On the way to India

I was walking through  Macy’s Department store a few days ago.   It was practically empty.    As I was slowly navigating the jewelry department on the way to cosmetics, I overheard a woman about my own age saying, “I am sorry but I have short-term memory loss.   I could see the young sales associate eyebrows and mouth curl when she heard the woman’s comment.   She turned away.  The woman speaking was attractive, well dressed and decidedly wanted a second pair of earrings.  “Help me with these and I promise I won’t bother you anymore.”  Her exchange with the young woman, made me pause and fain interest in some jewelry at a nearby counter.   There had been something so poignant in the rather intimate admission.

I had just come from a deep tissue massage and was feeling quite exhausted.   Although I should have drunk a bottle of water to recover, I had chosen a grande non-fat latte.   I was already feeling it had been a poor choice.   I handled a pair of gold hoop earrings just to observe  the  sales clerk , to see how she would respond in either words or demeanor.  But, other than taking out another pair of earrings from under the glass counter, nothing indicated that the sales clerk cared at all about what had just been shared with her.    Expressionless, she placed the gold swirls in front of the woman and walked away.   There was no one else near her counter.   I wished to change places with the  sales lady behind the Macy’s earring counter.   Why do we so often miss out on the opportunities given us to connect with others.   Thoughts of this woman  stayed with me as I walked on to the Clinique counter where I asked for something for my puffy eyes.   I was sold All about Eyes  and left the Mall to get back to my office.   I had so much to finish up.   We were leaving for India in a few days time.

Back at the office, I grabbed a water and sat at my computer.  Within moments, my vision began to blur.  My line of vision narrowed and there appeared to be a piece missing in whatever I turned to look at.   At the same time, I felt myself withdraw or to be more accurate I dropped within.  I walked into my son’s office and told him what was happening.   He asked me a question but my mind had already begun to quiet.   I was able to speak but found it hard to be pulled out of my center.    All I could say was that I felt like I had been up for days.    I was alert but very spacey.   He said perhaps I should lay down and rest.  I preferred to go for a walk in the Sunshine.   We took a long walk.

The whole experience lasted not more  than an hour.   I was able to watch myself having this experience of being disoriented and  pulled so deep and not wanting to speak.    I didn’t want to look for words, and when I looked for them, they were often not there.

I did not know if something was wrong with me or if I should go to a doctor about this,  but I was aware and able to reflect on the state of my vision and my mind without concern.  I was comfortable with it.  Although I felt unaccustomed to the narrowed vision, I had entered a conscious quiet presence of the Self.  As we walked, the Shakti in every moment became spontaneously evident, as active presence.   It was the sparkle in the  atmosphere  and there  in the man walking with his ‘spirited’  Jack Russel Terrier, and in the ducks sunning themselves on the grassy shore and the cranes intent on something under the surface of the water.  It was evident in the  squirrels darting across the tree limbs and in the questions Alex posed and answered.  He asked  if I was feeling anxiety.   I told him I did not know what anxiety feels like, but I was definitely in an unusual state of mind.  He began to  describe the disorienting experience he often experiences.  I recognized what he was describing, it was a similar mental state, but, I felt an attraction to it, to the stillness and being alone within myself.  It was similar to the almost magnetic draw one has to stay inward, when in deep meditation—a refusal to become involved in interactions with the world.   The mind is conscious of a presence  and  the personality seems merely a wave of the ocean of that presence.   Alex tries to pull himself out of the state.  He is fearful of it.  He is trying to gently coax me out.

I told him that I was content, even though  I felt I was beside my self.   I felt full of energy.   I had loss some sense of individuality.    Thoughts did not seem to leave an impression.    I couldn’t say where my center of action was located.   Thoughts did not seem to be mine exactly, but appeared to simply be passing through my mind.

For that hour or so,  I had lost the control to shape my thoughts, but all the while I  felt aligned with that which  shapes  thoughts, or wills and feels and acts.    And it felt refreshing.

The same thing happened again two days later.   Alex wanted me to see a neurologist.    I made an appointment to see an Ophthalmologist.  My eyes were found to be normal.  The problem was not with my eyes.

The doctor asked me about the bouts.  In addition to the visual disturbances I mentioned I had experienced being very introverted, yet fully present.  My vision was narrowed but what I saw had a vibrancy to it.   I felt more sensitive to everything going on inside of me.    I could vividly  feel my body vibrating and pulsing.  I felt the distinct tingle of sensations of energy through my eyes and on my tongue and even though it was a cold day, I was not affected by it and could feel the  warm pulse of blood through my body as we walked.   I felt more circulation in my arms and tingling down into my hands.   He said,  he didn’t understand all the symptoms, but he imagined had an ocular migraine, perhaps brought on initially by the deep tissue massage.

The Siddhas say you are not the originator of action, but rather it is the Power of Shakti, a universal power working within you, which acts.   Excess  disturbs the shakti.   There was some external pressures, perhaps with the massage I had  been overloaded.  I was having the massage because my muscles were weak, inflamed and strained.  And instead of relaxing afterward with a water and a nap, I chose coffee,  and to shop, and get back to work seated in front of a computer.

There are no quick fixes to realignment.   What I do know is  required, is self discipline free of emotional excess and an ability to deeply relax the mind.

We are off to India day after tomorrow.    We will arrive in Chennai early Friday morning to have some meetings with some old friends and new work acquaintances  and on Sunday will attend the Book Release function for the Thirumandiram.  Then we are off to the Bangalore Ashram.  I will  meet with Swami Paramahamsa Veda Ananda and finalize the new Kailash book, get it formatted and hopefully get it to press.   Satchidananda and Satyananda will give a  Anthar Retreat over the following weekend  at the beautiful School of Ancient Wisdom in Bangalore and then we will fly to New Delhi, to  attend the Kumbhamela in Haridwar.     We will be in India until March.   I will try to do some blogging and when possible upload photos and stories about the Kumbhamela and the people we meet along the way.   It should be, as usual,  a cornucopia of spiritual abundance and a fascinating time for self-discovery.

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