Taking a 15 hour bus journey from Kerala and rocking-up in Chennai on Saturday afternoon (the 1st of October), brought me back to a place so familiar. Instantly being in this huge city, with approximately 10 million people, felt so normal. Forgotten memories came flooding back, when I was sitting on the local bus, stuck in traffic, sweating bullets, cramped on a seat with a sweating mother and child and trying for my baggage and me, not to get in the way of the 30 other passengers. It was as if I’d never left…. The joys of city life!
When I was in China, the place I thought most about, when wishing to be in India, was Chennai. I wanted so desperately to return to the base I’d found when I was here last year. The base being at Jayanthis house. And here I am, being given the chance, once again, to be apart of their lives and apart of this city life, just for a short while. This step has made me realize just how easy and comfortable it’s gotten for me to be apart of peoples lives, even after time has passed. I rest easily, in places that aren’t native to me. I put my bags down, for however long we both feel it’s comfortable. And no matter how far I travel or where I may go or what challenges may occur along the way, there are always people I can turn to, those who I’ve met along the way, who I know will always be there in their place of residence. I happily let myself be absorbed in their lives and give all I can, in many different ways. And just as easily as I approach them for help, I easily accept their rejection, should my time of knocking not be the right one. And the only way to know if there’s comfort and ease on both sides, is by being honest. I figure, it’s all I can be, so as to maintain the balance in our friendship. And I can only hope that it’s happening right now, in my current situation.
So… for now, I’m placed in Chennai. It had been such an important place for me, during my trip last year. And I think it’s only normal for me to automatically witness the changes in myself just by being placed in the same place and a similar situation.
After the meditation course ended, I wondered how I’d see life. I wondered if there’d be any huge differences in me. And now in Chennai, I can notice the affects. The course really has opened my eyes. I see REALITY so REAL now… And Chennai is the perfect place to be confronted with the truth of India. Being here, and looking back on my China experience, I see that life can’t always be magical, amazing or ‘out of this world’. We can’t always be flying high on excitement. The amount of pressure a person is put under (which is self inflicted) when this ‘LIE’ (of always needing to be flying high on life or else a life is wasted) feels like such a TRUTH. BUT TRUTH BE KNOWN: it’s harmful to live life in such a way. We think that by seeking and moving towards amazement, we’re bound to be happy and successful in all that we do. But how can happiness and success come when we’re secretly forcing ourselves to be ecstatic in every single situation. When life isn’t like that?!
I see it so clearly now: when I was in China, India was magic. When I was Ireland, India was magic. When I was India last year, India was magic. And how is India now? India is… REAL. Yes it’s mystical, but it’s also harsh. It’s colourful, but it’s dirty. It can smell of jasmine flowers but of urine too. It’s full of warm hearted people, but of people who possess corrupted warped minds too.
Where has this come from? Well, during the 10 silent and secluded days - which could’ve taken place anywhere in the world - I got so in touch with the reality of ME: I saw light and dark together. And I happily saw that I’m no where near being a saint, just for the fact that I can easily be a devil. Good and bad are inside. And that’s so nice, real and true. After experiencing this truth so closely in my physical body, and coming out of meditation mode, it was only natural for me to be forced to see that same reality in the world around me; good and bad side by side.