2 weeks with no cell phone. No Facebook. No news. Hard to imagine? I just returned from a spiritual retreat in India and it was so nice not having to deal with those “burdens”. It was what I needed, remembering what is really important-and it’s not those things. Actually it’s not the job, the money, the car, or even the relationships we have. Because, none of those things go beyond themselves, none of them are really lasting in the universal sense of the grand scheme. But how we act or react, what we say, don’t say, what we do or don’t do, think or don’t think regarding these things-that is what really matters. We have the power to discriminate, to choose how we react. Even animals can show anger, have babies, react and kill, or run…..instinctively. If we don’t do more than that, then we are acting no better than the animals that are supposedly below us.
If someone has never known anything but one way of thinking, change can be hard, even scary. But there again is our gift, the power to choose.
I love this quote I saw while in India:
A bird has been caged since a hatchling.
One day the cage door is left open.The bird may hop out and either fly away to freedom or it may hop back into the cage and remain captive for life.
For such a bird the prospect of soaring is not liberating.
It is terrifying.
-Leena Chawla Rajan