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Walking Through Fear to Devotion

Flower petals in bowls
October 15 2016

“Walking through Fear to Devotion” was written by Jaya Kula student Alice Geraldina.

A recent event put me face to face with some of my most deeply rooted fears and karmas. I’d like to share how spiritual practice has assisted me.

My residency in the United States is dependent upon a working visa. The process of obtaining this visa has lasted many months and has been good sadhana for me, as I am a very impatient—and hasty—person.


Alice during her recent trip to Italy.

After more than six months of waiting, the U.S. consulate invited me to an interview in Rome. I flew to Italy and on the morning of the interview I reviewed my paperwork to ensure I had everything that was required and realized that I overlooked my resumé.

I could not believe I had made such a stupid mistake. I did all I could to resolve the issue. I asked if I could print it or email it. The answer was no. I asked if I could send my resumé after the interview, and the officer wasn’t sure. Those 40 minutes waiting for my interview were the longest of my life.

All I could do was try to feel Ma, and repeat the Om Ma mantra.

Eventually, after my interview, the officer agreed to allow me to email my resumé, but did not say whether this issue had jeopardized my application. He simply said, “We will let you know the decision in three business days.”

The day after the interview I woke up short of breath, with a cold sweat coating my back. I felt intense guilt, fear and pain at the prospect of losing all I love, including my teacher, my boyfriend, my spiritual community, my life in the states, and the possibility of helping my family through my job. What a fool!

I sat to do practice and tried to focus on my breathing throughout the day. At night my heart physically ached. I realized how much Catholic culture had conditioned me to feel guilt and self-blame when I make mistakes and how tense that made me. For the first time in my life I did mantra by myself and I felt how my heart was starting to soften.

I started crying profusely as an image of my teacher came to my mind. In the face of possibly losing her, I felt how stupid all my resistances have been. I experienced an intense feeling of gratitude.

Out of that moment of release and tears, a realization emerged for which I feel grateful. I might be stripped of everything I desire, all that I cherish and love, but nobody can ever take away my devotion for my guru and my practice.

In that moment I felt that surrendering totally to what is helped me walk through the fire of this intense fear of loss, and the fruit was this feeling of devotion. With this awareness solidly anchored in my heart, along with a profound desire to surrender, I felt that I could face this situation, whatever happens.

Postscript: Alice’s visa was approved!