This weekend a friend cajoled me into meeting with her Sattva yoga guru, Anand Mehrotra, for a private conversation. The experience was somewhere between an astrological reading and a mapping of my spiritual anatomy, if I had stepped into a psychic version of those imaging machines at airport security. For at least half the time, we seemed to argue; not that contentiously, but each not comfortable with how the other thought about what it means to live fully, religion, and the proper balance between connectedness to the things and people we love versus fulfillment in the self.
Eventually, he wore me out and I dropped my defensive posture.
What is God? he asked, What do they teach in your Temple? What does that consciousness feel like to you?
It’s not a consciousness. God is a fabric, the fabric. God is the grain of the fibers in all the patterns around us, in nature, through time and logic, the threads that bind me to my grandparents and their parents before them, to my children and their children after them. When the fabric tears, I feel driven to repair it.
That, he said, is the thing that grounds me, the tether to balance out the levitating influence of Mercury and Venus and the energy they propel under all the things I am constantly creating with my mind and hands. Houng, he said, is the mantra for you that means ‘ground.’
All your early years were very Saturn bound, very heavy and dark, and you had to concentrate on surviving. At twenty-seven, you went through something life-changing, then back again to hard work. Then something broke at thirty-six. But now, now all the hard things are over. Now it is really very easy. There is nothing left to pursue.
It is really very easy to just reach inward and grab in my fists, whatever I want fulfillment to be. Saturn in shadows behind me, Mercury and Venus bathing me in light, the soles of my feet planted firmly in loamy earth.
See if you can catch Anand’s actual and metaphorical motorcycle ride through the Himalayas in the documentary, The Highest Pass.