Yesterday’s tale of Inanna continued to resonate with me, echoing the profound realizations in the story, Inanna’s unique ‘me‘—her essence and gifts—mirroring my introspection into my own inner strengths and qualities.

The day began with Alayasri sharing Eckhart Tolle’s poignant poem, reminding us of the inner wealth that surpasses any material gains. This set the tone for a day of deep contemplation and self-discovery.

Those who haven’t found their true wealth
which is the radiant joy of being and
the deep unshakable peace that comes with it are beggars
even if they have great wealth.
They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfilment,
for validation, security or love,
while they have a treasure within
that not only includes
all those things
but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.

Eckhart Tolle

As we gathered in the Shrine Room, the stage was set for the continuation of Inanna’s story. With the mesmerizing sound of the Kalimba, Mandarava narrated how Inanna returned to her kingdom, sharing the ‘me‘ with her people, signifying the endless bounty of her wisdom and virtues.

However, Inanna’s thirst for experience was unquenched. Despite her vast power as the Queen of heaven and earth, she longed for more, daring to venture into the perilous underworld ruled by her ruthless sister, Ereshkigal.

Adorned with seven sacred items symbolizing her protection, Inanna embarked on her journey with Ninshubur, her loyal servant.

Upon reaching the underworld, a harrowing trial awaited her. Stripped of her protectors at each of the gates, she faced judgment, leading to her death at the hands of Ereshkigal.

This brutal turn in the story caught me off-guard, stirring a whirlwind of emotions. The group meditation that followed led me to a personal confrontation with my own inner underworld, a realm of unhealed wounds and fears.

In our afternoon session, Mandarava described Inanna’s ordeal as a ‘shamanic death,’ prompting us to reflect deeply. We explored our emotional responses, the protective measures we set up in our own lives, and how we navigate our darkest fears with compassion and support.

The narrative mirrored the journey we all face, delving into the depths of our psyche, confronting what lies beneath. It was a powerful reminder of life’s inevitable descent into the underworld and the resilience needed to emerge from it.

Grateful for the group’s empathetic support and the opportunity to share our individual struggles, the afternoon’s conversations were very moving.

Later, Helen and I took a walk, sharing our experiences. We both agreed how good it was to be able to take the time and space to do this work away from our fast-paced lives.

As the day drew to a close, the gentle breeze and the warm embrace of the sun served as a poignant reminder to me of the transformative power of our inner journeys. To bravely explore the depths, the shadows where fears dwell, to reconnect to parts of ourselves with more awareness, insight and wisdom.