What’s India got to do with it?

Neighbor’s yard in Jodhpur, Rajasthan

On a journey that started with bingeing on Bollywood movies and learning Hindi songs phonetically, along the way I discovered Kabir.   It was an encounter that slowly and steadily pierced through many layers of defense and survival. It struck me with a such a force.  It was a love affair- with Kabir. My passion for Bollywood songs quickly shifted into passion for Kabir’s couplets sung and transmitted. The draw of India began interspersed with ecstatic moments of insight and liberation along with challenges to any thought of traveling. And then came the invitation to India, the ticket, deep generosity of friends and the reality of the trip. 

I must admit that all of this was deeply influenced by stories I had heard of the way that India had spiritually transformed so many people- the gurus, the sadhus, the saints and temples. My sense of what I was heading towards was also influenced by the great awakening that Kabir had brought into my life. I held a sense of this as a pilgrimage. One where I would deepen my spiritual life and nourish my creative spirit. 

Instead it became an odyssey complete with riddles, challenges and demons as well as enduring friends and deep discovery. India became encounters with the flaming sword of Kabir’s ruthless attention to truth. All the warnings and stereotypes about India did not align with the India that I encountered. The “shock” that everyone suggested I would feel was more of a slow and daily sense of unraveling. It offered me hundreds of opportunities to open my heart and my sense of the creative. Over and over I was pushed by every encounter to what was right in front of me. 

My opinion about anything was useless. What brought me across the oceans and miles was an essential longing – is to be reunited to the One and to see the One in all living beings. That is the scent that I am following, the flow that calls me, the energy that beckons. That is what brings all of my work together as one body.  Each day, each moment am I staying awake to that?