31 Mar The Clear Space of Good Feeling by Yogini Rabia
The Clear Space of Good Feeling
by Yogini Rabia, March 2022
Four or so years ago, I returned to The Ashram community on a divine movement of Guru’s grace which saw me landing a new job and accommodation locally. It was a very exciting time.
I started my new job as the Coordinator of a large and buzzing community centre, with kids, knitting nana’s, veggie patches and community arts, but this was not all. There were also daily punch-on’s, junkies, thefts, and life threats, both verbally and physically regularly; the job was unexpectedly really full on. Now, to give you a little context, my background prior to this role was in the Arts so to say this was intense for me, was an understatement. In the beginning I told myself, “everything will be OK, I have Guruji’s blessing and parts of the community are loving and kind, perhaps this is just ‘an adjustment period’”.
Despite the challenges I did have some nice wins. I set up yoga and meditation classes and, you won’t be surprised by this, but the local community flocked to Yoga which became one of our most highly valued classes. Word spread about my love of meditation, which led to an opportunity to guide over 100 senior members of the organisation in a guided meditation class, and other great opportunities. My outer world was showing all the signs of success, the community centre was thriving, smashing all previous records, and by now I was living as an ashramite. I should’ve been over the moon. But I wasn’t. Sadly, I found myself feeling an overwhelming sense of physical exhaustion. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t recharge properly and to make matters worse my blood pressure rose exponentially. When I saw a cardiologist he asked about my job and said, ‘Well, that will do it!”
So what to do? Despite all the challenging elements of my working life I could feel direct and indirect grace from Guruji. The practice of Self-inquiry was integral to that experience of grace. Through Self-inquiry, we convert challenges into mysterious possibilities. When problems arise, we choose to take responsibility by meditating and asking questions inwardly like, ‘What’s going on here? Where is the feeling? Where do I feel the block? How can I uplift this feeling? How can I get in touch with the voice of wisdom within?’. ‘Spiritually, inquiry helps us to distinguish the multiple voices from the voice of the Self’. I was learning there are methods to find that voice, and it has identifiable characteristics, namely a clear space, a good space and group inquiry is the perfect environment to experience the highest, clearest inner wisdom. I remember one Self-inquiry group in particular, Guruji asked everyone, ‘how long will Rabia be in her job?’ The group gave feedback ranging from 4 weeks to 3 years! Guruji said Three years! I thought to myself, oh my god, three years!
Self-inquiry group work became my bedrock. The regular process helped me to unpack the many subtle, practical or general work scenarios I was facing. This was a new process for me learning to work from the inside out, learning to distinguish the voice of the self as opposed to the many other voices within, such as the voice of my negative self talk. Within the context of inquiry I was given the opportunity to feel into each possible pathway, to discover for myself a way to move or surrender with what was now on the table, it was life-changing.
The fire of my sadhana built more and more as the Covid situation worsened, and my health declined. I was faced with the reality that I needed to make a practical change. Devi Ma suggested I talk to my leadership team at work to explore what options were available to me within my role as Coordinator, but unfortunately we couldn’t find a middle ground.
I had a lot of help from my fellow Ashramites. They gave me so much love and support when I needed it most. I recall a significant moment in a Self-Inquiry group when I had a big breakthrough. Someone gave me what’s called a zinger statement. They said, I’m Rabia and I hate my job! That statement sent currents of energy through my body and I laughed out loud, experiencing myself in the most profound and extraordinary way, and best of all I felt a lot of self-acceptance. It was incredible, the group touched on a mystery! And I had a release!
That process coupled with my serious health concerns was when I knew I needed to discuss my options with Guruji and Devi Ma. Their wisdom, grace and compassion came to me precisely when I needed it and we decided it was time to leave my job.
It’s been about 8 months since I resigned. I feel so grateful as I look back, I can see Guru’s grace at work, you know the Rabia then and the Rabia now, it’s the difference between night and day. One of the most important lessons Guruji has shown me through his teachings and his own life is to know that no matter what my thoughts and feelings suggest about my outer life, there is always an inner world perspective that may show me something different. Learning about the laws of my inner world has helped me to live with renewed curiosity and joy. When I feel unclear I love to embark on an inner journey or quest for the clear space of good feeling, upliftment or joy.
It’s my hope in reading this blog that you too feel strengthened and renewed. If you haven’t already, you can learn about Guruji’s Self-inquiry technique through his books, Happy for No Good Reason or Self-Inquiry – Using Your Awareness to Unblock Your Life.
Yogini Rabia on retreat in Ganeshpuri, India, chanting after her initiation into the lineage of Bhagavan Nityananda by her Guru, Swami Shankarananda.