It seems appropriate that my first blog post is written while on pilgrimage in India. Now, having left all that was familiar in America, I sincerely feel fearless in my desire to express my joy freely to those who might seek to commune with me while I am on this journey, as well inspire those who would like to do something like this to join me.
You see, I am literally ‘on assignment’ here in the holy land of yogi saints and mystic wandering sadhus.
You could say, I am a correspondent for the Evolution Times, an underground divine publication that is sponsored by forces far greater than me. I somehow got the assignment when the yoga temple (Modern Mystic Yoga Academy) I had opened in Tucson, Az 1 year ago, had to close suddenly after only 10 months of existence at that location. This meant I was free to let the physical location of MMYA go and let it be an offering to the community, a sand mandala that however beautiful as a physical portal it was, needed to be blown away in that form to provide the reminder of impermanence and to set me free to take this yatra (pilgrimage) myself.
In considering my reasons for pilgrimage here, I’m often brought to tears of in-depth gratitude to be in the land where everything that I’ve ever studied and treasured originated from. The ideas that molded my worldview as young person and only deepened over years of contemplation and hard-won life experience are alive and also ancient in their abiding presence here. It’s been like entering a realm of rarefied atmosphere, where certain levels of understanding need not be debated or proved. For example, the consciousness around certain yogi towns where no meat or alcohol are sold or consumed is a precious support to cultivating peaceful states of mind. But even the painful and sad impressions of wounded beings (human and animal) that I have witnessed here have served to awaken my sensitive heart to greater levels of compassion and bodhichitta. My soul finds a deep rest that is hard to articulate, but I can say it’s a long overdue respite for this weary, and at times wayward stranger. It's a rebirth, a connection to the sweet innocence of my early stirrings to be vegetarian in a primarily meat eating culture, and to be non-violent no matter what. India is now mothering that innocent sensitivity and desire to cultivate unconditional love for all beings, allowing me to surrender to her teachings coming in every possible form imaginable, even in certain smells
From my early childhood I was exposed to the Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads, and more contemporary Indian thought such as Osho, thanks to my father. A snapshot of our living room at that time would include tantric accoutrements in the form of human skulls and daggers in glass cases that were collected by my Guru Father and even a dog named Zen, for a short time. I was given a chillum for Christmas one year from my dad, who I think was trying to let me know that he was hip to my activities and understood what it was to be a teenager. I protested, trying to hide my fondness for ingesting mind-altering substances like marijuana that I later learned Sadhus use to invoke Shiva. It came natural to me, but I had no idea that there might be a culture full of beings who embraced these various methods to evolve.
I received teachings on the nature of reality constantly from my parents. For example, once I complained to my dad, after being teased at school and coming home very distraught, and his advice was simply, “You must wear this life like a loose garment, my dear.” To a child in tears and wanting her family to back her up, this was disappointing to hear. Although in hindsight, I rejoice in the wisdom I was fortunate enough to be exposed to early on.
As a soul who’s incarnation is to be a spiritual aspirant in this life, it appears so obvious to me now that I indeed had hit the jackpot with this birth in our humble home in the Pacific NW.
From the precious Buddha’s simple yet profound initial pointings, to the systematized steps to Enlightenment as laid out in the Mahayana tradition, from rebellious thinkers like Krishnamurti and more traditional yogi guides, and those pointing us to return to the Self like Sri Ramana Maharishi, almost everything I’ve been deeply impressed by and had the discipline to practice or explore in depth, comes from Mother India or in nearby Tibet.
So, to set foot with this body, on this soil is indeed an initiation while, simultaneously a homecoming.
To be in a land where spiritual life is not just a theory and masters really do exist is something that my little girl dreams always sought and wished were true.
I can say now, with clear eyes and a bright heart pounding to a new tune that it is true.
Magic carpet rides are real and there are powers beyond our wildest dreams that are being actualized in beings anonymously.
At this point, I am not sure what else to say.
Speechless is a good place to be. Maybe not for the linear western mind, but if the only words I uttered now and from now on were thank you, thank you, thank you, it would be enough.
Thank you to all the teachers, teachings, no matter how challenging.
Thank you India for continuing to hold the space for global awakening and maintain the ancient wisdom teachings.
Thank you for welcoming me into your borders, as your ‘American’ pilgrim sister or most simply, your devoted daughter.
And as Rampuri says in Autobiography of a Sadhu:
"Magic happens anywhere worlds meet. This includes airports, crossroads, the seashore, graveyards, hospitals, and temples, but the places where the ordinary world meets the Extraordinary World require pilgrimage, either internal or external. The act of making a pilgrimage is that of suspending oneself between worlds. Those locations to which one makes a pilgrimage are called tirthas, crossing over places, and standing on those intersections, one may be in both worlds at the same time. Tirthas mark hidden entrances to the Extraordinary world. They reflect the inner journey onto the external world and reflect the heavens onto the Earth. Those who go on a pilgrimage become like babas for that period.”
If you are interested in joining me on pilgrimage please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow us on FB or Instagram or check our website for upcoming tours that might be appropriate and destined for you.
with love from India,
your misfit mystic
tamara lee ~*~