A few weeks ago, I did something weird for a seventeen year old. I joined The Art of Living course of six days. Well, not me, but my mother wanted me to go. She was dead set on me going there for three and half hours every day for six days, a week before my exams. I went there the first day, swearing that I won’t go again.

If only I knew how wrong I was.

That was the happiest week of my life. Sure, the yoga was excruciating and every muscle on my body ached for a long time. Yes, my legs were numb after two hours of sitting cross legged with a straight backbone. And yes, it was difficult on concentrate on every breath I took in and let out, according to the tape of Sudarshan Kriya. But the relief and calmness it gave me was actually divine. With me, there were five other people doing the course. The best part was how we got connected to each other on an out-of-this-world level. To be honest, I didn’t even like one of them. She was the typical ‘Mean Girl’ I had always hated. But then, she didn’t seem so bad. She was like one of the six parts of me. I still talk to her whenever I see her. I shared some pretty intimate details with that group, and so did they with me, and each other. The connection is just beyond my understanding. With thee five people, two teachers used to guide us. Today one of them is in coma, surviving on a ventilator.

I’ve known that lady my whole life. My mother and grandmother went to her, too, when they did the same course. She’s practically family. I feel awful that she might die. I can’t handle one more dead person. Last time someone close to me died, I almost blamed myself for her dying. I cried for two nights continuous. This time, I’m not sure I’ll handle it in a good way if she dies. Either I’ll go bonkers, or I’ll not shed a single tear and then keep it all in me. I had no idea that she occupied such a place in my life. I never thought that I’d feel this way if she were dead. I never even thought about her dying, actually. (You see, I’m weird that way. I imagine what my life would be like if people who are close to me die.) I guess those six days did change my life after all.

There was one thing, one thing that she, and the other teacher always said. It was, “Forgive others. They made a mistake. They’re humans just life you are. Be free of the pressure and just…forgive.”

It’s not easy. I’ve tried and it takes every fiber in my being to forgive those who hurt me. I’m great at letting go of things, people, situations and what not. I’m not great at letting go of things that hurt me. I store them inside of me and they start to eat me from within. I try to forgive them. I try to see things from their side but I fail every time. The pain that they caused me is just too real. I can’t  just give this away. I can’t wish it gone. It’s the opposite of how I feel for them. Whenever I look at them, I want them to suffer. I want them to feel the pain that I felt, the emptiness, the hole in my heart..everything. But there’s an inkling in my mind saying, “Set it free.” I want to listen to that inkling, because

Forgiveness is what she taught me. She taught me to let go of my ego, and forgive. Even if the person doesn’t deserve your forgiveness, you deserve the peace of mind. Today, when she’ll most probably die, I think I’m ready.

I’m ready to let go of everything that hurt me.

I’m ready to start off with a clean slate.

I’m ready to take the leap of faith again, even if it hurts me this time, too.

Because I deserve it. I deserve the peace of mind. 

As for my teacher, I sincerely hope she gets well soon. Otherwise, this whole plan might as well go in vain.



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