I went to the Vippasana course, and I came here, alone in this hotel room, to figure it out. The Buddha sat under the Bondhi Tree and said with great intent, “I will not move a muscle. May my bones break, may the blood flow out of my body. I will not move from under this tree until I reach Enlightenment.” Damn, I love a strong-willed man. Call me Buddhalala will you. I will sit here in this room. Alone in this room, for as long as it takes, until I walk out enlightened. Not fully enlightened, arahant in nirvana; just mundane enlightened to my own life. Just my own little, Earthly everyday life.
I’ve checked myself out of one life-changing, beyond-comprehensible Vippasana silent retreat and into a hostel, alone, in a room to think, to figure it out. What does that mean to me?
To go within, and rethink my life. Who I am, what I want, how I want my daily life to be a testament of what is precious to me. What are my priorities, who do I want to see in the mirror? What do I want to give to my children? Not forever, for now. For the next week, and month and two months, what are my very next, wise, loving steps as a mother? In a month, in a year, in a lifetime, what did I do to live in my highest light, in my highest potential, in my highest joy? And if I am not there (I’m not), what will get me there?
And how will I create that in light of the trials, tribulations, uncertainties, unforeseen, unwanted, and unpredictable of life? How can I create a Gabi who will continue to grow, and learn, and free herself in a manner that fits into the reality of my life? I am not a single woman living in an ashram in India. One day, I might be; but, today, that is not my reality. My reality is that, today, I have the most adorable, generous, loving, giving, supportive husband in the world who will turn the world on its axis to make me happy. My reality, is that, today, I have three adorable, precious, malleable, open-minded, open-hearted, tender, wanting-to-spend-time-with-me and wanting-to-learn-from-me-so-much children who adore me, and I have consistently pushed away.
Not because they are not adorable, or they demand too much, or anything. But because the demons inside of me always took over. My need for my space, my time, my writing, my exercise, my reading, my class, my Skype therapy session, my salad screamed loudly that it would make me happy. That just this hour, this time, this guitar, this food, this walk would make me at peace, and then, child, then we can sit and do x, y, z. And, I would do ‘that’ and try to do x, y, z with my family; and find myself in a life or death panic attack. “I can’t sit here! I can’t read another second! I can’t play this game! I can’t do x, y, z; my mind is racing, trembling, freaking out to do m, n, o, and p cuz that will make me calm. “ And I’d get up and do that, again delaying my child, again racing from my life, and again, the same sad song over and over again.
Does this mean I did not function as a mother? No, not at all.
I read them great books, walked with them, had amazing talks and cuddles. I’ve done everything mechanically and technically, and lovingly that I would want myself to do as a mother. Arguably, less then desired, but check, vee, they’ve been done.
But, but, the real missing link here is this: Was I ‘there’? Was I really there? Really enjoying the look on his face, the weight of her head against my breast, the shine of her hair in the sunlight? Yes, and no. Yes, for a moment here and moment here. I would see, breathe, experience, appreciate, sink into the joy of being in that moment. But, it was for a moment here, a moment there. And one moment had to pull me into the next.
“Stay here, Gabi. Stay focused. No to do list. No memories. No other anythings but right here, and right now. No important things to go do, do, do, do, do, do. To do. No. To be, right now, right now. Only here, only now.”
No, that was not there for long. I always bolted; physically, emotionally, or mentally. I always bolted to that next worry, fear, sadness, regret, memory, fantasy, dissatisfaction, thing to do, to fix, to take care of, to run to, to run away, to run away, to run away.
And so, now, I know. Now, I know what it is I want to do. I want to know how not to run away. How to be. To be. To be. One pointed-ness. Mindful. Fully present. Joyfully aware. Awakened. Enlightened to that which is. Right now, right here. Right before me, and within the context of my body, creating this current reality. I want to stop all of my addictions to pain, drama, tragedy, victimization, my story. I want to be with my kids, be with my husband, and be with myself, and fully, fully, fully be there.
I have always given light to the world. It is my gift. I teach, I lecture, I talk. To live audiences, to group therapy courses, on the radio, on my blogs, to clients- I give my light. My light, as it changes and grows; I give what I know, at the time. I’ve always shined in the spotlight. My ego loves it, my soul relishes in teaching others. I learn as I teach; I better understand my own struggles as I help others grapple with theirs; and, I sincerely feel honored to be able to guide others in alleviating their pain. We’re all walking on our journey towards enlightenment, one step at a time. I am honored to be a part of that journey.
But now, now, now I have the missing key. My last sentences said “ I am honored to be a part of that journey.” Note “to be”. I never have been ‘to be, ‘ always ‘to do’. To read, to write, to take another class, to teach, to do, to do, to do. And now, momentarily , I got that golden glimpse into ‘to be’. Not to the world; but to me, to my husband Kobi, to my children Dahnya, Orazi, and Solai. Not for everyone, but those five people who mean the most to mean on this planet. How can I be for me, for my beloved, for my children?
How can I decide to play or color to cuddle and just be there, and stay there and play or color or cuddle? And how it is that I teach “Clean Your Soul” to lovely strangers-turned-friends souls across the globe but I don’t teach my own children? It is conceivable that as a Sunday School Teacher I read my class from The Moral Compass, week after week, ingraining in them inspirational stories of morality and the fibers of how to lead a virtuous, happy life, and no, it cannot be, I have not read that to my children?
“No, inconceivable. Inconceivable. It is just a lonely fisherman out after midnight fishing in shark-infested waters. Inconceivable.”
“I do not think you know what that word means!”
Yes, it is conceivable. Or it was. But not anymore.
Now, I see it all. I see it all more clearly. I like this new light in my life. Is this forever? No, I realize that. No ten-day magic wand meditation will bring me to endless peace and enlightenment. No retreat will leave a footprint that significant that as the darknesses and fogs of life settle and lift, that I will be immuned to my own moodiness and mortality. No. But it sure did open up options I never knew existed. It showed me a way to look at my life that will bring unreal release. It exposed me to truths and ideas that solve what to do the next time I start to run away. Run away in anger, despair, wasting time, fighting, feeling overwhelmed, feeling lost, feeling sorry for myself. I know what to do.
Will I do it every time? Will I find that new light in every situation? Will I never hit the lows again? No, no, no. But, when you know, when you’ve seen an option, you know can chose if to use it or not. You have a choice whereas before, you did not. You can see the right way to do this, and may fall super short of it, but you know it’s there, you know you can, you know, you can. And slowly, you use it. Slowly, you do. Slowly, I will break the mind habits that are so ingrained in me to run, react, race, create misery. Slowly, I will be, be, be, be the calm, loving, present soul/self/wife/mother I always knew I could be.
“Right, “ he said, before I left, “you not talking for ten days! Right! A physical impossibility.”
But, I didn’t talk Kobi.I did not. I had wild and crazy wars, drama, fantasies, memories, dreams, fears, other lives, desires, pain, jealousy, songs, and vibrations within. But outwardly, except to the teacher or manager on a very limited need-be only basis; not a word. Not a word. Not a word. My eyes were downcast, looking within, learning a new way to live. Vippasana, oh, I do like that word.
So, you’re turn. Share with me, or stay silent. I’ve learned to love silence. Either way, know that I continue to serve amazing people all over the globe who want to stop the pain and create joy and meaning and calm in their lives. I am still, and will continue, doing online therapy to help others. Thanks for including me in your journey friends.
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