By Nayaswami Dharmadevi Romano
June 26, 2018

Being in LA has a number of superficial perks – a variety of great restaurants, temperate climate, wonderful museum exhibits, etc. but everything in this world has its pluses and minuses. A big minus I’ve discovered in the past 2 years is… the jackhammer!

We have the good fortune to live in a beautiful neighborhood called Hancock Park, with immaculately landscaped yards and giant, beautiful homes. About 3 years ago, a law was passed to help alleviate the housing crisis in Los Angeles that enabled people to build a “granny unit” of equal or lesser size than their main home.

Let the jackhammering begin!

Our quiet oasis became inundated with the “music” of jackhammers about 2 years ago when our neighbors decided to renovate. Five to six days a week, the jackhammer began its concerto (with the wet saw and wood chipper accompanying) around 7am and ended at about 5pm. Starting about 6 months ago, the second jackhammer joined in, which reminded me of the song “Dueling Banjos!” When the third jackhammer announced its arrival in my nervous system, I could only laugh, as I knew Divine Mother was having fun with me.

It gets better…

Last November, I was looking forward to visiting the quiet suburban neighborhood of Wilmington, Delaware, where my mother-in-law lives. When I woke up to jackhammers the day before Thanksgiving, I thought I must be dreaming. But no… she had decided it was the perfect time to get her front steps redone!

But that’s not all… I carried the jackhammers with me even when they were not physically present. While visiting Ananda Village, I woke up to my familiar sound and realized they were only “ghost jackhammers.” It took 3 days before the noise pollution wore off and I woke up to the actual sounds around me – peace and quiet.

“What” I asked myself, “is my lesson here?” I have a hard time wearing headphones or earplugs, so my morning meditations were suffering in a big way. I felt Divine Mother responding, “I’m in the jackhammers too!” I realized I was trying so hard to tune out the jackhammers, I was creating a tremendous amount of tension and cutting off the flow of Divine inspiration. At that moment, I consciously opened my ears and welcomed in the sound of the jackhammers as an aspect of God in the form of Aum, or the Cosmic Vibration. Just then, the inner sound of Aum became so audible that it overpowered the outer cacophony!

As Paramhansa Yogananda wrote in Whispers from Eternity:

“Whence, whence this soundless roar doth come,
When drowseth matter’s dreary drum?
On shores of bliss, Om, booming, breaks!
All earth, all heaven, all body shakes!”

Have the jackhammers stopped? No, I can’t say they have. But I can say that my meditations no longer suffer because of them. And I’ve found incredible inspiration in chanting Yoganandaji’s Om Song, which you can listen to here: