Sadhana and the Divine Transformation

In my last blog I discussed believing in my recovery. This was a challenging subject matter for me to write about. I have not felt for quite some time, that my belief was an issue. It wasn’t even entering my mind. While there was karma to be experienced and spiritual progression that needed to take place, it was all building towards one perfectly destined, divinely created moment. If any subconscious doubts did exist, they would be taken care of through my sadhana (spiritual practice), and through the love of my guru, Amma.

Sadhana is where I go to feel at home and safe. It’s where everything is taken care of. Where all emotional or mental issues preventing my healing, are removed and mended. It is the smiling face of my guru, where my heart opens to the transformative evolution that is constantly accessible to each and every one of us. All we have to do to experience this divine process is show up, ask, and wait. Then, the moment comes when a powerful energy moves through us, smoothing out all of our rough edges, and straightening out every crooked corner. It may not always be easy, but the glimpses of peace and love, and a growing desire for truth and freedom will push us forward.

A few days after I spoke with the psychic medium, my dad and I traveled to DC to see Amma. She was on her yearly North American summer tour. I was feeling confident, empowered, and ready to wrap myself around Amma’s divine grace and spur on my physical recovery. It is always interesting to see her face-to-face. I spend so much time with her inside of my own mind and heart, that it sometimes feels like the Amma I see in a physical body is not the same person.

The physical body Amma, pretends to not be one with God. She pretends to be a normal human being, just a crazy girl from Kerala she says. People have asked me if I have ever talked to Amma directly about whether or not I’m going to walk again. I have not. One of the reasons is I have always felt that I was not meant to ask her. I was just meant to have faith. Another reason is the physical body Amma so often pretends to be normal, that it is often difficult to figure out what she is trying to say. She will say something that appears to mean one thing, but in fact holds much deeper meaning.

It is not the guru’s job to always tell us what we want to hear. It is the guru’s job to destroy the ego, and guide us on the path towards self-realization, the realization that we are one with the infinite God consciousness. I’ve personally discovered that this involves a lot of pulling and pushing. Giving me brilliant moments of insight and peace, and then scrambling my brains like fried eggs on a skillet.

I was only going to receive one official hug from Amma this year. For those that don’t know, she is the hugging mother. When I got up on stage and sat before her, she began talking to me! She asked me why she didn’t see me last year. There may have been some confusion in the translation, as I think she was referring to why she didn’t see me in Dallas. I explained that we had moved, and the sadness it caused me. She started rubbing my legs, then looked up to me and asked another question. The translator then said, “Amma asks if your legs have gotten weaker?”

I was stunned. “Weaker?!” I thought. “I hope they have gotten stronger Amma,” I said feebly.

She gave me a sad compassionate look and we both just sat there for a moment. Never before had I felt the opportunity so strong to ask Amma directly to heal me. “I’ll just do it,” I thought. As the words came out of my mouth, “Amma, will you…” she grabbed me like a bolt of lightning and pulled me in for another hug. I finished my sentence as she was hugging me, “…make my legs stronger?” I was then lifted from her embrace and quickly wheeled away by the volunteer.

I sat on stage afterwards, trying to make sense of it. I recognized immediately that I simply was not meant to ask Amma to heal me, but how could she ask me if my legs have gotten weaker? It was the very last thing I wanted to hear from her.  Could she not have given me encouragement? Let me know I was on the right path? The anger and confusion had reached a boiling point.

After exiting the stage, I remained this way for several more hours. I even had brief flashes of wanting to abandon her as my guru. But there had to be some meaning to it. She was not just a crazy girl from Kerala. She was placed here and I with her, so that she could help me achieve my purpose.

Late that night I sat in the large hall and meditated deeply. I chanted my mantra, and breathed intently, listening for the answers. I could feel energy flowing throughout my body, the healing energy I had grown so accustomed to. My legs ached, my muscles twitched, soothing warm sensations spread throughout. “Weaker?” I asked myself again. “Then what am I feeling now? Why do I feel this healing taking place?”

Then my delusional faith kicked in. I realized that Amma was testing me. She was breaking down my expectations, and forcing me to look within, to investigate the truth that rested in my own heart. She could not build my faith by telling me exactly what I wanted to hear. No, she chose to challenge me, to break down my brittle house of confidence, so that I could rebuild it into a fortress. And I realize now, that again and again she will break down these walls until there is no fortress needed, because why should I need protection from the infinite love that surrounds and penetrates all things.

I also think that maybe Amma was just telling me to exercise.

I’ll be honest, sometimes I don’t know what I’m talking about. I came to the conclusion a while back, that when it comes to the spiritual path, or life in general, all we can do is our best to reach out for the peace and the love that rests beneath our turmoil. We experience things, heartbreak and happiness. We try to make sense of it all through some sort of logical reasoning, but sometimes there’s nothing to do but let that all go, put our hands in the air, and go for a ride.

But that’s not the nature of the mind is it? The mind wants to understand, put things in a box and label them so that we can be comforted in knowing that our lives are planned and organized. We can’t stand not knowing what’s around the corner and how we might prepare for it. But in our need for order we fail to realize that life is a flowing river, and if we would but just melt into its currents we would discover the bliss, the peace, the loving comfort that we seek.

There will be times when I need to make sense of the external messages I am receiving. I will need to take those messages and then internalize them, figure out what rings true for me, and what does not. Lately I’m being told that I must believe. It rings true. There is some kind of wall that must be destroyed, but I never wanted to tell people that they have to believe. It doesn’t resonate with me. I feel that if we are meant to believe in something that is difficult to believe in, then it is through our spiritual effort, our effort to grow closer to God that this belief will grow and anchor itself in our hearts. It is in this effort that we become empowered, immerse ourselves in God’s grace, and fulfill our purpose. I continue to trust in this, and that’s why my sadhana will remain the cornerstone of my life, my evolution, and my healing.

My second day with Amma in DC, all of my anger was gone. I tried to get a second token so that I could go up on stage and see her again, but it wasn’t happening. We were planning on leaving that afternoon after Amma left the stage.  I sat outside the doorway with about a hundred other people, waiting for her to exit the hall. I began to feel this electric buzzing in every cell of my body. Energy seemed to be building within and throughout my entire aura. I felt a confidence that Amma was definitely going to stop and hug me as she walked past. I didn’t want to think it too strongly, afraid she might play a trick and ignore me in an effort to once again break down my ego. So I sat and did my best to simply experience the powerful, peaceful energy as I waited.

She came through the doorway, her smile beaming, looking at all her devotees with the compassion and love that draws so many near to her. As she walked towards me her eyes met mine. She gave me that look, that look of seeing a dear friend whom she loves so much. She stepped towards me and put her arms around me. She chanted “Ma ma ma ma ma…” in my ear. The simple mantra grew in enthusiasm and culminated in one final “Ma!” at the same time Amma pulling away and smiling, in her own special way saying goodbye, knowing that I would be leaving her.

When she walked away I did not feel sadness, all I felt was the ever expansive love that she shared. The love that lets me know everything is going to be okay, that I am never alone, I am always cared for, and forever loved.

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