EMBRACING THE BEAUTY OF OUR SOLO JOURNEYS





















“There are some places in life where you can only go alone.
Embrace the beauty of your solo journey.” 


Murali is my fellow-learner in the Tai Chi class. He has hearing problem. Today, as our Tai Chi teacher was guiding us through a very intense and prolonged meditative session called ‘Micro Cosmic Meditation’ (Tai Chi exercises and meditation are done in a particular standing position), I was constantly losing my concentration. My teacher noticed my restlessness and suggested to me to sit down and follow the instruction… It helped; but, mind was drifting again and again and again.

Then, I stopped… and watched the reality, that my mind was drifting constantly… and, suddenly, I started feeling better… Peaceful!

In the break, while talking to Murali, he said, “Today’s meditation was very effective… I am feeling better.”

I told  Murali about my state… How I struggled and then gave up my struggle… and felt better. He was surprised.  “I always thought you had greater concentration power compared to many of us here,” he said, “How do you write with so much concentration, every day?”

“Maybe, I am able to ‘see’ that I lose my concentration, that my mind is drifting," I said, "Maybe, that helps me to be centered.”

“How do you manage?” I asked Murali.

“You know I have this hearing problem… I cannot hear ninety percent of our Sir’s instructions. So, I imagine pathway and let my mind travel through it… I also imagine different colours for different spots… That helps.”

That’s the time I realized, how interesting the phenomenon called ‘Meditation’ was: One needed no ears, no eyes, no legs, no hands, no mouth, no nose… One just needed the ‘inner eye’… to watch what’s happening… the breath that came in and went out…  the waves of thoughts that surged and receded causing, along the way, the swings of moods… happy, sad, anxious, hopeful… all kinds.

Aloneness is sacred… Loneliness is scary. Aloneness has nothing to do with the multitude we are surrounded with… We can be very, very lonely even in the midst of hundreds of people including our so-called ‘the nearest and the dearest ones’.  On the other hand, we can feel strong and loved in our aloneness – our solitude.

Marty Rubin says, “Solitude is where one discovers one is not alone.” 

We do not need people around us – not even our loved ones – to make us feel confident and strong. What we need is the robust anchorage of aloneness… a deep, deep grounding of ‘self’. This anchorage is our solitude… our ‘aloneness'… And, ironically, in this sublime state of solitude, as Marty Rubin points, we discover we are not alone!

Just as meditation can happen even in the chaos of a market place, the love and strength can nourish our hearts even as we embark upon our ‘solo journeys’ in this world… The more we come closer to our cores, the more closeness we feel with people in our lives.

Yes, the ‘solo journey’ takes place only through this inner pathway… We need to embrace its beauty!


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Kamal Kishore Rikhari


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