SOS for the mind (Smile-Observe-Surrender)

Meditating in the Smoky Mountains

When I started doing pranayama 10 years back, I would often wonder why my teachers would say at the end of each round “smile and observe.. the sensations…” it sure did feel nice to observe the sensations in the body after doing all that breathing.. but I never thought it was anything beyond that.

some years passed before a teacher brought it to my notice “that is all there is – smile and observe”..

I do not know what enlightenment might feel like – but at that point – something dawned on me. Something stopped time. All of a sudden there was deafening silence all around.

Smile, and observe !

That is all there is really ! What do you do – when a storm of emotions hit you ? Like a Tsunami ? Can you run away from it ? How far can  you run from yourself ? All that you can do – at that all absorbing swept away moment – is smile, and observe. Observe the mind knotting up.. the stomach knotting up.. the heart feeling heavy.. the head aching.. the tears flowing down.. sometimes like there is a drill going on in your heart to dig a hole.. all those overpowering sensations..

You could observe with a frown – but heck – that is too much strain on the facial muscles ! With all those activity going on already ? So just smile.. and observe.. and observe them fade away.. the moment you observe them, observe the sensations, observe the breath, they fade away – like those stray dogs running after you in the dark – when you turn back and face them – they go away..

And then – how long can we observe.. a time will come when water might rise above the head.. and we feel that we are drowning..

The only thing left to do then – is to surrender… let go..

What is it that we can hold on to ? Feelings, emotions, people, ourselves ? Now or at some point – we have to let go ! Of this body, of this mind with its complexities.. Then why not now – when you feel it overpowering you..

Just let go.. and surrender.. drop it RIGHT NOW. Like a hot potato. All that twitching, and turning, and tossing, it is not worth holding on to it. And we say it is because of the other person ? NO ? it is us. It is myself – who has the switch to those sensations. We can choose to hold on to those sensations – or drop them.

And then we experience such deep relief…

Who do we surrender to ? To nature, to where it came from – we dont even have to know that – we just need to DROP it from our being..

And when we let go, when our cup is empty, nature pours in more and more – with its nectar of love, and joy and bliss.. like a fountain – we open up to the possibilities, and realise – all that we are longing for – is really within. What is pouring in is really – pouring out – from – our own fountainhead.

We need to do this S-O-S – Smile – Observe – Surrender – again and again.. empty the cup again and again.. because the world would want to fill it up with its excesses, all that is unwanted, and we have to keep emptying it.

And that – in itself, becomes sadhana. Practice. Meditation. Practice – practice – practice. Punah Punah – again and again.

Not because we need to achieve perfection, but, because we need to remind ourselves – that we are already perfect. And all these imperfections, are just temporary…

But it is important not to judge ourselves while we do this – because then again – we are holding on to another hot potato ! Just know that it is happening.. we are progressing, every moment.

Just move in that love and faith.. that our S-O-S is being heard… 🙂

© Debjani Mitra at 2011

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