As much as I would like to believe it, truth be told, I am NOT a morning person! On those rare days that do I manage to wake up at 6.00 a.m, I celebrate by awarding myself another hour of sleep!
But there is something about The Himalayas…. Whenever there, I leave my comfortably insulated hotel room, give up the protection of that thick warm blanket, go out into the bone-chilling temperature of 5 degree Celsius or lesser, and yet feel as fresh as Sleeping Beauty must have felt when she was kissed and woken up from 100 years of deep sleep!
This relationship I have with the Himalayas is almost as old as I am. These mountains stood there like a parent when I ran on its slopes as a child, like a comforting friend seeing me through my pensive teenage years, like that beguiling lover enchanting me during my feminine youth; and ever so often, the majestic Himalayas granted me the acknowledgment that one wise old person silently gives to another.
And so I was packing again this morning, for one more trip to meet with my reassuring old kin, the Himalayas! But this time, I was not going with a return ticket. Time binds the mind. And the last thing I wanted at that time was bondage! I didn’t know at that time if I was running away from the seemingly hard life I had managed to create for myself; or towards an answer. But as it may turn out later, it was the latter that was planned to happen!
“I believe every trip you take in the outside world, brings you one step closer to yourself. It is like the experience coming a full circle.”
This time the experience came in through the practice of two years of meditation in an ashram in Rishikesh!
I must tell you, adjusting to an ashram life didn’t come easy. Not to mention, when you first try to sit still and meditate, you will notice that uninvited itch comes just at the right time, and exactly on a body part which is impossible to reach to without twisting yourself into a complex yoga pose! Quietening of the mind seems like a distant dream at the start.
But with months of continued practice, the meditations started deepening, and this journey within the labyrinth of my mind started becoming pleasant. The obstructive thoughts, like pebbles on the road, could just be kicked away or walked over, without tripping or getting imbalanced!
This journey within the expanse of my inner space, taught me some very important life lessons that I would like to share with my readers –
that the same road that goes down, goes up too…all you have to do is choose the direction, and the destination will appear on its own.
that Love is not an emotion, it is a State of Being in complete harmony with the inside and the outside.
that Happiness is not to be found, it is to be Felt.
that Faith is not believing blindly, but simply admitting “I don’t know”.
that Beauty is Asymmetrical!
that Meditation is not Done, but it is a skill of attaining Non-Doing.
that Discipline is not a set of forced actions, but a choice to repeat those actions again and again that bring ultimate joy…
that Surrender is not one-sided, it’s shared (as explains the Sanskrit word Samarpana meaning Sam (equal) + Arpana (offering))
“I experienced, first hand, that ‘the entire mind is not in the body, but the entire body is in the mind!”
(As taught by my Guru, Revered Swami Veda Bharati)
And most importantly, I learned that the difficult, winding mountain terrain makes me very very uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t trade this discomfort even for an all-fare paid, business class trip around the world on Aladdin’s Magic Carpet!
Every time I take a trip out into the mountains, I mysteriously cross one more chamber that leads me into my own Self…And the journey continues… 🙂