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Thursday October 28, 2004: Finding Enough Time: Part Three

 

        During a difficult time in my life (the last few years of my marriage), I found myself struggling with depression, clinging to my meditations and to the divine, searching and drifting, hoping for new direction. I still had not recovered from my third high-risk pregnancy and a C-section that had gone into complications. I was up several times each night nursing a newborn; the two-year-old was teething and not sleeping the night; I had taken on a part-time job to make ends meet; and was taking on the bulk of the household and childcare responsibilities while my husband trained for a new job and attended to his hobbies. Hubby was big into entertaining (one or twice a week) and showed up just shortly before the guests arrived, disappearing upstairs as soon as the last guest departed. He did his spiritual disciplines while I did dishes (the inability to change this pattern, despite numerous marriage counselors, is part of the reason we're no longer married).

         Dr. V.G. Kulkarni, an Indian Brahmin, visited the United States for three months out of each year and led weekly meditations for a variety of religious groups. He met at our home on a regular basis to meditate with yogis. Strangely, during this troubled time, I found my meditations growing more beautiful and peaceful -- even as my outer life became more of a struggle.  After V.G. returned to India, I clung to the discipline of bringing God into more areas of my life, of seeing peace and beauty within the daily hardships.

            I would see God in water.  I would slide hands into dishwater, immersing myself in the awareness of the divine. I would focus on the warmth of water, soaking into deeper and deeper levels of skin and muscle. I would note the movement of hands gliding through water, surrounded, touched, caressed by divine presence.  No matter how I maneuvered my hand, the water continually embraced my skin. This was how I moved within God's worlds. There was no part left untouched as I moved within divine essence.

            I would focus on washing away leftover bits and scraps of food and watch the water rinse away the last traces of soap. I would scrape away the negative emotions, release my imperfections, letting the divine rinse them away in the same way.  I opened my heart to allow the divine to transform my life and my world.

            Drinking a glass of water, I would feel the liquid flow down my throat.  I would feel the presence of the divine, flowing down into the core of my being.  I would continue expanding my awareness, knowing the water was being absorbed, taken up by the physical body.  I would imagine the water carried throughout the body, molecules of water taken into each cell, until each cell embraced and was blessed by a part of the divine.  I let divine love and power transform me from the interior depths of my soul and body.

            On days when the power of this image weakened, I found other chores that could be approached as commitments or communions. If I couldn't set time aside for worshiping the divine, I would drag the divine along with me as I moved through my day.  I didn't visit God in church. God became a part of car pooling, changing dirty diapers, and paying bills.

             Working this awareness into the routines of my everyday world strengthened my relationship with God in incredible ways. If nothing else, it began building a 24/7 attitude of being open and connected with God. I learned more from bringing God into the little spots of my life than in all the devoted hours of ritualized meditation.

              Sit in meditation and your own ego can get in the way. You focus on how you are doing and whether your mind is still or if your focus is staying on target. You imagine God being out there and you think about how you will connect with God if you can just get in the right mindset. 

     Those attitudes don't exist when you're changing a dirty diaper or washing dishes. God isn't somewhere out there anymore. God doesn't expect perfection before allowing you access to divine presence. God ends up right beside you, with quiet acceptance, and that turns into a most powerful realization.

 

 
Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2004 at 05:28AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | CommentsPost a Comment

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