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India. Many of us come to here to “find ourselves”, discover truth, deepen our spiritual practice. In India, land of sensory overload, we strive to look inward and find stillness amongst the chaos. How?
Have you ever traveled to a foreign place where nobody knows you? When you go somewhere outside your zone and where you are surrounded by strangers, you have a real chance to experience yourself. Without the preconceived notions and role expectations that solidify us into one version of ourselves, we could be anybody. Perhaps it is that we don’t know who we are, but only the outer layers of who we have become.
This week our teacher reminded us of the importance of remaining in and relishing the unknown. The moment we think we know is the moment we cease being students and can learn no more. What an infinitely greater choice, then, to remain curious, seeking deeper and deeper levels of understanding.
To understand, we must try to observe ourselves from a place of neutrality. We don’t say to ourselves, “That f*ing bird ate that worm. What an ass!”, so why do we apply that harmful judge and jury voice to ourselves and loved ones? Just watch and ask questions. Be as a child. Try observing someone or something easy to be open to at first, and move toward those who are harder to understand as your ability to observe in neutrality grows.
Recognize, that learning how to observe without reprimand does not mean you have condoned any action. You are building a skill. By remaining curious of the world around you, you will strengthen your relationships, peel away layers, and see what moves those around you to act. Eventually you will be able to turn inward and discover your own true nature.
As we enter holiday season with all it’s fluctuating energy, take a look and simply ask, “who am I?” Am I daughter, husband, father? Am I playing a role or writing the play? We can’t have all the answers. We must not or the joy of being a student of the world is lost. But we must ask the questions, dive into the darkness, live in unknown.
With the greatest gratitude to my teacher. -L
(Pictures from India HERE)