Pauses — by Gail Hinchcliffe

Early in our retreat, Swamiji advised, “Pauses are built into life, the divine space between the two.” This pause is more conscious for me as the days pass. The pause between inhale and exhale, an opportunity to increase awareness. The pause between sides, an opportunity to reflect on the impact of a pose.

Being conscious of “pause” melted into another one from Swamiji, “Do more listening than talking.” I feel this is more than listening with ears. It’s listening with heart, listening to myself.

There are the daily walks along the road from Rosie’s, my temporary home here: to and from the temple in the morning, to and from the meditation tent for the sweetness of chanting the Guru Gita followed by yoga class, to and from the tent again in the afternoon for satsang. The same road back and forth each day, time for pause and listening.

There is a special sweetness at 4 am. It’s dark and cool. With a caressing breeze. It’s quiet with only a few indications of others starting to rise. Just a little traffic on the dusty road. A little pause before the business of the day. It’s a good time for prayer and centering intentions for the rest of the day, a chance to go a bit deeper.

Returning home from temple around 6:30 am, it is still dark. Shop keepers are sweeping their entrances, cooking fires are being kindled.

There’s more vehicle traffic. Roosters crow, crows caw. The rising sun reflects warm glows of pink and purple in the early morning smoke and dust. Tops of trees fringe the eastern sky like lace. The chanting from the temple rests easy within me and nourishes me as I use this pause to reflect and listen to the wisdom of Swamiji’s words.

On the road again just before 8 am. The sun is higher but it’s still cool. Breakfast stands are opening and wonderful aromas tempt. I see and hear more when I’m not talking or allowing myself to be distracted from the moment. Talking can cheat me out of a pause.

road in Ganeshpuri with peopleThe road after lunch is longer and hotter. No shade. Light dust and smoke float in the still, hot air. I walk even slower to conserve energy. After the afternoon recess the road has blessings of shade and the promise that soon the heat will abate.

I am filled with bubbles of joy. The pauses have been a gift to deepen my reflections and build devotion to the Guru. Listening with my heart grows greater devotion to the Guru.

There is a solid community of us back in Calgary. Ganeshpuri, however, provides a wider perspective on the rootedness of the chants and principle of the Guru in ancient times. The Grace is more solid.

Om Namah Shivaya

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