Update 2: Nandaka Vihara, June 12th 2022

Hi everyone, I hope the world has treated you well since my last email / post.

As far as I am concerned, one week ago, I became a samanera. Which means that now I wear the robes and I mostly manage to not have them fall off all the time (2500 years old clothing style, zippers weren’t a thing just yet). I am in an intermediary state between a regular layman and a monk. Apart from wearing the robes and eating together with the monks, nothing much has changed in my daily life.

I still spend most of the day in my private room in meditation, with encouraging improvements day by day. If it weren’t for those improvements, I would basically live the same day over and over. But it’s not boring at all because I get more fun than ever before, only it’s a very quiet and deep kind of fun. And it makes it so that every day I am less and less attracted to the outside world and all the problems out there.

During my meditation, I was remembered of an episode that took place 16 years ago, in the last year of my life as a student, dependent on my parents. Back then, I had developed an interest for Indian culture and spirituality. I was practicing hatha yoga and was interested in learning about meditation, but I knew I had to learn it from the right people, and so the first task would be to figure out who those people might be.

So I went to the public library in Montpelier (France) where I lived, and there they had a large catalog of movies and documentaries that you could watch on a TV in your own private spot. I must have searched the keyword ‘ashram’ because I found a documentary from 1959 that is called ‘Ashrams’. I watched it on one of those TVs they had, and a part of that documentary made a strong impression on me.

It was the part dedicated to Anandamayi Ma, who was still alive and in full blossom at the time when the documentary was filmed. Nowadays, those are very easy to find on YouTube, here is the relevant part: https://youtu.be/IrdlNJDT_1I (sorry my computer got moldy because I wasn’t allowed to use it, so I have to write this on my phone and the interface glitches when I try to set up a link; you may have to copy / paste it yourself).

I was impressed by the expression on her face (especially here) and by the way she conducted herself. But what impressed me the most was what happened when I left the library after watching the documentary. I was thinking back about these images, that I wanted to meet someone like that, and I was making it my life plan to travel to India and find such opportunities. I was just walking back to the escalator when I was unexpectedly hit by a strange and powerful shower of love, and the notion came to me that not only could I meet someone like that, I could become someone like that myself. This sensation and this idea seemingly came out of nowhere and I had the feeling they somehow came from her. I knew the path to get there would be long but from that moment on I had one clear objective in my life.

Well, fast forward 16 years and here I am doing something I long thought I would never do: becoming a monk. So I am sitting in meditation, I manage to get that feeling of subtle joy which seems to flow into my mind from some higher source of forever bliss, and that feeling creates a sensation of pleasure in my body, which I intentionally spread around it, and it starts multiplying. Within seconds, it becomes so strong that my body can’t hold it all in and it starts leaking out everywhere around me.

I feel that this sensation is just the result of my body getting in sync with an ubiquitous network, an infinite source of love that we can connect to at any time, if we manage to get into the right state of mind. I feel like an antenna, receiving and retransmitting this powerful signal of unconditional, universal good will, like a machine, without involving my personality in that process. It’s like being in love with everything that exists, with every living being in the universe, and with the universe itself, like being pervaded by infinite multicolor kaleidoscopic fractals of kindness that you can only see with your heart.

And then I knew I had just arrived where Anandamayi Ma lived. I was just a temporary guest, but I know that if I continue improving my practice day by day a time will come when I manage to get there any time I want. And when that happens, I will truly fulfill the presentiment I had 16 years ago.

Some people might say I just experienced my heart Chakra opening and they would probably be right, but hey that feels good enough to write home about.

Anyway, the feeling I got right after that experience was that we all belong to the same human tree and we all depend on each other for our survival and our well being, and every day we protect each other from harm, often without even thinking about it anymore. It’s just those things that all humans do when they are civilized, that’s just what is expected from them, and we just take it for granted. We fail to appreciate those everyday acts of kindness at their true value and we too often fail to thank each other.

Children take their parents’ care for granted, or even sometimes for a due, and rarely thank them for anything. Husbands often don’t thank their wives as much as they should, and wives often don’t thank their husbands as much as they should. Same goes with siblings, friends, colleagues and even anyone we meet at the grocery store who is considerate enough to simply queue behind us without trying to get past in front of us. No act of kindness should go unappreciated and generally speaking we should be a lot more grateful to each other.

I know I have been as oblivious to that as anyone else, so I would like to seize the opportunity to thank anyone who is reading this, and also everyone who will never read this. I would like to thank especially everyone who has contributed to my getting where I am now. Everyone I have ever met and who has shown enough kindness not to kill me, everyone who has listened to me, everyone who has helped me, especially my parents, my siblings and relatives, my friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Thank you for being who you are and I hope everyone of you will be free from danger and unhappiness, that you find true, deep happiness in your life and remain in harmony with the world around and inside you.

Peace & Love.

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