Meet Arti, a YA living in Foster City, California. This week Arti shares how Easwaran's eight point program of passage meditation is improving her personal relationships
Anytime I asked my Mom about my baby years, she had only one story to tell me: that if someone came to visit us, I used to cry my heart out until he left! Imagine how embarrassing that would be for my parents! But has the situation improved? A bit I suppose… I don’t cry anymore!
I must have heard this story many, many times but it is only lately that it struck me that this could be an indication of a samskara (Sanskrit word meaning rigid habit) that still needs to be addressed. I still find myself uncomfortable around people. I can be a good host but most of the time the magic wears off after a few days.
When I started this practice, I noticed that I could understand the underlying samskara in other people’s behavior. But only after 9 years of practice can I now see the underlying samskara behind MY behavior. It is not a great feeling but it is a relief to be out of the blind area of Johari’s window at last!
Till a few months back I would have said, “People test my patience”. But now I can see that I have been dancing to the tunes of my self-will… somewhere that baby was still crying!
Easwaran’s wisdom in his words is boundless. His words are pragmatic and burst with meaning with experiential knowledge. I must have read these words many times, "The egocentric person is not only cut off from the mystical experience; he is also unable to enjoy the world." These words wouldn’t have made much sense to me had I not witnessed the play of my ego puppeteering my senses! I still don’t know how I understood it, but I know that it couldn’t be possible without practicing the eight points.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” - African proverb
The greatest benefit of this practice is not to be able to understand others, but to understand myself. It helped me relate to people’s behavior but I could really value its worth when I could see the reasons/ samskaras behind my own behavior. Slowly but steadily I could see myself following Easwaran’s words, "But from now onwards, by building our lives on meditation, we can learn to stand firm in situations where we used to crumble, stand loving and respectful when we used to get resentful, hostile, or vindictive."