Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Can't rely on technology....

This morning my mobile alarm never went off. I think it was in protest at all the times I jump out of bed, turn it off and return to bed. It's pissed off by it doing its job and me ignoring it. Something woke me at 5.20am and usually I will lie there in that relaxed state between waking and sleeping confident that my mobile alarm will tell me the time. Happy, with anticipation of what the coming day will bring.

But this time I felt an urgency to know the time. When I looked I couldn't believe it, it had never gone off and I had less than half an hour to get to my usual group cycling class. I leaped out of bed like I had been bitten by something and like a mad woman gathered everything together and was there as usual in the gym ready to start my class - and all without much stress. It just worked. This is the way of the spiritual - there is always enough time. I find that I'm never tight for time, or if I am that everything works out.

At my class I did my usual meditation and really enjoyed it. I had my 2nd appointment with the hospital consultant to agree the final details to have bunion surgery on my foot. I was told that I will need to be off work for 8 weeks. This is a long time and driving back in the car I wondered how I was going to break the news to my boss. But I should have had more confidence in her, she was great. I told her before I have a date for the surgery. But I wanted to tell her before rather than just give her the date when I won't be at work for 8 weeks. I didn't tell her that I was also getting the other foot done!

This surgery is really going to test me. I will have below my knee in plaster for the entire 8 weeks. I have been warned of the dangers of not following everything to the letter. I am reminded of the story of Ram Dass in the film which was made about his life called 'Fierce Grace' in which he said that it was only when he had his stroke that his real spiritual journey began. Before he had his stroke he was a world leader and lecturer. All of the halls were filled when Ram Dass gave a talk. I found it very moving in the film to see how now he cannot do anything for himself and has to have 24 hour care. I can't help feeling that it is going to be the same for me albeit on a smaller scale. I will have to be mindful of everything. I will have to accept the boredom which is going to come with 8 weeks of reduced activity.

My inability to go to my group cycling classes and thus miss my twice weekly meditation will be hard for me to deal with. But this is the spiritual training, being OK with things when they are not OK, or not the way that they should be.

Came home and met a special friend for a drink before she leaves London for a new life. After a tough break-up with her boyfriend she went to India and dedicated three months to studying Shivananda yoga. I thought this was amazing. When I went to India I included a 10 day retreat in Boddhgaya where the Buddha had become enlightened. I didn't give up three months of my life. Since then life for her up until recently has been turbulent. I understand that this is what happens at the beginning of the first cycle of transformation when the commitment has been given to follow this path and the process of purification and making the body fit and strong to receive the higher energies begins. I have watched her journey and what I notice is that there are periods of spiritual activity and periods of rest.

The way I compare it is to a seed. You plant a seed in the ground, in fertile soil, give it water, and the leave it to grow in its own time and to its own pattern. It is the same with the spiritual. At the beginning the study and practice is intense. This is to build a firm foundation. Then as in my friends case, other things of life are happening, a new job, new relationship. While she is pursuing all of this, that little seed that she planted in India is growing. In this case it is the inner spark, which is beginning to glow brighter and brighter. As some point this brightness will attract the attention of higher energies and the next step on the first cycle will begin. It is such a fascinating path. And like a seed, where if you give it too much water, it will die, the spiritual is the same, keep prodding and poking and analysing where you are on it and you will kill it.

All of life is spiritual and the secret of growth is to enter into all aspects. The Divine is both in everything and integral to everything. By Divine I don't mean God. God to me is a loaded term and for me. It describes how the universe is maintained. The G - means Generate which is where a form, whether this is of an animal or human is generated, The O is for operations - this refers to the life of that form, the experiences it has for that lifetime. The D is for Death which is when the form no longer ceases to be. So for me God is not the Divine energy but is how the Divine ensures that the universe continues to exist.

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