Thursday, May 22, 2014

Shadow of Samadhi

The teacher training weekend with Sondra and Raghunath began with us all sitting in a giant circle, knee-to-knee. Each of us were sharing how the past month had gone. For most of us, the month had been rough, even dire. But we were here.

When my turn came, I said, "I have been reflecting how progressing through the 8 limbs of yoga seems like so much work, it's all about my endeavor to work my way up to samadhi [complete absorption]. It seems so overwhelming, so exhausting.

"But bhakti yoga is the path of grace. Bhakti turns the entire system of yoga on its head, because it's not about my endeavor any more. The endeavor is mainly there to show that hey, I care." I looked around the giant circle of aspiring yogis. The words just came out of my mouth: "So really, I could experience samadhi right here, right now."

"Okay, do it, right now," Raghunath challenged almost playfully. Everyone laughed.

My heart pounded. I raised my arms, closed my eyes, and called out the holy name:

"Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare."

While I had been chanting, the laughter had died down. In those moments, I felt the Lord's presence in my heart.

I opened my eyes. I folded my palms to my two teachers.

Thank you, Raghunath, for opening the path of grace, even if for only several moments.

To write is to dare the soul. So write.