Monday, August 22, 2011

Searching the Stars

Ever since I was a young teenager, I remember gazing up at the glittering stars in Hawaii and I would feel this empty space in my heart. Naturally, I dreamed of stargazing with my husband one day. I felt that if I could share the stars with someone, especially my husband, I would feel complete.

Back in February, one evening I was driving home from school and I began to sob and sob because I felt such a deep pain and loneliness. I didn't know who I could talk to, I felt so alienated from everyone and everything. I had communicated this loneliness to my spiritual master a couple weeks before. He had looked into my eyes with such understanding and said, "Bhakti lata, that loneliness you feel? It is actually a great gift. Not everyone feels that loneliness. It is your heart searching for Krishna, the Lord."

I began to look for Krishna when I gazed at the stars, but still I felt that loneliness.

This evening I met up with my friend Mia at the temple, and she asked me, as many people are asking me lately, "So what are you up to in life?" Somehow when she asked me that question, it really struck through to my core, and it's even the seed of the reason I am writing this now. I smiled and replied as I've replied all summer, "Spending lots and lots of time with myself."

"How are you keeping busy, though?"

"Well, I teach writing classes, I dance, come to the temple, but mostly I'm spending time with myself and spending time with God. You know, I'm really enjoying my own company. For so much of my life I'm always running around, and now I'm just... being."

We spoke for a bit more. When we walked out to our cars, I said, "I'll always remember your prayer when you offer obeisance when you come in to the templeroom... what are the exact words?"

"God, please fill me with your presence," she said.

"God, please fill me with your presence," I murmured.

We bid goodnight and I headed out to the sandy temple road to chant the Lord's name. I began to meditate on how for this summer I feel such a deep stillness within, such an ocean of quiet. Realizations come to me in waves. I'll spend hours writing in my journal, or I'll listen to the same song 20 or 30 times in a row in meditation. On days when I'm not teaching, sometimes I don't speak with a single other person. I am not lethargic; I am active - I dance, write, interact with friends, sing, teach, etc., but I don't feel frantic. I feel quiet.

This evening I meditated on one of the qualities of Krishna - that he is atmarama, or self-satisfied. He does not need anyone's love, but He wants our love. As Eric Fromm would say: "I need you because I love you."

More than ever this summer I am reflecting on marriage, and the significance of sharing my life with someone. I want to be a whole person to share myself with another whole person. To be truly self-satisfied, I realize that I need the Lord.

I walked for a long time under the stars, barefoot in the sand. The universe seemed to open up tonight in such breathtaking silence.

Just as I was about to head home, I remembered Mia's prayer. I murmured it to myself in obeisance: "God, please fill me with your presence." I searched for that empty feeling in my heart, but I did not feel it. I only felt peace, and such deep gratitude to be chanting the Lord's holy name, barefoot, under the stars. And one day my husband will not fill that space in my heart, but share it with me.


Jennifer Torquati said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I am so grateful to read something like this as I can relate to a few experiences you describe.

Anonymous said...

Really beautiful and stirring, thank you and hope you are well :) Radha

gokartmozart said...

Such a wonderful realization! There are many single bhaktas and bhaktis in our movement who will gain such strength from your writing. Thanx! - David in Houston

To write is to dare the soul. So write.