Week One:

As expected, there are several things that have happened in the past few weeks that have shaped my understanding of both God and humanity. The pandemic is terrifying; I am shocked, continually by the goodness of people in these troubling times. I watch the community build itself up. Protecting one’s own. We all have those pockets of people we would do anything to keep safe.

It’s been hard, though, to even think about God. 

I can’t write this blog post if I don’t tell you that. 

I was on Spring Break like the rest of BU when it became increasingly clear that the pandemic was hitting hard. Much harder than anyone had expected. My girlfriend had been telling me to Lysol our stuff for a couple weeks now, but for me, not nearly as farsighted as her, it wasn’t until Break that things got real. I wanted to pray to God, as I lay in my sister’s guest room, late at night, contemplating the enormity of what was happening. But when I tried, I felt like I was just hitting a wall.

My spiritual mentor, and mentor in all things really, Dr. Br. Larry Whitney, no longer worked at the Chapel. So it was difficult. And I’m not saying this for the sake of being difficult, myself. I’d much rather have been able to pray and meditate as normal in a time when the world was literally crashing down around me. I just genuinely was so sad and lost and confused and angry that I no longer got to have that space with him. And I didn’t know for the life of me how to reach out to God. Because, for the last two years, Br. Larry was the one I came to with all my questions about God, the Hindu texts, my grappling with the rise of Hindutva, any sect of Hinduism. Hinduism is very insular and, in modern times, tends to be very conservative. Because I often felt unsafe and unheard in spiritual discussions before I met him, he is my first ever mentor on spiritual matters. His office was a sacred space for me, just the same as any other place of meditation, where I could dissect Godliness. And now it was gone. Even though I could, and do, still connect with him outside of Marsh, it was still a space that had been lost to me.

It took a long time. I was like, there is no way that Br. Larry wants me to sit here and be sad about him not being at Marsh and in doing so not reach out for God. But when a sacred space is lost, I think it’s important to mourn. To intentionally remember what has been lost so we can carry it with us always. So we know how to find new sacred spaces. And in this time, that is more important than ever.


Stacia Gartland posted on November 5, 2020 at 2:21 pm

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neda posted on May 22, 2023 at 3:25 am

By the way, in these times, it is very easy to think about God… but it is difficult to keep this state…

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