The Courage to Believe

In 1989 or 1990, a friend wrote a poem for me. It was written soon after I met Amma, but prior to the time I asked Amma for a name. So at that time my name was Carol. That name seems so unfamiliar to me now.

Her poem came into my mind the other day; for the first time in decades. I was able to find the booklet it was published in.

THE COURAGE TO BELIEVE, FOR CAROL POOLE

The pot looked empty. It was a clay pot, orange and cracked from the rain. On Mondays people came to fill it and the water, somewhat yellowed, seeped out at the bottom.

At first I wondered why they didn’t patch it. But looking closely, I saw their need to bend slightly to the right. Some called it agility, but really they were trying to keep their hands on the hole.

Now you choose a jug, and songs arise from its clay. And in the rhythms of drums from inside, the moon-roundness of it takes on the form of a woman with the courage to believe.

The jug is round and smooth, and the water is always full.

SHELLEY TUCKER

Thank you Shelley. Your poem means as much to me today as it did the first time I read it. I hope our paths cross again some time in the future.

With My Last Breath

As usual, this week’s Dungeon Prompt is one that makes us explore our inner realms. Here are the questions we were asked to address:

Imagine that you were in an accident and you can feel your life fading away.  With your last breaths, what does your mind fly to?  Are you scared? Accepting? Worried for friends or family, work unfinished or some other business?  Does your focus change to the hereafter?  With your final breaths, to what do you cling?

I had an experience about 17 years ago that gave me some sense of what might happen when that time of my life comes.  In December of 1997, I took my yearly trip to Amritapuri, Amma’s ashram in Kerala, India. Half-way between Singapore and India, our plane started shaking. Simultaneously all of the oxygen masks fell from their compartments. As we struggled to put on our masks, the plane started falling, first 15,000 feet, then another 10,000. The entire fall took about a minute. As the plane began to descend, my daughter and I glanced at each other and then we each focused inward. My mantra immediately started flowing freely within me. With the mantra came a great sense of peace.  I had awareness that if I died that day, I could leave the earth without regret. I had no sense of unfinished business. (You can learn more about that experience at A Reason to Believe.) Continue reading “With My Last Breath”

A Reason to Believe

There is a difference between blind faith and mature faith. To me, a mature faith is built on experience. With each positive experience one has in life, faith builds. With enough faith building experiences one has an ever maturing “Reason to Believe.”

I met my spiritual teacher, Mata Amritanandamayi (also known as Amma, which means mother, and as The Hugging Saint) in 1989. Over the years, I have had many faith building experiences, but probably none as remarkable as the one that happened in December of 1996. Continue reading “A Reason to Believe”

I Am Truly Blessed

Since my father was in the military, we moved frequently throughout my childhood.  For example, I lived in three different places and went to three different schools during  third grade.  When I moved to Seattle to go to college, I decided I was done with moving.  (I believed I was done with traveling too, but that didn’t happen. I’ve traveled to India almost yearly since I met Amma in 1989.) Continue reading “I Am Truly Blessed”