How a Spiritual Community Inspires Me
© Claudia Roth
Waking Up to a New Reality
I still don’t understand exactly how I ended up visiting Auroville, but I know that I will keep returning.
In practical terms, it so happened that I was sent to what, at the time, I thought was a business meeting. That meeting at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry took place many years ago. It was the beginning of an entirely new journey for me. One that would have as an interim stop the nearby community that is Auroville.
All of that is another story. Here just let me try to explain how Auroville keeps inspiring me to wake up to the New Reality that she is, at least to some extent, already embodying.
#1: Detecting a New Reality Requires You to Stay Open.
Someone told me, in Auroville, “Don’t expect answers, and especially not straightforward ones.” And to my initial confusion and my eventual delight, I concluded that residents here seem to be trained in an attitude of questioning. And that they want you to do the same.
Questioning our known reality and all of our conditioning, and being ready to leave it behind are steps to take towards inhabiting a new, emerging reality.
I have come to realize that people who live here tend to have an altogether different way of looking at the world. It is an attitude that expects the unexpected, again and again. One that doesn’t shy away from contradictions.
Of course, this is not true for all of the people living in Auroville. However, I put down this definitely detectable trait to having something to do with the fact that most “Aurovilians” have made a conscious decision to leave everything behind in order to settle here. I resonate with that. And in the process I have learned to adjust my language to invite more questions, as opposed to straight answers.
#2: A New Reality Needs a New Vision.
When in Auroville I have participated in many different events and workshops. I have tried to wrap my head around what it is all about, beyond the energy that soaks through me every time I visit. And of course, as with even the most basic of corporations and companies, it all hinges on a vision.
In Auroville the key vision is for Human Unity – beyond race and creed.
But it doesn’t end at that. Key to this Unity is that it has to be In Diversity. The fact that Auroville doesn’t dictate a mould that all should fit into helps me feel at home, even though I don’t at all fit into a stereotype of the “spiritual”, at least not if that means being all dressed in white and dedicated to rituals. And, I suppose that residents feel the same.
Auroville is a place that invites you to find what is unique within the depths of yourself and that urges you to bring that to the world, rather than fitting in with the mainstream. I can’t help but think that this, too, must be part of the kind of New Reality that we will all want to inhabit.
Home is Where My Heart is
So what is my key take-away from this, my favorite physical destination of all?
“Let Your Awareness Shift for Peace to Establish Itself in Your Heart” – Claudia Roth
In Auroville, I have repeatedly observed myself creating a space for conversation.
I fully trusted that what wants to emerge will. In order for this to work, I have realized, I have to first trust the people that I “happen” to meet. I have to continuously take the risk and “show up”. To bare myself with all my defects, in vulnerability. Only then can I expect the same in return, and even then I may not get it.
It all starts with a kind of silence. In Auroville I am very comfortable with spending a lot of time on my own, in silence. It is as if an energy is there to support also the most important conversation of all – that with my inner being. In Auroville I have started to learn to trace what wants to find outer expression back to its roots, true source. It lies beyond mind; it is a different knowledge. Accessing that, again, boils down to staying open.
And perhaps the greatest thing about Auroville, in my experience, is that it has helped shift my awareness towards that openness. It is an aspect of the New Reality that stays with me, now, wherever I go.
That is my try at summing up my experience of Auroville. A place that is impossible to explain in words but that, somehow, teaches me that I Am the Destination.
My heart is where peace wants to rest, wherever and whatever to I happen to be waking up that morning.
This is the new reality, already living and breathing.
I encourage you to reflect on – if you have any thoughts – about a New Reality emerging. And if you do, what inspires you to grow towards it.
And the real journey, the one inwards, continues…
Food for your Soul is a regular column featuring short posts for moments of reflection – to look at life from a different perspective (should you choose to!). Invest a few minutes and allow your thoughts to ponder. Awareness creates choice.
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All original material copyright © 2019 Claudia Roth