By Gurudevi Nirmalananda
While you’re waiting for life to get back to normal, you’re still limited in where you can go and who you can see. Sheltering in place means you can’t do a lot of your usual things. However, the truth is that most of them are timewasters.
I remember arriving at a rural hotel in India near an Ashram I was visiting. The staff member taking me to my room proudly pointed out their pool, tennis courts and a game room. He encouraged me to make use of their amenities but I demurred. Shocked, he asked, “What will you do to kill time?”
I don’t want to kill time. I want to make full use of every precious moment. Life is for living, I learned from the fictional sage named Auntie Mame. I’m still sure she was right. But what kind of living can you do in a pandemic? Well, it turns out that living fully is not about being busy in every moment. It’s about being more alive, whether you’re busy or quiet. The whole point of yoga is to make you more alive, more present, more fulfilled and full-filled within yourself.
For that, you need to find your capital S-Self — the Divine Reality within you that is you. Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation opens your access to this vast, pure, sacred and holy interior dimension. The specialty of this tradition is Shaktipat, the inner opening which gives you easy access to the God within.
It’s the God-feeling that I’m talking about, not the personhood of God, not your idea of who or what God is – but what you feel inside when you experience God. My Guru explained it this way:
Bhave hi vidyate devo.
God is in your feeling
You know the feeling. I know the feeling. You look for this inner feeling in so many places and in so many ways – but the reality is that, when you feel it, it’s inside. No matter where you go or what you do, the experience is an internal experience.
I went to a concert put on by the Tibetan Gyüto monks; each man sings a chord on his own. And they sing it all together. It is amazing! But it’s not the sound that’s so incredible – it’s the inner experience it provokes. Time stops as these sounds hang in the air, combining and twining around each other – total timelessness, pure space and vastness, deep inner opening and pure bliss. The God-feeling. That’s the point.
At the summer camp I went to as a teen, there was a quiet area, a lookout point, reserved for those who joined a special group. We got special badges and only those with the badge could go to this spot. It was a place of silence. I loved it there, but I couldn’t figure out why. I’d go look at the view of the valley, but the feeling didn’t come from there. It didn’t come from the trees, not from the earth or the rock I liked to sit on. What I couldn’t figure out was that it was coming from inside me. The God-feeling. That’s the point.
I sat in the sunroom of my home the other day, sipping some hot tea. After a while I stopped sipping and just enjoyed the light filtering through the clouds and trees. No words. No reason to be there, no reason to leave. No memories or plans. Just being. The God-feeling. That’s the point.
Meditation is the best pathway, of course. We use mantra to get past the mind’s churning, to dive deeper within. It’s amazingly easy, thanks to the energy planted in the mantra by my Guru, and by his Guru before him as well as the many preceding generations.
Maybe this is what you can do with yourself during remaining months of the pandemic — get filled from the inside out. Maybe this could be your New Year’s resolution: to discover your own capital S-Self. For that, you must meditate.
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