We left the Children’s Home to return to our rental home in Sanur, Bali after the full moon ceremony. We were barely able to stumble into bed as it was after midnight. We woke up at 5 am feeling very uneasy. While we had a renewed appreciation for hot showers, air conditioning, and mattresses, we felt a longing for the simple life that we had come to know intimately living at the ashram.
The sun was already high in the sky by the time we arrived at the beach. Under a shady palm, we sat, silently, listening to the waves and watching the fisherman cast their nets. Inside, my heart was racing, and my mind was pulsing with doubts. “What now? I don’t know how to meditate. Are we vegetarian? Who are we after that experience?” And finally, the noise that was loud enough to dominate my consciousness was “WHERE IS THE TEACHER?”
Chanting … Really?
Each morning and evening, during classic yoga and meditation at the children’s home, the chant we practiced was translated from Sanskrit to mean, “Love is All There Is.” Somehow, in a protected environment, surrounded by a community of children and a mindful monk, spreading love seemed easy. Back in the “real world” as some people peddled their wares and others begged for coins, my mind flooded with e-mails piling up, meals that needed preparation, and deadlines to meet.
Starting Down New Paths
I didn’t break the physical silence. I sat alone with the noise in my head and tried to deliberately remember all we had come to know. I don’t know how much time passed when our kids started talking. They began to discuss vegetarian options at the Sanur Night Market. They started talking about what parts of the meditation and yoga they were each going to lead every day, and what times would work given our wandering lifestyle. As I became aware of what was happening, the momentum was palatable. I was careful not to interrupt them as they started drawing Karma Yoga charts in the sand. And then we began, we just started down this new path because our children had the courage to lead us …
Practicing the Simple Life is the Key
We feel as though we are just learning to walk and yet there is a sense that these simple, life changing practices, are things we have always known. We try not to label what we are doing or talk about them much, but rather we focus on practicing. Dada reminded us that a practice means that we have to do something enough for it to become ordinary and present, but that we are never done. What matters is to practice without judgement, extrinsic rewards, or praise.
We slip. We sometimes threaten bad karma when the dishes are not entirely clean. We find ourselves dealing out praise when the kids do well with their yoga practice. We oversleep some mornings and don’t feel like meditating and we often drool over the chicken satay cart at the market.
Setting Our Clocks
Every morning we set our clocks to the time that we know the kids are getting up in a remote corner of Indonesia to send the world the message. Every evening we set our clocks to the time that we know the kids are gathering before a meal to send the world a message.
Try it! Put Singaraja, Bali in your smart phone and know that at 5:00 am and 6:30 pm Balinese time, you can hear their sweet and powerful voices if you listen with intent. Love is all there is. Love is all there is. Love is all there is. There is no better practice in today’s world. The goal is not perfection but rather mastering the art of practice.
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