Drag

 

The Gita teaches us that the same Spark resides in all things. But not all things look alike. Surely there must be a difference between me and you and the rock and the dead chicken on your sandwich?

Nope.

Any differences that can be detected – any differences which appear to us – are, at their best, the most superficial. Only fools look at the sea and think the waves at the surface are the seas’s entirety. Even sciences are now confirming that the differences you and I think we’re seeing that distinguish us from each other and from the rock and from the chicken breast on your sandwich really aren’t real.

So, if you and me and the rock and the chicken patty aren’t actually different, then what are we? We’re the Same. We’re the One. We are All There Is.

But, we’re the One as It wears different masks. In the very same way a woman might wear a certain lip color to work, but different lip color to church, and yet different lip color on a night out… The appearance and presentation changes slightly, but the Wearer is not changed. We are God’s various lip colors – we are the God in drag!

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

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Reality is Enough

“Life is not a bed of roses.” That’s what Babuji said in a Whisper from the Brighter World on April 19th of this year, which I’ve attached to the bottom of this post. He went on to talk about how life’s challenges are essential to the process of evolution and it all ties back into so much that I’ve read throughout the Sahaj literature – It’s because life is not a bed of roses that we’re not impressed by the idea of a life of sannyas or retreating to the Himalayas permanently to seek enlightenment. From the very beginning of life – period – the only evolution that’s ever happened has occurred because of a challenge or stimulus faced. “Trials are necessary and formative; without them there would be nothing to drive things forward,” he says. I have always said that, as human beings, we’re endowed with a unique and highly-evolved ability to learn without the need for misery. But that doesn’t in any way conflict with the idea that life would come inherent with trials. Trials are necessary. Misery? Pain? Suffering? Those are fully optional.

The month of June, for me, was kinda full where trials are concerned. Most of May, for that matter, too. I was approached by a zonal coordinator wondering if I’d ever considered serving as a preceptor and I was thrilled at the idea. For anyone unfamiliar, this role comes with no glory. As I understand, it’s mostly an opportunity to plug in deeper and serve on a greater, more thankless scale than other abhyasis. Still, that’s exactly what sounded good to me. I’m always happy to assist my local Heartfulness community – be it financially, with my time, with my meditations, or with any skills I possess which will help further our cause. And to be clear – I do or have done all of those things and there’s never been time when I’ve been told “no” to serving because I’m not a prefect. But still, the idea of serving as a prefect made me happy and so I agreed to become a candidate.

I’m a little sad to report, however, (and I do mean only a little) that my candidacy was not successful. After doing what most people would considering jumping through hoops as part of an embarrassingly, insanely disorganized process, and receiving what many would interpret to be positive signs along the way, it was ultimately decided that I would not be chosen. My region / zone did have others who were put forth as candidates and some have been successful. And it’s not uncommon at all for a candidate to be refused on the first try, or the second try, or the third, etc… I know of abhyasis who were so taken with the idea of being a prefect / preceptor that they would approach the current Master in tears because of it and be refused multiple times. The only part of my unsuccessful candidacy that truly ever bothered me (and this is less the case than when things were fresh) is that there was very little in the way of productive feedback given. We all had to study like CRAZY. We had to have read many of the Sahaj Marg works. We had to pass a test which took me, personally, something like six full hours to complete. We had to do a number of other things just to be considered – and that’s truly just fine. Most of those ridiculous hoops jumped through were, at a minimum, for the sake of showing who we were, exhibiting our commitment, and demonstrating that we’d invested in our own understanding of the Marg. These are all good hoops to make people jump through.

But then the answer came and was hardly more than a “No.” (To be clear, it WAS more than a flat ‘No,’ but hardly.) I can say with all honesty and no bitterness that this was the toughest part to accept. Nothing was communicated in regard to whether I passed the written test or whether I hadn’t had enough sittings or really in regard to any of the other hoops which were jumped through just to be considered. All of this process wrapped up just before I made the trip to New Jersey to see Daaji – except I never saw him. I mean, I did see him – once a day or so, from about 30 feet away. Common sense, and some private conversations, told me that there were others in Newark that weekend which were also rejected in this way. To my knowledge there was never a concern for helping these failed aspirants understand the nature of our rejection or how to reapply more effectively. No compass was given so that I could better myself as a candidate – which, obviously, is all for the sake of serving Heartfulness on a deeper level.

That’s something I still think about from time to time, but anyone who knows me at all also knows my life is anything but stagnate. It was around this same time that I was very afraid of leaving Indiana, even for a weekend, because a dear friend of mine was expected to pass away at any time. She didn’t pass until a few weeks after the New Jersey weekend but when she left, I think she took something with me. I’m still trying to sort that out fully, and with any luck I’ll write about it here – but don’t bank on that. The weekend after the failed prefector candidacy was finalized, I had to hop right back into grhasta life and keep moving. Always moving. Always.

Sometimes reality is challenging. But it is what it is.  Being turned away as a prefect, everything leading up to that, and then Leah’s death which followed after was enough for a significant shift in my perspective. Fires of change felt SO hot during that period and I’m certain some dross I’d been carrying was burnt away. I do recognize a difference – a very clear before and after, although tough to put words to it. The whisper shared here was something shared with me by a local prefect – the one who’d put me up as a candidate. I was actually reading it from having received it on my own when she sent it to me along with the words, “Reality is enough, and as such, all is well.” Babuji was our guide, two guides ago. At different times in my Sahaj journey I’ve felt my connection to him more strongly than at other times, usually feeling more attuned to Lalaji, but I can tell you Babuji hit the nail on the head in the whisper given.

“Reality is enough, and as such, all is well.”

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

 

Whisper

MindBodyGreen

change

 

I’ve written so many times about things I see on Facebook. Today, as I prepared to take my lunch at work, I ran across a post in my feed of an article shared by MBG (MindBodyGreen) website. It was a piece written on Heartfulness. I found it to be simple but impressive and conveys the very most basic layer of Heartfulness which has been a focus lately as Heartfulness opens itself up to the world. If you would like to read the article for yourself, then you can click here.

I’m always curious when I see write-ups like this. My path is undergoing a period of intense evolution, and while it’s unstoppable and surely beneficial, it’s also not been without its bumps. In the last two weeks, locally, the Heartfulness Indianapolis community has held two meetings. These meetings haven’t quite gone as planned, but were productive nonetheless and in the first meeting there was an abhyasi who asked a question the answer to which ended up really flavoring the entire gathering that day. Quite simply he asked, “What is Heartfulness?” His question carried other implied questions which were also addressed. Questions like, “How does it differ from traditional Sahaj Marg?” and “In Heartfulness, are we losing our history and stepping away from our known foundation?” The preceptor leading the gathering answered the question to the best of her ability and the answer was very full. Her answer also left the conversation open for discussion from others and input based on an individual’s current understanding. We had passed around a flier, quite professional looking, which could be used when presenting Heartfulness in a more professional setting.

The dialogue that day certainly was indication of questions and concerns some older abhyasis (not an age reference, but a duration-of-practice reference) have been chewing on. In fact, and I brought this up in the chat that day, when the term Heartfulness was first brought to my attention and a website shared with me, I went and the very first thing to catch my eye was that the masters weren’t mentioned anywhere. My very first question to my preceptor was, “Where did the masters go?” And my second question was, “Is this still Sahaj Marg? Since then, much discussion has centered around this change, this new phase of our evolution – and that was certainly the case a couple weeks ago when the one brother asked his questions.

During that meeting another brother, and one who, quite frankly, is an impressive individual – as a father and member of society and abhyasi – raised his concern that things might be getting too far from center with this new phase. Or, at least, that’s how I interpreted his seeming rebuttal because he brought up that so much has changed – seemingly now so little emphasis on Master, Method, etc… as there had been for prior decades. He also mentioned that yoga (hatha yoga, asana) made its way to the West and was almost instantly “cheapened” because westerners are missing most of the benefit of this practice. (For anyone unaware, here in the USA people practice hatha yoga primarily for the health benefits – and are almost entirely complete and utterly unaware of things directly related to yogasana like mantra and pranayama, and which are not really meant to be excluded from the practice of hatha yoga.) He’s not wrong. And even as a westerner, I’m a little saddened that so many people only seem to care about whether their trikonasana looks good and not the REAL benefit brought to the practitioner.

But these things shouldn’t be a source of worry for us. I know that Sahaj Marg and especially Heartfulness shies away from the label of “Hindu” where religion / spirituality is concerned – but I kind of don’t care. I still consider myself to be a practicing Hindu and so many other aspects of this practice are either definitely Hindu or clearly have Hindu origins / foundations. So whatever. When I came to Hinduism one thing that really impressed me and offers an incredible amount of freedom is that the One is called by many names. We say, “Ekam sat – vipraha bahuda vadanti.” Something important to this is understanding that the “various” names we can now use to reference Truth didn’t arise simultaneously. One understanding was gained and then another, sequentially, as humanity changed and evolved. And yet now, as Hindus, we know that we can call Truth in the Christian way or the Hindu way or the Aboriginal way and nothing about Truth really changes. Ever.

In our conversation that day, after the one brother asked his questions and the other brother voiced his concerns, the input I offered included (among other talking points) an analogy which is one I’ve used before to explain to outsiders Hinduism’s view of God – a woman and her cosmetic makeup: It’s possible that a woman would wear one style of lipstick / eye shadow / etc… to work, but wear a different appearance in makeup to church, and yet a different appearance an evening dinner party. And yet the woman underneath that makeup is the same, truly unchanged regardless of the appearance fitting for the circumstances. This is Heartfulness – nothing, really, is changing. Truth doesn’t change! The most recent steps in our collective evolution as a spiritual community have meant that we are more open and accessible than ever before – and growing like never before! Transmission is stronger and more constant, the age requirement has been lowered, and sittings can be conducted remotely… just to name a few. For crying out loud – we have an app! We’re beginning to call Truth by yet another name. Truth is wearing new lipstick and eye shadow, and yet what’s beneath isn’t going anywhere.

And that’s one thing I found comforting about the MBG article – it mentions the Truth we abhyasis are familiar with and upon which we have built our practice. The piece on MBG mentions new and old terms: Daaji is called the “global guide” instead of Master, “super-inclusive” is a descriptor I’ve not often heard of our practice but is absolutely true, “rooted in Raja Yoga,” the practice is offered for free,” there are five steps detailed in the article which will be familiar to all practicing abhyasis and relate to beginning and maintaining the practice as well as our Ten Maxims, and just prior to mentioning the upcoming conferences in the USA is mention that our setting is “inspirational and high-vibe” which to me is a direct correlation to our method of yogic transmission and how potent it can be in satsangh.

Near the end of the one meeting in which the brother asked his questions, I had the chance to chat with him off to the side. His understanding was actually far deeper than his questions let on. He understands, and was able to articulate to me, that he sees clearly our guruji in all the changes and also that he can see by looking back that every time Sahaj Marg began to solidify too much – that is, to become gross and more dense, heavier – the masters would switch things up. It’s been a controlled, guided, and measured process all along and nothing even close to losing touch with our foundation or becoming cheap like Americans interested in only the physical part of hatha yoga.

It’s certainly important to be vigilant and maintain a watchful eye on wayward directions things sometimes go in, but just as important is not to mistake the woman for the makeup she wears.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Daaji

Kamlesh D. Patel ( Daaji )

Kamlesh D. Patel ( Daaji )

 

Each lineage of wisdom has a succession of those individuals who are tasked with passing the wisdom. These same people are also responsible for the evolution of the path. Sometimes this means taking things in a new direction and sometimes this means buckling down and securing the wisdom against changes. When I was a teen I went to a church that, in one particular hallway has portraits hanging of each of the church’s pastors, in order of succession, going back to the founding and building. In Hinduism and other eastern traditions, this traceable line of gurus might lead backwards in time to a major historical figure or perhaps even a mythological figure. To go back to the example of the church from my youth, it would be like the hall of pastors having portraits of each pastor, in successive order, going back to (and including) figures like Martin Luther and Jesus of Nazareth.

In the lineage of my path, we focus on the modern-most four gurus. We do trace back to sage Patanjali (from around 400 C.E.), but our most recent four gurus only date as far back as the century before last. Starting with the earliest of these four one encounters Shri Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur. He was known as Lalaji. I’m not sure I know why he was called Lalaji. After him came Shri Ram Chandra of Fateghar, who was known as Babuji. I think, and I might be wrong, he was called Babuji because of the name of his professional employment (Babu means something like “Clerk” in his mother language). After Babuji, there came Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari. We called him Chariji, and I think it seems obvious that this affectionate name came from the tail end of his last name. Chariji dropped his body in December of 2014 and his successor, which was announced a good while before Chariji’s passing, is Kamlesh D. Patel.

Kamlesh, almost from the very beginning of his time as our spiritual leader, discouraged us from calling him “Master” as the ones before him were often called. (To be very clear: This usage of the word master is in reference not to dominion over devotees, but rather to dominion over his own self.) Practically immediately, Kamlesh simultaneously discouraged us from calling him Master while still giving space for abhyasis whose minds needed that, to do that. For a period of time, up until quite recently, there seemed to be a middle ground reached in regard to how he was called by us. Normally, one would hear Kamleshji or Kamlesh-bhai … either understood as expressions of affection as well as respect, and still recognizing that he came from where we currently stand. The feeling of these is one of kinship or relation and although the one does end in the same -ji as the earlier gurus (Lalaji, Babuji, Chariji), Kamleshji or Kamlesh-bhai both feel more cumbersome than the names we used with the earlier gurus.

Very recently, however, it would appear as though a new choice is on the table for Kamlesh-bhai. That new appellation is Daaji. To be quite honest, I’m not sure when this came about – though I did learn tonight at meditation that it’s a name he’s used for quite a while already and which children apparently started. I receive lots of emails from a number of Sahaj Marg / Heartfulness sources and I don’t recall reading anything official about a name change – maybe I missed it somewhere in the mix.

Immediately, given what experience I have with Indian languages, I thought it sounded like an affectionate form of calling someone “grandfather.” In researching this a little, I found that in Gujurati, Hindi, and Punjabi the word for grandfather is “daadaa.” (pronounced daah-daah) Kamlesh was born in Gujurat, India – so it could make sense that “daaji” is a combination of daadaa and the suffix -ji, which we use to express deep respect. However, tonight at meditation I also learned that daaji is a term of respect and endearment for the younger brother of one’s father. In a way this feels like a nod to Chariji.

I think Daaji is a wonderful next step in how we’re calling our guruji. It flows easily within the mouth. It’s simple, like nature (See our Maxims). And it seems more in line with names used by the earlier gurus. And so we have it – Daaji. You can learn more from him by clicking here.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

I’m sorry

It’s been said so many times that the best way to learn is to teach. I experienced this first-hand as a teen when I was “preaching” to Sunday school kids and had to prepare lessons for that and also a little while after that when I was in high school and taught German. You have to be prepared for what you want to communicate in the teaching as well as any potential exceptions to the lesson and any questions you might encounter from students.

In my own life, I’ve been a teacher to many – both in the sense that I mentioned before wherein I was physically standing before a type of audience for the purpose of imparting knowledge and also as a kind of “life teacher.” Grown-ups, young people, friends, family, and strangers alike have come to be for advice. This isn’t bragging, it’s just a fact. People have said to me that they perceive me to be someone who “has it together” and it creates a sense of trust. I’m flattered and honored to help anyone in any way I’m able and if all they need is advice then my work has been made easy. But this comes with a responsibility and one that I think I’ve failed at miserably.

I’ll back up a bit and share some of a story that was told to me a few weeks ago during a dinner with a prefect. We’d met for dinner for what I thought was strictly business – some questions and loose ends that she and I needed to review and try to nail down. As I should have expected, our conversation steered itself wherever it would and we talked about lots more than anticipated, some of which might be shared here later down the road. At one point she shared with me a couple experiences of hers from time when she was in the presence of our last guru, Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari (Chariji). I’m probably remembering the exact details wrong, but in one of the stories, a meal was being shared with those present including herself, Chariji, and a number of other prefects from different nations. The story meandered a bit but over the course of the dinner, as I understood, the different nations as they were represented at the table were focusing quite intensely on each other’s flaws or weaknesses… or at least this was part of the conversation… and I think it even started with talk about Americans.

Chariji was an active part of the discussion and, as any true teacher would be, played the role of a mirror to those engaged. As those present were being taught a very tough lesson about judging and finger-pointing (and who knows what else) the prefect telling me the story said that her own experience of the moment was of the energy being quite intense and heavy feeling. With that intensity, she began to feel herself wilt – like some kind of flower in the noon hour heat of Indiana’s very humid summer. Being an advanced soul himself, Chariji was able to sense this response in her. As he was sitting right next to her, he turned to her and gently said, “I’m sorry.”

There was another story she told me also involving being in his presence and him, at one point, saying to her, “I’m sorry.” This made me cry right then. I made an attempt to bring our dinner to a quick close, but she (seeing my upset) wouldn’t have it and insisted I sit back down and talk to her. She hadn’t even realized what a deep message she’d given me. This kind of wisdom is truly dark and wondrous and I wasn’t expecting it. Our guru’s awareness was so keen that he was able to sense her subtle response to the exchange taking place. That’s a sensitivity that I think I have yet to hone – which, to me, feel dangerous.

I wept at our dinner because instantly, as if Chariji were there to transmit the lesson himself, I was very aware of lessons I’ve given to others which were probably very tough to swallow. Lots of medicines are tough to choke down and that doesn’t in any way mean they aren’t the right medicine or that they aren’t what’s needed to cure the ailment in question. All of that, more than anything else, really speaks to the point in personal evolution the student is in at the time. But there’s a certain absence of compassion or … something … when a teacher knows the lesson is tough (as I have known some of my lessons are tough) and keeps pushing the student. Thinking about all the times my lessons have been tough for the students to internalize and realize and how I’ve continued to push … just about makes me sick to my stomach. It feels so irresponsible.

Recently, in Minnesota, I was telling a friend and his wife about this. Stupidly, I got kind of choked up while telling it – I really just can’t even believe myself sometimes. They were so understanding. My husband was in the car then, too, and I could see it in his eyes. Probably because he’s been a student a few times, himself. Even he could see the value in a teacher who says, “I’m sorry.” My friend and his wife seemed very understanding. They were quick to try to soothe my feelings. They reminded me that it’s okay. That my manner of giving wisdom is just my own and there’s nothing wrong with it. I think boot camp was mentioned, which makes me smile a little even now – I will definitely put someone through boot camp. They reassured me that even teachers are growing and evolving.

This is challenging for someone like me to accept – not because of the idea that I have more growing and learning to do, but because of the realization that my actions could be perceived as careless. Worse yet is that I’m not certain how to move beyond that. I only know to trust my evolution.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Come Correct

I pull inspiration from many sources. These various sources are a big part of how I became who I am and also who I am becoming. On Guru Purnima each year, I make an attempt to celebrate and honor all the teachers I’ve benefited from – the list usually includes my parents, traditional gurus (some with bajillions of followers), and even drag queens (drag nuns, to be precise). Beyond the main or big teachers in my life, there are those certainly are teachers but perhaps on a lesser scale. This group also includes drag nuns, as well as family and friends, etc… Someone who falls in this second category is a blogger who is known as Maria Wirth.

She’s a German woman living in India and she’s about the only other blogger I know and read who writes posts as long as some of mine are. This is a good thing, and a bad thing. When you’re as long-winded as we are you can be sure that the only people actually reading what you publish are those who value your words and really want to read them. It seems like everyone else just gives up and stays away. I have found Maria to be very balanced and experienced and patient in life. Her perspective and mine often mirror each other (at least insofar as what she has written) and I can relate to many of her opinions.

Something she wrote about not long ago was political correctness in speech. The post, which I encourage you to read for yourself, can be accessed by clicking here. It starts with her recounting a conversation she was a part of in which she said something that kind of made others raise their eyebrows. (Mind you, she knows what she’s talking about in the post – I can verify that.) Shortly after her words, a friend, someone else who was also in the conversation, told Maria that she agreed with Maria’s words but was too scared to say them. Why was she scared? Because it was politically incorrect to say what Maria did. (Side Note: There are many bigoted people around who spout their nonsense and then when they catch hell for it claim that they are victims of nothing more than saying something unpopular. That’s not the case here – although it is something Maria addresses, which is why you should spend the time reading the post I linked you to!)

I related instantly. In my own life, it’s usually only I who says the things I say – and certainly only I who says them in the way I do. I think my life’s equivalent of the what the friend said to Maria is that people here say I can get away with what I say and how I say it because I’m me…. like there’s something fancy about my Joshua-ness. I’ll be among the first to admit that my Joshua-ness is unique. It should be, in the same way that your you-ness should be unique. Plus, I’ve worked really REALLY hard in my life thus far not just to evolve into who I am but to continue that evolution as necessary and even more importantly to be comfortable and secure in that process as well as the results.

But so what? Me being me doesn’t afford me any additional sparkle over anyone else in regard to speaking honest and sometimes blunt truth. The same goes for Maria and, like Maria, I’d not say something for the sake of expressing judgement. Most of the time calling a spade a spade carries no inherent judgement. We’re so used to assuming there’s something about being a spade that is bad that when a spade is called a spade we interpret that – quite wrongly! – as judgement or to be offensive. This is ridiculous because it only highlights the judgement in our own heart – and then we ignorantly mistake it to be judgement coming in the words of the person calling the spade a spade. So ridiculous. We really are sometimes asleep behind the wheel.

It’s worth looking inward to discover and assess why we open our mouths in the ways we do – and more importantly, why we don’t.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

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