Lessons from India

LessonsFromIndia12-9-15One thing I can say for sure about India is that every aspect of life there is intense.  Whether it’s the food, the weather, the traffic, the clamor for survival, the clothing, the jewelry, the heat, or the religion, it will be experienced at the peak of it’s potential.  Like a spice that has been crushed from the seed, India is true and vibrant and reeks with the oil of it’s utmost potentiality.

India is the most religious country in the world.  The streets teem with ceremony, ritual, icons, smoking altars, songs, prayer, crying and supplication, meditation, symbol, idolatry, scripture, graffiti, statues of gods and goddesses, and above all else, color!  All of this is happening in the middle of an ordinary street on an ordinary day, every day.  Every day is a celebration of the precious and fleeting nature of life.   These demonstrations are jarring to the American on-looker who is used to distinct lines being drawn between religion and secular life, where religion is better off kept to yourself so as not to commit the number one cultural transgression in the West, which is to be seen extolling your beliefs onto someone else and violating their rights.

In India, it is so hilarious to even think like this.  No one can stop religious expression because every religion is so completely in your face and over the top that they tolerate each other probably because they have no choice.  My husband’s family is in the Christian minority in India, found in higher numbers in the South.  As we were driving the streets of his old city, Madras, New Testament scripture was written all over the walls of the city.  It was so striking!  This was religious tolerance.  This was religious proliferation and freedom.  It was really cool.

My husband’s family organized a reception for us where they performed an ancient wedding blessing where they sang and anointed our heads with flowers.    We had a great time, there was delicious food and singing and I met a LOT of people.  Some people gave us gifts and one person gave us a Christian book entitled, “Human Pride and Divine Humility.”  I had a lot of opportunities to read the book on the road and this book was the key to a spiritual renewal for me.

At first I hated the book.  It talked about pride and I was completely offended by it.  How dare this book?  I threw it across the room.  It stuck in my head though.  It got to me.  “This book is too harsh, too mean, too extremist,” I thought but then I realized – we’re in India.  Nothing is watered down here.  This was unadulterated Christianity and it cut through my ego like a sword.  A spiritual sword and it was uncomfortable and I desperately needed it.  I picked the book up again and I realized that my pride/ego had become so prevalent in my life and had been for a while, that I could barely listen to its description without bristling at it and that this was a problem.  It talked about the benefits of leading a humble life and I knew those benefits.  There have been times when I was really living with humility and it was at these times that I was most happy.

There was a prayer in the back of the book I want to share with you and when I first read it I laughed because it goes so against much of how we live in America and especially against the new age philosophies that are often attached to the business building/entrepreneurial world of “creating your own destiny” belief systems that I reject.  If I can live humbly and walk usefully under the grace of God I will be happy and taken care of in ways I could never even imagine.

Check out the prayer below – I have found it immensely helpful.  If you are interested in real health and happiness, schedule an appointment today and we can talk about the things that are holding you back from fully living and fully experiencing health.

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