One of the interesting things about living in an ashram for a couple of months is when you stop living in an ashram. Everything around you is up for review, observance, reflection and most importantly awareness. I started to panic a bit and imagine all sorts of reasons why I would lose what I had gained. All the work I had done on staying present and building an arsenal of tools I can use to help me in my everyday life as well as my interactions with others. Once the panic tempered, it took a while and a lot of repeating “I am functioning from my centre” (chant for clarity in Kundalini system-3rd Cakra Manipura), mantras such as Om Nama Sivaya(remover of obstacles) and staying connected to the ashram through classes (started my first Zoom class on dreams last Sunday).
I am confident, now, that I can do this. Stay with my practices for me, stay aware for me and stay connected to the community. By doing all of this, I can be there and hold space for others. I look around me, listen to how those in my life are fairing right now. New COVID restrictions just came into place that make it almost impossible to be with family and friends. I have observed that most are very tired. The desire to induce a coma state is appealing. Take something (choose your drug) to help you sleep, wake up, go to work, spend a good portion of your day doing something that sucks your energy up like a sponge. Come home, eat whatever is available or order something, at a distance of course, sit in front of your favorite medium of choice-TV, On-line video or series, take something and go to sleep again. On your days off? Take something to ease the realization that you can’t go anywhere or do anything outside of your living space.
Do I have it right? This could very well be our lives for the foreseeable future. What if we choose a different path?
I am working with a dream I had a couple of weeks before I left the ashram. I won’t go into the details ( if you want to look at it,it’s the blog called “ Can you read the signs?”). I have been working with one symbol from it. The red slide that the little girl and I enter to try and find a way out of the stairwell.
Here is an excerpt from the dream…
The tube- It’s red and goes down for a bit then raises up. That’s where we get stuck.
Trying to go up. I can see the stairwell at that point as there is a window in the tube which shows that we are by the stairwell. I am in front of the girl in the tube and it’s me that gets stuck and decides to turn back. She has to scootch backward for us to get out of the tube.
I was curious about the color of the tube. It’s bright red, like the ones that I used to see on the playground when my kids were little. It’s inviting and playful if you want it to be. It can also be hard to navigate if you build up friction or don’t have enough momentum to push yourself forward.
The fact that the tube goes down for a bit and then has a connector that veers upward is telling.
When I choose a path like this one, at first, all seems fine. It’s an easy down hill slide. I gather some speed and get to work doing whatever it is I want to accomplish. Somewhere in the middle though the obstacles or challenges start to appear. In the dream it’s the upward “kink”. At the junction I noticed a window that opens up to the adjacent stairwell. The same stairwell that I know is familiar and easy to navigate. It’s appealing to just revert back in the tube and walk the stairwell instead. That’s what we do in the dream. We retrace our steps until we find the solid cement ground of the stairwell. Head down, feet firmly planted we begin to go up and down the stairs once again. Nothing changes, no one comes, no one goes and we are unaware of time passing.
Does life feel like this for you? A stairwell you can’t seem to get out off? The challenge is that it’s comfortable and easy. The child, in the dream, seems ok with our progress or lack of progress of finding a way out or coming across her parents. It’s safe and secure.
I am curious what would have happened if we kept going in the red tunnel? What was beyond the connection going up? I know I can use this analogy in my life. I react too quickly to changes. Too willing to abandon the progress and revert back to the stairwell of comfort. I can walk without thought or exertion. The red tube is potential that I am not exploring. Red means creativity, life source, motion, pumping blood to the heart. The tube is more narrow than the stairwell, less ways to escape if it doesn’t work out for me. Yet, what it connects too could open up into a world I have yet to explore.
I am working on creating the scenarios in my life that encourage red tube options. I have started some Karma Yoga for the ashram from home. My musical background has come in handy with doing some mixing of some of the Bhajans (devotional music) to share back with others in the ashram. I continue to contribute through videos and editing and stay connected with the residence. This path doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It can be both here in my home and there in spirit. It’s a relief to know that I can navigate the red paths while still keeping my sight on the stairwell that runs alongside them.
Find a way to stay awake, stay connected and feed your heart and soul. I have gained so much and I am determined to keep learning. To build on it and explore how to maintain my divine inner light.