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First World Problem

Living on an ashram has been a bit like going back in time. The closest town has a population of 12,000 and is a 30 to 45 minute drive away. There is no television. Indoor plumbing exists here, but not in my abode. At moments, time stands still.

Have you ever been to the place where deep silence meets a deafening cacophony of hoots, chirps and clangs? The high-pitched tinny sound in the ears yields to the noise of the dark abyss that has no boundaries at this juncture. Meditate on this long enough and the sound of aum comes through loudly. It is where the absence of all sound creates sound, like the absence of all color is black. Listening to the aum offers a new perspective. Here lies the realization that everything that is needed is within.

Once found, it is hard to stay at this place for very long. Sounds creep in from the external world. The urge to travel down the long, windy mountain road to the closest town enters in like an itch that needs scratching. The journey outward begins with a trek down a 2-mile road called Jack Ass Flats. The search for gold changed the landscape on the side of the road where the mountains were stripped naked of their vegetation long ago with water cannons. The decimated landscape offers a unique beauty consisting of sharp peaks of a brilliant orange-red sierra. Still, the landscape cries for what it was.

The inner sounds of being are lost on the road to town. Road noise begins to fill the air, soon followed by music, conversation, and traffic. A mental list of what to purchase is created and soon completed. An obligatory stop at the coffee shop is checked off the list. More than the necessary material goods are consumed. Still, the itch has not been scratched hard enough, long enough. Searching for relief, more stores are visited, the local movie house may be visited and the environment is consumed in new and fun ways.

Traveling back home, the itch is gone. A subtle numbness has taken its place. The radio is turned off and a handful of noises are eliminated. The sound of aum is deep inside, but not available. The scent of local pine trees and madrone shrubs fills the senses. A hollow ache of the ancient Maidu Indians run off the land pounds heavily on the being. The desire for gold once trumping nature, being and existence.

This lesson will be learned over and over again. The mind knows what the soul needs to remember. Searching outside, instead of looking inside to fill the void exhausts our energy. Everything exists within ourselves. When that deep silence meets the deafening cacophony of hoots, chirps and clangs, calmness enters. Our beings are filled with an abundance of joy. I am learning to carry this inner place with me into all environments. From this place, I wish to enter the world.

“You are that which you are seeking.”
----Saint Francis

If you liked this entry, please consider voting for me at here. I'm in the third tribe this week. Thank you!


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2011 07:50 pm (UTC)
*nods* You are born with everything you need.

I used to do a lot of transcendental meditation. There was only once that I hit that absolute one with everything moment. It was glorious. And then I went "oh wow. I'm at that one with everything place" which of course kicked me straight out of that state! It's fascinating how something so, so simple is so, so difficult.
Jan. 8th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
I would like to make the counterpoint that no, we are not born with everything we need. At first we are unable to provide for ourselves and without the care of other people we would not survive at all.
Jan. 8th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
And yet we are still born with everything we need.

From a magickal perspective, your counterpoint is irrelevant.
Jan. 8th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
"I am learning to carry this inner place with me into all environments. From this place, I wish to enter the world."

That line made this post. It is something I'll be working on this year as well, being more mindful, more peaceful, and I am looking forward to the benefits to myself and others.
Jan. 10th, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)
Thank you! It is a life long lesson.
Jan. 10th, 2011 11:17 am (UTC)
Yes, something to work on bit by bit like building a wall with pebles.
Jan. 8th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
This was stunning. I haven't learned to take that place with me, but it's good to know it's there.
Jan. 10th, 2011 02:13 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'm a bit more nervous than usual this week. What will be, will be... More practice for holding that place.
Jan. 8th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
I was wondering how the LJ idol contest was going. Was there a hiatus over Christmas?
Jan. 10th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)
There were a couple weeks off, yes. I'm back... For now at least ;)
Jan. 9th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Lovely! And I might steal the St. Francis quotation.
Jan. 10th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
Thank you!

Great quote, isn't it?
Jan. 9th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
That's my girl.
Jan. 10th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
Jan. 9th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
A nice piece. Well written.
Jan. 10th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
Jan. 9th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
The mind knows what the soul needs to remember.
That is IT.
We need to free the mind from external distraction so it can do its job. I like how you pointed out that down in the town, the itch is never quite satisfied. The things of the world will never bring us to a place of peace.
Jan. 10th, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
"Everything exists within ourselves."
Hum. ::chews on this::
Jan. 10th, 2011 01:40 pm (UTC)
:nodding some more:

It's a very tough lesson, and, as you said, it's also lifelong as well as difficult to maintain, especially in our society. But it's also a beautiful lesson. We already have it within ourselves.

Unfortunately there are always going to be those who either 1) don't believe this, or 2) believe it but cast it aside for whatever reason. You can't worry about them. Perhaps the lesson will reveal itself to them in time.

I love this. I think it's one of your best pieces thus far.

Edited at 2011-01-10 01:41 pm (UTC)
Jan. 10th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
This was really beautiful. I feel like sometimes, I can be in a crowded place full of sound and still be perfectly still. Other times, everything around me seems to infringe on my being.
Jan. 10th, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
I'd love to find that kind of inner peace- I get there sometimes, but it's so fleeting!
Jan. 10th, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
So breathtaking. I love your way with words, if I haven't already said that a billion times. :) Just so gorgeous and true.
Jan. 11th, 2011 04:10 am (UTC)
I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate the beauty in your writing as well as the bits of wisdom and life perspectives you share with us in your writing. Thank you.
Jan. 11th, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
Read and Approved By Spydie Lives
Jan. 12th, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
I like how this come back around to the beginning.

For me, at least, holding on to inner peace requires many starts. :)
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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