Monday, August 10, 2009

Releasing My Inner Child

I do not write much about the events involving the spiritual journey I embarked on years ago; in fact, I might have subconsciously chosen to leave them out because they tend to cause either a subtle or overt feeling of creepiness in some people (depending on the person of course), and because spirituality means different things to different people. For Gayle and me, the basics are comprised of meditation, energy work through Yoga and Qi Gong, and being in nature as much as possible.

Over the weekend, I participated in one of the four free meditations set up by the Sri Chinmoy Centre. A three-hour session focused on "heart center" meditation that took place at The Children's Aid Society in the West Village. The whole set-up was quite impressive: extensive meditation, philosophy, free vegetarian lunch for the morning session, snacks for the afternoon session, a free booklet and a free concert.

The meditation seminar was given by a Canadian, and fellow student of Sri Chinmoy. A lively fellow who not only imparted meditation techniques, but also some philosophy regrading this life and the afterlife. According to Chinmoy (and coincidentally many others), three of the immediate planes that exist are the physical plane (which we are all inhabiting now), the astral plane (the emotional plane accessed upon death) and the causal plane (more of an intellectual plane where there is more bliss than the astral). After we have essentially learned all we are to learn in this lifetime, death will occur and our level of enlightenment will be evaluated. Did you learn not to defalcate? Not to lie? Fill up the Brita pitcher? Depending on your status, you may have to face deportation back to earth to relive more of the same crap just so you can get to some of the other life lessons you failed to learn in your previous life.

To put this into perspective, the Dalai Lama has come out saying that he does not consider himself fully realized because he has gotten so involved with the politics surrounding his people.

Yeah, the Dalai Lama.

Surprisingly, it was during the free concert when I ran into some spiritual trouble myself. You see, as if the day was not glorious enough, the Sri Chinmoy Centre coordinated a group of ladies (dressed in saris), to come on stage before our concluding meditation to sing to us. And by sing I mean a cappella, in a high pitched voice and in a different language. For the first three minutes I was in awe of the harmonies, and enjoyed the transcendental moment the concert was providing. By the fifth minute however, this was no longer the case, as I noticed some kind of ineluctable chuckle gurgling in the pit of my belly. A kind of happy heave dying to get out. What is it? I thought. What is so freaking funny about this Amanda? I couldn't decide. Caucasian women wearing saris? Not likely. The high pitched noise? Maybe. The singing in something resembling tongue? Perhaps. By now, I was laughing through my eyes and nose and trying desperately to hold it back. But failing, as my fifth grade inner boy Kurt* was completely channeled and letting loose.

Shit, I am totally coming back.

*The naming of my inner child was a complete toss-up. Kurt was a boy from elementary school I once knew. Together, we used to speak in bizarre alien voices while doing little skits with his pencil box (um, yay). Marc is a boy I once knew in high school. Together, we crank-called a radio station and sought confirmation for a rumor we had suddenly concocted. Johnny O, the Latin singer of yore, was taking questions, so we thought we would ask him if it was true that he was in the studio collaborating on a song with Joey Lawrence (of Blossom fame). Turns out: no. In the end, Kurt won out.

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