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A Gradual Shift
Cindy: Dear Ramji, I am going to see you in a few days and it will be five years since Isvara brought you into my life. Not a day goes by when I don’t thank Isvara for you, for your teaching, for your big-hearted humor and for the gift of Vedanta. I am so very, very full of gratitude.
Since I crawled onto the Vedanta bus five years ago, so much has (apparently) changed – not in a Big Bang kind of a way but in a gradual shift to a different perspective on life – slowly the ingrained tendency to identify with the jiva has been shifting to an effortless awareness of myself, less and less affected by circumstance, situation or gunas. Since meeting you I immersed myself in study, karma yoga and contemplation of the teaching with determination to move the fulcrum of my perception of life as this jiva to the unfaltering and steady knowledge of myself as the one without a second. Speaking as a jiva, I of course bump up against vasanas great and small that reveal where identification with the body mind is still stuck – a constant relentless parade of opportunities to mistake the unreal for the real! What fun life is!
The greatest of these challenges was the diagnosis of a chronic disorder which has turned out to be a great blessing from Isvara. It has made me look deeper into what it means to not identify with the body-mind – or to put it another way – to be so firmly rooted in the knowledge of myself that even this bodily stuff doesn’t rock my boat. At first, as the physical implications sank in I started to struggle again with emotions – a tamasic freak-out – what you might expect a samsari to experience in such a circumstance – and then it struck me that either I am the unchanging Self no matter what – or not.
A choice presented itself as to what to believe – actually it wasn’t a choice but a realization! I am unaffected, truly – nothing can affect me, ever. Since then, I have found myself settled into a place of peace and natural ease that is so wonderful, so quietly joyful, so – the only word I can find that describes it is “unaffected.” Of course I am making some lifestyle changes to try to keep the body going as best it can – that seems only logical to do. Strangely enough – it seems paradoxical to me – I feel “freed up” emotionally. My jiva feels like a puppy that has been let off the leash and is just jumping around, having a good time, rolling in dirt and being itself without a care. Life happens and it’s all okay.
I know that nothing can take this away and I am not dependent on anything. I am very much looking forward to listening to you again at Trout Lake. Such a treat!
Thank you, thank you.