wow... what a month. something i have always wanted to do. yet it took me 2 years to get around to it. the sadhana was simple. not easy. but simple.
to walk the labyrinth every day for the month of september. to record my experience, authentically, humbly, and with venerability.
there were 2 days that i didn't write about my experience. however i DID walk the labyrinth every single day.
the daily walk has been a wonderful constant for showing me the evolution of mind and emotion.
the first day i walked down i was so scared to go that far away from the teaching house without another human. even with the dogs. im known to not want to walk from the front door to the generator at night by myself and have more than once called PJ at work to get him to talk to me while i do.
after a few days however i realized that the fear of walking it alone transformed to an experience that was joyful, not fearful. then i walked it at night with paramjyoti and again was terrified that it was dark. running the loops trying to fulfil my obligation, and not wanting to dwell there a second longer.
so to go from there, to being able to sit alone last night through the dusk, into the pitch black of night was amazing for me. yes i felt uneasy, and i was disappointed that i didnt stay the whole night, and at the same time, i was cold (0 degrees) and wet. with 2 dogs that wouldn't stop barking or being on full alert.
my initial, raw and honest feelings of shame of not completing the night have softened into tremendous gratitude for my ability to finish the sadhana without fear. for after i jumped up in alert and dashed to the truck, i didnt hop in and abandon my things and just leave in fear. i slowly (while the dogs were still going berserk) and calmly, without fear, walked back and forth and cleaned up my sleeping bivvy until all trace was gone. (about 4 trips) and then went back again and slowly and calmly walked every loop out. completing the cycle.
deciding to walk up to the cabin was also huge for me. and wasnt a dash in desperation in search of safety. but a conscious decision to sleep warmly so that i could indeed get up at 5am and do my navaratri sadhana before getting narayan off to school and the animals done.
every moment is an opportunity. to observe. to use. life, really is just one big science experiment. "if i do this, what is the effect? how do i feel? if i change my mental attitude to it, and do it again does the effect change? does my feeling change? what is the effect im looking for (sankalpa/intention)? how many times do i need to reconnect to the same action to tease out the layers and layers of conditioning before i no longer have any identification with the shadow emotion? fear, guilt, shame, grief. "
how does this create freedom? how does this create space? its a constant conversation between you and the Divine. this is what life is. a conversation, an unraveling of all you unconsciously hold as true, that in fact, is illusion. thats all. nothing more. and certainly nothing less. for after all... im human and i intend consciously and continuously live up to the opportunity.
the last thing i offer to share about this experience is the joy and encouragement it has given me to regularly (not continuously - but for set length of times, at different times of the year) challenge myself to a more intense and structured sadhana. now that i have a little more breathing space with narayan being of an age that i can do it. There is so much value to putting ourselves out of our comfort zone, so that we may break the boundaries of ignorance of Self.
To do deeper sadhana not for an outcome, or the fruition of a prayer answered, but for the curiosity of the experiment, the process the journey of unfurling the true Self. It has to come through action though, not just contemplation of theories and philosophy. It has to come for the joy in life, and the love of living it. This little thing we call the human experience.