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Lightness Laughter Hugs

When I was 13 I had an experience that changed my life. I was sitting cross legged at the Aurobindo Ashram in what had once been Aurobindo's bedroom. I had sat down for hardly a minute or so when the great heaviness which had followed me all my youthful life lifted. I understood that I was not a separate body but energy, lighter than a feather. I learned that life was lightness. 

When I was 15 I had another life-changing experience. I was a voracious reader and read novels, short stories, and poetry late into the night perched on a marble bench on our large veranda. It was very late that night and the foxes had visited and gone to sleep. As I read the last few words of Dostoyevski's Crime and Punishment, I started laughing heartily and could not stop laughing for a week. During the week I was guided to visit all the people in my life that I cared about. I would go over to their homes laughing, and soon my laughter would result in everyone laughing uncontrollably with me. I suppose I was lucky to have been born Indian. In the India I grew up in, the tolerance for what we might call weirdness was infinite. No one bothered me, and laughed along with me when I was around. I learned from that experience that life was laughter. 

When I lost my father at 16, my mission became to speak to him again. In the thirty five years that have passed since he died, I have tried to speak to him every day. I have only succeeded once. That one time, he came through so clearly and forcefully that I was overwhelmed with his love. He was not 'dead', but very much alive in a way that transformed me. He gave me a hug that I will never forget. I learned that life continues after death, that we can not understand life but that the closest we can get to understanding life is a hug. 

Wishing all my friends lightness, laughter, and hugs on this Thanksgiving weekend,

Abhay

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