I went for a swim after Satsang again. There’s something about the cooler evening air making the lake seem warmer that I’ve always been drawn to. Evening swims have this magic about them. I went out to the dock, quite the distance with lake levels the highest they’ve been in decades, and pulled myself up out of the refreshing wet. The sun had set far behind the mountains and clouds were forming in the South. Some sun rays made their way over the mountain to the clouds way high up in the sky, lighting the fluffy pieces grey to shades of blue and white. I sat on the dock admiring the view. It’s a very unique place in the ashram, that dock. Nowhere else is there such an expansive scope revealing the enormity of the sky, pale blue at that hour except for the clouds billowing in. The mountains and trees are lovely but nothing elevates a prairie girl like me quite like a vast blue sky. The wind whipped droplets of the lake off my skin until I had dried off and it felt warm again. The very same wind that turned the dock to and fro and I rode the occasional swell of a cluster of waves. My view eased towards the Temple, inside lights still shining brightly, lighting up the cliff face like a beacon and then meandered back South to the multilayered clouds.
I sat thinking about the things I’ve been thinking about lately. The ashram has had its yearly population boom. This means that the purpose of the ashram is being fulfilled: people are coming and partaking in the teachings. It also means that I’m sharing my home with a whole lotta bunch of people. All this new energy and new faces caused some anxiety to rise within me. What is anxiety? This strange feeling in my being that, luckily, I haven’t experienced very much of in my life but have experienced enough to know what it is. It’s this constriction in my heart and lungs preventing me from breathing in a relaxed manner and this ever-present subtle feeling. As if at any moment I’d be ready for something to happen. It’s a low level of adrenaline pumping through my veins. It’s not pleasant. During a break I went down to the beach and walked along a not often used path to the rocks where I knew I would find solace. Solace from the hoards of people at the main part of the beach. (Yes ‘hoards’ is an exaggeration. Remember, I live at an ashram and see approximately 60 humans regularly. When that number jumps to 80 it takes a bit of time to adjust to the proportional increase). I sat on the rocks with the waves splashing over them journaling and suddenly realized my anxiety was gone. Just like that. Is it really that easy? Just take some time to myself in nature? Yes, in some ways it really is.
Unfortunately not everything I’ve been reflecting on lately will be understood so easily. In the Kundalini system the first chakra explores the themes of pain, love, sex/birth/death, security, and competition to name a few. The powerful energy of manifest shakti is embodied here and we are given the awesome power of directing that force. How do I choose to do so? Death is lingering over the ashram. Swami Radhakrishnananda won’t be alive much longer. She’s choosing to die consciously as she chose to live consciously. A practicing yogini to the end…or the beginning…or something like that. The grief and mourning present here extends into my own reflections as first chakra issues come alive. Pain, security, sex. These concepts are making themselves blaringly known as I explore long forgotten memories with new perspectives and attempt to navigate through the way they are currently manifesting. Sometimes this practicing yogini business is difficult work while at the same time I’m filled with gratitude for the opportunities present in my life to take these challenges and figure this stuff out. That’s what leads to real freedom, made even sweeter with the knowledge that I did the work and the victories are mine.