The pouring rain of Mumbai couldn’t keep me away from the Awakin Circle meditation held at the home of Sachi. I had heard many wonderful things about the meditation and of Sachi’s family. Even though it this wasn’t the closest meditation in Mumbai, and even though I felt apprehensive venturing out where I knew nobody, I was missing meditation and community, so I decided to go.
I found Sachi’s apartment, sat down and quickly closed my eyes to meditate. I later opened my eyes to see a larger congregation had joined. We awoke to the Japji Sahib prayer of Guru Nanak, which surprised me. I’m from a Sikh family and have always resonated with the teachings of Guru Nanak. So, whereas I struggled with meditation at first, (as I usually do), waking up to hear this prayer felt like a cleansing, a healing.
The meditation topic was about our thoughts and how our thoughts are not private. Read in both Hindi and English, the basic premise is that our thoughts are actually part of the greater collective. People around me shared stories in Hindi and English about how they felt at peace after the meditation. The collective thoughts of everyone in the room had essentially spread, calming us all. One person spoke about the duality of thought: how a person can say one thing, but think another. We learned about having harmony with thoughts, and how our thoughts should be in line with our actions.
When it was my turn, I spoke about the nature of privacy in India, or lack thereof! Some people laughed. I elaborated by explaining how extended family units tend to develop their own collective thoughts, and that many kids must struggle maintaining their own thoughts in balance with the collective beliefs of their family. I questioned the origin of thoughts and their qualities. It was an engaging conversation and, afterward, we were served an incredible meal by Shaila Aunty. Even though I’m not a fan of Sambar idli, it was absolutely delicious.
After the meditation, the weather inspired a few folks to sing songs about the rain. In Hindi and even in English, the songs were incredibly joyful, something I’ll never forget.
As with every Awakin Circle, I felt blessed to walk into this community and experience souls of kindness and love. Getting back home and walking in the rain, I couldn’t help but smile and feel thankful for everything I’d experienced.
Kristeen Singh June 17, 2015. Edited by Sim Grewall