please see chapter three before you read chapter four…..
posted backwards in time:
That night there was a concert. The late Ali Akbar Kahn and Zakir Hussein played classical Indian music for everyone. It was unbelievable. I had never been drawn to Indian music nor had I ever heard it really like this in person. It was simply amazing and I was riveted and blown away by it. The whole time I had this crazy desire to go sit next to this guru guy at his feet. I have no idea why. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
The next day we had a Darshan. People were buying flowers to give to the Guru. You could spend little or a lot. In the meditation hall he came in as people chanted and sat in front. Then people would approach in a line and give him a flower. There would be an exchange between he and the student. In this case for some time. Girls sat near him to take the flowers and arranged them in to vases nearby. He then gave the person a sweet, like a chocolate covered strawberry. This exchange of flowers and sweets was to signify the sweetness of the teacher student relationship. This was the time to get the Shakti.
A I watched I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of emotion. This might not say a lot given that I can cry during commercials given the right time of month. But it was palpable and real. Many of these people were raw with emotion. They were open and coming to give and receive love. That is very moving. He was “working” with each of them. And what he was doing was amazing. Some people he approached with humor making them relax. Others he simply hugged or touched. Some he held their hands and talked for a while. Sometimes it was quick and simple. Sometimes he spent some time with a person as though the passing of time was not the issue. I was forcing back tears. Was I moved by what I perceived to be the true nature of people, to struggle with the ever-present pain of life? Or was I moved to tears by my own anxieties about having someone see my pain and see “me”? I do know one thing…I was very nervous.
When it was finally my turn, I approached. He looked at me clearly and completely present. It was disconcerting.
I said, “It must be hard to give so much love to so many people” thinking I was being polite. Consoling the Swami and all. He looked at me strangely and said, “I think I am doing okay, don’t you?” I laughed. It was funny. It relaxed me a bit. But then he continued to look at me. Taking me in. Completely in.
I don’t think people really look at each other that way in our culture. We look away. We don’t really keep our gaze trained. I think it might even be considered impolite or too intimate. I wasn’t even aware of that until I was in this gaze. Except it wasn’t impolite as I wanted it and invited it. In fact I thought I could sponge it up and stay in this gaze forever. It felt like unconditional love was pouring out of him and boy it felt great. At the same time, it scared the shit out of me. So I had some competing emotions all of a sudden. I think this all comes back to one simple issue. Did I deserve all this unconditional love? I started to walk away but he held my hand, continued to look at me with compassion and said, “I was just starting”.
And then it hit me. OMG. It’s time to ask for what you want or the moment will end and you will be lost without it. Go ahead. Ask him.
“I came to get that thing you have. That thing. The Shaktipat”. Now he looked as though he was going to burst into laughter. But he was polite enough to hold back. He paused and said, “You already have it. In you” and touched me right where my heart would be with a flat palm. “I do? Then why can’t I feel it?”
He paused again and then said, … “Look, you very much want something amazing to happen in your life. And I promise you it will. But….you really need to lighten up.”
And then it happened. I started to cry. I mean really cry. I never cried in therapy or really in front of anyone. Not my thing. Too proud for that. But here is the crazy thing. I couldn’t really stop it.
My friend found me and asked what was wrong. I told her nothing at all but I couldn’t stop these tears. She told me the Swami asked her if she was the cutest girl in Southern California. “Why didn’t he say anything profound to me?” She asked. Because you didn’t come here looking for that. You are happy being the cute girl. I came for the shaktipat. The teacher doesn’t go anywhere you don’t invite him to go. I read that somewhere and felt smart quoting it.
The tears….it turns out, I later learned, that was a strong release of energy. It was shaktipat.by