If you find yourself stuck for inspiration or down in the dharma doldrums then I believe I have the place for you. It’ll take a few days of fairly hard walking to get there and will involve some level of discomfort but, trust me, it will be more than worth it.
Foreword: I have put my shoulder to the wheel of the Dharma and nudged it round a fraction more. A week in near silence as a respite from India was just the tonic. But it was not all silence.
There comes a time on almost every extended trip when one finally loses the desire – hopefully temporarily – to get back in the ring. You have been under the cosh a little too long and things that you once thrilled to now have a grey and grimy lustre to them.
We left Anandwan over a fortnight ago and now, with time and distance under our belts, it is time to reflect on the time there and our transition back into everyday India.
The circumstances we sometimes find ourselves in can be bizarre. I never could have imagined that one day I would wake up and think ‘I’m looking forward to going to an Old People’s Home to massage the leprosy afflicted residents’. But nonetheless today was that day, my third on the job.
My lake-side seat has become my favourite place to sit at Somnath. Every morning after breakfast I head to the concrete plinth beneath a Mimosa tree and assume a position of dedicated intent; buttocks and feet are planted to establish a tripod and then I survey the scene (I am more of an eyes-wide-open meditator).
I might have neglected to say that I’ve brought my father along on this trip. Not the full blown article I hasten to add which would be rather difficult as he’s been dead for over 10-years.
I used to think that I knew how to sit quietly with myself. Now I know how wrong that assumption was. Continual distractions would arrive via my senses, an itch here or a sound there, and bounce me off the path.