From Suha’s collection of short essays entitled ‘Beware: slippery… sacred ground – Small flashes of real life’.
No, nothing extraordinary has happened; I’m just particularly interested in seeing the way these lines will be taking shape. To begin with, I can never decide ahead of time what to share. I’m only a spectator. At the right moment, not a second too early nor a second too late, inspiration comes. And it certainly has not been sought by me. I am on hand to listen to it, to take note of it while it whispers gently to my heart. But, mind you, not in one go. It comes bit by bit: at a certain point a word, at another one a thought, then a feeling, a cue from a sentence I’ve heard, and finally the title, like a present. And when I sit down at my computer, I feel my heart pounding as if I’ve come near a sacred area. It’s strange, but as soon as I write the first lines all others follow merrily, without having to be asked twice. Words to give a name to a feeling, an emotion, an experience. Words like brushes to paint the colours of the soul. They gush out from a mysterious spring whose presence in me I was unaware of before. Gratitude for this occasion that is offered to me, of discovering myself, of seeing myself while I am opening my heart to other meditators. I love living this way. Knowing that none of the things that surround me and happen to me depend from me. Something that is greater than me accompanies me and leads me by the hand constantly, so much so that I no longer know who I am, mixed up as I am in the sand of time and the dust of stars. And everything has the power to be transformed into what I call “the great beauty.”
Let’s consider stress, for instance. I just happened to experience a situation that was almost beyond my physical capability: showing a delightful sixteen-year-old nephew around Paris, his first time there, following a rhythm that was different from mine, devoting myself to something that did not allow for my immediate need for rest. Ok, I’m prepared to do it, I won’t back out, that’s settled. But how surprised and relieved I am when the situation suddenly changes: he has to leave sooner than expected, without my having to calculate, decide, manipulate. At the moment in which I felt that stress had drained me, that was when moments of silence and deep peace came. Without any words.
Let us take another example: old age. I can talk about it because I’m right in it, although I never saw myself get there and don’t worry much about it. To be quite frank, I don’t even consider myself old. But I must acknowledge it when I accept, with relief, a seat that is offered to me on the bus or Underground, when my image in the mirror catches me unawares, when I realize that my steps are becoming slower and more cautious, when I start feeling tired before I expected to; but I wouldn’t change anything of all this in order to have a nimbler body and a flat belly. Can I deny that my smile and the freshness of my heart are the same as in my youth? From this point of view I feel a continuity in the way I have embraced and loved life up to now. Old age brings me a new freedom: I am free to feel that I have the right to be what I am, free to be the one who decides the rules of living, the rules of my heart. I don’t remember grief or suffering, but I do remember the strength and courage they bring – a certain way of looking at life. A young friend recently asked me whether I had any regrets. I came up with only one, and it was so trifling that she couldn’t help laughing: I had disbursed some money without having the presence of mind to ask in exchange a small family object I was fond of!
I feel it’s a blessing and a privilege to become old, and I also perceive the traits of my face and my white hair as “the great beauty.” Aches and pains, ok, but I’m still open-minded towards life. And with the freedom of not believing anymore that I’m in the know. Isn’t it true that my motto has become to welcome, to listen, to learn? Now that I’ve moved away from binding social obligations, I live, undoubtedly, on the fringe of so-called ‘society’; but I pursue my interests and my passions, and I go only where my heart leads me: room for breathing as deeply as I like.
Article by Suha, previously published in the Italian Osho Times from her collection of short essays entitled ‘Beware: slippery… sacred ground – Small flashes of real life’
Translation from Italian by Marta Innocenti
More articles and poems by this author in Osho News