“Oh, I don’t ever worry about Mira being lonely,” a friend declared at a farewell party in Manhattan, thrown to celebrate my terrifying decision to leave mainstream life for the unknown quiet of the Himalayas. “She walks down to the grocery store alone and returns with a hundred friends.”
An exaggeration? Yes, but true in essence: for I was thrust into this world with an openness towards all beings, regardless of gender, age, caste, tribe, or income. You could say I was destined for the philosophy I would espouse as an adult—of Advaita-Vedanta, which teaches, in its most simple form, that all beings emerge from One and return to One.
My quest for a home in which I could focus solely on spiritual and creative goals finally led me to put down roots in a small south Indian town. I was drawn down south from the region of the Himalayas by the cleansing fire of Arunachala, the sacred mountain millions believe to be the living embodiment of Shiva, God of Paradox and Destroyer of Illusion—who burns away our insidious attachment to ephemeral body and mind so we can experience the immortal bliss of our Self. Continue reading