The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

Menu Close

Tag: learning (page 1 of 3)

Space and Time

Most comfortable chairs ever

Most comfortable chairs ever

This evening I came home and made myself a cup of tea. Pulled out an oft-read beloved book (“The Sunday Philosophy Club” by Alexander McCall Smith) and reclined comfortably in one of the two blue-grey chairs by the window. It was a quiet evening. No kids playing out or cars driving by or birds chirping. I sipped my tea and read for a while.

After a few minutes, the peace stealing through my soul felt so urgent, almost compelling. I had to lay my book aside and reflect a little.

A year or so ago, my life began to change. Objects and activities started exiting out of my life, literally and metaphorically. Clothes, music, furniture, books, knick-knacks, hair, interests, people… I bade farewell to all of them. It was an exodus of sorts. I felt that I was creating space. For what? I had no idea. But the decluttering motion had its own energy, rhythm and momentum. I simply followed along.

I discovered the joy of space and time, all to myself. And this space in my house, my head and my life feels so vital, so life-giving… that I wonder if, at a sub-conscious level, I even chose to remain childless because of my intense love for this space and time.

I am, what many term, a “spacey” personality. Previously, I chafed at that description but its meaning is simple. My Ayurvedic constitution is an Air-Space combination. Why resist it? After all, it connotes expansiveness, unboundedness, freedom. As long as I am able to find my grounding and center, it is bliss.

A Generous Space

“Inside every stone resides a statue. We realize it only when the sculptor uses his instruments and draws the statue out of the stone. What draws our own goodness out of our ignorance, mistakes are our own experiences. At all stages in life, different ideas give us strength. At one age, we become rebels. We disregard our elders, reject God, become rationalists. Later, we may turn into believers again. Then, at another stage, we become scientists, ultimately rejecting that school as well. Thus, changing and transforming, we become our true selves.”

Chinthaavishtayaaya Shyaamala ends on this note. Vijayan is back home with his family, leading the life of a householder, contented and happy. His search has ended and the restlessness in his soul has abated. There is great truth in Vijayan’s words. Allowing oneself the freedom to change is incredibly freeing. The younger me would have balked at the idea of devotion and prayer. She would have outright rejected the notion of a spiritual Guru, a guide and mentor for life. She would have been shocked at the idea of acknowledging weakness and vulnerability. Thankfully, the older me is slightly wiser, a little more sympathetic both to herself and to the world. Realizing how little we are and how less we know places us squarely in a space of humility, instantly connecting us to the vastness of the Universe and its soul. Once connected, all judgment flows away and what remains is the moment, utterly still and silent, waiting.

No matter what I did in the past, no matter where I roamed, I am here now. No matter what paths you traversed, no matter who you met, you are here now.

Such was the generous and non-judgmental space that greeted me as I walked my first dithering steps on the path of Yoga. That unconditional support and love brought me here and I am far grateful than I could ever express. So, how can I not extend the same generosity and tenderness to you, my friend?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar