Posts tagged ‘India’

October 10, 2011

Earth Immersion

We so frequently limit ourselves to our minds, denigrating the physical, losing that knowledge of being. I feel as if I am constantly trying to remember the deeper complexity, working to acknowledge the seasons or tap into my environment.

Earth connection. I am staring at the screen, trying to figure out how to offer advice on something that isn’t quite touch or sight, that comes from practice but can also flow naturally. Scattered attempts to describe a form of meditation (or is that quite it?) that invites you to reach down into the earth, to submerge your mind into the soil and open yourself to the quiet pulse.

An easy route to earth awareness is to find mountains. Which is exactly what I did, here in India. I spent roughly six weeks in the Himalayas, mostly in the Tibetan Buddhist town McLeodganj, but also in Gangotri, where you can see snowcapped peaks in the distance.

I clung to them, the heavy rocky fingers forming valleys for rivers and villages, hoping that I could attune myself, find something more in their presence.

Gangotri’s sharp cool air and youthful Ganges smashing over rocks stuns, but the craggy peaks reaching high high high around you overshadow them with their awe-inducing beauty. Every time I came out of my ashram hut, I would stare, light yet grounded, at them.

I couldn’t tell you what beauty is, exactly. But they are it.

Even now, in the jungle heat of hectic Mumbai, I can bring back the effect on my body and spirit. There’s a gentle weight, never oppressive, simply quiet. That’s it. A quietening. That slow easing of the mind, where it slides down into the earth, relaxing into groundedness. Earth warmth, like a woman’s body holding a child or the entangled arms of lovers. The remembrance of our humanity, our physical manifestation, our aliveness known through the connection.

 

August 21, 2011

Manifesting the Maiden

The Maiden manifestation of the Goddess is the reason that I am half-soaked, sitting in a café with Tibetan monks up in the mountains of India.

She is also the reason there has been such a gap in posts.

About ten days ago, I boarded the largest plane I have ever seen in my life and flew thousands of miles to New Delhi, beginning a physical journey across India, Thailand, and New Zealand. Alone, I navigated the chaos and disrepair of the capital city, and, after a perfunctory visit to the Taj Mahal, made my way up into the Himalayas, to McLeodganj, home away from home of the Dalai Lama. This is a journey of education through direct contact; and a pilgrimage that will take me throughout the subcontinent, to many expressions of the Goddess.

The Maiden, in many forms, embodies personal strength and adventure. She is the huntress Diana, the expression of life, Persephone. Understanding the symbolism of such goddesses reveals the moments in our lives when we risk our comfort, open ourselves to mistakes, and step out into the world. Peeling away our known world, whether that means opening ourselves to new relationships, a challenging new job, or deeper spiritual development, we can experience sides of ourselves that were previously hidden. Although I am of classical Maiden age, restricting interpretation to the numbers we collect as we move through our lives limits the potential that the Maiden can offer. We can move through the forms of Maiden, Mother, or Crone until we die; they are paths to understanding and engagement.

Perhaps I took an extreme route to comprehending the Maiden and all she represents. I’ve given away half of my things, stored the rest of them at my father’s house, and peeled away my responsibilities – communally as well as lifestyle-wise. I have launched myself into a physical unknown, chaotic India, so that I may better examine what it means to be human, a woman, a being. I am not completely alone, I have made new friends and made connections, but the Maiden is not necessarily isolated — it is that responsibilities and decisions are limited to yourself.

For me, this Maiden journey cannot last forever. It is a time for training, spiritually and intellectually, so that when I embody the Mother and the Crone, I will be prepared.

%d bloggers like this: