From restlessness to restfulness, the journey of a reunion with the self

From restlessness to restfulness, the journey of a reunion with the self

For a very long time now I was what they call as a wanderer and seeker. Someone who was filled to the brim with questions & doubts about myself, my reality & the endless desires of my heart, which most of the times would entangle my heart’s strings each time I tried to understand what it wants. In the summer of 2017, I finished my masters from NIFT Mumbai. Having realized that I was not mentally & emotionally ready to jump into the next phase of my life & seek a job. I decided to take some time off & travel all by myself. Why travel, well because I have always found myself at peace with my own thoughts whenever I’m on the move and I just wanted time in life to simple live while I figured some things in my heart, mind, and soul and understand what they were trying to tell me.

This was a year ago. In all those months I tried to do some soul searching wherever my life was taking me. I trusted & had faith in it to lead me to a place where I am supposed to end up at eventually. A place that will help me gain clarity about all that was troubling me. I adopted the philosophy where I would learn how to embrace whatever life was throwing at me & try to see the lesson it was trying to teach me about life. You could say I was blindly following my heart and following on the path it showed me, irrespective of how foolish, impractical & unwise doing that seemed to everyone around me. I became the very flow of the river called life, that knew nothing besides simply flowing.

Meanwhile, I had been trying really hard to get into meditation. I thought it would help me calm my thoughts, rest my restless mind & help me find peace. But wherever I went, I tried to start meditating and each time I would fail & be unsuccessful at adopting it in my life. Be it applying for the 10 days Vipassana in Leh but never getting to attend it or trying to find salvation by the Ghats of Banaras & failing or considering trying out meditation amidst the hippies of Arambol in Goa. I tried it all. But was unable to experience meditation. Then in March 2018, I happened to be traveling to Uttarakhand for a period of one month and it changed my entire life.

Earlier I used to live life & do things with an open mind but that has now changed to me doing things with no mind, all thanks to a conversation I had on my way to the Himalayan Ashram in Satkhol. I seldom make any plans or an itinerary before traveling to a new place. I instead prefer reaching & trying to understand the place, its people & see what it has to offer me in terms of new experience & places to see. It was exactly this attitude that made my path cross with brother Pranjal, an abhiyasi of Sahaj Marg also known as Heartfulness Meditation, who happened to be part of the organising team of volunteers for the Friend’s & Family program held at the Satkhol Himalayan Ashram which is a three day meditation retreat for new people to come experience & learn to meditate on the heart. Though I was told that getting an entry at the last minute is next to impossible as there is usually a waiting list for over a year just to get in that ashram but somehow I ended up getting a spot as a volunteer cum new abhiyasi in the programme at the last minute. I would call this as a significant coincidence because when things are meant to happen they will cross your path and all you have to do is recognize it for what it truly is & do all you can to grab it & embrace it. That is what I did.

Forest walks & learning how to relax

The whole experience of living in the ashram in a small village called Satkhol that translates as, the opening of the truth in English, was almost transcendental for me. From the moment I finished my first sitting & Masterclass with Daaji, I got to experience a small glimpse into that which I had been seeking all this while. I immediately took a liking towards the practice of meditating on the heart. Over the next few days I got to spend my time doing things that I had never done before as a solo traveller, i.e. travel/explore with a very big & diverse group of people. Everything right from waking up at the crack of dawn to listening to the all the beautiful bird sounds, practicing yoga, meditating, exploring the ashram, enjoying the long forest walks to doing interactive & experience sharing activities amidst the peace & tranquility of nature taught me something new or helped me look at old things/thoughts in a new light. Before meeting my fellow abhiyasi(s) or the seekers of the self, I used to think that I won’t find people who will understand me, now i feel how foolish I was for thinking like that.

In my life I have often been tagged as a rebel without a cause & an extremist of all kinds by people around me, but after heartfulness I realised how its always best to learn how to balance the two extremes of everything in life because only once we aim at achieving harmony & stability in our heart & mind can we even think of getting rid of the restlessness in our soul that knows nothing but to wander, in search of answers to its questions. After a very long time in my life, I learned how to pray again as I realized that my work here is not to question or doubt or be angry. Instead, my work is to simply surrender my self to my heart completely & in doing so I would not just be submitting to its will but would even be submitting to my ego & my old ways in order to give way to the new me.

With the help of heartfulness meditation, I got to experience & learn how to reconnect with my self and how to get rid of all the doubts & restlessness inside me. I learned the importance of balance in life. I realized how I had been wandering everywhere trying to look for answers in people around me or in every place I traveled to, without realizing that all this while all I had to do to get those answers was to simply just close my eyes, look inside and see what my heart had to say to me. After just three days of heartfulness meditation, I was able to feel my life changing for the greater good of my existence. I learnt how the feeling of completeness within can be experienced with just your self. How loneliness was different from solitude. He who seeks the answers of his restless soul in anything & everything besides him is clouded with loneliness, whereas he who seeks for those very things inside of him is blessed with solitude. I was able to understand that humans should be able to see themselves & things around them for as they are and not for what they want it to be. I learnt how each one of us has equal amount of darkness and light inside of us and how it shapes our lives depends on our ability to choose either of them. I chose to see the light inside me and I chose to see the things it showed me in the mirror of my heart. Once i was able to see, accept & surrender to all that i discovered inside of me it felt as if after a long journey with it’s ups and downs I had somehow arrived at a place where it felt as if I was always meant to reach from the very beginning of my journey. As if all the events of my life that I had experienced in my 23 years of existence before the F&F program, all happened with the sole purpose of bringing me to Satkhol & introducing me to heartfulness and thus bringing me from the state of restlessness over to the state of restfulness that went on to become the journey of my reunion with the self.

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