Monday 14 February 2011

Flowers of Emptiness

I have just come back from two weeks in Goa, India. It is a beautiful, warm simple life there; probably much like the Mediterranean fifty years ago before big hotels and package holidays started.  In all the many hours I spent sitting in cafes meeting many, many Europeans I only met one person who was there for their annual holiday for three weeks. Every other person I met was there for many weeks or months or sometimes years (with excursions out of the country to renew their visas). Some were "finding themselves"; some had hopelessly lost themselves; some had probably smoked far too much dope; some had put in many hours of meditation or yoga or spent years in spiritual practice, some just travelled and travelled. Some were in their early 20's others in their 60's.

I wondered what the hard-working Goan  fishermen made of these westerners practising their poi on the beach or drumming at sunset. It is hard not to judge. Spiritual growth requires awareness and relaxation into being; but paradoxically is forged in the activities of life. If we have not cultivated awareness then relaxation and lack of challenge usually leads to dullness and sleepiness. All spiritual teachers are trying to get us to wake up!

 I was reminded of Kahil Gibran's words in The Prophet that work is love made visible and that we work to keep pace with the world. Everyone's path is very mysterious ; usually to themselves and invariably to anyone else. The most powerful yoga is kriya yoga and "kriya" means action!