SERYNA, Japanese Restaurant

Someone close to me has been suffering greatly; one morning, post-meditation, I thought of her again, and memories of a distant time when I too had been just as sad came back to me in a rush.

At the time, I lived in Manhattan, and was married to a man who was gradually morphing into a materialistic stranger. One evening I walked alone to Central Park to find relief from my constant thoughts of worry and confusion about the future. It was fall and the Park was absolutely wondrous, alive with color and beauty. I walked down a long inner path and began to weep soundlessly because, despite the surrounding beauty, inside I was a mass of feverish suffering.

IMG_1552I looked up at the darkening sky and cried out for help—and oddly enough, the face of a woman I’d recently met at a spiritual meeting flashed across my mind. A gray-haired Jewish woman of Russian ancestry who had grown up in a family of atheists, Miriam had never believed in God. So, when the hard times came, as they come to us all, she had nothing to fall back upon. She began drinking heavily and her life slipped down the tubes. One day her suffering got so intense she tried to kill herself. But her suicide attempt didn’t work, and she kept on living in utter misery—until a friend coaxed her to join Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the rooms, Miriam began to hear people speaking of their Higher Power. But no matter how hard she tried, she still could not believe in God, which to her was a word loaded with negative meaning; but a power higher than herself? Yes, that she could believe in. She mused about what she would call her own personal higher power and came up with the name “Harry”.

Miriam began to talk to her invisible higher power all the time. She told Harry every detail of her seemingly insurmountable problems, of her trials and her tribulations, of her searing loneliness and alienation, and begged him to help her find the peace and clarity she craved. Soon, just the idea that some power was close to her at all times, watching over her with indulgent affection, began to make her feel better. She got herself a good job and began to make new and sober friends who supported her journey back into herself—and she never let go of Harry.

IMG_1802Playing Miriam’s story back in my own head as I continued to walk through Central Park, I realized that I too had lost my connection with God. The old God I had learned about—the old man in the sky who looked down on us miserable creatures and made arbitrary decisions on rewards and punishments et cetera—had never worked for me. So, like Miriam, I too decided to personalize this being. I decided to name her after a quality that would make me happy above all else. Since I had already mingled with rich, famous and beautiful people in the course of my interesting life, and rarely seen them at peace, I decided that if I could have one thing, it would be the gift of serenity. Why? Because when one is serene, nothing else matters. As I headed for home, I decided to christen my personal higher power “Seryna”.

Months passed but my misery did not abate and I forgot all about that evening in the Park. One evening I was walking across Manhattan after work; I felt hopeless, unable to see a way out of my misery. It was misty and my eyes blurred with tears. As I turned down an Avenue, I bumped into a sign. I stopped and read it: “Seryna, Japanese Restaurant” it said—and I begin to laugh so hard that folks turned to see this crazy Indian girl going hysterical in the rain.

THIRD EYE 2Seryna hovered around me until I outgrew her. By this time I had begun to delve seriously into eastern philosophy, and my old notions of God began to shift into the gnosis that God is nothing less than existence, consciousness and bliss (sat-chit-ananda). Through my practice of hatha yoga and meditation, by reading a thousand books on wisdom traditions and mulling over and digesting their insights until they became a part of my view, my insides began to transform. I also found a guru who blew my mind with the meticulous way he imparted to me the Mahayana Buddhist teachings, and fell in love with the true meaning of Tantra, which for me meant the transmutation of darkness into light, and not the easy sex and licentiousness that many in both East and West believe it to be.

Today, after going through several major pathways and finding them enriching but not fully satisfactory, I have returned to my old love for Advaita, the simple but profound teaching that we are One. My guru is Ramana Maharshi, who taught in simple ways his Direct Path or Atma-Vichara (Self-Investigation). Who is this Self he speaks of? The Self is the One, God to some, pure consciousness to others. Ramana’s Direct Path appears to be easy on the surface of things, but I have found it to be a subtle and elusive teaching. Only an unwavering commitment to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow can break the puzzle of our suffering and lead us within, to the infinite reservoir of peace and bliss that is our birthright.

TRANSCENDENTAL SHIVAGreetings from Arunachala, Shiva in the form of a mountain, who vows to destroy our clinging to that false sense of self that causes all our suffering, so that we can know ourselves to be nothing less than the blazing light of the cosmos.

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19 thoughts on “SERYNA, Japanese Restaurant

  1. This was such a powerful read, Mira. I have had a very similar experience to yours in my own way. I was absolutely miserable towards the end of my married life, and felt trapped by the dissolution of my career as an elementary teacher. I did realize most of my misery was internal so I turned the blame on to myself, and it almost killed me. I, too, lost faith in God. In fact, I blamed Him for my troubles. By some miracle, I made it through a couple attempts to end the misery; not of my own volition, believe me. I feel I am healing now from the slings and arrows of my mind, and I have learned that even though we may forget God, God never forgets us. Blessings to you, dear sister of Light!

    • Thank you Dave, I so enjoy your “company” as I write what I write…you always have something deep and wonderful and supportive to say. I am glad we both made it out into the light!!! Love, M

  2. Mira, the more gifted one is by providence, and the more talented one is by engaged practice, then the golden road to ultimate reality becomes shorter. You seem truly far into this path!
    I admire you very much!

    • Thank you, Joseph, you are so kind, and of course I admire you too! I am surrounded by those who want freedom but don’t want to pay the price. The fact is that all of us have the power and capacity to seek moksha, but few are willing to commit heart and soul. Much love, Mira

    • Joe, I received your message sent via this blog, but when I responded to the email address you sent me (comcast) it bounced right back – please check that email or send me another one so we can stay in touch via email as well. Here again is my response to your email:

      So happy you are reading Whip, Joe! I do hope you enjoy it. If you do,
      please post a review on all the sites – Amazon, Kindle, Smashwords if
      possible. I do almost no PR apart form asking a friend to post a 5-star
      review if they like it that much — because anything lower brings the whole
      rating down! Ridiculous system.

      How do you know Rajendra Mehrotra? Om!

  3. Mira, all of us have the capacity to seek moksha. I found that I have a desire to seek this, but my capability at a specific date or time was limited by my need to pay attention to illnesses in myself and my family. Do you have further thoughts that you can share about this type of limitation. I found that there was a yearning to accomplish two important things at the same time.

    • I just posted something on FB that could help you: You will know the extremely intense desire for liberation has awakened when you have dropped all unnecessary activities to create the maximum amount of time for spiritual practice.
      If you do not do your spiritual practice everyday, eventually, sooner or later, your life will become full of suffering.
      If you do not do your spiritual practice everyday, you will experience death, diseases, violence and thousands of other types of suffering, lifetime after lifetime.
      If you do your spiritual practice everyday, for the maximum amount of time you can create by dropping all unnecessary activities, eventually all forms of suffering will end and you will live in:
      All delays are tricks of the ego.
      All detours are tricks of the imposter self.
      All distractions are tricks of the false pretend self.
      Every thought that leads you away from spiritual practice is a trick created by the imposter.
      Look at your daily activities and drop all those activities that are not necessary,to create the most time you can create for spiritual practice everyday.
      – Michael Langford

      For me, Joseph, a strong foundation in eastern philosophy is the key – check out the post I wrote on death meditation – 1) that death is certain, 2) the time of death is uncertain, and 3) when we die, we take nothing but our consciousness. (Dying Every Day for Months in Manhattan – scroll down my blog posts and you will find it). When this urgency makes itself felt, then nothing will stop us. Love!

  4. Thank you Mira for your profound reply. I have struggled many years with the general topic of RELATIVE VALUES, and the need to prioritize. I will need to get back to my pondering and taking into account the time-table of biological nature and physical-death meditation. I send you love.

  5. About Rajendra, I interacted with him on the LinkedIn “Spiritual Writer’s Association.” His website, I recall, shows full name Rajendra Nath Mehrotra. I am somewhat familiar with Indian names having “Nath” such as Rabindranath Tagore, and Satyendranath Bose. Bose was connected with Albert Einstein during the 1920’s, and my previous cardiologist, Kamalesh Lahir,i was a student of Bose in Calcutta during his youthful student years. These days there is an Institute of Basic Sciences in India, named after Bose. I was able to look into the archives of this institute. They listed scientific papers and authors of these and showed me how far advanced scientific education is in India..
    About my internet connections, I have had deteriorating service from Comcast for more than one year, with buffering when I listen to classical music on my internet radio. I am a dedicated student of music as a hobby. Also, I get brief & intermittent disconnections from the internet that breaks up my attempt to write mail, and I have to start all over again. Working with the technical staff, I found, is horrible! Some hardly know what they are doing. Comcast left a repair-job not fully tested out, and I could only get In Mail but not Send Mail from one address. A few moments ago I was thinking of calling Comcast technical people and ask for a new email address. I needed to delete the old address to prevent more confusion on their part!
    There have been public complaints about Comcast on the world wide web for several years.

    • Yes, Indians love science – was just reading Manu Joseph’s book – Serious Men – you might like it. Great read. As for Comcast, why not just get a gmail account? You could do it in a flash. All the very best, Mira

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