Your Home is Your Ashram!
ASHRAM: describes a house where a true Guru is living and teaching God-seekers who are seeking spiritual advice and help...
GURU: describes a spiritual teacher or master who has the power and wisdom to dissolve spiritual ignorance in a disciple. A true Guru has attained an extremely high degree of spiritual development before acting as a Guru.
I am one who has grown to love the Vedic traditon out of India. It is through the holy texts and gurus of India that I have come to understand many of the Universal Laws and Principles by which I govern my life.
One of the things that I read about from others is their experiences while visiting ashrams. As I seek truth and to walk in enlightenment going to an ashram and studying under a guru seemed to be a great goal in which to aspire.
But reality would often kick in as I fantasized about my peacefully, revitalizing respite at the ashram.
One child would scream as another chased in hot pursuit to hit or take something away from the other. Or I would walk downstairs and see a sink full of dishes waiting for me and me only.
Or I would look at my bank account and wonder how I would fund a trip to India given I have not even funded a trip to see my father just 7 hours away in Mississppi.
So I would return to my mundane life of washing dishes, cooking, cleaning and tending to children. I would not trade any of it for the world but I wanted to sit at the foot of the sage! I wanted do great yoga poses in the morning! I wanted to engage in afternoon meditation and great spiritual dialogue over wonderful meals that connected me to the essence of the Goddess!
As I fantasized about living in an ashram to deal with the boredom with my mundane life, I would hear messages from the Ancient Mothers, feminine energies who guide and direct me in many ways. They told me that my daily tasks would allow me to meditate, live in the now and go into trance. In essence, The Ancient Mothers were encouraging me to transform my life so that everything I did contributed to my spiritual growth and evolution.
I heard them and thought these messages were interesting but it was not until I spoke with Osunnike, one of the wisest souls I have encountered in this life, that it all became clear. She explained that new disciples to ashrams pay their way through seva or service. They clean, cook and make sure that visitors at the ashram are taken care of.
For many it is a challenging position but seva is in place to help the disciple learn humility, compassion, gratitude, unconditional love and the joys of service. She said these tasks instill discipline and devotion.
I realized in that moment the gift that I had right there in my own home! I realized the gifts that I stood to gain through engaging in my daily spiritual practice of tending to my home. Iya helped me to see that my own home is my ashram and that I do not have to leave my home to find solace, it is right here!
It was in that moment that my mundane life transformed into one where I absolutely began to love the time that I spent cleaning, cooking and taking care of my family. It no longer felt like a burden.
I was in the phase of my initiation where I began to consciously understand the Universal Truth that all is One...that Goddess energy was in all things and people. When I kneeled down to clean my kitchen floor, I felt so humbled at thought of serving the Great Mother in this way.
When I cooked for my family, I felt extreme gratitude at having the opportunity to serve the God in them. I truly began to develop many of the Goddess qualities that I needed to move more in alignment with my personal truth that I am Goddess having a physical experience.
And from that day on I began to treat my home as an ashram. When I walk consciously in this truth, I move effortlessly throughout my day.
I remember reading the beloved Indian female, guru, Ammachi's, words in Daughters of the Goddess by Linda Johnsen. She stated, "An ashram is a place where people devote all their time and energy to the remembrance of God, doing selfless service and developing qualities like love, patience and respect for others...
"They do spiritual practices to help them see unity in diversity. First, they fill their own hearts with love, and then wherever they go, this love is expressed in all that they do. They see beauty and harmony everywhere.
"Family life can also be like this. That is why a householder devotee is known as...a person who leads an ashram life while remaining in his house.
"He or she is a person who tries hard to attain the supreme goal, bliss, even while living with their spouse and children. This is possible if they sincerely try."
Ammachi's words inspired me and re-affirmed exactly where I had come to with respect to my responsibilities at home.
Living the lifestyle of my home as my ashram is an ever evolving process. I do have to remind myself of my new perspective of my daily tasks. When I don't feel like getting up and moving around the house, I have to remind myself of multiple meanings of what I am doing.
Housework and family life is my spiritual path and a supreme road to enlightenment. Again, I often feel so connected to ALL the women who have come before me and realized the Goddess through their selfless service to their family and communities. I give thanks for the ancestral mothers.
This section of this web sanctuary is devoted to using the Goddess energy in our homes. If you are a Goddess who is domestically challenged or a Goddess whose home could be showcased in a home fashion magazine, there is something here for you!
Transforming your home into an ashram is fun and fulfilling. Find out more by clicking a link below!