India - A Spiritual Journey


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January 30th 2010
Published: January 30th 2010
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As our time in Tiruvannamalai draws to an end, it seems appropriate to share more of the spiritual side of this journey with you. Once again, not your typical travel blog!

Lucas shares a story which originated with Eckhart Tolle.. It is the story of a great Guru who one day announced to his following that he was finally prepared to share his secret to enlightenment. His disciples came from far and wide to hear their teachers secret. As the day approached, the excitement grew. When the day finally arrived, the Guru’s disciples filled a great hall. The Guru entered and sat in silence for many moments as the anticipation filled the air. At last he uttered the words that all had waited to hear. “I don’t mind.”

Lucas and I reread Herman Hesse’s, Sidhartha while in India. Sidhartha is the story of a young India Brahmin’s search for the truth and for enlightenment. It is the perfect metaphor for our journey. As a young man Sidhartha sets out on a journey to discover the secret to true peace and happiness. Along the way he runs into many teachers, including the a great Buddha, a courtesan, and finally a ferryman. It is with the ferryman that he discover the secret he had been looking for. The ferryman had spent a lifetime on the river carrying people across as they travelled by. This life provided many opportunities to sit in stillness surrounded by the sights and sounds of the river and the surrounding forest. In that stillness, the Ferryman discovered true acceptance. He discovered “I don’t mind”. It is this wisdom that the Ferryman shares with Sidhartha and he finally settles into the true peace and happiness that he had always looked for.

Like many before us, Arunachula is our river. The silence and stillness that permeates the mountain is palpable. The beauty of Arunachula is not in what the eyes see, it is in what the heart feels. It is pure love. I have felt God’s presence many times, in many places over the course of my life. I have felt it at the birth of my three boys, in the light in Lucas’ eyes, at the sight of a beautiful sunset and in prayer and meditation. One the slopes and at the foot of Arunachula, the presence fills you up and doesn’t let you go.

Upon my arrival, and in my arrogance, I said, “Bring it on Arunachula! I am here and I am ready!” Well, ask and you shall receive! Let’s just say, our time here was no walk on the beach, at least not for the one who writes these words. Arunachula held up a mirror and said, “So, are you ready to really see? The seeing came as multiple health issues not just for me but for many. It came as dawning realizations of the baggage that I continue to carry like a badge of courage. It came as recognitions of the conditioning and patterns that continue to color my life and create challenges for myself and those around me. While I was on this rollercoaster called “transformation”, Lucas was a rock. He was the eye of the storm. Sure, he hopped on occasionally for the ride because that is what we do. And at the end of the day, for both of us…. There is a lot more “I don’t mind”. In that place of “I don’t mind”, that place of acceptance, God, peace, and true happiness is present and the fullness of it all is indescribable.

Through out our time here, there were teachers that touched our hearts. We spent hours in Satsang, and conversation with A. Ramana. His presence was, and will continue to be a source of comfort and wisdom for both of us. I don’t know how many times either Lucas or I would say, “You know I heard Ramana say that a thousand times…. Now I finally get it!’ We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be with Ramana these last weeks and are filled with gratitude and love for all that he has brought to our lives.

Our last week in Tiru, Lucas and I stayed at the AHAM Ashram and had the opportunity to do Seva (Sacred Service). AHAM put on an I SIT (Iintensive Self Inquiry) Training for six beautiful beings from around the world. Along with a number of others from the AHAM family we supported Jan Sundell, Vivian Zelig and Ramana to bring to this group the experience of “I don’t mind”, of thoughtless awareness of true bliss. For those of you who know Lucas well, you will be aware of his talent for the kitchen. You will also know that cooking for large groups as work is not his idea of fun…. And guess what Arunachula offered up? An opportunity to cook for eight days for a large group, on a very uncontrollable schedule and only vegetarian cuisine. It was a sight to behold! He was the very epitome of “I don’t mind”. In fact the whole exercise was a labour of love, that came through in his cooking and in the feeling of camaraderie that filled the kitchen.

I was blessed to be in the room with Jan and the participants. What a gift it was to simply be there, hold the energy, and witness transformation in action. Over the course of eight days I witnessed one participant transform from a being at the affect of the bodies discomforts, to one who could sit in peace and stillness for hours. I saw the dawning of the light of awareness in ones who had been seeking for 30 years, only to discover that they had it all along. I saw the realization arise that we are the creators of our existence. The creators of both the joy and the suffering. I witnessed the peace that enfolds us when we open up to the heart of our being, wrap them in love and pure bliss. It was a week that I will not soon forget and the benefits that I experienced continue to unfold.

We also had the opportunity to experience a new teacher. A beautiful, big Jamaican who was up until recently selling incense in the Brixton Market, in London. I saw him first in early December, just after he had arrived in Tiru. I saw him on a motorbike in front of the Ramana Supermarket surrounded by a large group of Sadhus. Now, Mooji does not speak a single word of Tamil, and I could have sworn that there was the most amazing conversation going on. They were all laughing and talking and Mooji was hugging them. It was a sight to behold and made me think of the stories I have heard about other great teachers who have come before. I was mesmerized and stood as a witness to this moment for a long time, just basking in it.

We also had the opportunity to experience Satsang with Mooji. The message is the same, the delivery differs, and like others, the feeling is simply love. If I had one word to describe Mooji it would be love. The experience of being in his presence is one of being held in the arms of that love. In those arms I felt the love of all the teachers that came before him. I felt the love of Arunachula, Bhagavan, A. Ramana, Elizabeth, Lucas, my Mom and Dad, my brothers, my sons, my friends, etc…..And most of all I felt the love that is the Self, that is God, abiding in me, as me, as all of us.

The teachers will continue to show up in this life, in many forms and as many experiences and always present is the Guru within….the Self and “I don’t mind”

As always, with so much love and gratitude…….

From the Self,

Lucas and Cheryl




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A. RamanaA. Ramana
A. Ramana

As a young man.


4th February 2010

Thank you
Your words point right into the heart Cheryl. Thank you so much for sharing your transformational process with us. It is the next best thing to being there with you! Much love, Annette
8th February 2010

Gratitude
Thanks for sharing your journey Cheryl & Lucas. Your challenges and deepening awareness and acceptance are a reminder to me of the many layers of the onion we continually peel away. We have just returned from Ontario where we said goodbye to my mom and knowing she is at peace brought me great comfort. Look forward to your return and enjoy the skiing.
8th April 2010

Thanks!
Thank you for sharing this journey. I am a musician and up to this point have only been reading about these possibilities. It is my dream to experience the journey............I see now it is a simple matter of doing it...........

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