Madikeri, Karnataka, India
Nov 21, 2020
Dear Jim and Giulia,
Jim’s letter on interconnectedness is still resonating inside. Life, it seems is all about connectedness. I observed that indeed, the most interconnected are the most resilient to the storms of life. Aspen groves and Vetiver come to mind as having deep interconnectedness. Looking in, I felt deeply that my connections always reflect somethings about me. There’s always a seed of learning that is gifted with each. I found that when the connection is rooted in truth, it strengthens despite the turbulence, time, and distance. If not, it withers away and wilts quickly.
The cooler weather and change of seasons is very palpable. Monsoons, giving way to autumn, and then moving into winter. It seems to be a time for trees and various organisms to retreat and to hibernate. The weather is now crispy, and the warmth of the Sun can only be felt in the afternoons. I found this chameleon near the evening trying to get the last remaining bit of sunlight. Notice his eyes, and how he is trying to feel the connection with me. It took me about five minutes but this little guy sat very still, never once breaking the eye contact.
As the trees shed their fruits, I have been busy collecting and preserving wild Amla (Indian gooseberries). So far, the preserves have been made in various mediums: jaggery, honey, oil, and salt. Each one is delicious and greatly beneficial for health throughout the year. My favorite one is Amla preserved in saffron and honey. I use the salt preserved Amlas in the summer and they are good for preventing/recovering dehydration. This is a magical fruit, and I can’t even elaborate the many uses and benefits.
Approaching the winter months ahead, I plan to be in silence and seclusion for the next six weeks starting next Thursday. It is not something I force myself to do, it is something that naturally happens at this time of the year. There will be no phone, no internet, no visitors, no music, no reading, no writing, and no talking. I will only:
- Contemplate the Koan that is life itself by deepening my practices of inquiry
- Create a deeper lived experience of my insights by increasing openness and receptivity
- Connect with the Earth and collective by giving back to it that I have taken through the year
Perhaps it is an attempt to increase interconnectedness with those we forget the most, our own selves, our collective self, and the ecosystem we are a part of. I may never be able to fully explain what will happen during this time. Not that anything will be different, the world will still be in turbulence, and birds will still sing. It will feel different because I will be different.
I invite you to connect with that deep mysterious silence in your own practices… because over the next six weeks, that is where I will connect with you. We will connect as that.