A couple of days ago, I attended a rigorous induction to Kriya Yoga. The Kriya Yoga method is based on attention to breath as it relates to the chakras. The day was rigorous, the swamis equanimous, the seekers curious.
The goal, said the swami, was to never have a single moment of unhappy or sorrowful time. He was patient with me when I asked about the flip side of this equation. If there is never deep sorrow, how would one experience deep joy? To reach a higher consciousness, he explained, is to withstand the most trying of times with a deep inner joy.
This did not sit well with me.
I notice all the gurus happen to be people who have never personally experienced the very physical collision of intense joy with intense pain: childbirth.
The swami said: We don't know that. Perhaps they were women in a past life.
Maybe I'm too much of a cynic and a feminist to think these men were recognized as being karmically evolved only when their outer life was gendered masculine. Besides, I don't believe much in coincidence. I meditate. I see connections between everything.