I am in the process of writing a book on my spiritual journey. I wanted to write my journey down as in some ways it has been a very ordinary journey yet in other ways extraordinary. I am a middle aged woman who has raised a family, lived in a village setting and is part of the community. I am part of an extended family and am now a proud grandmother, I also have a wide range of acquaintances and friends. There seemed a separation of my life into 'normal' and spiritual. My spiritual studies and meditation were in the main done alone and those around me had little understanding of what I was doing. There came a crisis point in my life where I felt the division was impossible to live with and had to be resolved.
My teachers had always emphasized life was spiritual and I lamented those around me did not want to know. I was not about converting people, I just wanted them to understand that my spiritual development was very important to me. Then my teacher in Spain said you have to take all these people along with you on your spiritual path and it all fell into place. Slowly over time and to different degrees those around me have opened up to their spiritual side more.
The purpose of my book is to show how my spiritual side has been revealed to me, how my understanding has developed and how I came to realize living is spiritual. It is for everyone not just the rare few. It is a journey of self realization, of mystery, of delight and I wanted to encourage others to open up to their spiritual side too.
The chapter below was written shortly after the long awaited birth of my nephew.
I have had the great fortune recently to observe a young baby at close quarters. He was termed a miracle baby in that it took nine attempts at IVF to conceive him and on the final try when my brother and sister in law had given up hope it happened. I do not know if it was because he was much wanted that inclined him to a delightful predisposition. He smiles and chuckles at anything and everyone. He spends most of his time in joyous contentment.
My guru had told me many times that a newborn baby is in bliss and that one could learn much by observing them and being in their presence. I paid lip service to this; I had brought up two children of my own and had cared for many others in my lifetime. Yes they were delightful, perfect, innocent, small human beings who have a charm all of there own but there were the screams, dirty nappies, constant demands for food and attention. Caught up in the web of caring leaves little time to stand back and observe them objectively. They are loveable and mainly that is all that one sees. At the time when my children were very young, I did not understand what meditation was all about, let alone identify if they were indeed in a meditative state themselves.
Spending time with my nephew has aided my understanding of what the bliss of Being is in reality. At the time of writing he is six months old and sitting upright with support, his eyes take in everything he sees. He is fascinated by the way I eat and watches every movement I make. He constantly watches my reactions and is ever ready to catch my eye and make me smile. He really appreciates the attention I give him and he stares deeply into my eyes. There was one point when our eyes interlocked that I became aware that these were not just a young child’s eyes looking at me but something more. Big blue eyes but they contained a beckoning to what was beyond them; I sensed they were a window to Being or at the very least his soul. It was like the shutters were open, the window was open, the curtains were open and it was there for me to see - the space of eternity. I stumbled to find the right words to encompass it, as in Tao terms it is the unspoken of, when it is spoken of, it looses its essence, it is not meant to be captured in mere words.This was a puzzle I had pondered over many times since I started on my spiritual journey. The words Being and consciousness were brought to me but if you have never experienced them for yourself how to you know what they mean. You just have to take them on good authority that they do exist and hope that one day they will be revealed to you. I took it on board in the vedic tradition that we were all part of a whole, that there was no separation between us andBeing, we were all part of the same thing. To try and get it clear in my mind I likened it to a big teapot full of tea. Being was the tea and it got poured out into different cups, in our planet be it animals, flowers, humans etc. When each died the tea got returned to the big teapot and then it was repoured into something different. Being was changeless in its various forms. Although this is an over simplified example it has helped me grapple with this unknown quantity. It was all part of the whole and nothing was separate.
Often God is separated from us and is perceived as something outside oneself to be worshipped. To be told you are God, God is you is a conundrum. It is the same as being told you are consciousness/Being and that you do not have to seek it, as you are it. I did question why I had not found it sooner if I had it all along. Why was it so elusive to find?
The mind-boggling even got larger when I was told that the world I lived in was not the real world but an illusory one of maya, that Being was in fact the reality. All I can say is that you sit tight and slowly all will be revealed. Just looking into the baby’s eyes, I could start to begin to understand what was being said. I knew from my mediation experiences that I was not my mind or body, that I was something beyond. In those same states I could feel myself disappear, there was no person called me. I did not need to breath or have bodily functions as there was no actual body. I cannot say I was an ether, it was more of a nothingness. It was not an empty nothingness but a space containing all. In this realm the mind does not exist so there is no thinking, no brain to grapple to try and understand it. Just acceptance of what was. I now have a clearer picture that this would be Reality and that what I see in my life is the unreal. Saying unreal does not mean that it is not real but that it is a manifestation of the Real. Trees, houses, people even furniture are all manifestations of Being. There are multifarious forms of Reality filled with the same Being.
Just when I get an inkling of what is said, I am presented with the image of an empty house, each room is an empty space, so if that house was demolished, what happens to the empty space where does it go? It does not go anywhere because the space is still there. So it is with Being, it is always there. We are surrounded by it, it is outside and within, there is no separation between the two. The Being that I have within myself is the same Being as the person next to you has, it is one of the same we are made of the same stuff. Our problems arise because we do not recognise or acknowledge that this is the case. We highlight individuality which focused on our differences, when we do this conflict arises and disagreements occur which lead to disharmony. We seem to thrive on this environment even though it leads to great unhappiness.
We alienate each other although underneath this lies a yearning to become whole with another. We pair in partners to ward off the feeling of isolation and disconnection, yet all the time the thing that would satisfy us most is right under our noses, if only we chose to look – unity. I return to looking, looking into my young nephew’s eyes where a whole vista of understanding arose but that window of opportunity get slowly obscured as a child develops. Not totally though, as you can catch a glimpse of it in any adults eye.