Participating in a kirtan event in Australia before leaving for India, Shazar experiences the place of joy and bliss and interconnectedness: “I come home to myself.”
The tears come – spring into my eyes – and will not stop. I know if I let go the flood gates will open – so I breathe into it – the opening is there unbidden but rushing in. Gifted to me with no volition of my own. Simply being here – being for a moment still – and existence rushes in… the flowers shower and the gifts of the connection of souls allow me to feel myself – to remember that which I have forgotten.
The music transports me… I am alone – separate and yet it is the sharing of the space and the melting of the souls and hearts together that allows me to break open and feel the space of our wonderful Universe.
How interesting it is that my busy life takes me so far from this space and yet just a hint, just a moment of recognition and I fall back into that place deeper than ever before.
It is a kirtan event – singing of repetitive odes of joy to existence and the energy of the Gods – a birthday party for a friend – a gathering of beings together to celebrate and sing and dance. The voices rise and fall together, the harmonies intertwining and the drum carrying the beat. The chants beginning slowly – measured and considered – and then as the voices of all join, the tempo lifts and reaches into the place of joy and the abandon that comes when the Divine is invited in.
It is completely unexpected – my immediate response – that allows me to fall into a place of purity and depth of existence. As is said on the Desiderata that hangs on our wall… “In the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”
It had been a difficult week, I had seen too much of the bad news of the world – been caught in the snare of the media hype and taken on some shadow of what ifs?
Here in the music, suddenly I am lifted out of the place of fear and anxiety into another reality – here is the parallel – here is the place of joy and of bliss and of interconnectedness… the place where I know all is well, despite any of the turmoil and chaos that is around me – the political garbage, the stress of our lives, the pain and the suffering; this too exists, this too is real, this too is….
And as I now stand and allow the music and the singing to transport me, and lift my arms to the heavens to feel the infinite joy of the energy of beingness, I come home to myself.
So many realisations just out of reach of expression are falling in to me, along with the sensation that I am being showered with the blossoms of existence. My imminent departure to India, back to the land of Kali and Krishna, and Gopal and all the gods of that infinitely colourful land. My knowing that I go to India for me – that it is my time, my place – simply to open up and allow India to wash over me and transform as it will. Not to ‘help’ but simply to be, to allow what comes to me to be done and allow what is to be. I have known this before, that my work in India is for myself – but once again that sense comes home to me in full force.
It would seem that the leaving of Australia and all that is here for me is a challenge, can be difficult, can be something that is done for altruistic reasons, and if done in that vein then the struggle will be there. But if the realisation is as it truly is, that the return to India is completely and utterly my choice and for my own evolution, then all suffering has to fall beside the path – has to be seen for what it is – simply self indulgence of a ridiculous nature.
And in that I see too that it is time not to be hard on myself; that when I do fall by the wayside into the ‘self indulgence’ that this too is part of my journey, intertwined in the learning of the whole. Is it learning? Or is it simply letting go? The questions that arise as the insights come – such a simple thing… this kirtan, this chant, this space inside myself – to open the place for the unfolding to be.
Thank you to the kirtan – thank you to the community that has brought me to this place. Thank you to David who spoke at the outset of the ceremony of our aboriginal roots. As he was speaking of the welcome to country, as he began the afternoon’s blessing of music and dance, he spoke to those of us who were born here and absorbed the land through the minerals and the air and the dirt of country… so that we too, though white-skinned, simply need to remember who we really are.
That’s when the tears began to fall, as the connection was made to my roots; those roots that are to be transported again to India, to connect again with my roots in that ancient land, from one ancient land to another.
Where will this journey lead me? I know not. But I do know that it is right and on the path that opens before me revealed as my steps lead me on; I am cared for and nurtured and, as I go, I do not go alone – I am forever guided on the way, for my existence is an extension of those who surround me and cheer me on, as I go forward on this great adventure called life.
Australian-born Shazar (aka Anand Sattha) took sannyas in 1978. She is a writer, cook, photographer, computer nerd, travel guide, and worked with her sister, Prem Sahaja for years at their Best Health Centre in Perth. 7 years ago she returned to India to help at a children’s centre near Lonavala and 2 years ago she moved to rainwater harvesting work for farmers in Karnataka. She raises funds conducting tours – into the depths of Indian villages and farms… places foreigners rarely go. You can contact her via the form on this page shazarrobinson.com
Kirtan photo credit Bali Sama Yoga Shala