It’s my honor today to introduce Wholesome Soul’s first contributing author: TARINI!
She is one amazingly talented girl….who’s extremely brilliant, infectiously sweet and wise way beyond her years. I could go on and on about her accolades, how much I love her and how impressed I am with all that she’s accomplished at such a young age, but instead I’m going to let you fall in love with her yourself….
I hope you enjoy the following piece she chose to share, as an introduction of herself to you….without further delay, please, give TARINI a warm, warm welcome!
Forgiveness at 15,000 feet
“Can’t we just go to Disneyland like normal people?” I asked my parents when they told me that we were going to Tibet. My parents have been disciples of Shri Anandi Ma for the past thirty years, and I was raised around meditation, mantras, and other Hindu rituals, like pujas. I also attended Catholic school from age four to age fourteen. Needless to say, I was a little confused about religion.
Jesus or Krishna? Monotheism or polytheism? Questions like this had filled my head for as long as I could remember. I had no idea which answer could possibly be the correct one, and my parents never seemed able to give me a straight answer. I came to believe in neither, and grew increasingly resentful and insecure about my lack of faith.
So, our pilgrimage to Mount Kailash, Tibet inspired no excitement in me. The place where Lord Shiva lives and Mila Reppa flies only made me upset because if I had already participated in two, totally different religions, and felt nothing, there was probably little hope for me.
When I arrived at Lake Manasarovar at the base of Mount Kailash, Anandi Ma asked us all to prostrate eleven times to the mountain. Oh, great, I thought. I’m at 15,000 feet and I have to do push ups? I did the prostrations, and then sat sullenly in the jeep. Then, I heard someone begin to cry and sob. All of a sudden, something inside of me clicked.
I had been so caught up in all of my anger, confusion, and insecurity, when really the only thing that mattered was my own spiritual growth. I had been holding onto things that had gone wrong or made me upset, when all I needed to do was let go and forgive. I looked all around me, and saw the beauty of the mountains and of the lake, and I knew replacing anger with forgiveness was the only way for me to live life enjoyably. The trip was a sort of metaphor: I could go along, being cranky about the fact that there were no toilets and that we’d been driving since 2 AM; or I could let those inconsequential things go and love where I was. In the same way, I could go along, being angry that things in my life had been less than optimal and hold onto that resentment and hurt; or I could be grateful for what I have been given. Life is a journey in the same way that a long, hard pilgrimage is, and your success is based on your attitude.
I am so incredibly grateful to my parents for taking me on that trip, for exposing me to different religions, and most of all, for giving me the gift of a spiritual teacher and meditation.
Hi! I’m Tarini (Tah-ree-nee). I wrote this essay last year for my college applications. Since then, I’ve realized more and more the importance of spirituality, kindness forgiveness, gratitude, patience, meditation, faith, and devotion on this long journey called life. My essay was supposed to be about an event that changed my life and my trip to Tibet certainly did that! So for my first post, I thought I’d share this important moment in my life with you.
Now, I’m on my way to college to earn an undergraduate (and maybe even a graduate) degree! I don’t have much of an idea of where my life is going, but I have faith that by the Grace of God, everything will turn out great; and I am so honored to share parts of my journey with all you readers out there on this wonderful blog created by the wonderful Kajal Dhabalia! Yay! Here’s to new adventures, new realizations, and the continuing spiritual journey!