I spent last week immersed in meditation. I came to Los Angeles for the week-long annual convocation of Self Realization Fellowship. SRF is the non profit organization founded by Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi) for the continuation of all his teachings.
Thousands of devotees from all over the world gather together in chanting, meditation, and communion, to deepen our practice, to express gratitude for the teachings. Then we go back to our daily lives uplifted and inspired to awaken the qualities of our guru in ourselves and in everyone who crosses our paths.
It is very difficult to find the words to express the many feelings and realizations that come from a week of meditation and silence. Not to mention putting the phone away and taking a break from email and social media. It was kind of astonishing to check the phone at night and notice that I still had 80% battery left.
I would like to share with you some of the realizations of my week, with the hope that some of my aha moments might inspire you.
-Meditation: I noticed that as the days went by my natural resistance to being still faded away. I started looking forward to meditation. I noticed the effects that meditation has on my mind, the pace of my thoughts, even in my skin, but most importantly in my heart.
Many times throughout the week I experienced moments of silence where my heart spoke loudly and clearly. I renewed my vows of meditation, not necessarily as a tool for slowing down but as a tool to stay connected to a quality of devotion and appreciation for the sacredness of life in general.
-Relationships: One after another, I came up against the psychological maneuvers (many of them unconscious) that I use to avoid conflict, pain, and sadness in my relationships. I got to understand the why's of certain feelings and most importantly I got to free myself and the other person involved from the heavy weights of judgement and resentment. I realized how many of my closest relationships were being held captive to my resistance and disapproval. I freed some emotional patterns and made peace with myself. I couldn't have done that alone. Not on my mat. Not with a therapist. Not with a friend. I needed this time in meditation and silence to arrange the puzzle pieces inside myself.
-Love: I know that I am surrounded by it. But certain life situations create a wall between that pure feeling of love and the world. I came to this week’s convocation knowing that some of my life experiences in the past year have hardened my heart. The busyness of life, projects and demands didn't allow me to press pause and reflect.
I understood this week once again that love is the main essence that we are made of. Love is the main language of communication. It is the only reason that we are here, and the only hope to live our lives fully.
I gave myself time to ask, reflect, and meditate on all this matters and so many more. None of this could have happened if I hadn't taken the time to ask and listen, if I hadn't made my spiritual questions a priority amidst the rush of obligations in my daily life.
I hope whoever you are, reading this, that it gives you food for thought. And that you make some time for yourself to really listen. And trust that an answer is always given.