Meditations from Jibhi

Our bedroom is in the attic of a handmade house. All wood with a slate roof, there’s nothing we are wanting for. A comfortable mattress on the floor, some make-do pots and pans in the kitchen, a place to meditate and practice asana. Beyond the rough hewn door is a balcony that frames the most extraordinary view. Bougainvillae creeps around the struts and beyond are the steep sloping terraces of Jibhi. Green upon green, the pines rise up to the peaks, and dotted irregularly are the pink and green homes that remind us we are still in India.

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This retreat to the Himalayas has been such a balm for our nervous systems, after the heat and the hectic of the last few months. It feels like home and even the flora and fauna look familiar. Pete has been experimenting with Pranayama and, in his generous quest to understand more about yoga, he’s been reading one of my favourite books to me, The Wisdom of Yoga by Steven Cope.

As the sun warms the morning air, I listen to him share the teachings of Patanjali and we stop to talk when something resonates strongly. This afternoon, inspired by some of our musings, I wrote this poem about the patternings of consciousness, the great river of energy that runs through all things and the sometimes stormy path of waking up and coming into relationship with the different parts of yourself.

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Sitting.

The river rides beneath the abiding rhythm of the hills,

all still and tranquil in the clement afternoon.

But last night the thunder woke us from beneath our many quilts.

Comfortably slumbering beyond the bite of mountain night,

we slept inside the patterns, before a shouting call shook

through plasticine streams of light, that had made a pact,

over many years, to stay trapped: in a particular way.

 

A crack in the silence.

Almighty loud.

No rest from its judder,

we huddled for warmth.

You and me.

Holding on.

To one and other.

Whilst a new dimension, previously unheard of,

Came rumbling in.

Unannounced.

Breached,

through the interstices of consciousness.

 

We were delighted by its newness,

enchanted by its sound,

still hiding from its pelt,

Do you want to look out of the window? ‘I’ asked.

We clung, in blackness, to the comfort of our bed,

Not wanting to witness the unsaid.

But as we peeled back the layers, just a touch,

We could hear the quickened river rush.

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