January 4, 2022
I’m a bit beet up today my friends. It’s been five days since landing in Costa Rica and four of them I’ve been fighting off a cold. I use the word fighting because it so perfectly portrays the trials the world is facing in regards to health and well being.
The twenty days I spent in Mexico City provided me with much insight into the pandemic pandemonium. First and foremost, it revealed a deeper meaning of the saying “no pain, no gain.” I saw the struggle the moment I got in the taxi cab in Mexico City. Many young men had jobs washing wiper fluid onto cars for cash. Others dressed in clown costumes hoping to fill their hats with hope. Others crawled on their knees pleading for pesos. A vast majority of women begged for a blessing with their babies in their arms.
Secondly, I was able to honor how humans have a really hard time maintaining social distance. I saw much more unapologetic affection amongst locals in the parks than I had seen in the whole year in the states. Thousands at a time flooded the streets, shops were overcrowded with chaos, and street vendors packed the sidewalks. To my surprise, the masses did wear masks – something that was also a lot different than what I was used to seeing in the states. These people were so busy working to keep up with the demands of life that they couldn’t be bothered by maintaining social distance.
Most profoundly, I began to learn to heal a mind plagued with fear and go beyond the body. Never in a million years did I think I would even step foot onto this path of devotional exploration, but there I was starting my Sadhana in the eighth largest city in the world…in the midst of a global pandemic. It had been years that I was in a big city. Not because of the fear of being exposed, but because of the sensitivity towards feeling overstimulated. I was determined to beat this burden that I thought I could never bear.
For hours I would sit there amidst sirens blaring, horns honking, and mariachi bands blasting in the background. Day after day this external commotion actually started to bring me a sense of peace that I had never before experienced. The peace arose from the knowing that nothing out there was ever going to be still. I knew that if I was so intent on having a sense of serenity, I would have to develop an internal silence that lulled all of the external noise. I could cry writing this sentence because I am still in disbelief, but I had some of the most profound meditative and transcendental experiences of my life in the middle of the Mexico City madness. And that is a freaking miracle!
My perspective on city life has completely shifted. What at first I deemed as aggressive, hurried, and depleting I now see as life-bestowing. It was only out of my own selfish tendency to want physical space that I was creating a mental claustrophobia. I was allowing crowds to burst the bubble that my ego had built out of disbelief in my own ability to be.
Upon my reflection, I recalled that the opposite of love is not hate, it is selfishness. Other people are not sucking my energy or taking up space from me unless I allow them to. As soon as I was able to see that, all of a sudden I came to recognize that these people were helping me go beyond because they were teaching me a lesson in humility.
“God doesn’t want people to be hurt or unwell, but he does want them to be humble. Help your neighbor out.”
I am humbled to be aware of my selfish tendencies.
I am humbled to find home in foreign places.
I am humbled to carry everything I need and more on my back.
I am humbled to have neighbors who help me see the beloved.
I am humbled to heal beyond the body.
While a bottle of beet juice and some B12 will cure the bodies consciousness, belief in the beyond will remedy the soul. When we find our bodies failing us, it is imperative that we turn closer to God because He cannot and will not ever fail us. Beyond the body is the beloved.
May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be at ease and free from suffering.
Prayer of the Day: Dearly Beloved, please withdraw this, my humble bodily picture, into thyself. Amen.