friends, their generosity and obsessions,
children’s joy, their eyes filled with wonder,
the hurt and disappointment, mine and yours.
I see the pain of unreconciled differences
hanging over us like dark clouds,
doors close quickly and words disappear.
I see the pain of unwelcome gifts.
Receiving in awkward silence things, care, harm
you meant for me to have.
Turning towards the Light,
I can see the pain of holding on to what no longer is,
the good and bad.
Like trying to wear old clothes that no longer fit
How does one live with memories?
How does one let this pain pass through?
How does one move with changing seasons?
Fall turning into the winter while remembering
the warmth of the sun, or remembering
those simple times before the fire came
and devoured it all.
I look at it and smile,
like seeing an old friend
I used to spend a lot of time with.
I choose to peel away a little from
this familiar pain.
The heaviness starts washing away,
eventually it dissipates.
I feel the fresh air and I hear myself sigh.
My body starts moving again.
We are all making it through,
bringing Light into darkness.
The clenching softens,
dawn’s cleansing power enters in.
The wild call comes as
the Soul shines through again so
hungry for life, taking us for a dance
As we move to this new year and consider our resolutions and invite new into our lives, it is helpful to reconcile the old, that which holds us in the tight grasp of the past.
"It is never too late for any of us to look at our minds. We can always sit down and allow the space for anything to arise. Sometimes we have a shocking experience of ourselves. Sometimes we try to hide. Sometimes we have a surprising experience of ourselves. Often we get carried away. Without judging, without buying into likes and dislikes, we can always encourage ourselves to just be here again and again and again." ~ Pema Chödron
Swami Satchidananda has been my guru for over 20 years. I have had my share of personal and "non-ordinary reality" experiences with him. I have felt guided by him. I owe my gratitude to Integral Yoga for holding space for my spiritual development and I strongly believe that is still happening regardless of its founder's, Swami Satchidananda's past. My hope is that the teachings of Integral Yoga thrive and support many people on their path in the years to come.
Many of you have heard the allegations regarding Swami Satchidananda being in sexual relationships or proposing such to women. He denied this when he was still alive. There are women who are coming forward now with their personal stories of having been in sexual relationships with him. I have no reason to deny their message. I acknowledge the truth. Some had a loving and caring experience and some were deeply hurt. There is no doubt there was an enormous imbalance in power in these relationships and encounters even though they were to my knowledge consensual. It is this abuse of power and the cover up of truth that I find most troubling.
There has been a lot of anger among people in the community due to the women being silenced or shamed for coming forward with their stories, now and in the past. This information is very difficult for many to process and the reaction to hearing it varies greatly. There is no longer space amongst us for comfortable denial.
What does that mean to me personally? I moved from viewing Swami Satchidananda as a saint and a Guru to seeing him as a brilliant teacher with access to the inner world of Light and Love with highly developed psychic powers and at the same time being deeply, humanly flawed. Nevertheless, the teachings he shared with us are timeless, valid and powerful. In my heart I am glad Swami Satchidananda has been part of my path and at the same time I feel betrayed. My experiences of his guidance have been so powerful. Yet, over the course of many years, the guidance has not been coming exclusively from him. The guidance is within and comes in different forms.
In my case, contemplating this brought forth old traumas which I had to process in order to be able to move forward. It took me months to detangle my personal traumas from this. In a strange way, I am relieved now of the burden I carried for so long since my late teens. I am grateful to have married a man who has always been kind and respectful in these ways.
I see this time as an opportunity for healing. Acknowledgement and acceptance are the first steps. Reconciling the memories and making peace with the past are powerful tools that help us maintain a peaceful and loving existence. Self compassion is so important while seeing and allowing the thoughts, memories and emotions to emerge as well as finding support. As we foster healing in ourselves, we also heal collectively.
May we all find kindness and compassion in our heart
May our word be kind and truthful
My our minds be clear and peaceful
May the Light of Truth overcome all darkness