Thursday, June 13, 2013

True Love

Today is my last day in India. There are so many people, places, memories, sounds, smells, and feelings that have been burned into my memory. There are so many thoughts that I have that I still have yet to process. There are so many experiences that I wish I could relive. I can't believe that I'm already going back to the states. We are back in Delhi now, so we have officially come full circle. I'd like to share an experience with you that happened a few days ago, though.

While in McLeod Ganj, Dr. Maher taught us how to meditate on a quiet spot amongst the Himalayas. At first, we meditated on out breath. Back straight, legs folded, and hands on my knees, I proceeded to follow my breath, which was my object of observation. This was a complete disaster. I have what Dr. Maher likes to call monkey mind. My mind jumps from one thought to another: "Wow I breathe slow... In, out... That cow needs to shut up... I like cows... I don't like the way they smell... There is a bug on my nose... I wonder what kind of bug it is... Josie needs to stop coughing... In, out... I wonder what everyone else is thinking about... Dr. Maher must be really good at meditating..." Unfortunately, that is really what was going on in my head. I kept trying to bring myself back to my object of observation, but there was so much going around me to focus on just one thing. After practicing basic meditation, we learned to meditate on an idea or emotio. As a group, we decided to meditate on love. We were told to feel love for our mother, then our family, then our closest friends, then acquaintances, then people we know, then people we dislike, then our mortal enemies. We were told to feel a passionate love, a love that indicates that we would die for the people we were thinking about. I really just wasn't feeling the love. Some of the students began crying when they felt this deep love for people in their lives, but I kind of just sat there. I know that I love my mother, among many others, but I couldn't find it in myself to recreate that feeling. I thought of everything that my family and friends have done for me, but the love still wasn't there. For the next two days, I kept telling myself that maybe I was incapable of feeling love. Maybe, just maybe, there was something screwed up inside of me that made my emotions weaker than others. I was wrong about that. At the Tong Len Hostel, I felt more love that I can say I've felt in my entire life. These random children were hugging me, kissing me, holding my hands, playing with me, dancing with me, asking me about my dreams, trying to get to know my family, and some even asking me to marry them (by the way, I got married for like the third time there). They were so happy regardless of their background. They embraced me like one of their own. The two days I spent at Tong Len were all it took for me to feel the love that Dr. Maher talked about during meditation. I could feel myself loving them, their stories, their personalities, and their innocent souls. I am determined to go back to the hostel someday and feel that love again. It was different that the love one has for their family or friends; it is a compassionate love for complete strangers.


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