Re: Carrying Home Heaven
- Truly beautiful words Arpan. You said so many things that I needed to hear.
Trying to balance the inner life with the outer life is very often a great challenge, as the outer tends to overpower the inner if we're not taking care of the inner things.
I am trying more to meditate at my job as many times as I can during the day in order to keep the spiritual flow amidst the mental world of work.
And I often imagine that I am actually at Aspiration ground while I am meditating which is very powerful and helpful.
Now that Celebrations is over, I, and I'm sure others look forward to your Wednesday night function reports.
- Re Carrying Heaven Home
At Aspiration Ground on Saturday, my last day, I was trying to meditate and talking to Guru inwardly with great seriousness. I saw a dear friend and we exchanged greetings. She said:
'When are you going back?'
'It doesn't get any easier, does it!'
'No. But how can it? It's hard to leave Heaven.'
I was trying to hear all the birds that I had heard each morning in the early dawn chorus. I tried to make Aspiration Ground each morning at 6am for the early morning meditation. Zita from Hungary with whom I shared a room was my beloved Alarm Clock, waking me, full of joyful energy and enthusiasm every morning at about 5.15. I was not so energetic and she often left before me, but it did mean I was able to get to the court quite early for meditation most mornings. I am so grateful to Zita for this. She is one of my fantasitc new friends.
I wonder if Kamalakanta or one of the other sound experts could record for us the quiet sounds of that pre-dawn meditation at Aspiration Ground, perhaps starting even before 6am, to catch the early birds and the quiet whispering footfalls of the first disciples arriving for meditation.
The morning meditations were some of the most precious times for me. Not only was there the sacred atmosphere of the Holy Ground, where at times I felt I could actually see Guru sitting in his Temple, but also because of the sweet sound of the dawn chorus. I have a great love for birds and bird-song and always felt a special thrill to hear the Cardinal Bird and the secretive small brown bird which has a high sweet whistling song.
On the day of the 12 hour walk I had to leave Aspiration Ground early as I was on first shift and we started at 6.30. I did not want to leave the peace and holiness of Aspiration Ground. Just as I was thinking I must be going, the Cardinal Bird swooped down from a far tree where it had been singing, way beyond the Aspiration-Ground-green on the far side of the track. It alighted on the Aspiration Ground fence, among the waiving fronds of wysteria. My heart leapt with surprise and joy at this sudden and unexpected secret blessing, as real to me as Guru's unexpected Smile...
Then as I watched, almost breathless with delight, the Cardinal Bird soared straight towards me but upwards, in a beautiful arc, perching above my head in the tree that grows at the corner of the Aspiration Ground, just to the right of where I was sitting and leaning out over the Tennis Court above me. It sat there, its colour glowing. Although the sun was not quite high enough to be seen - or even for the first rays to be reaching the branches yet, there was a brightness in the air up there which lit its plumage with a deep red glow. It just sat and sang and sang. I think I was the only person meditating that morning while apparently staring straight up into the sky.....
Many, many, many blessed sweet memories I hold in my heart as I start life back here, feet touching the earth of the mundane world, but mind, heart and soul still deeply rooted in the Heaven of the Holy Ground. I trust the sweet memories and experiences will keep my inner-connection strong - with my dear family members (in New York and all those now like me who have left, for now, and are spread right around the world;) - with the sacred places in and around Aspiration Ground, - and with our beloved Guru who inundates all our lives and all our places with the Blessedness of his Living Presence.
(I am reminded of the words of a friend who said she had prayed and prayed after Guru left the physical world, just asking 'Why?' and he did answer her question. He said, 'So I can be nearer to all of you.')
The challenge now is not just to remember that Guru is everywhere - which means here - now - even in my sitting room as I write this and with you now, wherever you may be as you read it. The challenge is to feel his living blessingful, powerful Living Presence here as strongly as we felt it during Celebrations - and to maintain that sense of seriousness and inspiration. I want to pray to him with the same intensity here that I felt as the time for my departure drew near, despite all the distractions and frustrations of the outer life.
And as I do pray I can imagine that I am sitting still at Aspriation Ground, surrounded by flowers and birdsong, warm in the sun, stroked by the same fragrant breezes and surrounded by my dear divine family, devouring the beauty of the Aspriation Garden with my hungry eyes and listening as I was on that Saturday afternoon of my departure to the birds.
Their songs were muted by the heat of the day and interlaced by sounds from the driveway - the music of a singing group rehearsing and the raised voices and laughter of the rehearsal of a play that I would not be there to see. Their songs were overlaid at times by the rumble of buses and traffic on 164th street, the roar of planes turning in a wide arc high above Jamaica High School as they set out for distant lands from JFK, and by the sirens of police cars speeding along Hillside Avenue, busy on some business of their own....
Guru symbolised a sacredness planted firmly in the middle of the hustle and bustle of 20th Century City Life. This was the Himalayan Cave of his 21st Century adventure! And it is in the hustle and bustle of another nation and another city that I have to learn to find him now.
So thankyou to everyone who made the Celebrations so wonderful. Personally I felt they were extra special this year, the best since Guru's passing for me. I felt we were no longer grieving and looking back this time, but were marching forward with confidence, bathed with his Presence and Power. I felt his joy and energy and saw it manifested again and again in the events of Celebrations, but especially in the wonderful Manhattan Concert.
.......And, Kamalakanta, if it is possible, do record for us the sound of Aspriation Ground (from about 5.30 am until about 7.00) if it is not too much trouble - quickly, while the spring morning chorus of the birds is still in full song. I am sure there will be many people who would treasure such a recording to help us 'Carry Heaven' with us when we have to leave the Holy Ground and inspire us in our morning meditations when we are far from our true heart's home.
with love and gratitude to all
- Many thanks, dear Durga Mata, for recreating the Aspiration-Ground atmosphere so heartfully and sharing your so deep insights! I am also missing the sacred singing of those birds now.