Pilgrimage of Silence

floor

I enter through an open doorway not knowing what awaits on the other side. I find a laborer on his knees scrubbing the floor. He does not return my gaze, focusing solely on his task. As I float along, I hear chanting and slight drumroll in the distance. Jasmine fills the air and permeates the senses. My skin glistens in moisture from the balmy air. It pricks and burns in anticipation of ritual, silence, offering, and deep devotion. The warm breeze rustles my skirts and carries them about me in a dance of abandon. Am I ready? The answer is… YES! I have wanted, needed, craved this very experience for decades. This moment in time to be alone with myself. To clear my mind. To quiet the body. To enter into communion with ancestral memory. To at once become one and whole.

ashram

My vow of silence has already begun. I can feel myself falling away. Tuning in. Checking out. I cross a threshold on the opposite side of the veranda. There is a collective energy that instantly shifts. The room is sparsely occupied. All bowing or kneeling in prayer and meditation. I take my seat. Find comfort. Begin.

I am novice. My mind is willful as a child. Constantly running off toward the next sparkly thought. Begging for attention. Punching, hitting, screaming for the front and center spot. I find myself, at first, anxious and disheartened. I hold on. The thoughts can be tamed. I have the ability to honor them. Look at them squarely and then turn away. Quietly. I sit.

As my breathing slows, I am greeted in peace. Deeply seated and overpowering. I find my body in an easeful state that is not often attainable. The floor supports. The ceiling contains. The heart swells. The love washes my spirit. I have already found what I came for. I sit. I breathe. I slowly let go of thought, noise, ego, space, and time. Measurement of seconds, minutes, hours is of no importance. The devotion to self and honoring of the spirit are limitless and soothing. I bow to the ego and watch as it falls away. I bow to the soul and watch it flourish and reveal. This revelation calls me to choose mindfully the nourishment of all that I hold dear… at all cost. This is my time. Time to slow. Time to be. Me.

Love & Light

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