Great teachers skilfully guide us to quiet our mind and expand our heart. My Guru, Jivanjili, last Christmas in India gave me a new name reminding me of this wise teaching. Nirmal, means pure heart. Actively caring for your sacred self is for me is the path of heart. This loving-kind act is about finding what matters the most, living from the center of our heart. Below is a wonderful story by another one of my amazing teachers, Grandmother Lillian, who tells what self-compassion is all about.
“We have many teachings on the value of nurturance. When I was a child my father told us about the Rose Story. He said the Creator asked the flower people, “Who among you will bring a reminder to the two-legged about the essence of life?” The buttercup answered, “I will, Creator, I will.” And the Creator said, “No, you can’t, because you’re too bright.” All of the flowers offered their help. At the very end the rose said, “Let me remind them with my essence, so that in times of sadness, and in times of joy, they will remember how to be kind to themselves.”
So the Creator, the Master Gardener, took a seed of the rose and planted it in Mother Earth. The winds tilled the soil and the warm rains gave it water until a very small sprout came through the ground. Day after day it grew. The stem sprouted little thorns that were very, very sharp. After the thorns came the little leaves. As time went on, a little bud formed. After much care this little bud bloomed into a full rose.
And so life is like a rose. The thorns are our life’s journey; without them we would lack the hard won teachings that we need to in order to grow. Life’s experiences make us who we are. And like the rose, we too decay and die many times in a life time only to come back to fruition again and again, after reflection, meditation, awareness, acceptance and surrender.
My father told us the rose is both life and it’s gifts. So when I am making my own Medicine Wheel, I put the rose here in the centre as a reminder of my own life’s journey and it’s gifts*”.
Recently, I have ventured upon a radical shift for me. Fully visualizing this rose growing in the middle of my Medicine Wheel, is how me, Nirmal, wishes best to go forth!