Monday, March 28, 2011

Bhakti in paradise

I'm in love. There is just no other way to describe how I feel about where I am and what I am living right now. Because I promised myself this trip would include time for writing in the formal sense, but I've been extremely content balancing my time between very actively soaking up every possible drop of the experience I'm immersed in, as well as mastering the art of sitting still and accomplishing the same goal very passively, I figured blogging is a good way to go. I'm in a constant satsang, translated from Sanskrit as good company or a spiritual gathering, at the highest level. I'm taking Jivamukti classes led by Sharon and David themselves, with Deva Premal on the mat nearby, having stimulating conversation about vedanta and life with Shyam Das over breakfast, joining in intimate kirtan sessions led by Deva, Mitten and Manose, and have I mentioned this is all taking place in an absolute paradise that time has forgotten in a way? I am part of a group from all around the world, each one with their own intriguing story to tell, love of yoga and the bhakti path uniting us.

Oh, and then there is the natural beauty that I could go on describing infinitely. The musky, slightly sticky smell of tropical forest meeting ocean shore. Flowers perfuming the morning air with their nectar. The smoothly worn rocks creating lovely little tidal pools to explore. The constant hum of cicadas, bird songs and the occasional bellow of a howler monkey. The night sky so dark with the moon so bright that everything is gently illuminated by its glow and the twinkling of the stars. The roll and roar of the surf as I become weightless and lose myself in the vastness of the ocean. The fact that I can walk a few minutes to a beach with no one on it but me and enjoy the divine pleasure of doing that in nothing but my flesh. . . amazing how a couple of patches of fabric can be so encumbering. More amazing still what it is to experience the total freedom and connection to Mother Earth that being in nature in the nude can bring.

Overwhelmingly, I've been in a bliss state. Even in the moments when my physical exhaustion was intense or an upwelling of emotion has brought forth tears, the bliss remains. I am in such an intimate and sacred space, and yet I feel so connected to everything and everyone, a true sense of the oneness that binds us all. Love, prem, shema, amor. . .call it what you want. The feeling is all- powerful and all-pervading. Love is what I feel, what I am. Bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion, is love. I cannot express how fortunate I feel to be experiencing it in this way, surrounded by such love-filled souls, with the music of love filling our days and the love of Mother Earth filling our senses.

As the blog title goes, happily now beats happily ever after, and I am undeniably, unequivocally happily now. Namaste, dear ones.

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