Billdings Deestroied

PERKINS 1

 

 

PERKINS 2

 

 

The two pics above are of pretty much the same thing – the demolition site of what once was a Perkins restaurant. I’m writing about this because it’s the first place my husband and I exchanged I-Love-Yous. In fact, not far at all from this location is the place we met for our first date. (Marsh parking lot – we went to the far west side of Indy to a Mexican restuarant for dinner that night.) I couldn’t tell you how many times we ate at this Perkins, but it wasn’t often. We would go there only occasionally with friends or something… the last time I was there, I went alone and had quite an interaction with a homeless man. Regardless of how much or how little we went to that place to eat, it would always stand out in my mind because of that one dinner we shared.

We were both so young – in our early 20s! Both of us were skinnier and both of us had far longer hair and we were both far more naive and emotional, and unexpectedly in love. I think neither of us expected to feel toward the other the way we did. But we went with it. I recall meeting him in the parking lot that night – the weather was warm so it had to have at least been autumn but was probably early summer. It was late enough that the sky had already darkened – which for Indiana spring / summer / autumn means after 8:30pm. We parked next to each other and when he got out of his car he held a small stuffed animal and a rose as presents for me. I couldn’t have cared less about the stuffed animal, but flowers have been / are / always will be my favorite gift to receive. I remember thinking it was so sweet of him… I had no idea that these gifts were a sign of how our dinner would go.

We were seated, and I think we had ordered, and were sitting talking to each other while holding hands across the table – something we’re not likely to do now (you tend to outgrow that kind of juvenile stuff as you age together. It’s still nice and fun but feels less necessary once you know the other isn’t at risk to run away). Holding my hands across the table, he was suddenly quite nervous. He was so timid and kinda quiet and said, “I love you.”

And I froze.

And then he cried. Before I knew it, I had upset him. Without making a huge scene, he cried openly right there and made it clear, “I said it because thought you would say it, too!” Seeing pain in others has always been jarring to me and made for a quick call to attention. I snapped out of my frozen state and returned with, “I love you, too” and then tried to explain why my response was tardy. Things were smoothed out, the night moved on and so did our lives together.

As long as I live, all dementia and Alzheimer’s aside, I’ll always remember that night and that Perkins location. My ex and I were together for 7 years and he was my first (and only other) real relationship and I couldn’t tell you the how or when of our first I-Love-You. But I’ll never forget that evening with Wayne. It’s quite an impression I carry.

Heartfulness / Sahaj Marg is a meditation practice which is supplemented by a “cleaning” practice. Our cleaning and meditation do much for removing impressions that are sticking around long after they should. To be clear, removing burdensome impressions doesn’t mean forgetting. Events in our lives (inclusive of the words and sounds and sights and feelings, etc… that make up those events) are never necessarily good or bad, but we categorize them as good or bad based on our temperament and outlook and other influences like culture and language and religion. Because of those influences, and the resultant categories we create in our minds, we carry impressions. And so, dinner with my husband isn’t just that – even though it really is JUST that. Because of the aforementioned influence, I assign a category and lots of associated importance or … whatever … to something that simply and naturally just is. The real tragedy here is that letting something be as it is is far more beautiful than any significance our minds and concoct.

So we make mountains out of molehills and, as you can understand, mountains are far tougher to carry – thus our store of samskaric impressions. To further illustrate this, there’s a story about a woman and two Buddhist monks. The two monks were traveling by foot when they came to a stream or river where a woman was fretting about crossing. She wasn’t able to cross the water … for some reason I now forget – maybe because she didn’t want her clothes to get wet or something. So one of the monks picked her up and carried her over the water, to the other side. The two monks then continued their journey. Some miles down the road, the second monk couldn’t keep it in anymore and verbally lashed out at the first monk – scolding him for his nerve to touch a woman, let alone carry her, and yelled at him for compromising his monkhood at the risk of lust, breaking vows, etc… To all of this, the first monk (who had carried the woman) responded simply with,”Brother, are you still carrying that woman? I put her down miles ago!”

I don’t need that Perkins location to remain standing for my husband’s love to be real or valid, or nor the same for my love of him. But, quite ridiculously, there’s a part of me that feels offended at the demolition. That’s an impression that needs to go and, thankfully,  through my Heartfulness practice of meditation and cleaning I’ll eventually be successful in releasing that impression. After all, any love that is stuck to a landmark from 12 years ago is a dead love, and no love I care for.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Babuji 117th Jayanti

 

9pm Sitting

A couple days ago, I went to the home of local prefects for our mid-week meditation group / satsangh. The group was small – myself, the two who own the home we were meeting in, a recently-married couple who met through satsangh (I think) and who gifted me a lovely composite photo of all four of the Heartfulness gurus (my first and currently only picture of the newest guru in our parampara / sampradaya), and another woman.

As usual, the meditation was quite nice and exactly what I needed. In fact, it was more than I hoped for. I went so very deep that the gentle call at the end of the meditation, which is usual for us, “That’s all” struck me as a thunderous kind of boom and brought quite a jolt. Sometimes you fall asleep in meditation. Sometimes you simply go so deep that you’re awareness seems to stop labeling or identifying anything and you are only that Observer – which can’t quite name what is being observed. And sometimes you remain aware of your thoughts and can see them coming and going and you can almost literally feel the process of thought formation and movement – but as something that is distinct from you, the Observer. I had, at that time, experienced the separation of Me from my thoughts and basked in that for a short while before sinking even deeper and coming closer to dhyanam. As total peace was really beginning to encompass me I heard, “That’s all” and while I’d not lost total awareness of body consciousness, I was far enough gone that the gentle call to end the meditation almost knocked me out of my chair.

Once the meditation group had dispersed, I stuck around for a brief chat with a prefect who has been helping to coordinate efforts with the local Hindu temple (www.htci.org) and also the downtown Indianapolis campus of IUPUI. I’m happy to be helping to create flyers that can be distributed and posted in those places which will help others learn of Heartfulness meditation. This kind of seva is overdue for me and is something I’ve sought for a while.

Normally, the night would wrap up after the evening meditation but there was not only the meeting but also our current guru, Kamlesh-ji or Kamlesh-bhai was set to give a global sitting at 21:00 local time here, and which I think was to be around 08:00 locally for India. The sitting here concluded after roughly 45 minutes and was really something else. It struck me that the sittings of the Masters have their own flavors. When the evening sitting was over, I mentioned briefly that the difference between Kamlesh-ji and Chari-ji (the guru before him) is like the difference between a Tootsie Pop and a Blow Pop. Both are from the same source. Both have roughly the same shape, which is somewhat unique. Both carry an inner sweetness which is different and yet very much the same. That sweetness is, of course, the Divine Current experienced in our meditation.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Bad Words

Image taken from Google Image search

Image taken from Google Image search

 

A short time ago, a friend and I were talking about bad language. Swear words. I use them often. There’s a “study” that makes rounds on Facebook every once in a while that apparently legitimately indicates that people who swear regularly are statistically more honest. One of my favorite things about my maternal grandmother is her swearing ability. Truly, par excellence. She can fit 6 swear words into a 4-word sentence without violating any rules of grammar. Swear words are descriptive in practically artistic ways. I speak English and much German and I’ve encountered swear words in French and Gaelic and I’ve noticed that calling someone a certain swear word in one language doesn’t necessarily translate to the same in another language. I could provide you examples, but I won’t.

Why won’t I? Because it’s likely – even very likely – that you are already programmed to think swear words are really and truly bad words. So many people have believed this that you could say there’s an alternate vocab list that can be used instead and which let’s the user off the profanity hook. For instance, if I say darn or shoot then you probably wouldn’t flinch. You know exactly what I’m meaning to say, but for some stupid reason there’s a difference in your head between shoot and shit, darn and damn. Trust me, there isn’t really.

But we typically think there is, because of impressions we carry. Those impressions can go quite deep – so deep we’re no longer aware of how they influence us. It’s said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Pulling a gun’s trigger is pulling a gun’s trigger. If you’re intending to hit a “bad guy” but instead hit and kill an innocent bystander – does that change anything about you firing the gun? Nope. You intended to hit a person and so you fired a gun. Sorry about your bad aim and that innocent’s unfortunate karma, but nothing changes in that situation just because you intended a different target.

When I was a teenager I had a friend – a sweet Christian girl named Stephanie who only a month or so ago died of cancer. She always wore glitter eye shadow. Always. If anyone was ever the human equivalent of a Care Bear, Stephanie was. (That’s not a jab at her). She was kind and sweet and nearly always smiling. And when she stubbed her toe or someone made her mad she would say, “PINEAPPLE!” – and she said it with gusto! For any situation where I might say shit or damn or drop the f-bomb, Stephanie would use the word, pineapple. Similarly, I’ve heard people say things like, “Bananas!” or “Fudge!” When I was growing up and yet living at home, my brothers and I weren’t allowed to say “freakin'” because, as my mom once made very VERY clear to me, “That’s about as close to FUCK as you can get!”

You see? There’s no difference. If I say fudge and I mean fudge, then I’m saying fudge. Simple. Equally as simple, and yet somehow twisted among the impressions we carry regarding this, if I say fudge and I mean fuck – I’m still truly just saying fuck. You can argue that there’s a difference and that saying fudge when you mean to employ the f-bomb is somehow better, but the truth is that sugar-coated poop is still poop.

The programming or impressions that most of us carry regarding this are something that should be managed in a healthy and effective manner. Sometimes, when I’m engaged in my Heartfulness meditation practice, things like this surface and knock my socks off. Sometimes you don’t realize how frankly ridiculous you’ve been until you enable yourself to step aside briefly and see from a different angle, as the Observer. Without this, it’s like walking across a dirty floor time after time and always having dirty feet as a result. We come to recognize dirty feet as a norm, but shouldn’t. It’s good – and necessary – to stir that dirt up and get it off the floor so that our feet can become, and stay, clean.

In our meditation practice there’s a cleaning that happens. A lightening of these sorts of burdens. In fact, this is a significant part of an individual’s process of self-evolution and integration. It’s healthy. In order for us to move forward and become a better Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Atheist or Manager or Cashier or Mom or Dad or Prostitute we need to take a look at these things that are weighing us down unnecessarily and discard them as the lunacy they are.

Another bit of dirt clinging to the bottom of your foot and which you might want to look at is the reaction you had when I mentioned becoming a better prostitute. Thanks for reading.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti