Totally unexpectedly, the participants of the retreat received the news on the first evening that our spiritual master, Sri Durgamayi Ma, had fallen ill and would, therefore, not be able to be physically present in the ashram. Mataji encouraged us to use the time during the retreat to go deeply inwards and asked that each one for him or herself focus on meditation in everyday life, about which Mataji has so often spoken to us in her darshan.
At the beginning of every day, we hoped that Mataji’s body was recovering and that we would be able to receive MA’s darshan and on Monday evening Ma came – and gave us darshan. The way in which Mataji spoke to us clearly showed that almost all the chela were able to engage in the retreat in the course of the past days although everything turned out to be completely different than expected, being with MA was the highlight of the retreat.
This is the darshan we heard at Mataji’s request on the first evening of the retreat. If you would like to get an idea of how a retreat in Mataji’s ashram Brindavon can be, you can listen to or read MA’s darshan here.
The Level of Consciously Experiencing and Feeling
Mataji‘s Darshan in the Ashram Brindavon, 17th February 2012
I welcome you all with all my heart to this evening darshan. I welcome you all with all my heart. And just close your eyes for a moment and sit up straight so that you can consciously experience this, my greeting. This is something you can only feel. A greeting extended to you from the depth of my heart, wholeheartedly, from me, this Ma. Please bear with me if I already pause here because even this is something that we humans have forgotten. Not only to express a greeting but also to receive and experience it as flowing from the bottom of the heart – being the recipient who takes a moment, and does not just ignore it thoughtlessly, but actually receives this heartfelt greeting. I keep hearing on the radio, on TV, and one can also read it and notice it in the conversations people have, how fast our times have become. And how many people keep experiencing themselves as wanting to and having to keep up with this fast pace and, of course, running out of breath while doing so. This seems to make my little message to you all the more important; it is something that I have been trying to convey to my pupils for their path for many years – to pause, to interrupt the cycle.
To do that we have to move to a level of our consciousness that is not used very often, it is the level of consciously experiencing and feeling. A heartfelt greeting is felt by the person giving it and by the person receiving it. But to experience this we have to pause for a moment. And we all often experience this as ultimately being very beneficent whenever we do actually try it – at least that is what people tell to me – because the haste, the breathlessness seems to slide off us the very moment we practice it. The fact that in such moments of consciously experiencing something we automatically breathe more calmly in itself surely has a healing effect on our body, on our spirit, on our soul. I can remember a game from early childhood where we all ran around and one person suddenly shouted “stop” and at that moment we just froze in the movement, the position, the posture we were in, internally and externally. I can also still remember the inner, of course childlike, wonder I experienced at the strange posture I suddenly found myself in. Strange insofar as I hadn’t actually experienced it as directly and in such detail before.
I loved this game because every stop was and, of course, still is today, also this pause. And everybody here can now also observe see him or herself in this pause – the posture of the body, one’s own state of mind, the posture of one’s spirit. How am I in this very moment, how is my body, how is my spirit? And deep within us – how is my soul in this moment, now? That is how we enter into a meditative posture quite unawares, a posture that with practice, and even by pausing for just a moment, lets us encounter ourselves. This meditative posture that learns to witness what is. How is my body, how is my spirit and deep within me my soul.
This can be seen as a supreme discipline of every meditation practice, becoming the detached witness – and that does not mean indifferent – but simply the witness of everything that is without intervening, without condemning or even judging what is. The way it is possible now, in this moment. For a moment, I am the witness of everything that is within me. That is what I learnt at the side of my master and after his death at the side of my ma. To become the detached witness of everything that is.
I thank you for this wonderful silence that all of you have made possible this evening. If we humans learn to take refuge, as it were, in this inner silence every once in a while and then maybe more and more frequently we will learn to determine our lives and no longer let our lives determine us.
Sri Durgamayi Ma