The train to Haridwar takes fourteen hours and twenty minutes. In Rishikesh I take a room in a hotel. It’s simple accommodation with a balcony staring at the Himalayan foothills. It’s exactly what I need after the extremes of Varanasi and don’t roam past the boundaries for a week.
At times I feel adrift at sea, closer to the destination than the point of origin but still with no land in sight. A raft of intellectualized wisdom floating toward a flickering beacon of faith, all that’s left to do now is row. It’s about the practice — clearing the mind and letting go. Absorption into the present moment, releasing judgment and seeing things as they are. So simple, yet so complicated.
India is a land of expertly executed living, breathing intricacies of obscurity and magnificence. It is here I feel grounded. Cloaked in anonymity I am free to navigate the testing swells of experience in search of peace and I find it. In the trees, the cows the streets and in the chaos. The mind drifts. Thought threads spin from all angles as if to discover something of an impossible truth. And I pull my focus back. It’s a slow process that doesn’t end.
The dance, a delicate balance between tempting distractions, accepting what is conducive to moving forward and gently evading what is not. All in the current moment, future and past irrelevant, control existing only in the now.
With no quantitative benchmarks, progress is measured in subjective terms alone. It matters not that x hours are clocked away in a vault at the meditation bank. Development is qualitative and therefore more readily questionable, that which cannot be seen. My own tenacity comes under scrutiny. I wonder about a God that would place seemingly insurmountable obstacles along a path if truly intending to be found.
Then I return to the Truth.
~ by Christine Fowle