|St Theresa of Avila|
I am being taught a lesson about grace. I am being taught by when it "leaves," and by when it "returns."
When grace is gone and I am floundering, I face again the obsessions and delusions of my unpurified mind, which is subject to the three malas and the contraction of Chit Shakti in her role as Shree Maya (the active form of the Lord, Paramashiva's consciousnesswho holds the consciousness of all in contraction, the entire universe, and the illusion of multiplicity).
When grace returns, I notice instantly, and I am reminded of the number one question that I have right now: How can I receive and be aligned with grace in every moment? What should I do when it is "gone," i.e. wait? Take action?
It is an illusion that the source of grace is separate from me. But if the illusion reigns, then I am held back from my life in God.
|St Therese of Lisieux|
One way of describing my new life is that I have chosen to make focusing on God and receiving guru's grace the highest priority of my life and the most important activities of every day. The results were immediate and dramatic, but I am really a beginner at discipline.
I have renounced the things that are in the way of my new life of living fully for God. It is fairly easy to keep my day free of unnecessary social or career obligations and clutter. To live simply, dress simply. To shine the love light of my guru's shakti from my heart to others I meet during my day.
But discipline is something new. I have avoided discipline to "make up" for my soul being so lost out in the hot desert of delusion and malnourished by obsessions.
|Her years as a Indian|
"wandering" sadhvi are
measured by her jata
I am struggling. I get stuck in dualism. I believe my fear when it tells me I must struggle, struggle harder to make up for my own lack in a situation, or that I will fail, or lose my "foolish" bid to live fully for God.
This is all based on the illusion that I am separate from God, that my creator isn't inside of my being as me (I finally understand, Baba...).
The most important thing is that I don't give up. In the past the wheel of my life would turn on its way and I would get lost in other things down the road, then finally return to try again.
I have prayed fervently that this time, this attempt to find and get about "my Father's business," will not stop. I have promised myself I would not lose track and spin onward AGAIN.
Now now now... God is now.
(most likely widows)
At first this was enough, choosing God now and not slipping back tomorrow or next week. I made progress, found myself freed from many past obsessions and illusions. I notice ego instantly and do not jump on board with it. I test contracted thinking and find it often disappears, POOF.
Then I found myself freed up from my decades long compulsion to keep my head in the computer. Wow, something really different! But, I didn't know what to do instead. I didn't have a structure or discipline. I foundered. It felt as though I had lost all the ground I gained.
I noticed a part of my mind that whispered: "It isn't such a big deal. You did a lot. Just relax now. It's okay to back off a bit on your goal. Living for God, isn't that a bit much? Well, okay, but you can still do that and relax too, can't you?"
I have heard this little internal voice before, I don't know why it is there. I want to WANT to live for God. This voice doesn't want to live for anything except the moment. It is the voice of addiction. Give up everything for the obsession of being made whole and happy by something "external." DELUSION.
|A female renunciant, called a sadhini or sadhvi|
Am I really in a battle with this old part of me? She's whipped my ass several times over. But I am determined, and am bringing everything to bear on this, because IT IS THE PURPOSE OF MY LIFE.
When I was a girl, if someone asked (no one did) me what I wanted to be, I would have said, "a nun... or a playboy centerfold." Seriously. I remember thinking that. Because I remember thinking that God had given me a big scar on my stomach to keep me from going the way of sin.
Then I found out Mormons don't have nuns. I was crushed. I mean, really really disappointed.
|Actress Deepti Navala plays a sadhvi|
on a television soap opera
I have over the years, in my twenties, thirties, forties and now my fifties, asked myself over and over: "What is the purpose of my life?" I didn't have an answer. But I remember one time, (when I was relaxing in the bubble tub at my home away from home, Kiva Retreat in Santa Cruz, CA), I considered, maybe the purpose of my life is to seek God.
|Sadhvi Abha Saraswati|
is a sadhvi or nun in an
established order of monks
Immediately I was thrilled to the core. I pictured my entire life as a path from "now" to God. What could be better???
I never forgot this, but I couldn't picture how to accomplish it. Like when I was a teen, and wanted so badly to disappear into the Bible, or The Lord of the Rings. Someplace where the desires of the heart actually happened. Because I yearned so much for Jesus, but the yearning never translated into my life. Jesus was somewhere else, someplace I could not go.
That is the experience of a soul who wants to live their life in God, but has not had shaktipat.
Well, I've had shaktipat. And I have endured a great deal to get through all that was in the way of my current life and calling.
Guru Gurumayi.... Guru Paramashiva.... show me the way. I am alone, there is no ashram or sangham as my support environment. I am surrounded by the world, and my values are now completely different from those around me.
I find the guru in my heart.
But I also think... it is time to send a letter to the physical guru.
Durga center, Lakshmi left,