Kauai’s Hindu Monestary http://www.himalayanacademy.com
On September 23rd, on the day of the New Moon, the day my partner and I would be hearing our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, one day after my 1 year anniversary of living on Kauai, I went to the local Hindu temple, and I was handed a particularly interesting lesson on various kinds of poisons: namely criticism and silence and how they pertain to EVERYTHING.
I wrote out and burned some concerns in a giant stone chalice that stood just outside the temple doors. As the paper was nearly ash, I heard a voice “burn all your desire for vindictiveness.” The voice was referring to a feeling I had had that morning towards someone I didn’t like. I didn’t think it was vindictive. But at the core, the feeling was ugly. I breathed and surrendered the thought.
The paper turned to ash and my friends and I walked into the temple.
Not only was the setting just gorgeous, the attending monk wonderful, but the statues – beloved and enthroned in beautiful Hawaiian flowers – stood as if alive.
For the first 5-8 minutes, I just sat there and cried.
Quietly, but snottily, tearfully and wipe-your-face-with-the-whole-sleeve-intensely, shaking and getting my sarongs super duper soppy.
I cried for all the difficult things I’d encountered the last few months – massive business changes, the pregnancy that had turned my mind into a pinball machine, colleague changes, mentor changes, family being far, missing the familiar, a relationship that had been challenging and expanding me, us moving, me writing a book that just threw me curve ball after curve ball, and on and on… and on.
You know how it can be sometimes – when it rains…
I breathed, asked for hep from my beloved Ganesha, remover of obstacles – a God I had loved as a teen before I knew who he was. And clear as day, he came, and I felt loved and supported.
About 40 minutes into my soul-full journey, my leg fell asleep. This normally happens when I meditate, and now a bit more often as my body moves bones around to make room for the monkey within, so I moved it slightly, by angling it out, away from my body by about 30 degrees and opened my eyes.
Then, from my left, I heard:
“Ma’am it’s really rude to point your feet towards God like that.”
She was wearing a blue sari with gorgeous violet flowers rimming the ends, but her face was angry, like ANGRY, like “you’re in a temple, why are you so angry?” angry.
Oh, she must be an attendant here, or something. I better be nice, I thought. But it took me a moment to understand what she was saying. I had just gone in and out of a really deep meditation, and nothing I saw or felt in that space was unpure.
I quietly tucked my foot back in out of respect, but something just didn’t feel right. Should I tell her I’m pregnant? No. This is not a war of new privileges.
Normally, I would have said nothing. After all, it was a holy place. But maybe precisely BECAUSE it was a holy place that had moved me SO much in such a short time, I found it necessary to speak up. After all, it wasn’t WHAT she said, it was HOW she said it, with what venom, with what rage…
So I let a beat pass and turned back to her. “You really shouldn’t look at people like that.” I was referring to the entire package – the whole thing, her body posture, her face, and I was silmutaneously sending her love, as much as I could muster, because her face bore the expression of Medusa. It was shockingly angry and hateful.
“It’s true.” I said. “You look very mean.”
She held my look but finally turned away, and we sat as one energy for quite some time. I knew she felt me. I certainly felt her – enraged I dared talk back, enraged that I didn’t address the validity of her – I’m sure accurate – point but rather the contents of her heart.
“She’s probably the most important attendant here.” I said to my friend upon leaving. “Why are there always those rude temple people?”
“Oh no!” My friend said. “She’s not. She’s just converted to Hinduism. She’s mean to everyone, trying to exert her control where she can. No one takes her seriously.”
Of course. That made sense.
When we aren’t taken seriously, when we have very little power in our lives, we may tend to play the petty tyrant role where we can.
It’s all we think we have left. It’s all the ego can do to rake in whatever sense of control it can.
I folded a prayer paper and left it in the temple – one for me “Please help us find the perfect home.” And one for her – “May she see that Siva is barefooted and that he loves us all just as we are.”
But as I was driving away, I realized the teaching.
Not only was the venom she spewed on me the same venom I silently spewed on the person I didn’t think of well earlier that day, and it was ugly, but I realized that being honest, speaking for what we stand for, is one of the most important things we possess.
That’s the opened 5th chakra – the throat. The part of us that is capable and willing to speak our truth without harming another. It is the pacifist, loving honesty one can deliver and make a world of difference with.
I hope my partner in venom-mastery had gotten it. I sure did, and I’m grateful to her for it, but as I’ve been recreating, reassessing and getting really honest with myself about what I do (with work), what I don’t do and what I’m capable of doing that I simply haven’t opened my mouth about, maybe ever, publicly, I’m clear that I’m ready to speak my truth out loud, gently.
This is one of the reasons I opened enrollment to my Embody Your Dreams Coaching program. This is something I have done for many years, privately. And now it’s time to speak out loud about it all.
The world needs our voices. The world needs all of us, as we are unique and can offer our very specific, very special sauce to the world that needs out love and help.
So here’s to the New Moon! Sow your seeds and love yourselves, and say what you need to say. The world will – ultimately – be thankful.[blog_optin]