I sit here, writing quietly from the corner of my room as fast as I can – before the baby wakes up! So many things that I do now include that urgency. Meditation, sadly, is one of those activities that I now plow through with an anticipation of interruption. It’s that restlessness that I write about this morning; that sense that I must rush through each moment in order to get anything accomplished. It’s been a real problem for my sadhanas and last night I hit bottom.
After coming home from the All Day Christmas meditation yesterday morning, I was feeling very down. I had spent what should have been a blissful hour and a half between nursing sessions, meditating with gurubais in one of the most uplifting activities of the year. The tradition of the Christmas 8 hour meditation began 82 years ago with my guru, Paramhansa Yogananda. He called it “Spiritual Christmas” and it is a truly blessed event.
I had been struggling with my meditations for months and was anticipating a reinvigorating experience at that mornings’ meditation. The combination of the heart-opening spirit of the holidays, paired with one hundred deep souls meditating together in one room – it would be impossible not to go deep, right?! Wrong. I sat there struggling; trying with all my might to focus my mind on God and, if not God, then at least on my meditation techniques. I mostly failed. Instead, whirling thoughts of the rest of the day, images of Tulsi waking to nurse and me not be there, meal planning for the upcoming week of holidays, all consumed me.
By the time I arrived home that morning, I was a wreck. But, as you can imagine, I had to shove those feelings and get down to the business of being mom. It wasn’t until bedtime that evening, that the disappointment in my meditation experiences resurfaced. The sadness in my heart grew so big that by the time I was preparing to sit for meditation, tears rolled down my cheeks. Why can’t I find peace in my heart? Why am I SO restless? How long will this drought of inspiration go on? I prayed to Master (Yogananda) to please help me.
As I prayed and cried, I felt my heart open for the first time in months. Sitting there, in the dark of my little meditation room, I found the experience I needed so desperately – peace. It was a beautiful reminder that life’s struggles are truly a blessing. Moments of despair that are directed upwards can lead to the most joyful experiences; anything that strengthens your resolve to find God is a gift. I am filled now with gratitude for the ups in this life and the downs.
May we all enjoy an uplifting “Spiritual Christmas” in our hearts this holiday season.