January Still

I was restocking the snacks today; re-filling the chocolate bars and trail mixes that we had run out of and putting into storage the ones we still had out on the shelves.  I couldn’t help but buy a bag for myself to munch on in my mid-afternoon energy slump.  I’ve been hungry lately.  Partly it has to do with my participation in the hatha teacher’s determination to go to morning class.  The beginning of January marked a noticeable shift in early morning attendees.  We’d all met to plan how to implement the teaching theme of symbolism into daily hatha classes and came out of it agreeing that the best way to see how it was going would be to actually go to class.  The subsequent classes got so full alternateroom  arrangements had to be made with some teachers even having to be told they wouldn’t be able to go.  (Swamis certainly don’t usually go to morning classes, anyway).  I’ve been, therefore, increasing the amount of waking hours in my days.  This change, as well as the increase in the amount of physical activity in my usual sedentary days, has increased my appetite. 

Is that really it though?  What is it that I’m hungry for?  When I compare my daily activities to what they were a year ago at the beginning of the last YDC I can’t help but notice an incredible change.  I’ve changed and with that my roles have changed.  It’s with some measure of incredulity I pass by the two year mark of living here.  Two years that don’t include the four months I spent here when I first came nor the four months I scrambled around in Lethbridge striving to make it back here.  The latter of which give me the mental image and memory feeling of some sort of frantic break-dancer that doesn’t quite realize the role of gravity, lying prone on the floor beseechingly and ineffectually searching for something to hold onto, trying to stand.  Eventually the task proved not so futile.  After Satsang the other night I, along with 54 other people, prostrated at the altar and walked the guru-lined corridor to the coat room.  There I noticed how we entered into some sort of elegant dance with meditation benches being returned to their pegs on the wall, scarves wrapping around necks, prayer shawls being folded under arms reaching to return a pillow to the shelf.  It was like this spontaneous, free flowing dance in time with the gentle hum of mantra from the temple seeping into the simple choreography.  Maybe it’s all this dancing that’s got me so hungry.

The Divine Light Invocation mantra affirms that I am sustained by Divine Light.  Truly feeling that at every level of my being is what nourishes and satiates me.  Sometimes I get this broad perspective on my life.  I can see that there’s really no such thing as an answer, career, or feeling that will last forever and that really being content in a single moment will bring me to fulfillment of my potential in this epic dance we are all a part of.  It is in those moments of expansiveness that I know we’re all playing this raucous game with ourselves, fooling each other into thinking we’re anything other than the pure Bliss of the Universe.  There’s the occasional wink off a reflecting wave crashing on the shore or the simple flip of an evergreen branch in the wind that tips me off.  It’s all a big playground here.  Like a Vegas buffet – a true feast for the senses.  We get to take it all in and nourish ourselves with every single part of it. 

I know I’m not really hungry for food.  I’m hungry for the stuff of life.  Each vibrant, effervescent moment that expresses itself in the most mundane and awkward exchange as much as in a heartfelt expression of easy compassion.  Taking it all in with acceptance frees me of thinking I want or need more.  Really, I am provided with exactly everything I need in every single moment.

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