Our two large suitcases lay partially full on the floor. For the past two weeks, we’d been slowly filling them with clothes and travel items for our trip to Ananda centers in Italy and India. We’ll be gone for three and a half months, so planning what to bring for different climes and times has been a bit challenging.

I could feel that my mind was beginning to churn as I weighed different options for what to bring, and tried to form a mental image of all the places to which we’d be going. Movement, time, space—it began to seem a bit overwhelming to me.

Then I remembered a story about a woman who traveled from England to India to visit a great saint there — Ramana Maharshi. Upon meeting him, she said, “I’ve come all the way from London to see you.”

“You haven’t moved at all,” was his startling reply. “The world around you has moved, but your own center has never changed.”

what changes

He was telling her that on the deepest level our consciousness is unmoving and not affected by any outer change. Yoganandaji wrote in Autobiography of a Yogi that divine sight is center everywhere, circumference nowhere. Every point of the universe can be perceived as the center. You are the center of the universe, and someday you will be able to experience this.

Swami Kriyananda once said, “You don’t really move. Space itself is a delusion. You seem to go from here to your home, to India, to Europe, but the world is really moving around you, as far as the perception of it is concerned. You were never moving, but you put yourself at your periphery, so it seems that you were moving all the time.”

He went on to say, “The same thing is true for time. You have been living a very long time, and yet you haven’t been living in time at all, except as you have persuaded yourself that it is real. It’s only an illusion in our consciousness.”

As I thought about these vast concepts, my mind began to slow down. I sat to meditate, and realized that soon I would be traveling around the world, but that I would be bringing my Self with me wherever I went.

And I knew from past experience that the days of our journey would pass quickly. In the blink of an eye, the next thing I would experience would be sitting in our little meditation room once again. Time and space — they really don’t exist as we usually perceive them. We may be dreaming them, but our souls aren’t bound by them.

Yoganandaji wrote: “God made man immortal. The plan was for him to remain on earth as an immortal. He was to behold the drama of change with a changeless, immortal consciousness and, after seeing the dance of change on the stage of changelessness, he was to return to the bosom of eternal blessedness.”

Silently I offered a prayer of gratitude for the constant guidance of our great teachers, who illumine our lives with their wisdom.

Now I have to get back to those suitcases…

With joy,

Nayaswami Devi