[On Gandhi's birthday, it is an honor to re-share Paulette's extraordinary experience we heard at Gandhi 3.0 in January, of "standing up".]
Good evening. Namaste.
I would like to invite you to begin by closing your eyes and adjusting your position in your seat. [Pause]
Take a d-e-e-p breath, breathing in and exhaling all the air. [Pause]
Allow your shoulders to fall from around your ears so that you relax in your seat. Maybe your feet are making contact with the ground. [Pause]
Notice your thoughts where they are and just breathe. [Pause]
As you sit in your seat with your eyes closed and heart open, imagine Gandhiji appears before you dressed all in white. He bends down, reaches for your arm, holding your arm between your elbows and your wrist, and firmly speaks to you and says, “Stand Up.”
You may be a little hesitant, a little startled, so you stay where you are, confused a little.
He says it once more, “Stand up." At the same time, you feel the presence of souls from all the dimensions of time: Time past, time present, time in the future-- surrounding Gandhiji, surrounding you as he whispers into your heart, “Stand up. Look behind you. See the support that is all behind you and around you.” [Pause]
Breathe into that message now and let your soul remember this invitation which is just for you to stand up. Stand up for something. Stand up in the Truth, stand in your power and authority, stand in your courage.
What is that invitation for you?
[Pause for moment of silence.]
Now we begin our journey back in consciousness to this time and place. Aware again of our seat in the chair, the breeze as it touches our skin, the person to the left and to the right of us, in front or behind us. Take a deep breath in... Breathe in... Hold the breath; Breathe out. One more time... a deep breath in, exhale and flutter your eyelids open.
This past weekend, when we came to the Gandhi Ashram as part of our immersion
, I snuck up into Nimo’s group when we were put into different groups because I am his fan girl. :) In every room that Nimo took us into, to explain the history of the Gandhi Ashram and the room we were present in, we would stop and meditate for a minute before we exited.
When we got to the Heart House (Hriday Kunj
, where Gandhiji stayed) -- the heart of the ashram -- he explained why it was called that and the significance of this heart in the ashram.
Before entering the Heart House, we had to take our shoes off. My feet were cold because we stood on the ground which was cold. I thought "Oh, I have to go outside as this is too cold." There was also another talk going on in there. So I went outside and waited for the group to come out. Instead, Nimo invited us back into the room to sit for a longer meditation, because he was timing it this time. [Grimaces face.] If I was standing and was cold, now I had to sit on the ground in the cold. I was resistant so I took my shawl and put it on the floor. I sat. Within seconds, I was into my meditation. And as I sat there, with my heart open and my eyes closed, that same image, Gandhiji, approached me, dressed in white.
He leaned over and grabbed my arm and said, “Stand Up.”
I thought I am making this up.
“Stand up." He said it again.
And at the same time, just as I guided in that meditation, the whole room behind him, behind me, was just filled with souls.
He said, “Look! Look at the support that you have behind you."
Then the bell went. It was time to get up. We went outside.
Our next stop was the prayer garden. I was moved, but not to tears yet. As we stepped into the garden, I couldn’t hold them back. I just wept. I thought, I must be making this up. I need a sign.
As I sat, I wept and felt, every time I closed my eyes, the image and the words came back time and again. I reached over to my bag to get Kleenex, and I saw something in the sand -- very small.
And I said, “ No ... You're having a laugh. You're kidding me.”
So I reached for the Kleenex and then I picked up what I saw in the sand. It was a tiniest pebble, shaped like a heart. We had just come from the Heart Home, right? Shaped like a heart and any way you turned it, it was a heart.
I wept some more. I could not speak to any one. I was processing what just happened.
Then, we went over to the institute for lunch. I was just internalizing what just happened. As I sat down, Kishan came over. And if you know Kishan, he is a great interviewer. He asks lots of very pertinent questions and draws you out of yourself. I was not ready to speak, but I told him what had happened. I felt comfortable enough to tell him what happened.
And he said, “Thank you for sharing, but let me show you something.” He opens his phone and he scrolls through.
He said, "I go to the Ashram every day and today is the first time I saw this."
It was a tree stump. As we looked down it was a shape of a heart. Clue number 2.
And so we sat some more. I listened to him sharing about a story of his experience in the Prayer Garden. There is a tree in there that he has been watering with his family every day. He said, “It is as though I am being called -- or I need to answer or heed love’s call.
I burst out laughing. In preparation for my retreat, I had done a 30-day adventure in clearing, forgiveness, readying myself for this time. Then, I named 2020 "The Year of Magnificence" -- unmasked magnificence -- and the subtitle: "Heeding Love's Call to Enchantment and Enlightenment".
Kishan said those very words without knowing that it was my prayer.
When we got back to ESI [the retreat campus], I asked Nipun if I could speak to him. I wanted another witness so that I would know that I was not making this up. I showed him the heart. He is very intuitive, as you all know.
He said, “That is a great message. Sit with it to see what it brings for you. But what if it is also for all of us? ... Being called to stand up.”
To stand in our power, to stand in our truth, to stand when others are sitting and saying, “Nay, it cannot be done. It is too late, it is too big."
We have the power. We have the conviction. We have the strength. We are equipped to do that which we have been called into.
I invite each of us here to join me as we stand on the solid ground of Faith, Truth, Compassion, and Peace.