|A Full House|
|The many expression of Gurudev. (Will have to make the materialistic move to get the next range of camera, so these shots aren't grainy.)|
Orange robes, mantras, initiations are cultural, but not required. It is the internal path and what one does with it. No outward requirements in terms of accouterments. Each person has different needs in their motivation, path finding, single-pointedness, and execution. Even Synnasini does not need to be declared or acknowledged; just like a householder who can live mentally as a renunciate, no restrictions on beliefs. No harm in writing the Ramakrishna Order, but I can accomplish this one's life plan/manifestation of service without being in a group.
I will keep the room and when I brought up that I plan to come back, he didn't object. For me the room is symbolic of the Gurudev/India part of the path as an open gateway rather than a financial consideration. Yes, I can always stay in a hotel, but the pink, cement room has personality and it is SO CLOSE to the ashram.
Freedom in a body. Gurudev just keeps removing all of the points of separation that crop up from learning about the uniqueness of each religion and culture relative to spirituality. A lot less is floating in the soup and I can start to see how a thin, watery broth will be inevitable. When I joined Girl Scouts, I didn't have any badges on my sash, so the goal became the check marks in the manual/patches for meeting requirements in different areas of interest. In some ways, I was sensing that spiritual pageantry had sported a very, sophisticated hint of this--in some but not all. Yes, the ego still at work in so many clever ways.
|Full throttle after the retreat. The children's fair at the school too.|
He mentioned something about my heart capacity and ripeness on the spiritual path, so no restrictions... Not sure what that means, but it all feels like a garden growing under my feet. The seeds are planted and while continuing to live/meditate/read/work/exercise etc., I will wait and see what sprouts, examine the new growth, and decide how to proceed at that point--the enchanted garden.