A Widening Outlook,

I received an angry comment to the last posting, which questioned my sincerity and made judgments, accusing me of trying to “hook in” this person for some personal profit or “money making cult.”   Even having been myself, a sincere, yet cynical  seeker who trusted no one and was wary of anything that I had not experienced, I was surprised at the comment.

Since this came up, perhaps I should clarify why I am writing my story in a form of a blog.  I have no interest in promoting myself or any particular practice, nor do I ever plan on saying that the practices I do personally are necessary to raise consciousness or are the way to Babaji.

I am sharing my truth in this forum, which welcomes open discussion.  I am telling my story because this is what I have experienced and a blog makes it accessible for anyone who chooses to be entertained by it.   It is the truth and it the story of an ordinary life.  It is extraordinary only for me.  The only criteria for me writing this, is that everything I say must be the truth.  Some pieces may be missing from my memory, but nothing has been massaged or exaggerated or whitewashed.   It is what it is and nothing more, nothing less.   It is my life.   Except for a few long stories the posts will not be in chronological order.  I don’t plan what I am going to write. I sit and write the truth about my life.   My practice of Yoga is part of it, being attracted to Babaji is another part, being a mother of two sons is another, developing my potential and my marriages are yet others, all these are told as a way for me to get a full picture of  why this soul may have chosen to be here.   But also it creates a distance between these parts of my life and who I am.

I am trying to strip myself of identities and responsibilities. The last thing I would want to do is to encourage others to join me and for me to become responsible for them.   If you choose to read about this life, my challenges and my insights, perhaps you will be provoked to share some of your own life experiences and insights.    Maybe there is an opportunity to support one another through the blog.  That is as far as my sense of responsibility goes.

People ask me how are we to know if we are progressing spiritually.  All I can say is that that I have tried to see myself honestly and find the karma, synchronicities, patterns, and wonder in all aspects and events of my own life.   I can also say  it is not a matter of having to do this particular practice or that practice in order to see these patterns or the magic.  It is about being so sincere in your aspiration to know yourself that you are willing to give up all ideals, concepts, opinions and judgments about everything.   It is about letting go of cynicism and doubt.   It is about being willing to honestly tell all your stories and just as willing to let go of them.  It is about not holding onto anything.

It is about identifying oneself with the self of others and feeling that connection within the very atoms of other human beings and with the animals of the world.  It is about ahimsa, non-harming and non-manipulation.   It is about identifying oneself with the entire universe.

I believe that this widening began to happen for all of us during that pilgrimage to and from Santopanth.

My being able on that night in Santopanth to see Babaji laughing was a moment of intimate connection with the bliss of the self.   I believe my mind put that experience into form.  Bliss took the form of Babaji.   Energy created matter in a kind of holographic form.  It was a moment in time.  And at the same time the whole sky opened up displaying millions of stars.   It was some divine play.

That night, we slept well and woke up at peace even though we had very little food left and still there was no sign of Deba.  We did our sadhana separately that morning.   Devananda never came out of his tent.  Randy went hiking in the mountains, I think he was hoping to discover Deba on his way.  Mid-morning, Devananda gave me a couple of packets of cocoa and oatmeal and asked me to boil some water.  I had just made our instant breakfast when I heard Randy yelling from the ledge of the rock cliff.  Someone is coming!  I can see them!  It is four or five people!  I had a feeling it wasn’t Deba.  Randy would have recognized him, even at a distance.

Several hours later, Randy came back to camp with news that Govindan and Walter had arrived along with a guide and porters.  Devananda and I went up to meet them.  Govindan was very surprised but pleased to see us.  We were very happy, we had not expected to see them.  They arrived three or four days earlier than planned. Govindan said he hardly recognized me, I looked Nepali.  I suppose I looked native, browned, weather-beaten, wrapped in blankets and rather thin.  They camped just below the ledge of the valley and used the small house for cooking.  Bobby, their guide rushed to make a meal for us all when he heard that our cook had gone to find more porters.   They had lots of extra food and were very happy to share.  We were happy to eat.

Bobby quickly made us sweet, milky Tiger Tea and I was totally content. Dinner preparation would take a while so we decided to do the asanas together.  I can say that never before had I enjoyed the postures as I did that day.  I was totally acclimated and doing the postures there, was a spiritual high that I will never forget. That was the first day at Santopanth that I did all 18 postures and it was then and there that I began to utilize the bandhas with intensity, along with  spinal breathing.

We had a wonderful dinner.  Devananda and I went back down to our camp.  Randy had not come to dinner; he was not in a good mood. The next day was very cold.  It was the end of September and it felt as if winter would soon be there.   I spent some time with Govindan and Walter showing them the caves we had found and did sadhana with them.   Devananda did sadhana in his tent.  Randy roamed.  I think we all were a little nervous about Deba’s safe return.  Govindan had not seen him in Joshimath nor had Bobby seen him in Badrinath.

About 4pm, Randy came excitedly into camp.  He could see Deba with about 4 other people climbing in the Valley of Doom. They would be here soon.  Deba had been able to find a great guide and group of porters.  We would however have to leave the next morning,  a heavy  snow was expected.  Deba and the new guide Raoul made dinner.  Everyone was all in a great mood and after dinner Raoul picked up my drum and started to play.  He was amazing and the porters started to sing lovely bhajans.  At one point I started to dance and before we knew it everyone was dancing in a circle to the music and the drum.  It was a memorable night!

The next morning, we rose early to mediate and had a lot of chapatti and chai. Govindan came to our camp as we were packing up.  He climbed with us to the top of the valley.  I was very concerned that the weather would turn bad, while he and Walter were there.  They were planning on staying another 48 hours and then would return to Badrinath.  Raoul and Bobby spoke at length about the weather.  Heavy snows could reach them before that.  I asked Govindan to promise that they would leave in 24 hours if the weather worsened.  I couldn’t imagine them having to return in heavy snow over the boulders and steep, narrow paths.

We said our goodbyes and began to climb back.  It took us two days to get there, however it would only take one day to return to Badrinath. The worst part of the return was over the Valley of Doom – both climbing down the rolling boulders on one side of the valley and walking over them to climb up the other side.

Everyone was at the top of the other side, waiting for me and for Randy, who stayed right by my side.  It was very difficult and I was exhausted and this was only the first 45 minutes.     Raoul, who was carrying my drum took it out and started drumming.  He drummed an powerful beat that filled and lifted me. I began to climb easily, with the beat.  It was terrific. I don’t know if this is a traditional way of encouraging lagers, on treks, but it worked like a charm. I was at the top of the cliff in no time. I hugged Raoul and thanked him. I also gave him my drum. He was like a snake charmer, his drum charming me up the hill.

The rest of the trek was relatively smooth. I did slip at one point on a narrow path.  It was a dangerous fall eliciting some fear.  My shoulder was jerked quite abruptly as I caught myself on the exposed roots of a tree.  I felt pain immediately shoot through my shoulder joint.   We got through the difficult part of  the journey by about 3 pm, in the afternoon.   As Randy and I were walking across a flat field, two eagles flew very close to our heads and circled.  It was a beautiful sight.  I had never seen eagles fly so close.  Sometime soon after, I received a mental message, a brain wave.   It was an instantaneous knowing.  I knew that the karma between my husband, Mikael and I was complete and finished.   I knew that he had met someone and that we would start a divorce action as soon as I returned.  It was profound and a fete de complete.

In Mana, we went to the Army post and checked out. The same official was there and seemed surprised that we had actually stayed so long at Santopanth.  Then we bought tea for everyone and sat in the village for about an hour before we could even considered making a move toward the Dev Lok Hotel in Badrinath.  I thought about Mikael. We had been married for 24 years. I looked for some feeling about what I knew. There was no internal sensation or emotion.  I enjoyed my tea immensely. I had two.

We checked into the Dev Lok and grabbed our towels and some fresh clothes and went to the Tapt Kund.  The hot sulphur springs would feel good, even if it was over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  After the bath we went to the Temple.  Devananda had an experience at the Kund and walked around with a Cheshire Cat grin. We had dinner at Saket.  On the way back to the hotel we saw a sadhu, a guru with his student.  He was very tall, a big man, distinguished dressed all in black.   He was standing with an attractive Western woman. He looked at us, for a long time as we walked towards him.  He came up to us and asked who we were and where we had been.   I liked him. He seemed familiar, but I was too tired to stay up and talk. I excused myself and went to my room. I wrapped myself in everything I owned and got into my sleeping bag and feel into a deep sleep.

The next morning I opened my door to let in light.    It was cold and I wanted to do sadhana in my room.  At one  point, I opened my eyes and saw a rat standing in the door. It was large and brown with a long tail and it was looking into my room, not moving.    And I found this rat interesting. I did not scream or move from my bed.    I was observing its lightly colored fur and the shape of its head and the length of its tail and then watched as it scampered down the stairs.   I was witnessing it without any thought of fear or disgust.

Who was the person sitting on this bed?

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