Monday, October 22, 2012

Holy Dham

When I first came to Mumbai, all I heard was relentless car-honking, construction hammering, and shouts.

All I saw was trash in gutters, slums, the hollow eyes of beggars.

All I smelled was the sewer, the burn of gasoline.

Over the past month, I have learned to listen to the arati bell, the ocean of voices singing the holy name in unison, the murmur of my own voice chanting on beads.

I have learned to see the gold and brown sheen within the eyes the beggar child, to not let my eyes dart away. I have learned to see the names of God in almost every shop name in this city.

I have learned to smell the richly burning ghee lamps which illuminate the forms of Laxmi Narayan.

I have learned to remember the dozens of names of the people I have met. I have learned to lead a kirtan even when I'm nervous and I don't believe in myself.

I have learned to let go, receive, surrender.

I seem to have found the holy dham within this city of Mumbai. 

To write is to dare the soul. So write.