Friday, January 4, 2013

on fast forward

Last week as I was sitting down to chant my noon gayatri I realized something. I was trying to chant all the mantras really quickly as though I had some place to get to immediately. Truth was, the only thing I had lined up afterwards was checking my email! So why the need to rush?

When I analyze my life, I grudgingly realize it's something I do constantly. I fast forward through most of my spiritual practices as though there is some imaginary race that I must win. Even though I know faster isn't better, the challenge in slowing down is having to acknowledge the fact that I may be doing things imperfectly.

When I used to take singing lessons, the thing that challenged me the most was singing my scales slowly. And I'm not talking about just slowly, I mean excruciatingly slow. That was the time my teacher would always correct me. Over and over and over again would I have to repeat them until I got it right. Although frustrating, I never forgot what she told me. "If you don't get it right when you sing slow, you'll not only sing it wrong when you sing fast, but worse, you won't even notice that you're singing it wrong."

Similarly, as I hit fast forward in almost everything I do, I'm starting to realize the only person I'm short changing is myself. As aspiring bhakti yogis one of the most importantly lessons to imbibe is that it is the mood and consciousness that matters. When I rush, my consciousness is of stress, not devotion!

It's a humbling lesson. There's no need to fast forward. It's a good thing to hit pause and re-evaluate and even more important to be satisfied on play. That's the time when I'll grow.