Category Archives: meditation

My Life is on Fire

Since making the decision to bike to Brazil only three weeks ago, I feel like my life has exploded into a non-stop fireworks display.

This is fun and exciting, but also hectic and stressful!

I will say this, however: I have learned a valuable lesson about purpose and energy in my life by making this decision.

Making the decision to follow through with a life-long dream and aspiration has lit a fire under my ass like nothing else ever has!

I no longer know the meaning of ‘lethargy’ or ‘stagnation’. (Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean)

The world looks more colorful, and my outlook on life is much more positive. I feel extremely motivated, but am also cherishing the everyday occurrences of my Austin life and my time with Addison. My life here is so idyllic, I realize, and my relationship with Addison is so wonderful, fun and nourishing for my soul. I love my pets, I love my band, and I have been having so much fun living here in Austin, biking around, swimming at Barton Springs, going out with friends and training capoeira several times a week with my group.

Many people have called me or written to me, warning me about the perils that lie ahead of me, telling scary stories or sharing nerve-wracking statistics about kidnappings, rapings and murders in Mexico and Central America.

I am touched to see how much so many people care about me.

I did spent a good part of last week considering that maybe–just maybe–someone would say something that would make me realize I don’t have to go. I thought there was a small chance that I just hadn’t heard the magic words that would make this aspiration go away.

Addison has been so cheerful and supportive about me leaving, that I actually had some Big Bendconcern that maybe he was relieved I was going away and would be happier without me. But after camping at Big Bend together and holding him as we lay in our tent under the desert moon, he admitted to the profound sadness he feels about me leaving and his fear for my safety and our relationship.

I felt strangely calm as I cradled him in my arms, and finally knew that I would never hear the magic words that would change my mind.

I know now, for certain, that there is nothing anyone can say to make this feeling go away inside of me.

I am more afraid of being apart from Addison than almost any other aspect of the trip. When we’re together, we’re unstoppable. We work in such congruence with one another on a daily basis, and then still want to spend the evenings together. It’s a sleepover every night! We listen to audiobooks, play music, drink wine, talk about hopes and dreams and ideas, and sometimes keep eachother awake lying in bed because we still have so much to say to one another. We meditate every morning, and are dedicated to supporting one another’s peace of mind and well-being both mentally and physically.

I finally found my ideal partner, and now I’m going to bike away into the sunset??

Who does that???

I don’t have a conclusion or moral to this particular blog post, just wanted to share some of the mental and emotional transformations I am having as I prepare to leave.

My Patreon account is almost ready to rock. You’ll be the first to know when it’s up!

Also, more than likely I will be traveling to Panama with another cyclist who contacted me recently. Having a companion will be a great relief to me, so I’m crossing my fingers and looking forward to it!

Thanks for reading this and please share your thoughts in a comment below.

Love,

Jahnavi

Letting Go

A few months ago, Addison (my fiancee) bought me a book called “Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm” by Thich Nhat Hanh.fear book

Throughout my slow-growing meditation practice, I’ve been aware of ‘levels’, perhaps not unlike a video game, that I have to ‘overcome’ in order to get to the next level.

Many times this involves gaining certain tools, making certain mistakes or have certain experiences before I can ‘pass’ that level.

A few months ago (and even now) I’m in level ‘Fear’.

I’ve recognized how incapacitating Fear is, and how incredibly free I am or will be when I am no longer afraid.

I imagine living without the negative voices in my  head that are constantly instructing me and giving me their opinions from a fear-based place, and simply making choices based on intuition.

I imagine being one of those people who laugh and smile all the time, and are totally unafraid of rejection.

In fact, these people seem to no longer require approval in any way.

I’m going to grow up to be like that. 🙂

In the meantime, I am reading and re-reading the last sections of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, ‘Fear’, and doing the meditation practices he has laid out.

I wanted to share this exercise and part of this chapter with you, because not only is it a wonderful practice, but the writing is eloquent and hits home with me every time I read it:

Letting Go

“Breathing in, I observe letting go. Breathing out, I observe letting go.

This exercise helps us look deeply at giving up craving, hatred and fear. This concentration helps us touch the true nature of reality and brings the wisdom that can liberate us from fear, anger and despair. We let go of our wrong perceptions of realitys so as to be free. 

‘Nirvana’ literally means ‘cooling’, ‘the putting out of flames’; in Buddhism, it refers to extinction of the afflictions brought about by our wrong perceptions.

Nirvana isn’t a place to go or something belonging to the future. Nirvana is the true nature of reality, things as they are.

Nirvana is available in the here and now.

You are already in nirvana; you are nirvana, just as the wave is already the water.

water-waves-_584707-15

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Thank you for reading this post. 🙂

Don’t forget to share your thoughts below…!

Appreciating where we are

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Every morning (or almost every morning), Addison and I sit down and read a couple of pages from one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books before we meditate.

Right now we are reading “Fear: Essential wisdom for getting through the storm”.

I really enjoyed the reading we had today, and wanted to share it with you:

“Imagine two astronauts go to the moon, and while they’re there, there’s an accident and their ship can’t take them back to Earth. They have only enough oxygen for two days. There is no hope of someone coming from Earth in time to rescue them. They have only two days live.

If you were to ask them at that moment, ‘What is your deepest wish?’ they would answer, ‘To be back home walking on our beautiful planet Earth.’ That would be enough for them; they wouldn’t want anything else. They wouldn’t think of being the head of a large corporation, a famous celebrity, or the president of the United States. They wouldn’t want anything but to be back here—walking on Earth, enjoying every step, listening to the sounds of nature, or holding the hand of their beloved while contemplating the moon at night.

We should live every day like people who have just been rescued from dying on the moon. We are on Earth now, and we need to enjoy walking on this precious, beautiful planet. Zen Master Linji said, ‘The miracle is not to walk on water or fire. The miracle is to walk on the earth.’ I cherish that teaching. I enjoy just walking, even in busy places like airports and railway stations. Walking like that, with each step caressing our Mother Earth, we can inspire other people to do the same. We can enjoy every minute of our lives.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

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