Well, I am super stoked for both the Ireland and Italy retreats in May. Being in both these countries working on details the last two weeks was as nurturing for me as the retreats themselves. Now it is time for a personal retreat after months of hard work.
I just arrived in India filled with anticipation for what draws me here and brings me inner peace and gratitude. It doesn't even make sense that one can find calm in a world of such extremes, but it happens. Although, I am reminded upon arrival of the things here that also disturb me deeply. The poverty, the caste system, the pollution...
Driving around Delhi with its inescapable display of poverty. Maimed adults in torn dirty clothes or young skinny children barely tall enough to look into your car, knocking on your window begging. The air pollution removes any possibility of seeing blue skies and with the ground pollution you could confuse homeless people for flocks of pigeons on the streets if it weren’t for colourful cloth. Then you’ll enter another neighborhood and encounter opulence of the highest degree. It makes your head spin.
This degree of poverty breaks my heart. I was lucky enough to have a driver who spoke perfect English and heartfully discussed many Indian cultural and social situations. We were able to get compassionately philosophical. He shared that tourism is down considerably with the unrest here at the moment due to the government’s lack of inclusivity of the Muslim community that is stirring riots.. to say the least.
We talked about bad days but not forgetting to mention the good days. In one way you may be lucky and, for certain, in another way unlucky. One day you may feel you have answers, and in another day you can’t even form a question. We live, we thrive, we die a hundred thousand times before our last breath, if we are lucky.
India doesn’t mask its magnificently colourful splendour, nor does it mask it’s suffering. Everywhere in the world, there is suffering. We all suffer in different ways, different depths and at different times. Physically, emotionally, financially, socially or spiritually. We mask it in the west as norm. Being in it here again, so in my face, filled my heart with such compassion. Not just for those afflicted by poverty but for all of our journeys, all our joys and challenges. I saw clearly that even these obvious differences are superficial. We are not different in our desire to know happiness. This for me is enough to drop any isolation, whether isolated by good fortune or bad fortune. It fills me with gratitude and benevolence for one another? I have met people with tremendous wealth and sunken empty eyes with the depth of their pain and I have met homeless, shoeless people with sparkling eyes and great smiles.
So here you can you imagine me, seeking balance in a world upside down, peace in a world of chaos, and love in a world of judgment.
From my heart space to yours, love is all there is.