The way I see it, I’m going to have to stay in India for at least 6 months in order to integrate the valuable lessons I’m learning. The most valuable lesson for me is how to detach from possessions. I like things– textiles, jewels, books, art. How do I enjoy these things without having to possess them? Turn to Source within.
I’m not saying that I shouldn’t have things. I am saying, though, that I have notoriously amassed beautiful objects to the detriment of my bank balance and to the detriment of my relationship to my Self. Living in the ashram is teaching me the value of appreciating beauty without buying. We have to process our own trash here! So you think twice about buying multiple plastic bottles when it’s your ass who has to burn them. You think twice about using all sorts of disposables when it is you who has to dispose of them. You realize that they aren’t disappearing into thin air but that they are going to landfills or as here, they are simply being left along the side of the road.
Understanding the chain of possessions is permeating my whole consciousness and making me want to change my lifestyle. The thing is, if I leave the ashram right now, I am going back to collecting stuff. How am I to visit Rajasthan and not buy jewelry and fabric? How do I visit a temple and not purchase statues and beads and rugs and cards and wall hangings and pillows from the bazaar and blankets and candles and incense and essential oils??! I’m in India, after all!! This is why I’m considering staying in my ashram for at least six months. I’m out of control and I need time to change my old habits and ideas. When I’m at the ashram and I start jonesing for a shopping spree, someone might humbly ask, “but why do you need it?” And then I remember that God/Goddess’ presence inside me is beauty enough. I remember what exists in me and I realize that I need nothing but that Inner Presence.
But that needs practicing, hence, my desire to stay here longer.