In My Meditation Today: I am grateful not just for the wonderfully miraculous things that life brings to me, the love, the babies, and the abundance but also for the fear, worry, and anxiety. Grateful for the miracles & the disasters, the joy & the sorrow, the hope & the despair. Grateful for the entirety of this miraculous thing called life.
The Sapta Shloki consists of seven verses from the Devi Mahatmyam, the Grand Story of the Divine Mother. Reciting these seven verses is considered equivalent to reciting the entire 700-verse scripture.
The third verse in this collection of seven is:
Sarva Mangala Maangalye
Shive Sarva Aartha Saadhike
Sharanye Tri-Ambike Gauri
I bow to the Goddess who is the goodness in all the good, the auspicious one;
To You who accomplishes every intent;
To You, The Refuge, The All-Knowing, Shining Gauri.
The English translation of the third verse in the Sapta Shloki does not explicitly give thanks. However, the last word in the verse is “ Nammosthuthe”, i.e., “I bow to you.” Together with the fact that it talks about Devi as being the goodness in all the good and the one who accomplishes every intent, this verse spells gratitude to me. So every morning when I get to this verse in my prayers, I pause and give thanks for everything that is going right in my life. Depending on the day and where my life is, finding something good to be grateful for is sometimes a breeze & at times requires a lot of effort.
So as I planned to write this post, I was sure it was going to be easy. That was until this morning. I woke up today and tried to write but nothing .. I could not muster up any sense of gratitude. I was not feeling inspired. I was feeling “blah.” I did not want to write about this.
The resistance to proceeding with the post was strong, and my mind was playing all of the tricks Steven Pressfield talks about in “War of Art” and some more. So, I put on my analyst hat.
“ What is it about today’s post that you do not want to face?”
“ I am worried that what I am writing is too esoteric”;
“ Nobody is reading what I write.”
( in which case, it really would not matter if it was too esoteric 🙂);
“Maybe they think I am crazy” – so maybe I should stop writing!”
A brilliant strategy to help me to find an excuse to stop writing and risking ridicule or even worse – indifference.
As I stared at the page trying to figure out what I should do next, the miraculous wisdom that somehow appears when you put pen to paper intervened, and I wrote,
“Isn’t the genius of the mind that is wanting to protect you from perceived insult and heartbreak something to be grateful for?”
Startled out of my “blahness” the words poured out.
Could I be grateful for waking up to blahness?
Could I feel grateful for waking up to this resistance?”
Well, what if the other option was not waking up at all???
That alternative made the “blah”, something to be very, very grateful for :).
As I continued to think about this, the sheer wonder and grace that life continually serves up were evident, and my body filled up with a sense of wonder, humility, and awe.
Remember the spiral I talked about in the Mahamaya blog post (https://freeingourselves.com/2016/01/18/mahamaya/)?
As you go down that spiral, the sheer necessities of living in a physical body intervene. Needing a drink of water, feeling hungry, or having to go to the bathroom interrupts, and you get a break – a small window of opportunity to stop the downward slide into your mental hell.
The morning after my mother died in a plane crash, I was in the shower, thinking, “How crazy is this? My mom has just died, and I am taking a shower, and nothing has changed about what that shower feels like!”
Today I know that having to continue to take care of the mundane needs of the physical body is the greatest blessing we have in our time of greatest crisis. The physical act of living provides a constant opportunity to bring us back from the anger, despair, and hopelessness we are mired in, into the present moment. It is a moment of grace. A moment fleeting in duration but unrelenting in its recurrence.
That is the message of this post that started with the blahness.
Be grateful for the “blah” because it represents aliveness.
Be grateful for the body because it unrelentingly brings you back to the present.
Be grateful for life in all of its messiness and its glory.
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