The frangrance of meditation
In 2018, a request comes from ‘Viha Connections’ to write an article on gratitude
Many years ago, during the darkest period of my life, I started a “gratitude diary.” Until then, I had been suffering: My health was poor, my husband ignored me, and I was looking after three children with almost no money.
I intended to write down every day at least three things that I was grateful for.
The day I started, I almost failed. But, sitting calmly, I slowly perceived a glimmer of light in the inner distance. I recognized that my husband put the garbage out, realized that we actually had food for a few days, noticed my breathing. The next day discovering the things I was truly thankful for was eas- ier. On the third day, an overpowering sense of gratitude washed over me: The armor around my heart began to melt, and I started seeing things for the first time.
There were so many small and larger things: a flower in bloom, the trash that gets collected, the success of my oldest son’s harelip operation, my parents’ ability to live independently, my eyes that can see, and my ears that can hear.
The depression I had felt for years had not only lifted, it had gone! Initially I could hardly believe it, but from that moment on I have never had a single moment of feeling depressed, and every day I count my blessings.
Even when I had to close down my practice in 2014 because I was so unwell, I remained aware that a solu- tion would appear. And indeed, one morning I awoke hearing the inner voice that said, “Indra, you’re also going to leave this house.” That very same day I told my landlady I could no longer pay the rent and intended to leave as soon as possible. She, however, had a differ- ent idea: “Indra, you’ll stay here till the end of the year – for free.” I was flabbergasted: Three months in which to arrange my move and let the next steps present them- selves had just been given to me!
In the same period, I was able to take early retirement and receive essential financial support, while getting practical and emotional help to heal my body.
I feel so grateful to Existence for giving me precisely what I need to nourish my deeper self. Currently, I am gaining powerful insights and skills to deal with the cunning mind through The Work of Byron Katie. Above all, Osho is the prime mover in my life. His discourses are unbelievably topical and relevant. For two years now, my focus has been on Atisha’s Seven Points of Mind Training (The Book of Wisdom) – themes that fascinate me to the extent that I am translating the essence of these teachings into my own language (Dutch). This helps me imple- ment the teachings, and I feel a strong urge to present a course on this valu- able topic. I know I can share my deeper insights with enthusiasm and love with my fellow seekers.
These days I live as a privileged nomad. So much freedom and oh, what a gift:
I have space to meditate, to just be, to do volunteer work, to meet exciting, inspiring people, and to travel to places where I can grow and flower, like going to Italy this spring to do the Path of Love in Verona.
Besides, I am grateful for all those experiences and my increased state of awareness, trust, inner peace, health, children and grandchildren, and especially for the support of my beloved Kaiyum.
I know that Osho is still guiding my footsteps, teasing me to wake up and become more and more conscious of who I really am.
Every Moment Is a Stepping-Stone Atisha says: In the morning remember it is a new day, a new beginning. Have a decision deep in your heart that “Today I am not going to waste this opportunity. Enough is enough! Today I am going to be aware, today I am going to be alert, today I am going to devote as much energy as possible to the single cause, the cause of meditation. I will meditate in all my acts. I will do all the activities, the usual day-to-day activities, but with a new quality: I will bring the quality of awareness to them.” Welcome the new day. Feel grateful, happy that Existence still trusts in you; there is still a possibility, the transforma- tion can still happen. Start the day with a great decisiveness. And in the evening again feel gratitude that the day was given to you and feel gratitude for all that happened – good and bad both, happiness and unhappiness both, because they are all teachers. Everything is an opportunity. Taken rightly, every moment is a stepping-stone. The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 17
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