Being There ~ Reflections of a Pilgrim
The process of going to Guruji's India with humility, surrender, and reverence is a soul-etching, life-changing experience. It can be a page-turner, karma-burner, a spiritual boost; an opportunity to clear the slate and begin again; a lifting of old veils; a deepening of the Guru-disciple relationship; it is always a consciousness expander.
India is different and for Westerners in particular, being on pilgrimage for an extended period in a land where the values and norms of day-to-day life are challenging, requires much in the way of flexibility and spiritual focus on Practicing the Presence. The following reflections on some aspects of "being there" are insights garnered as a result of spending several months each year in India on pilgrimage with groups of devotees over the past 20+ years.
Despite the challenges and differences, many Western devotees feel very much at home in India; due no doubt to having lived and loved God there in other incarnations. Still, the Western mentality of initiative, being in control, and personal ingrained habits of relative affluence can create personal challenges for the pilgrim. Before arrival in India, prior information, understanding, and the resolution of letting go and letting God are the elements of mental preparation that are helpful to diminishing the obstructive nature of these challenges and to receiving the wealth of blessings that otherwise await the pilgrim. Upon arrival, the key to going deep is to see India with the Heart and not with the head.
There are two popular adages about being in India: "You get from India what you bring to India." and "Being in India brings up your stuff to deal with." Both are invariably true; and both hold great opportunity for positive outcome if the devotee is willing to look for it.
The message is clear; a meaningful pilgrimage to India is like a meaningful meditation or retreat; there is a need to let go of the world, trustingly hold the Divine Hand, and go deep! Being in a small compatible group, escorted by one who understands these dynamics and can skillfully manage the day-to-day navigation with your spiritual focus in mind, gives a high degree of freedom for the devotee to immerse oneself in the joys and blessings of the epic life experience of a Quiet Heart Pilgrimage to India!
© Brenda Roberts 2021