BootsnAll Travel Network

Birthday Presence

After finishing my double scoop butterscotch ice cream cone, I wander into the divine bookstore at the Art of Living International Ashram.  I pick up the book “Silence” by his holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Guruji) and opened to a random page.

“A poor man celebrates the new year once a year.  A rich man celebrates it every day.  But the richest man celebrates it every moment”

 I chose to flip through that particular book because I was practicing silence for my meditation course, an entire 5 days of it.  It was my 23rd birthday today, but I didn’t get any birthday hugs, kisses, or spankings.  No party, songs, candles or gifts . . . just presence.Complete awareness of myself.With the assistance of my lovely friend, Neela, I wore my birthday sari and felt like a princess at the birthday cake ashram, but more importantly I felt like Me.  And I’m not talking about “Aubrey” I’m talking about Me.  The person who starts the sentence, “I am . . .”I shut my eyes and let Guruji’s words touch my heart.  Why only one day a year to celebrate ourselves?  Why only one day a year to celebrate each of those so dear and close to us?After another typical day at the ashram, I do my Seva, sweeping the kitchen in my sari with a matching colored broomstick and washing dishes, and return to the ashram for our 9:00pm meeting, to receive my real birthday gift . . . a small group meeting with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the one who gifted me with the knowledge to know who’s birthday it really was that January 17th, 2010.

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