Journey into the Yond | Dhamma Sota
First ray of pure white light from the amber sky, the sun rose behind the pagoda (Buddhist structure to meditate) through many bougainvilleas, Ashoka and Champa trees. 6 am in the morning, walking from my residence towards the dhamma hall, I hear a flock of peacocks and peahens, squirrels, and lapwings chattering indicating a new day.
The thought that they were going to be my companions for the next 11 days made me quite happy. It was the month when days and nights are equally long, when cold nights welcome warmer days. Somewhere between Punjab and Haryana, Dhamma Sota, a vipassana meditation centre made on a farmland offers an experience of the art of living. Away from digitalisation, the technique observes noble silence throughout the 11-day detox.
Even the awareness of time during the day was indicated by the sound of birds, light falling on trees or the distant sound of namaz (Islamic prayer) from an adjacent mosque. During the meditation called Goenka, our teacher repeated the words observe, patient and persistent. Watching nature closely, its diversity, its simplicity, its flow, I wondered what is dhamma? The law of nature, of impermanence. The energy you create seeds and manifests itself. Lying in my room after the meditation, I look out of the window and catch sight of a barren and a blooming tree standing next to each other. Hearing a rural song from a distant farm I slowly dove into a sweet afternoon nap.
Evening breeze through hustling trees with a slight drizzle made the bells on top of the pagoda ring. Walking towards a wild berry tree, the touch of grass beneath was like a soothing balm on my wounds. An energy of air, earth and water flow through me lighting a warm fire inside. Soon, it was 'Amrit vela', the time of sweet nectar, when the indigos are melting in burnt sienna. I knew there has been another evening like this, where water wanted fire, blues wanted rubies and met at a periphery. After the evening discourse, the sky blanketed all the colours in its charcoal Swarovski studded shield, only to be lit again next morning. I dreamt:
The bud had bloomed.
I took a walk of joy.
My body soaking in more sun.
I looked up, the sky was smiling at me.
Each pore of my body was opening.
The wind played with my hair and cotton of my skirt.
Hearing peacocks and water ripples,
I walked out smiling heading towards the room of all the energy and bliss.
The trees were greener.
Flowers and birds sang for me.
I sat in silence, reaching the glorious white room inside me.
There was a pond in my oasis, in the tropical paradise,
I was experiencing the magic of coming closer to the divine.
10 days of observing and taking a journey inside had opened a new path. The concluding day had come, while driving back to the city. I noticed the blooming semur and babul trees adding rouge to the landscape. Slowly back to reality or rather an illusion, I overhear someone quote 'Sab Moh Maya Hai,’ which means: all attachment is an illusion. What did I learn? Maybe Sukr and Sabr, gratitude and patience.
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