The East gate of Śiva Nataraja temple 🔱

I am entranced by the sounds of the mantras echoing through the outer and inner sanctums, delighting in the scents of ghee, sandalwood, and incense as they waft through the air. I am in wonderment of the scurrying devotees in their bright-coloured and spangly saris ready for Darshan –  the beholding and viewing of a Deity. I am suddenly struck with the feeling that I have arrived home. I feel it in every cell of my body; there is no denying it. 

Breathtaking. I was struck speechless, in complete awe of the sacredness and beauty of this ancient temple. You feel the pure Devotion and transmissions of its priests and devotees who keep the temples and practices alive. As I move through the pūja ceremony, I feel the tensions of my body dissolve and the path between mind and heart widen. Despite lots of outer movement in the temple, abhishekam, the offering of flowers, the fanning of flames from Aarti, the smearing of ash on foreheads, and the crowd of squishing people trying to get the best spot to see God, accompanied by the loud sounds of drums, horns like you’ve never seen before and chanting.. the searching and seeking for enoughness, for more, and anything other comes to a complete halt, and I taste a great stillness and quiet joy that holds everything with loving acceptance. I’ve never felt so free… entirely held and touched by Grace. 

I circumambulate around the temple, feeling the old, dusty stones beneath my feet that have been smoothed by the walking of thousands here to worship; with each step, I repeat.. 

oṃ namaḥ śivāya
oṃ namaḥ śivāya
oṃ namaḥ śivāya

Before I leave to somehow sleep, I get on my hands and knees and prostrate before Śiva, with the recognition that I also bow at my holy feet and yours too. 

I already long for my return to Chidambaram, the place where God consciousness dances and plays. For now, I keep you close in my heart and sing to you.


Playfully, you hid from me.
All day I looked.

Then I discovered
I was you,

and the celebration
of That began.

~ Lalleshwari