Leaving the driver side

Madikeri, Karnataka, November 15, 2020

Beloved Jim and Shraddha,

I am always the last one to write as writing is such a nonlinear process for me. I just can’t seem to sit down and construct prose from my head. When it bubbles up from the depths, it comes in one whole and flows.

Happy Diwali!

Yesterday was the festival of Diwali here in India. For some of the things like firecrackers, etc., I used to be so excited about when I was a child, I found myself considering the impact of millions of these being lit up yesterday and how it impacted our planet. All the messages and cards I received yesterday depicting the victory of good over evil, light over dark, did not resonate with me as much anymore. I saw many cleaning up their homes and whitewashing their walls. Many putting lamps and lights on their homes. Many buying new clothes, and jewelry. Many exchanging gifts and partying into the night. I had this sinking feeling that somehow the humanity has lost the inner meaning our ancients encoded in this festival and it has become a consumer affair now. I felt that I was witnessing the rise of lost generations from lost parents? Then again, I know, I cannot change anyone else. I can only change myself.

Your letters about will and trust really resonated with me. I remember about four years ago, after my morning meditation, I had a visualization. I saw myself driving a car by myself. It felt like I had been driving for a long while. It had not been an easy road. There were lots of detours and treacherous parts. Then finding a clearing on the side of the road, I suddenly stopped the car. Took a deep breath and got out of the driver side, walked behind the car over to the passenger side. I opened the door and sunk in the seat. Looking over the empty driver seat, I said “Now You drive.” This is what I remembered reading your letters.

While the visualization happened in an instant, the rest of psyche took a while to go along. I still see that at times I want to jump in that driver seat, or push the brakes, or gas, or turn the steering. My sadhna has been to let the car be driven, to enjoy the ride, and at the same time let the thoughts of interference be there. More than any meditation, this trust, this surrender to the universe, has been most useful in 2020. It’s been a grace, for all that I have learned through the last decade, I feel very grateful.

The world feels like it is going through a significant transformation and we must transform with it. I feel that whatever shift is needed, it will happen. I just need to let the driver know my intention and enjoy the ride. I don’t really need to concern myself with how the car gets there.

I am so glad that you are part of my sacred journey.

Much Love,



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