“Where Were You?”

Without going noticed, each mundane day brings to every individual an incredibly complex set of entangled events, the scope and consequences of which his mind can never begin to grasp. Yet, any honest inspection would attribute all which happens to more than just a random set of coincidences. No doubt, the dexterous hands of karmic law are at work here.

Sometimes, when we become sensitive enough, we encounter little episodes which have some sort of significance to us, at times foretelling of what’s to come. A couple of weeks ago, I had one such episode.

I was sitting at a table in Master’s Market in Ananda Village, when I witnessed an emotionally intense moment from across the room. A little boy entered in and met his mom, who was already seated inside. Apparently, the mom had disappointed the little one, just before, by not being present somewhere where he expected her. He was crying frantically. While you could tell he was consoled to find his mom here and be in her arms at last, he was severely berating her: ” [sobbing…] Where were you? [sobbing…] Where were you? [sobbing…] I am so mad [sobbing…]”

Why should I witness and be affected by such event so unrelated to me?

As it happened, these were the same words that came out of me, though silently, two weeks later. That’s when I remembered the little boy incident again, and realized I had repeated his words, with no lesser amounts of hurt and agony.

After spending a few months in the Karma Yoga program here at Ananda Village, I was able to shed a lot of mental burdens, staying in the joy of present moment, more and more often. For a time, I got to a point that I didn’t need to sit in meditation to feel that. I would close my eyes at any time of day and during any mundane activity, and I would instantly be greeted by the warm all-enveloping embrace of my Divine Mother. Tears easily would be accessible to wet my joy-permeated eyes. Mother was with me all the time.

Fast-forward another month or two, when I entered the Experience Ananda program, where duties extend to various departments within the whole village. As part of my responsibilities, I was now doing jobs related to my own field, which means being on a computer for long periods of time.

Gradually my presence faded. No longer was I able to stay in full awareness of the present moment, as I had learned to do well during my Karma Yoga shifts such as dish washing or preparing breakfast. My mind once again took hold of me. It assured me that it’s dealing with important challenging problems and it needed to get lost in them in order to find solutions.

Soon enough, Divine Mother was not as near to my perception. If that wasn’t bad enough, my mind was so often restless to the point that I wasn’t even able to get far in my meditations. The situation has persisted through most of this time.

But I have been studying yoga for some time now, and know better not to judge or label my experiences, as neither good nor bad. It’s just “is.” So I was at peace with not being as much at peace. But I cannot say I did not feel a little hurt or disappointed, for feeling like having spiritually backtracked.

Came a few days ago, when after eight consecutive months of not leaving the area, I was finally able to break away from the village to come visit my parents in Los Angeles for a few days. As if life wanting to make sure I’m aware of the contrasts between life here and there, I was greeted by, among lots of comforting things, the nightly bedroom noises from the couple in the house next door, and my own family’s warning me about “the potential threat of egos in the organizations, such as the one I have joined, taking over my life.”

And it was during this bitter-sweet time of “rest-and-repose-and-have-your-buttons-pushed” when I once again closed my eyes to see She was there again. Divine Mother chose to greet me and caress me. Crying from joy, deeply calmed by Her presence, I yet found myself starting to express my hurt: “Where were you? [sobbing…] Where have you been? [sobbing…] Why didn’t you come before? [sobbing…] I was here waiting for you! [sobbing…] Why did you come ‘now’? [more sobbing…]” The next day brought Her loving embrace again.

I think Divine Mother, in Her infinite wisdom, plays the part of perfect motherhood. When She thinks we are safe and will learn a thing or two, She lets us be and face (and sometimes get a slapping from) the challenges. At other times, just when we’re about to break, She picks us up, calms us, and reminds us that She is always there with us.

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