I don't even know where to begin... so much is happening right now!
We are in the middle of Navaratri, the annual festival of the Goddess, which is celebrated by Her devotees in India and all over the world.
At the same time my relocation from Austria to Greece has taken place, where I will stay for the next 7-8 months, and for me this is the beginning of a new phase...
Especially present in my consciousness is the Goddess Bagalamukhi, whose practice we will start next Saturday with the 3rd Mahavidya Workshop.
All this makes me contemplate deeply during these days, especially about attachments and dependencies, which so often make life difficult for us.
But first things first...
Navaratri is always a magical time for me. A time when Devi in her radiant, loving, powerful presence is particularly palpable and accessible. A time when we have the precious opportunity to reset our intention, to reaffirm and deepen our relationship with Her, to consciously choose again what is really important to us, and how and we want to spend this life we have been given.
"Nav" can be translated as both "nine" and "new". Just as "ratri" means not only "night" but also "transformation".
And so these 9 nights in October have a special transformative potential. It is a time of transition from one season to another. Shakti, the life force, vibrates especially strongly in nature during these days to accomplish this transformation. Th
erefore this increased energy is also more readily available to us.
But as we know, every transformation also involves letting go. We say goodbye and leave something behind in order to go with the flow of life and invite something new.
How incredibly difficult this can often be. I can relate to this myself, as a protection-seeking Cancer-Ascendant, I attach my heart to people, places and things very easily, and letting go can sometimes feel existentially threatening.
What I have noticed over the years through my many journeys and changes of residence is that I ALWAYS find it hard to leave a place I have settled into. The many times I moved between Austria and India were emotionally challenging every time.
And also this summer I didn't want to return to Vienna from Kefalonia. And now, 2 months later I again didn't want to go back to Kefalonia from Vienna. How sad I felt to leave my family, friends and homely apartment again. And oh, how painful it was to say goodbye to my cat...
How strong is the attachment to our bodies and life! When I boarded the ferry from Ancona (Italy) to Igoumenitsa (Greece), I did not know that it was the night with the worst forecast storms. I was astonished when this gigantic 10-storey ship began rocking back and forth like a nutshell. People were staggering around and I was certainly not the only one who got rid of the last meal. But I wasn't suffering from na
usea alone, my mind was already showing me images of floating in the black, cold sea with a life jacket on.
The attachment to life in this body is powerful and the confrontation with its finitude is certain for all of us. As long as the physical is the only reality which we are aware of, so long we drift helplessly and groundlessly on the ocean of samsara, with no land in sight.
How grateful and full of awe I am to know Ma by my side! Mantra is THE means to nourish and keep this most important relationship, that with the Divine, alive. So that in moments like these we know with certainty that we are never lost, aba
ndoned or forgotten. Her hand is always there whenever we reach for it and will forever hold us safely.
The mantra of Bagalamukhi was particularly powerful for me. With such ease and grace it was able to put the fearful thoughts and images under arrest. Although everything around me was swaying, I was able to touch that immovable stability and stillness within, the eternal presence that reveals itself as soon as the mind comes to a halt.
Physical pains and fears may not disappear instantly, but they fade into the background, loosing their importance as we become aware of our anchorage in eternity and Divinity.
Have you ever taken a closer look at the many different representations of the Goddess? Mostly she holds different weapons in her hands. One of them is "Pash", a noose!
What is a noose used for? You can catch something with it, like with a lasso, and tie something up, like with a rope. It symbolises our attachments and all that is holding us in bondage.
What is Devi showing us with this? We all know how difficult "letting go" is, how impossible it can seem to give up addictions, habits and dependencies of all kinds. Usually we only succeed when we replace one fixation with a new one. Most of the time, however, this is just a case of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.
The one attachment that leads us to freedom, however, is the attachment to the Divine!
With the noose in her hand, Devi reminds us that it is She who frees us from all entanglement. By directing our attachment to her, by depending on her, by letting her catch us and pull us towards her, we find freedom from everything that binds us in the world of impermanence, from all that sooner or later causes pain of loss, separation and lack.
And so I am moving into this beautiful, idyllic stone house on a hill overlooking the sea, knowing that time here will too pass and come to an end.
I settle in with joy, arranging everything beautifully, but not forever. I may use it for a while, but it is not mine. And even if I were to buy a piece of land here or elsewhere, that too would not really be "mine".
As Anandamayi Ma said, "This world is a dharamshala", a hostel for pilgrims, but not our true home.
What is forever mine is the experience - the essence we extract from consciously lived moments.
What is forever mine is the love, the bond, the trust in Ma, the knowledge that I am Her daughter, and forever one with Her.