Rishikesh has done her work. She has helped me let go of the story of the fire. And that’s all it is really, a story. The facts are: there was a fire 10 flights below me; it filled the hotel with smoke; the fire was extinguished; no one was hurt.
All the drama was created by me.
With a few days perspective and time spent on the banks of the powerful and healing Ganges, I know now that it was an event. I can assign any emotion or belief to it. Or none at all.
Now I can get on with the business of being present.
Coming to Rishikesh is like coming home. A dirty, busy, loud home. But it’s more that the surface of it. It’s a cheesy soul connection. I don’t know what else to call it. I know this place on a level that defies reason. I have friends here now, places I like to visit, favorite restaurants. I have energy here I don’t have at home, even in the same hot temperatures.
Here, my reactions are obvious.
What is my reaction when I see a body being burned in a pile of sticks next the water where people are ceremoniously bathing? What do I feel about the little girl or boy who runs up to me hopeful every single day, sometimes twice in one day, asking me to buy a flower blessing boat? How about the chanting at all hours, the homeless dogs barking, the incessant horn honking during daylight hours or the spicy chai?
My reactions vary from day to day, moment to moment. But they are right in front of me and I can work on them.
I think this is one reason I try to compare things to home. First for comfort, ‘Oh this is just like…’ But maybe more beneficially so I can work something out, ‘I react this way when this happens which is a lot like that at home.’
If I can link my reaction to the unrelenting horn honking here with the non-stop talking of a friend at home perhaps I will gain some insight into why I react the way I do and then I can work with it.
My button, my problem.
When I am present completely, there is no reaction, maybe curiosity or contentment. Even amidst all these seemingly negative things there is beauty. There is peace. There is a history so rich that it is not for me to try to change it or even understand it. It is here to teach me acceptance. Without judgment.
True here. True at home. Cultivate more presence.
Thanks Rishikesh, I knew you could help.