“Everything that is in the heavens, on earth, and under the earth is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness” – Hildegard of Bingen (German Christian mystic of the 10th century AD)
“I feel lost; who am I?” said a devotee whom I had known for years.
I chuckled, in an attempt to ease the tension. “You have conducted sessions on the Bhagavad Gita and I am sure you know who you are”, I was referring to a popular session called ‘Who am I’ that my friend conducts masterfully.
“Of course I know who I am” he got a little impatient, “I am also happy, but the sheer pressure of work and services sometimes just drains me out. I am exhausted and wonder where am I heading to?”
“Maybe you need to get connected”
“Yes”, he exclaimed as if he’d just discovered the ‘aha’ moment of his life.
I recalled a similar experience when after a hectic travel and teaching schedule, I had collapsed and was irritable and restless.
We all need a break, and it’s all right to feel weak and tired. To know you are not a superman is to be humble, and to accept you need care is being human.
Connecting to self
We stand a good chance of being rejuvenated when we seek connection to self.
The busy bees often wonder if what they are doing is worth all the effort and time. That means it’s time to take a break. Go for a walk, a date with yourself. Only you and no one else! Sit beside a river or a forest or go for a walk early morning and enjoy the sunrise or sunset and bathe in the refreshing freedom the association with your true self brings. Slowly collect the broken pieces of your consciousness, and feel recharged.
The American Physicist Brian Greene said it beautifully, “I have long thought that anyone who does not regularly or ever gaze up and see the wonder and glory of a dark night sky filled with countless stars loses a sense of their fundamental connectedness to the universe”
Try journal writing; just write anything, but from your heart, not the head. Let your feelings, insecurities, aspirations, fears and hopes, joys and sorrows, strengths and weaknesses, let all contradictory emotions dance on the pages of your journals. A great tool that could immensely help you is ‘The Artist’s way’ by Julia Cameron. Get your copy today, and you will never regret it. The book has been a life saver for many.
Connecting to God, Krishna
Attentive and mindful prayers and chanting of God’s Holy Names, especially
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
This sixteen words mantra can instantly help the soul feel loved.
Hearing scriptures and especially if these activities are performed in the early hours, connection to God is easy and pleasurable.
For this to work, know and feel a connection deeper than what Face Book or your smart phone would promise. Stephen Hawking quipped, “We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain”. Release all hang ups for the time being, and enter a world within that’s deeper than the mind and ego.
Prayers and meditation helps us go within and connect to ourselves. That’s when we realize we are actually connected to the universe and also to all living beings. Advanced Bhakti Yoga practitioners realize we all are children of the same one God.
Connecting to others
We are social animals and since we live in an interdependent society, we do need each other for our physical and emotional well-being. And to sustain healthy relationships, we need to connect to them.
Next time while talking to your spouse, keep your whatsapp aside, switch off the mobile phone and throw away the newspaper. Just be there and try to connect to her/his feelings and needs. This sincere attempt releases a gush of positive energy. You may surprisingly discover that sharing a loving silence with your partner often has far more power to heal and connect than the most well-intentioned words. Each person has a child within seeking approval and love. If we chose to give the approval and love to others first- having already sought ours through connecting to self and God- we stand a good chance of receiving it abundantly from them. The world after all is an echo; what we give, comes back to us.
Life essentially is a journey of connection- connection to self, others and God.
To the extent we harmonize these three identities we stand a good chance of leading a wholesome, happy and a fulfilling life.