India: Where I Really Woke Up to the Reality of Life
a bustling country of sounds, colors, smells, vibrancy, chaos…never had I been anywhere more beautiful and at the same time disturbing.
There is a complete sensory overload the minute you step off the plane and enter into this country. You’ll see things that will shock you, you’ll also see things that will amaze you. You’ll smell everything from incense to cow poop, samosas and street chai. You’ll be bombarded by people begging you for money, most of these people being children. You’ll witness the most extreme poverty you’ve ever seen. At the same time, you’ll witness divine intervention on every corner. India is truly incredible. I traveled the backpackers way here – no fancy hotels, I stayed in ashrams and humble guest houses. Think bucket showers and hard beds. I did this on purpose. I didn’t want to stay in a 5 star hotel while in India, I wanted the real experience. And boy did I get it. Traveling through the country on crammed buses and trains…it was here, where I realized, how supremely blessed we are in the West. How supremely blessed my life has always been. And now for the main lessons learned:
1) Patience – This is a HUGE one. Without patience, you will literally lose your mind in India! But if we think about it, without patience, wouldn’t we lose our minds anywhere?! Patience is one of the “washing soaps” of the “six stains” in Buddhism. It is guaranteed to wash us clean of ignorance and tension. With patience, everything becomes effortless, we shift more into a place of ease, rather than suffering.
2) Trust/Faith – In India, I was in some way forced to trust. When you board a train, there is no real guarantee of when you will arrive at your destination. You must let go of all structure and order here. You simply must trust that you will eventually arrive. If you don’t trust, you will move into a space of fear. If you don’t have Faith, you’ll miss the magic of the journey. Faith is another washing soap of the six stains, one of the stains being, lack of faith.
3) Devotion – I learned the lesson of devotion in India. What does devotion mean? It means to offer up your smaller self to something higher. I visited several sacred temples, and upon entering would immediately fall onto my knees and bow to the Divine, as a way of showing my devotion. Of feeling devotion. Of feeling a connection to something much greater than me. Devotion is the last washing soap of the six stains. This helps to wash off the stain of outward distraction and inward tension. With devotion we are reminded that God is everywhere and is a part of us. We are in fact, powerful beings.
These three lessons: faith, trust, devotion – are essentially everything we need. Imagine walking through life with these three washing soaps. You will always be pure, never doubting anymore, clear, and living more from a place of Love rather than Fear.