Friday, October 26, 2012

Navaratri, Hollywood and three years in the US (2011)

Had this draft in my inbox for almost an year.

Navaratri is a time to be oneself, to dive into the cave of one's heart and come out refreshed, to abstain form sense pleasures. So please stop ogling that blonde now. Done? Great!

In celebrating Navaratri for the first time in 3 years at the LA Art of Living center, I am reminded of how timeless the wisdom, the peace and the joy within. The last couple of years have been a bit of a struggle coming to terms with a society that is very accomplishment and possession focused. I have been struggling to express myself, and stand up alone on my feet, trying to get in-the-know in America. The new culture has brought in its wake challenges I am still coping with -

Not knowing what works and being judgemental to defend myself.
1. Dealing with people who are completely extroverted and no sense of inhibition in expressing their dislikes and wants.
2. Finding meaningful and true depth in relationships and people, when it seems that everyone is completely consumed with their own lives, needs and priorities.
3. A new way of socializing - where the emphasis is not on advising the you but on expressing the I, where the most important things are those that I did and not what you did. It is an honest way of looking at life.
4. Dealing with arrogance, every person is their own trumpet and though polite, Americans do not hold back from expounding and defending their ideals. See the sports for instance, so much pride on local teams and aggression on winning.
5. The sense of incompetence at being confronted with language skills way superior - great metaphors, complete sentences, excited and animated conversations, man it makes me feel inadequate sometimes.
And so the challenge has been twofold -learning to love my voice and hoping to weave a story around my views. I have often given up, overwhelmed by the complexity of the challenge, but then Navaratri brings it all back.

Because, despite the WTF-do-i-do-to-deal-with-it, the answer is simple, enjoy the moment, breathe easy and relax. And not forget to do my kriya, sadhana and navaratri meets. Because life, is beautiful.

Guruji continues to be the most value, love and fulfillment bringing force in my life. Everytime I engage in seva, make it to a gathering, I come back with more. Just on Friday, I came home with so much food from the office and rasmalai at the center (no questions asked, just like that). Whatever I commit -time wise, effort wise, the returns are always greater.Everything else seems tiring, i find it hard to focus at work - to sustain my focus in any activity. Maybe thats partly because of becoming fatter - getting fatter certainly slows the brain down and saps away the desire for adventure. I have been deferring my attempts at writing, hoping to magically unlock the fount of sparkling clarity and wit by tenaciously reading more.

Anyways back to the point, Navaratri has made me happy like nothing before - every cell of my being feels charged with towering bliss - a delicious point between thrill and vibrance and complete equanimity. And now that I have been eating less, I feel clearer, more lucid, more focused and more confident of my coherence.

Sorry about the long introspective ramble, but thanks for reading :)


tanuja said...

Bhai...Love all your work :-)and definitely looking forward to reading more. jgd :)

Abhishek Ratna said...

Tanu, thanks. Will write more soon.

Reshmi Mitra said...

"WTF-do-i-do-to-deal-with-it, the answer is simple, enjoy the moment, breathe easy and relax"

Thats been my mantra! And, most times it does work.

Keep writing :)