The Rhythm of the Universe
There are beautiful, natural places on this earth where the rhythms of the universe manifest in splendour. ELIZABETH DENLEY writes about life in one such place – the ashram retreat at Satkhol in the Himalayas.
Stillness. Not even a breath of wind is evident as the autumn sun rises to expose the beauty of the morning. Slowly the mighty Himalayan peaks are illuminated. It is their day after two weeks of mist and cloud cover. They show us their grandeur – Trishul, Mrigthuni, Maiktoli and Nanda Devi. This is the land of great souls.
Flowers, butterflies, bees and birds are still in abundance on this late October day with a vibrancy that sings with life. Every small scene shines and the tall umbrella pines filter the sunlight, catching the golden rays. The local people shine with the same beauty, their eyes alive with life.
Ashram life is in tune with this natural beauty. We rise at 4 a.m. to meditate before the dawn in that suspended greyness between night and day. It is easy to experience the stillness and nothingness of Divinity at that time, as Nature expresses it everywhere.
It is easy to experience the stillness and nothingness of Divinity at that time,
as Nature expresses it everywhere.
This is followed by exercise – walking in the hills, stretching on the terrace of our simple accommodation, always surrounded by the purity and simplicity of the natural environment. Breakfast is down the hill, where the meals are wholesome and healthy, and, like everything else, simple. No pandering to taste and desire, only to health and wellbeing. Food is prepared with love and served by cheerful volunteers who are happy to give.
Group meditation is after breakfast, and we are blessed that during these two heavenly weeks our teacher is here with us to conduct these sessions, transmitting pranahuti from the Source, the signature of Heartfulness meditation. The inner transformation is so palpable in everyone as a result. The place, his subtle silent work, and our inner focus, combine to bring Grace that is exquisite beyond human comprehension.
This pause in the routine of normal city life
is a gift of Nature in all her facets,
where the rhythm of the universe and
the prana of existence are celebrated in every little thing.
The days unfold, full of the day-to-day activities of the mountains and the ashram, followed by group meditation again in the late afternoon. As dusk descends and the warmth of the mountain sun is replaced by the chill of autumn evenings, we do our own practice to clean the heart and mind of any impressions that have formed or surfaced from within during the day. After dinner we sit together, listening to the music of ghazals and raagas under the stars and the expansive sky.
Bedtime is a time for inner communion with the Divine, in prayer and contemplation, and sleep then follows the natural cycle.
This pause in the routine of normal city life is a gift of Nature in all her facets, where the rhythm of the universe and the prana of existence are celebrated in every little thing. It is time to take this state back into the world of human activity and share it with everyone: this beauty of stillness.
Article by ELIZABETH DENLEY
Photography by RAJESH MENON
November 01, 2017
November 01, 2017
October 02, 2017