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30 and Learning…

The journey continues

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Spirituality

Reflection

I wrote a post few days ago that I have since deleted because it seemed more like a rant than anything meaningful.

Like I had mentioned in that post, on certain days my energy and patience are spent on trying not to miss someone, and then I become irascible, snapping at the smallest thing that irritates me. Sometimes I internalize the anger, sometimes I let it out, and sometimes it finds a way to come out, like it did in that post.

I am undergoing a state of internal chaos right now. As I pointed out in my post about meditation, I recognize that my energies are out of balance, and I must make conscious efforts to return to a state of equilibrium but the process is not easy. The constant efforts can get tiring. As with a see-saw or a pendulum or a weighing balance, before equilibrium can be reached, there is a period of swaying, going from one end to the other, one side to the other, one extreme to the other. Slowly the separation between the two extremes is reduced and ultimately, a steady state is achieved.

I am in the swaying stage right now. But I don’t think I’ve hit either extreme yet. I am yet to have a totally perfect day, and I’m yet to have an entirely bad day. In a way it is scary because I don’t want to have a bad day – breaking down is not an option I have. I don’t have the luxury of giving up. And endless stream of perfect days is really just make-believe. As long as we are not living in some sort of denial, we will have good days and bad days. What makes all the difference is our ability to remain unaffected in either case. I am swaying close to the center where this ability to remain unaffected lies. I pass that place many times but I can’t seem to stay there. I go to one end where I feel better by telling myself that I’m better off now – the place of denial, to the other end where I just want to cry – the place of shock. The place of acceptance, as I have mentioned in few of my recent posts, is elusive, transient, fleeting.

As I have done on occasion before, allow me to make yet another science analogy. A body at rest continues to stay at rest and a body in motion continues to stay in motion unless acted upon by external force – the Law of Inertia. So if I am swaying right now, I can continue this motion endlessly unless there is an external force involved. On most days the external force is me. I try to meditate and restore balance in my chakras so the swaying may stop and I can remain centered. But every once in a while there is another external force that has the exact opposite effect. It pushes me towards the extreme, it accelerates my sway, increases its span. This is the type of force that I ended up venting against in my last post.

I usually write my posts as notes in my phone, over a period of several days. And I usually avoid writing on days when I’m not feeling centered. This last post was an exception on all counts. I wrote it directly in WordPress because I was feeling restless to write. And the reason I was restless is because it wasn’t a day when I was centered. So what started as a simple narrative about how I don’t feel like I belong anywhere quickly turned into a spew of frustration towards those who keep telling me that I don’t go out as much anymore.

It is true indeed that I don’t go out the way I did before, but the difference is not in terms of time spent outdoors but the way that time is spent. People fail to recognize this and when they make such a comment, it is invariably accompanied by the insinuation that I’m not having fun anymore, or by extension, that something is wrong with me. I prefer early mornings to late nights, and I prefer activity over dining out. It’s as simple as that. And I’ve always been this way until someone came into my life and things changed for a while in between. The frustration over being misunderstood further led to futile justification of the way I had become – that I went out a lot because the person I was with did not like my dog! That somehow he turned me into someone that wasn’t truly me and so I am better off without him.

The thing, though, is that this is exactly how my uncentered days are. I couldn’t care less about what people say, but I’m sensitive right now and any suggestion that I am not handling things well bothers me. A small trigger can upset me, and set me down the path of denial. When I come out of this denial, I become extremely sad because I am reminded of how much I actually miss this person. It’s not that I’m better or worse without him, I just am without him, and although that hasn’t changed me as a person, it has changed my world a little and I must now learn to adjust to this new world. I’m doing the best I can and though the process of adjustment is taking longer than I’d like, there isn’t much more I can do. The counter-productive external forces sometimes slow down my progress but at least I am able to bounce back from that and not let them take over.

Happy and sad are not mutually exclusive states. Happiness does not mean absence of sadness. It simply means knowing that you’re ok despite the sadness. I am able to stay happy through all the chaos and swaying, and for now, that is enough.

The Gift of Meditation

Ever since my friend made the comment about me and enlightenment, I have been intrigued by what exactly enlightenment means. I’ve been reading about it, watching videos, and have come to conclude that I’m actually very far from it. In fact, I don’t think I even want to get there because that would mean having no attachments at all.

I like the level of attachment I’m at. There was a time when I was extremely attached to all things worldly but over the years I’ve become more spiritual. I have become unattached to most things. As I’ve said on occasion, there is a difference between being unattached and detached. Being unattached means not having any emotions associated with something. Being detached requires us to be attached to something first, and then being able to control our emotions for the greater good. We can love someone but be at peace loving them from afar because that is what is best for the other person. So the detachment we develop is rooted in our attachment to that person.

I have few attachments – my family, my pets – and I would never want to reach a state where I am unattached to them. An enlightened person is no longer a creature of this world. S/he feels no pain and is always happy, ecstatic as most sources describe it. But I like the pain that comes from having these attachments and from trying to remain detached. I like all the emotions I feel; in short, I like being human. However, I do feel more aware than I’ve ever felt in my life, like I have woken up from a deep sleep.

I started meditating when I was going through some really difficult times and was desperately fighting depression. At that time, my practice was only focused on keeping my mind still. Through the years, I have added progressively “advanced” dimensions to my practice. I started working on chakras first, and currently I am trying to step out of my body and see myself from the outside. Some days I’m able to get there, other days I can’t. Regardless of that, what the practice has given me is not some magical ability to control my life, but the ability to control my reactions to it. Chakra meditation and balancing remains one of the most valuable insights I have acquired through this process. And I feel ever so grateful to have reached a state where I feel like my third eye chakra is almost balanced. Among other things, I am able to look inside and identify exactly what is going on within me.

If someone were to ask me whether I was happy, I would answer “yes” without thinking twice. But something has been missing in my life for a while now – laughter… joy. I am happy, but I rarely laugh anymore. I drag myself out but I rarely feel joy in doing things. I thought I have a broken heart so I kept trying to channel energy to my heart chakra. Then recently, during my ‘quest for enlightenment’, I learned about over-energized chakras, and suddenly, I felt like I had come across a major revelation. I had an over-energized heart chakra, which is actually a bad thing!

At its perfectly balanced state, the heart chakra allows us to love ourselves and others alike. Under-energized heart chakra leads us to build walls and close out any and all kinds of love. An over-energized heart chakra, however, causes us to love others excessively, ignoring ourselves in the process. I have been loving someone else so much that I have not been loving myself. As a consequence of this, I have an under-energized sacral chakra, because of which I no longer feel joy in anything. Identifying and acknowledging an issue is the first step towards resolving it. Now that I know where to channel my energy, I can fix myself.

This is what meditation has done for me – I can see myself from an outsider’s perspective. Some days I have all my 6 chakras in a state of perfect balance and I feel happy and content. Those days have been rare lately but at least I know how to get back there. The change will not happen overnight, it’s a journey. But the process has begun. I can hold on to my love for others but at the same time, remember to love myself too. I can embrace pain and still find my own happiness. I am sure there are other ways to explain everything I’ve said but this is the explanation that most resonates with me. I recognize energy, around me and within. Right now, it’s the energy within that needs attention. This awareness, this consciousness is enough for me. I don’t want to stop loving those I love and be ecstatic. I want to hold on to my love and simply be happy with the knowledge that they are happy too, even if it is without me.

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