Coming from a family of notable authors, my home had always been full of books. Sometimes, I even convince myself that when I first opened my eyes in this world, the first thing I laid my eyes on must have been a book. Books and reading have always been a strong passion for me. Everybody in my family, be it the elders or the kids has always loved reading and they still do. Reading has always been encouraged in my family.
At a very young age, I started reading psychology, metaphysics, philosophy, religions, civilizations, and of course my favorite J.R.R. Tolkien. I couldn’t get enough of it. I always knew too much about the deeper aspects of life compared to my age group. I took pride in being so well-read for my age. I knew I was a unique youngster who had her own land of books to go back to when I was done dealing with the illusions of life for the day.
As time flew by, I became a voracious reader and a thinker. I began creating a massive library of my own. In that library were some masterpieces of which I was very proud. Every book made me wonder more and more. I was filled with awe about the books and the stories that were actually in motion on the pages of these books. I respected my books immensely. I couldn’t even make myself share my books with my friends because I knew they wouldn’t respect my books like I did and would not return them in the same pristine condition. They wouldn’t understand that each and every book was breathing a story.
With all that reading, I began asking some serious questions about life and creation. I began challenging the theories that existed for many generations. My mother used to worry about my deep thinking process. None of the people in my life were able to completely answer my questions. Even some older people from the respective fields had disappointed me. I continued reading. I believed books were my only solace and sooner or later they would help me discover the answers to my questions.
Then one day in 2008, I found myself meditating with a group of people at my school. I was a graduate student and I was looking for a cheap source of spiritual training because I couldn’t afford to pay for another class in addition to my tuition. A Heartfulness meditation trainer on campus introduced me and my friends to the practice of meditation free of charge. It has been more than eight years since I first started meditating.
Few years after that, I began working on a beautiful island. I learned that there was an old age home on that island that was in the process of creating a library for its occupants. They were looking for book donations. That evening I came home with the intention of donating some unwanted books from my personal library to the library on the island. I began choosing and picking my donation books very carefully and started putting them in boxes. I was done with the process within an hour. Once my books were packed, I turned and looked at the empty space on my shelf and I suddenly realized that I had packed my entire collection for the old people’s home.
That moment was one of the most powerful life-changing moments of my life. While I stared at that empty book shelf; the book shelf stared back at the “empty me.” I stood there in silence finally accepting my reality. Ever since I began meditating, the void inside me was being filled by something much bigger than the so-called knowledge and wisdom that I used to derive from my books. The answers to questions that I used to seek from my books and learned scholars were being answered during meditation. The pride that I used to feel for being so well-read had left me long ago; especially when I realized that whatever I knew had never been able to answer my own questions. My ego of being a young owner of an exotic library was lying at my feet in the form of packed boxes of books.
Both, my books and I knew that it was time to move on. That moment had arrived where we would go on to find our new paths. They had played the necessary role in my life forming a strong base for spirituality to enter my life. I will always be thankful to them for that. But it was now time for them to enter somebody else’s life and create a base for that individual to learn, understand, and appreciate the knowledge and wisdom that was waiting to happen to them through these books.
As for me, I knew I had become completely empty just like my book shelf. I was a clean slate now… waiting for Nature to write its story on me. In fact, today I am on such a beautiful spiritual journey that I have myself become the story. Through meditation, Nature has bestowed upon me its Grace where I can write, read, and be my own story. I am no longer left agitated when my questions are not answered because for the very first time in my life, I have realized that I am my own question and I am my own answer. I am.