Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I left what I was affectionately calling The Harvest Tour (think about it...Northern California harvest time meant grapes, marijuana and mushrooms-- none of which we actually consumed but all of which were being harvested in the various regions we visited. Ours was more of a "view from the car" or a "view from the yoga studio" but it was kind of an ongoing joke as we travelled our way up the northern california coast.) and headed to Arizona. Volumes could be written about the time in California as it was quite profound and interesting and varied. I met so many awesome folks and glimpsed into so many different people's lives and lifestyles. Such a joy.
But like I said, I headed out to Arizona and into the world of the ashram there. I had dinner on the ashram on Monday, went to a talk with my teacher and then spent the night. After morning meditation on Tuesday I got my things packed up and went on retreat. Our community has a retreat property outside of town and I spent 9 days alone in a cabin doing practices and so forth. It was a wonderful experience. No cell phones, no people, no computer, no electricity. I was unplugged on one level, yet I felt truly plugged into something much greater.
On the 8th morning of my retreat, I received a note from my caretakers that my Teacher had passed, ( this was not sudden or unexpected, he had been sick with cancer for a while and this is a lot of why I chose to spend the month in Arizona in the first place.) So, although I felt a moment of grief, I must say that my general feeling about his passing was one of relief ( for him since he had been suffering physically) and also a deep abiding sense of joy and connection.
I finished the retreat and returned to the ashram where celebration arrangements were being made for him. We have been in the throes of that for the last 5 days and only now am I finding a moment to check in and return to some of my cyber-life.
It has been a truly ecstatic time here in the midst of what, on one level, is sad. As a community we have received som amazing outpourings of blessings and support from some of the most incredible spiritual teachers and communities and one thing is clear to me- when the Master passes their body, they are not gone. Not at all. The bhava or mood of Grace has been at it's zenith this week and it has probably been the most joyful time in the history of our community.
Anyway, more could be said, but that's enough for now. Those of you who have written me, please be patient, as it's gonna take me some time to get through two weeks of email!
In our community we have a saying that we learned from the Bauls of Bengal and it is "Jai Guru!" It means, "victory to the guru" and implies that we want the Light of Grace to be victorious over our darkness. It is a prayer that the Teacher who wants the Highest for us, be victorious over those parts of ourselves who remain attracted to what detracts from our Light and our Goodness. It is an affirmation that the power of Grace is already present and victorious within the Heart of who we most truly are.
Posted by Christina Sell at 8:50 AM