Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fall Reflections

Ah, such lovely days we have in the Fall, do we not? "Fall" -- it has a less than hopeful sound, doesn't it? "The Fall of Rome" .... "the Fall of mankind"  or "Legends of the Fall"

Are we perhaps more in tune with the season wherein we were born? Perhaps. But "my" season has always been the sweet melancholy of the Fall.

In my previous article I wrote about the importance and different forms of self-acceptance. What I didn't include was the common regret "Youth is wasted on the young"....."for if I only knew then what I know now......""" Like all regrets a waste of time; too few inspire fresh efforts and iron-willed resolutions to improve.

Ah, sweet regrets! Like memories they are a inexpensive indulgence but, like all such dips into unreality, they can leave us empty and merely sad.

Fall is not sad for me because the twinge of melancholy is but a reminder that only here and now lies the pearl of great price. What I seek is not a mental image, dredged from the past and refurbished to look better than it actually was: it is a dynamic, life-giving, life-loving embrace beginning at a point of singularity (me), and extending out or in as far as I can feel until all simply vanishes and I AM remains. Fall inspires in me the best and to see in the rest only their best.

You see, normally the seasons trigger but human moods. Each of them will tend to push our minds somewhere else. The intensity of summer activity keeps us at our periphery; the ever hopeful expectations of Spring keep us looking to the future; the dark night of winter inclines us to seek merriment and fellowship to keep the darkness at bay. And, yes, Fall invokes memories and nostalgia for the past.

It just so happens that Fall fits my "mood" like an comfortable old coat. It's not for everyone. Some prefer their cup of life full, active and dynamic; others, brimming with beauty and hope; others, are deep inside themselves, their thoughts unseen like an underground river.

I will further indulge myself by commenting on the fun fact that my grandson, Jay Matlock, was born on my birthday one year ago. At that very moment I and many of my dear friends, were meditating in front of the crypt where Yogananda's body is interred at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, CA. A buzzing text message stirred me from my meditations and my joy was such that I made an instant announcement! Was little Jay saying, "I'm back?"

A Fall reflective "type" cannot but wonder what that coincidence means for the two of us in our unfolding evolution as souls. No amount of reflection has revealed to me an image, whether past or future, from the dark, limpid pool of self-reflection. Yet I continue to marvel on the simple fact of it. I wish little Jay the best and quickest route to soul awakening and freedom, guided by the masters of Self-realization and the inspiration of many gurubhais (including his soul awakened parents). What help I may be to him in this way I cannot nor likely will ever know but I offer it when and how I can.

The waters beyond my window here at the Hermitage on Camano Island are a deep, pastel blue: not a ripple disturbs their quietude. Above them, the majestic volcanic peak of Mount Baker rises serene and undisturbed by human activity. The green of summer lingers in the evergreens as the deciduous trees begin their silent transformation to fire, flame and burnished gold.

A gentle jog into a nearby forest park played the scintillating light of a fading summer sun on my shoulders and onto the ferns and greens spread around me. My all but silent footfall felt like the angel of my soul's final destiny gently urging me along the path of life to the goal. The droplets of time are fading, hurry along now, don't tarry at the beaver pond to reminisce, or at the crude wooden bench in that magic, light-filled meadow.

Quoting one of my favorite affirmations written by my teacher, Swami Kriyananda, "be strong in yourself; complete in yourself; the joy of the universe awaits discovery in your inner being."

And to conclude with the nayaswami song I wrote a week or two after my ordination: "I am strong in my Self, I am free; complete in my Self, I seek Thee; in pleasure or pain, come loss or come gain; be praised or be blamed, I remain just the same; for nothing and no one is mine; for anger nor pride have I time. I seek God alone, only Thee; in Thy love and Thy joy I am free."

Joy to you,

Swami Hrimananda