S. didn’t mind a second that I was in late. I am still not familiar with the streets of this city, though cosy and small. I didn’t know anything about this person: sex, age or origins. I just knew that he is here for a couple of weeks more and that he’s been looking for people to join him during meditation sessions.
As soon as I picked the call, I felt his warm and steady voice. A man, from India. He said he had no problem in waiting for me.
I recognized him when I arrived in front of the Hotel, though it was dark and people were crowding the spot. He was already coming towards me and I realized the big red dot in the middle of his forehead. He greeted me with a warm handshake and my gut smiled. Very nice feeling. A stranger who was not that stranger to me.
We entered a warm and pretty known cafe’. Following the style of the Dutch, southern lifestyle, though it was just a bit later than 6, the place was crowded with people eating, having cocktails, browsing magazines or chatting over the phone in front of a big meal. I kind of felt I would have preferred a quieter place to have a chat with him. Talking about awareness and meditation in such a place looks like playing a Chopin piano piece inside a room filled with angry metalheads. After having make sure that could have served coffee, we took a sit and I realized how much I loved his peaceful way of talking, walking, moving the eyes and hands.
We introduced each other and I started. I gave a pretty decent frame of my life and I was thanking myself for having unconsciously picked a right day. Only three days ago, with my period about to start, my concentration would have had the same accuracy of a drunk trying to catch a flying butterfly.
S: Why are living here?
Me: I was travelling here in June and I fell in love with this city.
S: What did you like so much about it?
Me: This perfection which seems unreal. All the houses, all the gardens. Everywhere small in the Netherlands is like this. After years spent living in the heart of noisy Dublin, I felt this is the place I want to be for a while.
S: So you lived in Dublin?
Me: Yes, I moved there some years ago from Sicily.
S: Is your family living in Italy then?
Me: It is. My father is there. My mom passed away 10 years ago and…
S: So sorry to hear that.
Me: No worries. It has been almost 10 years now. I normally never say this to anyone but I feel I want to tell to you. My brother lives in the North of Italy, almost on the border with Slovenia. He doesn’t want to talk to my dad though, so every time I have to see them, we have to be separate.
S: I am really sorry for this situation.
Me: I hope and I have been trying, within my possibility, to convince my brother to talk to my dad but he’s full of stupid pride. I also have one grandmother, who is my mom’s mother and lives in another part of Sicily, 4 hours driving from my dad’s place. So every time I go home, I move from one place to the other to visit them.
S: I see. It mustn’t be easy for you.
Me: No, it’s not. I want to know about your family please.
S: Ok, I come from a quite big city close to Mumbai. I am married and I have one daughter, who is almost 5 years old. I work as a software engineer for a Dutch telecommunication company and I come to the Netherlands for at least 3 months every year.
Me: Nice. I met so many Indians in Ireland working as a software engineer!
S: Yes, it is not just cows over there! Chiara, why did you decide to leave Dublin?
Me: I decided to leave Dublin after 6 months off from work which I spent travelling. I was made redundant from my last company, I got some cash and headed to Greece. I also spent one month studying and I was certified English teacher in a Cambridge centre in Athens. Thanks to this experience, I discovered my passion for teaching. I also taught some conversation classes in Dublin and was offered a job but I needed a change. I was almost heading to Asia but I knew I wasn’t ready at that time – for doing the things the way I want them. I want to travel, meet people and listen to their stories. I know when I’ll be ready, I’ll feel it.
I was enjoying the way he was listening to my story and I was enjoying so much listening to his words too. This man is a true listener, one of those who is not easy to find. While we were sharing our experiences, everyone around us disappeared. We could have been anywhere. Outside, inside. In a desert, in the middle of a highway, on a bus. The whole time, he didn’t move his eyes in a different direction than mine. I realized that few times I gave an involuntary (or maybe voluntary?) look at somewhere else and once I got back on track, I felt bad. Chiara be present, for fuck sake.
Me: Tell me about you and meditation.
S: I started when I was 15, by chance. My brother introduced me once to this art on and I never stopped ever since. Now, I have been guiding sahaja sessions for over 16 years and I love helping people. I plant a seed and I put water. Then I wait. People may care the seed and the plant can slowly grow. Sometimes I have met people they were able to get very fast into this art and able to get enormous benefits, very soon.
Me: How? Sometimes it looks to me it is like a joke. I have been reading for months about meditation. I try everyday to be quiet for at least 30 minutes but my mind just can’t switch off.
S: In the beginning it was very difficult for me too. It is not easy, you have to do it on your own. I plant the seed and you have to take care of it. Daily. Give 10 minutes of your time and you will see. There are people that through the sahaja meditation have shown incredible medical changes, tracked by doctors. It works differently for everyone and everyone has different needs. But when we all are born again, we are enlightened. You will see how the centre of your mind will be filled with your origin flame and flaws of cold will be released through your hands.
S: Do you believe in that?
Me: I have an open attitude.
S: *hands a booklet* Can you see this? This is the explanations of our chakras and our 3 canals. Left: future. Centre:now. Right: past. Every canal is filled with the 7 energies which are connected among each other and run through all our body parts. Depending where your brain goes, the energy destabilizes the rest of the body. The kundalini energy is the energy which a baby keeps in the soft part of his head. That is innocence. We want to get back to there, to where we are born. Forget the past, think a bit about the future but be in the now.
Me: *smile*smile*smile* This is what I am looking for. That is why I am here.
S: I am very happy to hear that. Now put your hand on my palm but don’t touch it. Do you remember how cold is outside?
S: Do you remember the difference of degrees we felt when we entered? It is so warm in here.
S: When you meditate, your cool breeze gets out through your hands. That is what you don’t need. You then live in the now and can see and feel it physically. Sometimes can be strong, sometimes can be weaker but it is a physical sensation too.
Me: *wonder* I can feel it. I feel the breeze.
I really felt a cold breeze coming out from the palm of his right hand. He was meditating in front of me, there, with his eyes wide open.
I am a skeptic, by nature, especially when it comes of trendy things. If someone is too famous, if a novel is too much advertised, a book too of a much best-seller, bet I won’t trust it, almost for sure.
But this guy, replying to my message on Facebook, so humble, introducing himself and this art, underlying that it’s all for free, that he likes helping others, simply moved me. He showed me pictures of a community in Belgium where people often gather to meditate all together. He already have sent me the video of their guru, when still living, guiding a crowd. I didn’t fancy that video so much, I couldn’t get the sense.
But I trust him. I do believe in people who love sharing their things, for free, for the sake of that moment, of that conversation. These are feelings that you can’t buy: when a friend travels to see you from far away, when a relative sends you his love, when a bus driver gets you in for free when you forget your wallet.
Love is the energy which moves the world. When I was coming back home, I felt almost crying. I feel so happy to have met this man, today. Just today, that I needed an answer, I got it, without asking for it. It came on its own.
Leave always your heart open, trust your feelings, follow your common sense. Love yourself and every piece will slot into the place where it has to be.
Update: I decided not to go on practising after two sessions because I prefer doing meditation on my own and without really believing on something, it works better for the kind of person I am. However, I am very happy to have met such an interesting person, now big friend of mine 🙂