how everyone else is relaxing and I have to clean shit (which I had now been doing happily for 2 months). Slowly my irritation at working gave way to a desire to see blue behind the brown and just when I thought I was eroding the last of the caked on, stubborn and clinging crap – it refused to reveal the beauty beneath. It refused to budge even with the strongest of acids…
And then I saw.
This is me – this bathroom is my insides and I have a wonderful Guru who accepted someone with so much baggage, crap and stubborn, unrelenting intention to hold onto my suffering even while he does everything he can to help me release it. He can see the blue tiles, he gives me practices (acid) to help me remove them from my inner life but there is a part of me that clings to the crap. That doesn’t want to let go or release my suffering and so there I am… and I weep.
For both of us – that he ended up with someone like me when he deserve someone so much more capable, willing and generous to share his knowledge with and for my own brokenness and awareness that I am the obstacle which I can’t seem to cut through even with dedicated and committed practise.
And so I remain shitty!
At the same time – the ashram provides a field of immense love. I was able to feel a different quality of love, relating and a fluid, gentle yet powerful exchange between the entities within this space. I was supported to feel such love that at one point I dissolved into that love for some days. The space between one and another was pointless and there was only love, connection and desire to support all. I experienced as a result of this, a desire to surrender and serve that principle, that element of love and I was supported in doing so. Each action was blessed, knowledge came easily and gifts abound each and every day in such a state.
I come back to Australia on a high which led to my fall.
I have spent my whole life feeling hopeless, useless, flawed and damaged which naturally demands one be inherently humble however when I started feeling good about myself, loved, seen, supported and encouraged – with that came arrogance which I didn’t initially see or understand…until it got out of hand.
Having worked with my therapist in the Transactional Analysis PAC framework – I noticed that I was strongly in my Parent. This is a state of critical, judgemental and condescending righteousness…I was neck deep and blindly consumed with this power. If not actually telling people, I was mentally parenting every experience I was having. In all states, in all groups and in all areas I was this Parent and then I caught a wave of that long lost Indian Love and I felt adrift, far from home and heartbroken at how quickly such a blessing had been misused. It was offered with one intention – a gift for me to grow and share yet I had twisted, deformed and misused it to ‘right the wrongs’ from my past.
Again there were tears…
I am in a phase of my growth/life where everything is about LOVE and RELATIONSHIPS and that doesn’t mean that this will involve sex (in fact I think it will be more useful if it doesn’t) but in this area of development – I am a spoilt brat, an ignorant child and fearful beast. I am 41 years old and I don’t really know how to love or be in healthy relationships to others…without it being corrupted, polluted or sullied by my fears, past or ignorance. Let alone dealing with their stuff coming at me…
The only thing I have to offer is a filthy kind of love which is stubborn in its ugliness yet this is my practice. I will go into that room, with my acid everyday and continue to see if I can clean away some of that grime until the purity which is inherent in my nature is revealed. I continue to ask for Guru’s grace, blessings and light to help me on this journey home.
OM MANE PADME HUM