Sannyasin. The 4th Stage Of Love.

by Sandra Radja

At some point you are going to have to admit to yourself that you’re as old as dirt. There is going to come a time that even if you have a bunch of desires, your body is not going to let you indulge in them anymore.
— Dr Robert Svoboda - 2014 Sydney Conference

Imagine it.  At some point you are going to say goodbye.  I think of the times I have said goodbye to people and places before.  There were times I wished I could have said some things in person and not after the goodbye event.  Email is ok.  No, it’s not actually.  Intimate correspondence by email bites and you know what, if you get a chance to do and say the things you need to in person, do it.  Forgive.  Say you love them.  You’re on your way out, just do it, for crying out loud.  Remember, the Vanaprastha stage is for getting all those desires out of the way.  By the time you’ve hit Sannyasin stage, hopefully you’re on the home run and the ball is way out of the park.  So take it easy and saunter into home base.  Maybe even shake your hips getting down there.

Preparing for the exit.  Thankfully Dr Svoboda has given us easy to digest ideas to take on board on a daily basis.  I was thinking about it this morning, actually.  I’m in the “dead” of Winter.  I have been sleeping a lot and moving less and it feels like a little depression, in a good way.  And I realized how I need to prepare my body for rebirth in Spring and part of that preparation is going inwards. I guess, death is the same thing if you believe in the cycle of reincarnation. 

The day represents the 4 stages of life we were talking about.  Childhood in the morning.  Adulthood represents midday.  Elderly years in the afternoon and “old as dirt” in the evening with sleep representing death.  Ayurveda replicates this thought.  Juicy Kapha as a kid, ambitious Pitta as an adult and reflective Vata in the eldery years. 

So one way to prepare yourself daily is to meditate before sleep.

Acknowledge what went well and what didn’t go well and let go of what you need to. Figure out what needs to be addressed the next day and try not to go to sleep without settling whatever argument you had with your spouse before you turn away from the world.
— Dr Robert Svoboda - 2014 Sydney Conference

Another way is to turn off.  Turn off the lights when you’re sleeping.  He made a note of the effects the blue LED light on your computers has on our organism.  Check out this article here on it (sorry about the crap advertising on the side, but the read is worth it).  Turn off – fast from talking one day a month, fast from eating one day a month.  Fast from the internet, fast from light. Fast from something that connects you to this earth. 

At least occasionally, act like you are preparing for a state of sannyasin, then you will be prepared for it
— Dr Robert Svoboda - 2014 Sydney Conference

I’m going to add to turn off bad memories.  You’re old as dirt by this stage, so who cares if you make a few things up.  Create good memories.  Remember to leave this stage with as much love in your heart as you can muster. 

I read an incredible book of memoirs recently by my writing teacher, Josie Emery.  It’s called “The real possibility of Joy”.  It’s a story of a man becoming a woman and the struggle to follow what burned inside her even to the detriment of losing connection with her kids and family.  It is such a raw account of feelings.  Her mother didn't accept her decision and, as we tend to do, saw it as a slight on her. Almost to the very end, she wasn't going to forgive her for making the changes to her body.  But she did, just before the curtain came down, she whispered that she loved her.  Ugh, heart wrenching stuff.  (and I didn't ruin any punchline if you're curious about the book)

Makes me think of the last rites given by the Catholic Church for the sick and dying and before an execution. 

Dr Svoboda’s guru, Vimalanda, said that we have the ability to burn up the energy behind words by speaking them out loud.  This works great for confessions but not so good if you have an idea you want to bring to the world.  Try and keep it under wraps in it’s embryonic stages.

But I digress.  You don’t have to wait until you’re old as dirt.  I reckon it’s much easier to make small changes on a daily basis than to go through the drama of the last rites.  Ayurveda would agree.