The face of God looked at me last Saturday.
She was leaving the hall around 2 a.m. I rushed to stand behind a woman with her baby – what luck because Amma is drawn to babies, and She (of course) walked over and wrestled with his cheeks, giving him love. The word “Ma” quietly escaped my lips, and that’s when She looked at me, taking me in. Her face looked youthful and bright with wide eyes. Her face appeared to elongate as if mirroring my face – I know that sounds strange and even self-absorbed, but I have also felt and seen a mirror reflection when looking at the face of Jesus as replicated from the Shroud of Turin. God’s face is every face. Every single face.
God is our true nature, and truly every being contains the inner guru. As we sort out our karma and seek to live out our dharma, the true nature resides ceaselessly in us and as us. But there are also Those who come as a Gift. They contain no trappings of ego or karma. They are fully liberated. The pull to love and serve is so strong that they come to show the endless power that love is, the endless power that we are when we surrender to it.
Looking into the face of God is looking into Moksha, supreme liberation.
I received darshan twice over the weekend. The first night I placed a garland upon Her shoulders and then wept in Her arms like a small child, clinging to Ma. The next night I waited until 6:30 a.m. to go up for darshan. It was the spacious time after completing Archana (chanting the 1,000 of the Divine Mother). The line up to the stage was thinning, and there was a quiet stillness like pregnant moments, even as people talked and music continued. I got in line, taking the last chair and showing the person with a green scarf the lettered token I’d been carrying. I shyly kept my Jap Ji book wrapped in a scarf on my lap as I moved through the musical chairs that is the line taking you all the way up to Amma’s arms.
When I was placed in front of Her, I offered up the book while lowering my head. She quickly handed it to one of Her attendants without giving it any attention, and immediately pulled me close to Her, wrapping me in Her embrace, turning my head one way, then the other, repeating in my ear the words She began telling me last year: “Mah Dohh-Tah, Mah Dohh-Tah, Mah Dohh-Tah” – Her accented way of calling me Her daughter, Her daughter, Her daughter.
Lifetimes of karma are lifted by Amma’s embrace.
I replay Her voice in my head. I replay Her embrace. I long to be held in Her arms again. I long to offer Her all of me. All of this self-identification. All of this love. All of this karma. All of this beauty, darkness and light. Everything ugly, everything I hide. Everything I remember and everything I have forgotten. I wash this entire being that I am in Amma’s love. I am dough, I am clay, I soften.
But the high from Amma’s love is not static or permanent. I’ve had a very hard week, full of horrible feelings and emotional turmoil. I have felt a stark sense of loss. Am I grieving the death of false beliefs and conceptions? Unfriendly thoughts stampede through my mind, stronger than ever before it seems. They are like monsters, revealing the ugly faces of jealousy, fear, disappointment, anger, loss, grief. Why now?
The monster remains in my reflection. The ego is planted firmly within my consciousness.
These stories, these fantasies, these nightmares – all of these illusions are in my way, like leftover rubble after an earthquake. Broken, of no use, but still there all the same. The mind wanders away from truth, seeking shadows, seeking the familiar.
I am so very human, so very low of thought so much of the time. Can I face the light? Can I let all of this hideousness be seen?
FACE THE LIGHT
LET IT BURN “YOU” AWAY
ALL OF YOUR NOTIONS, ALL OF YOUR TENDENCIES TO JUDGE AND SEPARATE
“GOOD” AND “BAD” EXIST SIMULTANEOUSLY AND EFFORTLESSLY
IT ALL EXISTS, ALL OF THE TIME, AND MEANWHILE, IN THE CENTER OF TRUTH IS PERFECT LOVE
Call it Grace, call it Allah.
Call it Jesus, Shiva, Ram.
Call it Ma.
Call it anything that makes sense to you.
“It” contains everything.
Everything is enervated and alive by the power of “It”.
So, what is it that we are trying to control?
What is it that we are trying to kill?
What is it that divides me or you or anyone from seeing each other as we truly are – as stardust, God-dust, exquisitely unique formations of the Divine?
What else is there to know?
The darshan continues.
Through service to others. Through connections and synchronicities. Through the light in your eyes. Through my smile. Through honesty, however uncomfortable. Through silence and listening. Through tears and falling apart. Through the gritty and uncomfortable, through the resistance, through the shadow dance.
Everything becomes the darshan. Every face is God. This greater reality is ever-present, so sublime we don’t see it. In fact, often we run in the opposite direction from truth, biting hooks, chasing karma. When will it stop? When will “we” stop?
Amma gives a key. She is not the first realized being to manifest in a human body. She won’t be the last. The key is your birthright. Anyone can access it.
I’m less tormented today. My shadows appear a little smaller, more like wild animals that I am learning to care for. I have begun to think of my firmly-planted ego as my pet cactus. It is so prickly, it doesn’t need much watering, but it is still my plant to care for. And inside, cut open, even the cactus has something wonderful to offer. The guru is everywhere.
I walk slowly today.
Sweeping the floor of my heart.
Opening the windows of my mind.
Letting in the air that is Shakti.