(Glorious photo from the collection of Arsh Matharu Photography)
Chapter Twenty (2001 ~ 30 years)
Revisiting the Past, Spiritual Blasts, and the Magnetic Pull of Opposites
‘The soul rejoices in the comforts experienced by the external self, yet man becomes so engrossed in them that the soul’s true comfort is neglected. This keeps man dissatisfied through all momentary comforts he may enjoy, but not understanding this he attributes the cause of his dissatisfaction to some unsatisfied desire in his life. The outlet of all earthly passions gives a momentary satisfaction, yet creates a tendency for more. In this struggle the satisfaction of the soul is overlooked by man who is constantly busied in the pursuit of his earthly enjoyment and comfort, depriving the soul of its true bliss. The true delight of the soul lies in love, harmony and beauty, the outcome of which is wisdom, calm and peace; the more constant they are the greater the satisfaction of the soul’ ~ Hazrat. I. Khan
At this time, my first boyfriend Ben and I were becoming friends again. Having visited on and off last year, he continued to visit, and as he grew more relaxed and open, unknowingly, my attraction grew for him. This wasn’t a big surprise; Gretchen gave me a reading before New Year, ‘Suzie, you might find that you might want to be with him again’. I strongly refuted her suggestion, having already experienced the pitfall of such a reunion, many times.
I went to a ‘doofer’ dance party with Ben, Yolanda, Yolanda’s boyfriend Rick and friends. An outdoor ‘doof’ party was a one-off event for me. German translation of ‘doof’ is silly, and silly is what it seemed, because of the music. I didn’t like the rave atmosphere of trippy music and ravers dancing separately—transported to a world of their own, not shared with eye contact and dancing in rhythm together. I felt this way when I was a dance party fanatic during those house-music dance party days… At this outdoor ‘rave’, although the starlit sky was our rooftop, I thought about the wildlife—the noise an intruder to their setting… The style and tempo of the music disturbed me most, giving me a headache. Obviously, it’s an acquired taste, just as house music was long ago. At these moments, I didn’t find it too bad being unable to dance!
It was also a good thing Sarah met us there, having accompanied her Israeli friend Raf - one of the party DJ’s, named Rif Raf to the party. Ben and Sarah provided me with much needed assistance and support when I needed to go to the toilet. Thinking of me, Sarah had kindly purchased a little port-a-loo before she came, and assembled it on the side of the mountain, joining sarongs between trees for privacy. This was so special, as was the way Ben and Sarah teamed up to help me accomplish this act, Ben respectfully parting when I was safely on loo. While in this quieter position, I reflected on how I couldn’t get by without friends… certainly couldn’t go out without them, particularly to places such these.
These parties, as the ones I attended long ago, were places where substance assimilation was a recreational activity exercised by many partygoers—alcohol, an added extra and rare consumption. For old time’s sake, I partook in a little substance, minus the burden of guilt, enjoying something different for a difference, but I still conjured up the fear of how would people judge me when they knew. Quickly discarding the false influence of judgment, from a comfy seat, I enjoyed the wonder of witnessing a girl moving like never before on her prosthetic limb… her mind and body expanded beyond the processes that normally caused her to limp, as well as need a cane…
It was dark to my left and a voice of laughter and joy sounding very much like Yolanda’s, flew here and there, closely followed by Rick’s voice. ‘Was that Yolanda,’ I asked, disbelieving my eyes but not my ears, as her figure moved with fluidity and grace! She was a bubble of beauty as her body moved in harmony… But the miracle of it was too transient to grasp. Our minds much more capable than we can imagine… I was seeing this firsthand!
After leaving the party, Ben and I pulled over a kilometre along the dirt track to wait in the peace of the crisp morning, while Yolanda and crew manoeuvred her big purple bus out of the party, cramped with cars. The wait gave Ben the chance to say, ‘You’d like me to do vipassana wouldn’t you?’
Surprised, I answered, ‘Only if you want too! But, of course, I’d love you to. It’s so wonderful for everyone!’
The energy shifted between us and later alone at home in the ambience of my lounge room with the morning sun filtering through windows we kissed. I hoped with the realisations vipassana brings, he would be able to have an impermanent relationship with me… Impermanence being the first noble truth one acquires at vipassana. Also, he was very aware of Shastri’s prediction of the older man coming into my life.
In the heightened energy of euphoria and sleepiness, we kissed nestled in embrace… past and present fused, and we shared feelings of love in an unexplainable degree. Thirteen years had spanned our last kiss; our souls had been through so much since then. Now we were sharing sacredness in soul reunion. We had never been closer.
Inevitably, we soon discussed the future, and on the condition he understood all that was probably to come into my life, I agreed not to mention the man predicted, and we’d live day-to-day. It was a gift to be in relationship with Ben again, as I had often rebuked myself when remembering the immature thoughts, words, and sometimes actions our teenage relationship brought. Over the years, I wished I had given him good love, and now the universe was giving me an opportunity to offer healing and love to that very person, in the mature kind of way! No more need to project mental-grief or ignorantly inflict self-torment onto him, as I would have done back then. This time he’d be getting no mental-grief from me… it would be up to Ben on how he wished to deal with what life presented as we moved along in renewed relationship mode!
MY 30TH BIRTHDAY came about soon after, and I invited many friends and family to a party at the Umina Beach Surf Club. It was the first time in many years the upstairs floor of this club had been hired out for an occasion. It hadn’t been renovated in years either, but I was thrilled to be holding my party in a space that was nostalgic to me due to its incredible view of the ocean I grew up enjoying. Umina Beach was the beach I frequented as little girl with Mum and family, and visited for a swim on hot summer afternoons after school with Dad and the dogs and he’d call me his little tadpole as I swam happily in the water. Mouse and I spent much time with our dogs on the beach during summer holidays and when we were a few years old again, we spent time hanging out with boys! Then the beach became about parties that carried on well into the night and often led to house parties and barbecues back at friends’ houses…
Yes, it was a surf club of good memories and more were made during the evening with party friends galore from nearby and Sydney, past and present. Rif Raf was the DJ and he tried his best to play house music more than rave, unsuccessfully at times causing the dance floor to clear because the gathering of old-schoolers wanted familiar tunes to boogie too. I was picked up and spun around the dance floor by my brother and friends all through the night, and I found great relief sitting on my walker seat for rest intervals. When the night ended at three am, I was piggybacked down the stairs, and followed by my eternal party friend Paul, and lastly by Dad who was determined to be the last one leaving the building. My Dad—the adventurer, was soon to go trekking in Nepal, yet still without his long-awaited money!
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Leon was in Sydney on business in this period, and this time, and as mentioned at the end of last chapter, we managed to meet up. Ben wasn’t comfortable with Leon’s visit. He had no need to worry, I reassured him, but he still worried our time together would end prematurely. It affected the following blessed day we shared together…
Excerpt to the Divine Consciousness from my diary:
24th April ~ AMMACHI TOMORROW!
Ben is taking me! Both of us will be blessed! Another blissful blessing! Please Dear God guide my relationship with Ben in every moment! Please don’t let heartache and pain come out of what has been a beautiful, glorious reunion that has astounded me, because it has all been so unexpected! Thank you for opening my heart to embrace him again as not only a friend, but a lover too… I can’t believe this is happening, and can’t deny the happiness and love I feel now that an honesty of emotion is allowed to flow between us, like it never has before… more powerfully than possible for us as teenagers. It is a healing time in the highest sense, and my heart is overflowing with love and joy to be able to give such precious love to him, to Ben who appreciates it more than I thought imaginable… Dear God I know this is a blessing from you, and only good will come from it, for this love is beautiful, and I know my monk man will understand, and be glad desires had been followed so that they can be fulfilled, and karma cleared… Dear God be with us always, and may the glory of you shine inside our every breath! Thank you for sending him back to me and me to him. He helps me so much it is glorious, and I give him your love. He is so humble, willing, and divine. So, gentle, soft and kind! Oh, let him know his beauty! Please let my loving Ben bring no harm!
Recently home from an Alan Clements’ retreat up north, Yolanda and Rick were free to accompany Ben and me to Ammachi. This was a new experience for them, and I hoped Yolanda would simply melt into Mother’s arms. On some level, she did, but the heightened emotions of her mind, inhibited the power of Ammachi’s loving. Her emotions were high due to difficulties she was having trying to unite home—family—boyfriend, which was a new experience because Rick was her first love/boyfriend.
Everyone’s emotions were particularly high, as Yolanda had said the wrong thing during the drive to Sydney, when she voiced surprise at Ben and me being back together. She had been away the past weeks and I hadn’t had a chance to update her. Yolanda is a no fuss, straightforward person, especially in speech, and she stated disbelief on hearing we were ‘together’. ‘I don’t believe it. Ben maybe, but Suzie, shit no!’ Her doubt coming from Shastri’s prediction of the man coming into my life, together with my long-held aspirations of this coming true.
The repercussion of Yolanda’s statement brought an instant shadow to Ben’s disposition. It was as if an energy oppressor had arrived in the car, causing Yolanda to feel wrong, Rick to think wrong, and me to know I did ‘wrong’, having not made sure I’d told Yolanda. These moments set tune for the rest of the day. Not even the sight or touch of Ammachi could overcome such energies, which was a huge shame, due to the loving-kindness, beauty, and truth permeating the blessing.
Mother must have felt the confusion surrounding me, for when I’d finished receiving my second ever Darshan (blessings), a white-worker whispered to me: ‘Mother would like you to sit next to Her’. Oh, this was a surprise and Ben kindly lifted me to sit on Ammachi’s right. Sitting in the haven of Mother’s heavenly vibrations, I had a front-row view of Yolanda and Rick’s Darshan. Tears came to my eyes for my friend who had already been through more than most of us could imagine, and now she was in the arms of sincere compassion. Ammachi and Yolanda were love in motion, except, one was aware of it, the other wasn’t. The humility of Rick’s embrace also brought a tear to me, for his intent was to give the Mother a cuddle rather than simply receive one. ‘I can’t wait to give Her a hug!’ he had said with enthusiasm and unadulterated joy, when I first told him about Amma.
Ben snuck a tiny portion of video footage as I sat in the privileged position aside Ammachi. Simply closing my eyes to absorb the loving vibrations for any length was difficult, as Ben, Yolanda, and Rick were waiting. We were going to Bondi Beach on the other side of the city for lunch, and then coming back later for Ammachi’s evening program. Not wanting to be too spiritually hungry, I gestured to Ben to collect me from where I sat whenever he was ready. I wholeheartedly appreciated his part in managing these complex movements smoothly, surely, now so accustomed to carrying me—a very awkward package. The waiting walker was our destination and once I was sitting safely, he pushed me from there…the capacity of the wheel a most marvellous invention.
Outside, and during the rest of the day, the dynamism between the four of us remained wanting. That the beautiful day could be tainted so was a real shame. We had experienced pure positive vibrations with Ammachi. Now, instead of still feeling these, the vibrations surrounding us were jammed-packed with effort and the need to ease troubled minds. Things didn’t have to be so hard. I tried to uplift the atmosphere but because I could only do so much to the affect situation, I resigned to sit back during the long drive home after Ammachi’s evening session to recall last year’s meeting with Her, and anticipate the next. Audibly ruminating over the day didn’t hold appeal to me, or to anyone, sadly.
A dream nights following:
Last night I had a dream about AMMACHI! She was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car, and I was beside on Her left. I said something to Ammachi that made her smile, and nod in agreement, and encouragement! It was the most beautiful, serene feeling, and I knew that Ammachi was supporting me, and that She was another of my beautiful guides who is a role model to me! It was such a wholehearted, loving dream… that felt so real!
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Throughout the next 4 pages of this chapter:
Continued concerns over Ben.
Nanna moves in.
Spiritual gatherings, spiritual laughs, and endings.
Melbourne Cup Day, met Zane.
Bridesmaid at Alicia’s wedding.
Zane and I kiss ~ a relationship springing from nowhere.