by Sia Reddy
It must have been the fifth time during the morning meditation that Mum told Shanti to just sit still! But no use. She is fidgeting around, playing with the song book, and if there is nothing to grab near by, she plays with her toes, her trousers, her fingers…
“Shanti!” Mum scolds again. “Please! I told you! Sit properly! Hands on your lap”. Shanti follows Mummy’s instructions for just about a second, until she finds the pattern of the carpet really interesting again and follows the lines with her fingers.
“Ok”, says Mummy now. “Listen. Why do you meditate? Hm? Tell me.” Almost six years old, Shanti has heard a lot about vibrations and knows a lot of mantras, but she has not yet really thought about WHY she should be meditating…
“To make Shri Mataji happy!” she replies. “That is also true.” Says Mummy. “Of course. But you really meditate for yourself and nobody else, not even Mummy”. “But why?” Shanti asks. “Why do I need to meditate?” “Mummy takes a deep breath and looks at Shri Mataji’s picture. After about a minute she turns to Shanti and says “Look. When we meditate, all the bad things in and around us run away. We can feel happy and light again. But meditation is so much more than just sitting here. If you imagine meditation being a huge beautiful mountain, we have properly not even reached the first step. But you know what the first step is?”
“No. What is it Mummy?”
“The first step is the “Getting ready part”. Imagine a cup, and you would like to fill it with water.” “Yes, Mum, I can imagine. A cup. Mine is pink!”
“Good. In your mind, turn this cup on its side. Now try to pour water in it”. “I don’t think I can, Mummy” Shanti replies. “Exactly. Now imagine holding it and moving it right and left, and again right, move it all along the table. Now pour the water!” Shanti laughs. “But Mummy, the water will spill all over the place! Maybe just a few drops will be in my pink cup!”. “Exactly” says Mummy. “You cannot turn the cup on its head either, nor can you hide it under the table, if you want to fill it with water. It is exactly the same with your meditation. If you don’t sit still, if you are not ready, like the cup, to receive the vibrations, why should they even try to fill you with love and joy?”
“I see what you mean, Mummy” Shanti replies. “Your ‘getting ready’ ” continues Mum “is so important to show all the deities that you are now ready and willing to meditate. But remember, it is only the first step! What counts is what happens after. This is where your journey really begins. ”
Shanti’s eyes shimmered with joy. She closed her eyes and thought of this empty pink cup again. She wanted to be still and ready to be filled like the cup. And before she could even wonder what would happen next, she felt a soothing cool breeze on her hands. Just like that.
“I felt it, it is cool Mummy!” she shouted with excitement. “That is good! Now stay still like the animals in the forest, when they are trying to listen to the sounds of nature, like the stars that are looking down on us and don’t rush around across the firmament, like a lake that lets all the ducks and fish frolic in its water whilst he himself is still and patient. Then, when you are still, you will be joyful. Full-filled!”
Shanti still sat with her eyes closed, only this time she felt no urge to play with her fingers, nor did her eyes open by themselves again all the time, as they usually want to! She just sat there, and it was so easy. The lake….the stars…..the universe, it all made sense. At least for a few minutes. “Can I get the drum and sing Ganesha Ganesha, Mummy?” Mum smiled and replied. “Go on then”.