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Farewell 20/10 ~ thanks for an amazing year!

Satsang in Rikhia Ashram with Swami Satsangi

With less then 6 hours of 2010 left to be lived, I’m filled with awe at what I’ve experienced in the last 365 days. One of my greatest insights to date has been in recognising how privileged I am to BE me. For so many years, I tried to be whoever I thought others wanted and needed me to be and almost forgot who on earth was the real me.

As a writer I love to look back over my notes and to reflect on, and often answer my own questions! In the lead up to my recent trip to India, I wrote: “Almost too excited to write, I intend to capture

as much of this trip as I did on my first trip to Bali all those years ago. While a highlight will be attending Big Shakti Festival I really want to commit to being present! I wonder if the changes I experience in India will be visible?

Will anyone but me really know what this trip will bring about for me? Will I come back a changed person? I know that after the bliss comes the laundry – I seek to find the bliss within the laundry though wonder if I’ve got what it takes???

What follows is my best attempt at answering my own questions! As far as capturing as much as I could about my trip to India goes, I didn’t fail miserably, though I’m loathe to read over my beautifully embossed notebook, now almost full and sitting abandoned on my desk.

I can only hope that in time I will look back over my notes and be grateful for having made them. Maybe it’s still too close to the lived experience for me to see any great value in having written them…

And yes, the major highlight was definitely the Big Shakti Festival – Sat Chandi Mahayajna held in Rikhia, Bihar India. Being with over 10,000 people congregating every day to pay homage to Swami Satyananda raised many questions for me and my own country’s poorest of poor.

So many questions ran through my mind while consciously focusing on staying present in each and every moment, determined to live each moment and leave my silent questions parked for a later date’s examination. The community development worker in me screamed for a solution for my fellow countrymen, while in awe I watched and participated in the throng of activities involved in maintaining and sustaining the equilibrium of each day’s burgeoning crowd.

Time and time again, clarity and presence spelled out the answer to my silent, and sometimes not so silent questions and quality leadership won every time, hands down.

One of Swami Satyananda’s most explicit statements on record that encapsulates his vision is “he has turned poverty into prosperity”.A sankalpa (resolution/goal) he made fifteen year’s ago was to feed every child in the district, at least one meal a day by the year 2011.

It was an honour to hear Swami Satsangi acknowledge the overwhelming magnitude of achieving this auspicious sankalpa, and for Swami Satyananda’s replacement Swami Niranjan to give satsang as well.

 Some of the visible changes are my newly henna coloured hair and my pearl mala beads  courtesy of my travel companion and daughter, Nickie.

As for the internal changes, well I’m guessing I’ll be processing them until I take my last breathe…

I know one thing for sure, I no longer need ask myself if I’ve got what it takes ~ I’ve learned enough from this trip to know that I am more than capable of  rising to the challenge and remembering self care at every step of the way are the keys to a great life!

Namo Narayan, Namo Narayan, Namo Narayan

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