“Never underestimate the power of gratitude.”
“Let yourself bow in acknowledgement and gratitude for all that life has gifted.”
Life is not some beast to be tamed,
a project to be mastered,
or your b$*%h to be controlled.
Life is a gift.
The gift of Grace.
And with this recognition
I bow to the feet of life
Grace courses through us
in everything we touch,
in everything we experience.
There is nothing that isn’t Grace.
“It’s all by Grace”
For me is the most powerful and humbling recognition.
The acknowledgement that I have no control.
That I am here,
all of me,
all of my experiencing
And so in this
it’s all seen as a gift.
Some call it God.
Some call it Consciousness.
Some call it fate.
There are many names
all pointing to that ineffable impersonal activity of life.
I call it Grace.
The infinite actions and endless possibilities
of life playing life
in the ocean of life.
Wild and unpredictable.
Plenty of variation,
but no separation.
Just as the sun shines on all,
Grace is in all.
There are no distinctions of good or bad,
no questions of right or wrong.
Everything that happens,
everything that doesn’t,
all by Grace.
Every whisper of a thought,
every flash of a memory,
every definitive decision,
every decisive action,
every palpable desire,
every subtle feeling,
every wave of emotion,
every happening of life,
all by Grace.
And so life is lived,
Life is such and unbelievable gift, how often do you stop and smell the roses? Appreciate the little simple ordinary moments? Without reference to the past or thoughts to the future.
We miss the beauty of the moment so easily. Ordinary life has become so throwaway, so undesirable. Instead marked with the next glamorous instagram shot, the next big ‘experience’, the next enviable goal. Next next next. We miss the sheer joy of this extraordinary, but divinely ordinary moment.
Whether that moment be filled with anger, joy, sadness or bliss it doesn’t matter. Just the fact we are alive, that we bear witness to all of this. Oh the magnificence that
10 years ago today Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died.
I remember the day clearly, we were in the Dominican Republic on a holiday marking our 1st year wedding anniversary. I turned on the TV (probably the only time I did) to see it on the BBC news tick-a-tape completely out of the blue – “THE BEATLES GURU DIES”.
At the time we were living in the epicentre of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation (TM) moment in the US; Fairfield, Iowa, the place we had called home for the last 2 years, and would go on calling home for the next 7 almost 8 years. But TM was much more to me, it was something that shaped and formed my whole life, my formative years, something that I had inherited, 20 minutes twice a day, as natural to me as brushing my teeth, I never knew life without it.
I learnt TM when I was six years old, I had attended the Maharishi School in the UK, I had worked and lived in amongst TMers, both in the UK and the US for most of my life. My mother was a TM teacher from the 70s, almost all of my friends were TMers, I didn’t know anything BUT TM, the TM moment and that way of life.
It was a shock to see those words flashing up on the BBC, to feel so far away from it all, and yet be so connected with it somehow.
10 years on, so much has happened, so much has changed, and when I say so much, I mean it, both outwardly and inwardly, but it’s the inner change that has been the most profound.
I’ve gone from being a second generation TM movement kid, knowing nothing else, to transgressing this and embracing the world of Satsang and contemporary non-dual teachers, to finally opening my mind and heart to Grace in the form of a 15 minute Shaktipat Transmission, and in that instant having a life time of ’spirituality’ and spiritual practice melt into the experience of living life fully, beautifully, naturally, embodied, and abiding as the Self.
And in this I have had to learn how to live again.
I’ve lost myself so profoundly, and yet in that loss I’ve found my-Self again and again. Dying in each and every moment to a fresh, new, beautiful and raw moment, this moment. This experience, this knowingness, so simple and yet so profound has changed everything. Yet here I sit, chopping wood, carrying water, the same Imogen, the same body, totally and completely, divinely here, in the embrace of love.
Thank you Maharishi, for starting me on this journey to discover my very own Self, even if I didn’t ‘choose’ or even recognise that that was the path I was on all this time……
I bow at your feet.
I have gone from living the (American) dream… good job, beautiful house, wonderful friends, two beloved cats, more stuff than we could ever want or need, plentiful money, gorgeous and loving husband – I wanted for nothing… and now I have nothing (except the husband of course 😜 I’ve still got him thankfully).
We have no home – not even a real base, we move from house sit to house sit every few weeks, new place, not knowing anyone, not knowing the area, living out of a hand luggage suitcase. No money to speak of – most people would be shock at how little we live on right now, no possessions – I literally mean it when I say all we have is a hand luggage suitcase each that fits all our stuff, no friends or people we hang out with (because of the said nomadic lifestyle) – just us two 24/7. Nothing really that we need or have to do, no purpose or meaning, no ambition and drive, no desires.
And yet I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. So happy I could cry sometimes with overflowing gratitude and love for life as it is. This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, I make no judgements either way. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about this particular lifestyle being the holy-grail answer to suffering, it’s not like we ‘chose’ this, it just sorta happened that way. I never set out to live like this, and I hold no position on it… this could all change tomorrow.
I know this because it’s happened before, pretty much over night, the day Serenity died changed everything, we pretty much walked out of our full lives in Fairfield, Iowa to this…whatever this is………
It’s about living in truth and freedom in each and every moment. I live in the unknown, it can be uncomfortable for most to hear/imagine that, but is where I live, it’s a choice-less choice. There’s no in and out of this, it’s just my reality, where all of life is lived from and as. Raw unadulterated living.
The love that I feel in my heart is sometimes overwhelming. The love for all of it, all of life – doesn’t matter what that looks like… the beautiful, peaceful, messy, ugly, complicated, happy, raw, blissful, simple, mundane, inexplicable, ordinary, extraordinary life that I am honoured to be experiencing.
Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you
I’m so deeply and profoundly grateful to the life that has put me in the way of some amazing lessons. Lessons that have come from many different sources and many different teachers. I see now that these teachers have each come forward at the perfect moment to ultimately teach me that I am beyond all teachings, that I am the One that they point to.
To Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, for giving me TM from an early age, that allowed me to experience transcending on a daily basis throughout my formative years. This gave me the understanding that all of life is unified consciousness and that there are infinite possibilities within this. Without you my whole foundational paradigm could have looked horribly different.
To Amma, for flooring me with your presence and for opening me up to a the possibility of a world outside of TM.
To Wayne Liquorman, for showing me how much power there is in a teacher’s unspoken presence; and for introducing the profound realisation that all of this suffering is from a false sense of doership.
To Adyashanti, for guiding me into the present moment silence of the Self. For encouraging me to love my wounds and pull them closer. And for your reassuring words when the ground had fallen away for the first time.
To Suzanne Segal, for blasting off the doors of the identified body and the illusion that I believed that I was separate from the tree. And later on for showing me that I wasn’t alone in being duped into believing that enlightenment ‘looked’ a certain way.
To Mooji, for showing me what deep abiding love and surrender is. For allowing me to be fully me and for opening up your heart and home to me. You never gave up on me, even when I was ready to give up on this journey.
To Ramaji & RASA, for taking me all the way home. And if that wasn’t enough, allowing me to be so brutally honest and blunt with you; through you I found my voice. Being in relation to you changed my world, unfortunately not just in a positive way. Through these lessons I also learnt the hard but very necessary lesson to finally stand on my own two feet, to trust myself and my voice, and not give over to the authority of anyone else again.
And to Martyn, my love, for being my biggest ally, supporter and teacher in all of this Leela. You and I have walked this journey hand-in-hand thus far and you have provided me with such a loving but totally safe space that is our relationship to challenge everything possible in the most divinely unsafe way!
Thank You, Thank You and a million more Thank Yous
For links to these teachers click HERE