I was just now standing in the kitchen waiting for the morning coffee to brew and noticed the sunrise through the window. I normally don’t wait for it. Usually, I start the coffee and tend to other things and listen for the gurgling of the moka when it is ready. But this morning is different. Something about the morning sun, the birdsong, and the cool spring-like air captivated me for a moment. I just stopped to take it all in. In order to really be there for experiences and moments such as these, and life is full of such moments, requires that we be fully present for them.
I know from many years of experience, the feeling of being out on a Saturday night and then missing out on the next morning because I was too hung over and tired and wallowing in my disappointment and self-loathing and regret. I think there are people who had it a lot worse. I mean, I was never out of control with it, never hit “rock bottom”, but I saw the pattern of addictive behavior and alcoholism probably going back many many generations and at some point decided that it wasn’t worth it.
It becomes a lifestyle choice. I want to be there and fully present for life as much as possible. And that includes the sunrises and the joy and the birdsong. But yes, it also includes the suffering, the heartbreaks, the sadness, the fear, the anger, the grief, the loneliness. I want to feel it all. There are great teachings in the difficult things we experience and if we are anesthetized by our addictions, in whatever form they take, we miss these opportunites.
We can’t have it both ways.
This moment I had in the kitchen with the sun and the birdsong and the coffee about to brew, encapsulated for me what Easter is about, resurrection, new beginnings, transformation. That is just an interpretation and we all have our own similar experiences. I am not a practicing Christian, but I am a student of all faiths. Lately, I feel more connected to Buddhism, Bhakti Yoga, and Christian Mysticism. But it’s all the same in the end.
Last night I went to a 3 hour Hanuman Chalise. We did kirtan and chanted and sang the Chalise together with some amazing musicians . The connection and energy was profound. Chanting this chalise, they say, helps you to find the power inside which we all have but which we can lose along the way in life from time to time. They also say that chanting the chalise can change your destiny.
There’s a new documentary about the power of mantra which has just premiered in the States and has already won some awards. Some of it was filmed here in Barcelona. Below at the link you can see the trailer. Mantra chanting helps me to heal inside and connect with my essence and the Divine, the source which is the same source that runs through and connects everything and everyone, including you and me.
As Ram Dass says, “I am loving awareness”. But in order to be connected to that awareness we must be clear and rested with a calm nervous system and well fed and quiet inside.
Will you join me in remaining alcohol- free?
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Painting in the post
“Plaça Urquinaona, Barcelona“, 2018, oil on wood panel, 12x15cm
Find more of Robert’s art work on his website Here