Friday, November 30, 2007

The Ultimate Spiritual Teacher

November Full Moon

Ammachi, Mata Amritameshwari is in town. Her ashram only twenty five minutes away in Castro Valley. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to see this incredible saint/living goddess twice a year. Amma’s entire life has been of selfless service, of complete surrender to the divine. She has created countless humanitarian projects serving thousands of people. She has hugged-as her darshan- millions. She receives countless awards and presents talks on gender equality, spirituality, and unconditional love. She sits for 20 plus hours at a time hugging devotee after devotee and blessing them with the unconditional love of the divine mother. She is truly an exceptional being.

Five years ago I began seeing Amma and I have kept my vows to see her every time she visits her ashram the M.A. Center in Northen California-in June and November. Despite the sense of overload I have felt this past week and a deep desire to integrate all that has transpired in the last few weeks without any more outer input, I still felt there was one more ‘piece’ I needed to understand. There was something that I still did not quite ‘get’ about my spiritual journey and once again I found myself making a pilgrimage to a spiritual teacher.

As I was driving to the center I found myself weeping. Tears of sadness and frustration about the confusion around my spiritual beliefs that still remains. Tears of gratitude and relief to be going back to see Amma, who has nurtured me spiritually since my initial darshan with her five years ago. After all the intense Shakti I have been experiencing between Amma and Swami’s visit, the mystical experiences the Durga puja evoked, and the 7 months I spent in the underworld, it was deeply comforting to be going to see a “mother.”

When I went up for my darshan, Amma pulled me to her breasts. My friend C. and I had just been talking about the symbolism of breasts-nurturance, nourishment, abundance and our longing for the Mother, and here I was with my face nestled between Amma’s breasts! For a second I wondered if my head was supposed to be on her shoulder instead. But she held me tightly and I believed she had “heard” our conversation. She eventually guided my head to her shoulder for darshan and hugged me. I began to cry. Her hug called forth a somewhat lost and neglected part of myself that I immediately realized needed to be nurtured. It was almost shocking how obvious it is.

I do not need Amma Pratyangira or Swami, or Amma, or Nandu, or any of the wonderful teachers who have graced my life to lead me into my heart and soul and to confront and embrace the shadows and the light. I need to do this myself. And I am strong enough to do it alone. They all have been my guides, my mentors along with many other remarkable beings: Vicki Noble, Alice Walker, Kyle, my kula of Shakta and feminist sisters, Gypsy-- but the ultimate Spiritual Teacher is me. I am the one to lead me through the darkness, chaos, and disillusionment and to guide me toward decisions that are in my highest good. I will continue to turn to these sagacious beings for insight and guidance at times, but ultimately I must always remember that the Shakti that I seek and yearn for can be fully generated from within. This is true for each of us. A guru is there to initiate our awakening and evolution of consciousness, to help us tread the path. They are always with us, but we do not need to give our power over to them and rely on their Shakti to sustain and propel us. I fully believe they can help us in various ways. They can serve as role models and guides and remind us of the tools we already have. They can share the teachings of our ancestors and present horizons of expanded consciousness that are available to us. But at some point we have to let go of their hand and walk proudly and courageously alone.

I am a yogini. Unconventional and unfettered. Attendant of Goddess Within.

It is time I begin teaching.


jessa walters said...

i am in tears right now!
i believe in you laura!
you are strong.
you are courageous.
you are ready.
you can trust yourself.
you ARE a yogini!!!
i love you!

mm said...

Interesting post, courageous spirit. I experienced a spontaneous Kundalini Awakening in 1991, and it has been an incredible journey. I wish you the best. About 5 years ago, the journey lead me to Amma, and like you such Homecomming. Jai Ma and Namaste

sundari said...

So beautiful, so true.