What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menoracle [men-orr-uckle]; the condition of looking forward and reading signs


There are times we look ahead of us and wonder 'whatever next'?  There are other times we make plans in an attempt to avert the 'just if in case'.  Oftentimes we find ourselves 'gathering wool' in a fervent wish to change, or at least relieve ourselves of, the present. 

Sometimes we simply accept that there is a path and trundle along it as best we can, trying not to go too far to the left or right.  When we do stray, things usually turn an ugly shade of unfortunate.  Then we have to make u-turns, emergency stops or put up the white flag.   This is not to say that the preferred path itself necessarily has to be well trodden (to paraphrase a favourite…)  It is this latter category which most describes how my life has been.  Following that inner voice; finding some 'interesting' experiences when I have rebelled against it.  Finding even more worthwhile experiences when I have trusted it. Neither does this mean that one has surrendered responsibility for decisions - quite the opposite; one of my problems, actually, is the tendency to over-rationalise.

I assess, I check, I double check and I test things out.  In spite of this  doubting Thomas sort of nature, I have always acknowledged this instructional inner self as relating to spirit.  Whilst not everything I have done in life may be an obvious spiritual activity, trust me for now when I say spirit is to be found in the most mundane of tasks and in the darkest places.  It is my doubting side which has continually proved the value of the spiritual.

Cutting out the first 50 years, then, it was two years ago this date which saw my arrival in Mumbai.  Specifically, to the teaching ashram of Chinmaya Mission, called Sandeepany Sadhanalaya.   

Purpose?  To undertake two years intensive study of Advaita Vedanta, Sanskrit and Indian Culture.  One did nurture the idea of taking on 'colour' at the end of it - that is to say, to become a 'nun', wearing yellow cloth - and taking up full missionary work.  That remained the case for a significant period of time.  Then things began to turn.

As a menopolyxinaemic  woman who has had life-long rheumatoid arthritis (plus a few concomitants we won't go into here), the sheer physicality of ashram discipline began to take a significant toll.  Add to that the simple matter of aging and it became necessary to think more deeply about the future.  CM is a vibrant and growing concern and it needs people with enormous energy and verve.  It may once have been true about myself, but it could be seen that this now has to be left to the young ones.  Not that there isn't scope for seniors to take yellow, it has been done, but my own level of commitment had to be measured also.

The option to take 'white' was there; this might be likened to the role of 'deacon' in the churches.  Active teaching and support for the 'yellow' in whichever centre one is based.  I was seriously considering this at the beginning of 2013.

Almost exactly at the time our Acharya ('professor') was bringing up the subject of our making decisions, three things happened.

  • I began blogging and immediately realised a forum in which one could still do the Vedantic outreach without having to become a physical liability to anyone.  Straight away ideas began to form.
  • My sister, out of the blue and without any discussion, brought to my attention a property she thought I would like… in Scotland (I emigrated to OZ in 1984 and have never thought of returning)…
  • One of my 'little brothers' here was having a heart to heart regarding his own decision, when he suddenly stopped and said "Amma, will you go to Scotland?"  Considering they all know me as Australian, this was a bit of a jolt.

All within 24 hours.

I entertained the concept and began seriously researching Scotland to see whether it truly called me - in the way that OZ had on that Great Adventure.  I will not bore you with the processing and angst and cogitations and ruminations…

When Acharya-ji asked us each in turn last month what we had planned, I sat before him, not entirely realising that I had made up my mind.  So we both got a surprise at what came out and the fervency it carried.

I am returning to Scotland.  Land of my birth.  A place of deep spiritual call also.  A place where I will be, again, a stranger.

Why?  There is an ache at the thought of leaving the shores of the deep red, ancient and mystical island which, in many ways, brought me to this point.  But that IS the point.  My path has always been driven by spirit.  It has taken me exactly where I have needed to be to reach the next junction and to make the correct turn.  I may buck and wriggle about that at times because it is not necessarily what I want.  But what I want is not the purpose of life.  What He/She/It/Self wants of me is the very best of who I am at any given moment and if now that means being in a brand new environment, starting over, so be it.

As regular readers will have surmised, there is not much pause for personal review around here.  The blogging itself was a late night 'switcher offer', the much needed deep breath.

Thus I am still, to some extent, trying to process the import of the change that is about to be wrought on this life once more.  The return to base, as it were, is not to be empty or free of obligation to spirit and what has been going on here.  On the contrary; it makes complete sense when one understands that to return to Sydney, with all the hectic humdrum and to make a difference there, would be extremely hard actually.  The people with whom one is close and who are invested in the person 'before' are unlikely to accept or adjust easily to the person 'after'.  Not personality-ways of course (I'm pretty stable!), but in the seriousness of one's pursuit.

The dear Lord Jesus even said [Matthew 13; 53-58] that to teach one's own can be problematic.

Neither am I returning to Scotland 'because of family' as a number of folk have concluded.   Of course, one is not going to ignore them (we have too much fun together for that!), just as I am not simply dropping my dear ones in OZ.  Whilst I am perfectly capable of being sentimental, I am in fact very good at detaching without fear or concern.  The good bonds never break.  The tenuous ones perhaps require to be broken.

What to do then?  Very much still 'in the egg' at the moment; but initially the outreach will come from the fifth blog page.  Don't expect that too soon, my dears!  There's a lot of moving around of bits and pieces and finding the new 'cave' to be done first.  Then there is the processing and reviewing of all that has been learned and revealed; it goes without saying I am sure, that this was not a finite, contained experience.  There will likely be a need to find some form of employment in order to service the bills.  All part of the process.  Further, it is time to finally get 'down and dirty' with my writing. It has been bubbling away beneath the surface for far too long.  I need to find my retreat.

So where to? Whilst the eye has been cast over various parts of Scotland, the most likely candidate at this stage is an inner Hebridean place. The sister who sent the property page way back in March would have preferred I was on 'home turf' over by Edinburgh - but if I do end up that way it will simply be because the right place came up at the right time and at the right price! 

First I have to make the shift.

When then? First step is from Mumbai back to Sydney.  Departure is set for midnight on the 11th October. That's less than seven weeks left in India.  The end is coming at us like a steam train now and studies have not let up… we have just completed the last of the upanishads and will this week complete Bhagavad Gita.  Then we still have two, very high, texts remaining .  Officially the course ends on 9th September; however there has been an extension for Acharya-ji, to ensure that all gets covered appropriately.  Then Guru-ji (Head of Mission) will close things off for us with a final text.

My dear pal Emm is coming over (about which I am sure you will be getting reports!), to help with the transition.  She'll be here in four weeks.  Lots to happen between now and the final shift, but the idea is to make the transfer to Scotland by the end of November.

There you have it then.  Finally I can announce it to the world.  You all have the advantage of reading my life as if it were a book.  I have the hard work of writing it.  But it's fun.  It's daunting.  It's amazing.  It's exactly as it needs to be.  To that end, allow me to finish with another of those amazing little things that happened around all of this.  The very next day after my interview - not even 24 hours if I recall well - my brother sent me the photograph below. 

It is looking across from the mainland to the Isle of Bute (he thought I might need a 'prod') - the boat in the foreground was just an accent as far as he was concerned.
Y-amini A-li M-acLean … [born ]26 [th] … [seeking emptiness] 0  
[so that] 
T [ranscendence can be] i [mmanent] 


YAM xxx


  1. How exciting to be making a big change. All the best.

  2. Hari Om

    Enjoy the journey!
    Happy for you!!!

  3. Oh wow, Yam. What a major decision and change in your life, but one which sound absolutely right to me, from the way you describe it. If you're coming to Scotland we may one day manage to meet face to face. :-) Hugs Pxx

  4. Hari OM
    Perpetua, I have no doubt that we will meet at some stage! You at least will have a closer understanding of the sort of process that is happening. There will be many hurdles still, but I feel ready.

    Lovely to have you back on the 'catch up'! Hope your journey home was good. xxx

  5. Excited. Imagine me joining you and Aitch in Chinese hats visiting castles in Scotland.

  6. Hari Om
    Should we warn all the bus drivers in that braw wee land??!!

  7. This is huge and exciting! I hope to meet up when you return to our shores.

  8. Leave Edinburgh it's expensive and a culture shock for you. You will be cold that is for sure compared to what your used to. Good luck if you go through with it, personally I'd be looking for somewhere quiet

  9. Hari OM
    Indigo - Arey Bhaiyya, I'd say it's a must!!

    Bill - you're on my wavelength good sir! Isle of Bute is the hot fave but am finding some bargains surprisingly close to the Auld Reekie... I was there for 7 weeks prior to coming to India and did indeed find it a changed city after 25 years apart - but loved it just the same. I agree expensive though. Quiet is the go. Definitely on for the quiet!!

  10. Ah, a big change indeed! I'll be holding good thoughts for you!! I've made moves like this during my 80 years here on earth, so I can relate!!


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