My Second Hridaya Meditation Retreat
I came to Hridaya trembling from the quakes of life, four people passing in a short span of a few months, mother suffering from depression reflecting the pain in my own heart, dear sister so engrossed in her own dramas that there was no space to see beyond, brother in rage as he lost his trust in the world, a long awaited embrace of ten years from my beloved left me empty as his heart was now closed, so many stories reinforcing the painful disconnect of human existence. The shadow of deep disappointment in humanity cast me far from feeling connected, feeling loved, feeling my place in the world. My roots were unearthed, living in a new town, barely knowing faces, my beloved across the far reaches of oceans, navigating for clarity in all directions and not seeing where to rest my heart. It was a feeling of swimming through space, no identifiable markers and floating with nothing tethering me to the ground. My entire reality was in re-identification. Who am I? Why am I here? What are we all doing in this chaotic world where love is less of a priority than success? Why are we choosing these paths of chaos? Where are our hearts?
The Finger Pointing to the Moon
The call to be in silence became so apparent as the connection that I was not finding outside myself cast me a longing to be inside. As Sahajananda would describe the finger pointing to the moon is showing us to look beyond the physical point of reference this remembrance is what brought me again to the spiritual refuge of Hridaya. I sat in silence for ten days. I rode the trails of words, into rambling stories, setting foot on ego pilgrimages of my mind. I felt stillness. I felt grace. I felt turmoil. I felt peace. I witnessed the battles of blame, shame, anger, frustration, doubt, rival each other until the mind was exhausted, was terrified from its own self. I began to identify emotions that caused me unrest, and would call in the opposite affirmation. Inhale compassion, exhale anger. Mantras like this would pulse to the rhythm of my breath until I felt the barriers of my heart begin to crack and crumble. Sahajanda continued to direct the awareness to the spiritual heart, a little to the right one finger width away from the center of the chest. My mind tried to charge the gates of this divine kingdom. Shamelessly wanting to enter, not seeking permission, not softy asking. Demanding entrance to the chambers of the most sacred temple. The gate keeper gazed with stillness, with unshakeable love penetrating the terrors of the desperate mind, the ego. As the harsh attempt turned into a soft request the doors slowly opened like petals of a rose waking into the golden rays of the sun. I walked humbly into the temple, eyes closed, I sat in stillness. The mind in a state of defeat dissolved into the heart. From form to formless. Completely seduced from the divine I sat naked.
Back to the Heart
My words are now touching the gateway of my lips. The images of the union, re-union with the divine illuminates the deepest part of my being. I realized I came running home, because I was afraid of getting lost. Losing my way back as the road was seemingly looking un-identifiable. I felt blind as I walked down the path, but it was again revealed that I do not need sight to find my way home. The door remained opened from last time I entered. As I stepped foot into the curvaceous walls a huge embrace engulfed my entire being. The remembrance of love dissolved my very essence back into the spiritual heart.
An Open Door
As I leave Hridaya the door remains open. The desire to stay inside pulses a strong reminder, like a cord of light directly connected to the divine. This energy is palpable and blinds me when I close my eyes. I have been ushered again to stay in the essence of being, the true self, the heart, god. May I always remember that there is no way to loose my way home. That the divine is always inside waiting to be witnessed. That the heart wants to be expressed in its fullest capacity opening like a rose to the sun in full bloom. This is my humble Silent Retreat Reflection.
By Beth Laskin