In the fall, I
picked up a book off the library shelf in the main farmhouse. It was by
Steiner, and had the intriguing title, How
to Know Higher Worlds. I was
instantly struck by the resonance between Steiner’s writings and Easwaran’s
eight-point program. It was affirming to find this insight in new places.
Steiner’s verbose and scientific style (some of his writings are very dense)
helped me appreciate Easwaran’s simplicity and grace in describing the
spiritual path. Though I didn’t begin meditating very regularly at that point, I
became much more confidant that Easwaran was my true teacher. Here was another
tap on the shoulder! However, it took a period of intense loneliness and doubt
to solidify my dedication to the eight-point program.
Skip ahead two
years to the fall of 2013. I just finished a year as an assistant in a Waldorf
kindergarten and had a year of early childhood teacher training under my belt.
It sounded lovely on paper, but I was lonely and had even begun to doubt
whether teaching kindergarten was the vocation for me. I was wiped out. Far
away from most of my friends and family, I was ready to go home.
I did! I went home, applied for a few jobs in town, didn’t get them, and
settled into a life of hopeful internet surfing, BBC period drama, and
dejection. In other words, I was just skimming the horizon of a black hole of
despair. I was a little lost, and definitely confused. Even now that I was
home, it took a little while to regroup. For the most part, I felt useless and
ungrounded. And my senses were definitely riding over me roughshod! Over and
over I thought: What should I do? Where are my talents needed? Why doesn’t my
dream job just email me??
And then, it
Not quite the
one I was thinking of, but Krishna, in his great wisdom and love of surprise,
knew best. I received an email from a friend I knew from family program days
attending a young adult retreat wondering if I would be interested too! It took
a little while to convince myself that this was the right thing to do, but I
did go. And it was marvelous. I knew it the instant 60-degree air hit my face,
and Minnesota in November blew out with the fog over the ocean. As we drove in
to Tomales, I thought of the passage “Grieve Not”:
“After much wandering, I am come home
Where turns not the wheel of time and change
And my emperor rules without a second or third
In Abadan, filled with love and wisdom.”
I still struggle with the daily ritual of getting out of bed and meditating. Some days, it is so hard to remove limbs from warm covers. I remember the advice of one November retreat member, to do everything immediately!! If it doesn’t always get me out of bed on the dot, it at least cracks a smile. I have started reading a section from Easwaran’s book, The End of Sorrow, every morning before meditation. If the thought of ‘Immediately!’ doesn’t get me going, those sections usually do. They are so often tailored to my situation that I can’t help but think Easwaran is with me. Like a grandfather I took for granted, when I came back to him I was greeted with a treasure trove of writings. And I gain infinite comfort from the knowledge that other young adults around the world are striving to walk this path too. Here we are! Here we are! Planting seeds, tending the garden.