Even Mightier Than the Pen
February 22, 2014
Calling For As Much Help As Possible
When it became clear to me, at 21, that I was caught in a rip tide and losing strength rapidly, I shot a quick glance at my girlfriend who was swimming just ten feet away. Her eyes were full of fear. She could not speak... so I made my way over to her and did the only thing I could think of which was to cup my hand beneath her chin, tell her to relax, and, with my other hand, try to paddle to shore, which was about as insane an effort as I could have made, her being the same weight as me, me having no clue how to rescue a drowning person, and barely able to keep my own head above water.
It was clear, at that moment, that unless I went for help we were both going to die, and we were too young to die, so I abandoned my heroics, closed my eyes, and started swimming to the shore.
I have no clue where the energy came from. Just seconds before I had zero strength. None. I was gulping water. I couldn't lift my arm. But something had definitely gotten a hold of me. It was fifth gear time.
When I opened my eyes, who knows how long after, I found myself swimming in water only two feet deep. Amazed there was ground beneath my feet, I did my best to stand and stumbled to shore. But no one was there. No one. Not a single soul. The beach was completely deserted.
Here, in this stark naked moment of life and death, when I needed SOMEONE, I was all alone. Totally alone. And then, from the depths of my being something -- a sound, I think, coursed volcanic through my veins and my bones and my cells and made its way to the surface of what remained of my life. One word. That was it. One solitary word. One naked, all alone-in-the-universe word. That's all I could muster. Me, a man of many words, even at that tender young age, had only one word in my vocabulary -- and it was HELP!!!!!
I screamed it from the bottom of my soul to the void. "HELLLLLLPPP!!!"
To my right, about 30 feet away, I saw a young woman walking oh so slowly towards me, not breaking stride, staring at me as if I was completely insane. Getting as close to her as I could, maybe 10 inches from her face, I screamed again at the top of my lungs -- a scream I had never screamed before, a sound I had never heard before.
I turned and pointed to the horizon to show my rescuer where my girlfriend was, but there was no one out there. No one. Nobody. Nothing. All we could see were waves... and sky... and clouds. Nothing else. There was no one out there. No one.
At that moment, a moment I will never forget no matter how many lifetimes I live, I died a thousand deaths. Yes, I was alive, but Connie was gone... gone... she was... gone... and then... unbelieving.... we saw... a head... hers... barely bobbing... above the waves... both eyes open, looking at us.
The woman standing next to me finally understood what I'd been trying to say and shouted to her boyfriend. Together, the two of them ran headlong into the water, swam out to Connie, and dragged her in. It was easy for them, and then, like a dream, they were gone...
The first thing Connie and I did was kiss the ground. Then we started singing children's songs, anything we could think of -- Happy Birthday to You... Jingle Bells... Row, Row, Row Your Boat. It didn't matter what the song was, as long as both of us could sing it together.
That's all we did for the next two hours... lay on the white sand beneath the hot summer sun and sing children's songs. Many children's songs.
Every Minute Counts
Real Elevator Music The Core of Your Being
February 18, 2014
When I was 21, I almost drowned in the Atlantic Ocean, I was, literally, going down for the third time when an unexpected will to live and a power well beyond my sapped physical strength took over and swam me to the shore.
So ecstatic I was to be alive, that I vowed, right then and there, to never ever ever complain about anything for the rest of my life.
For three days, I lived in a state of pure elation and gratitude. I would have done anything for anybody -- and I did. Heaven. It was Heaven. Off the grid gladness and delight. Nothing could touch my state of peace.
Then, on the fourth day, upon walking out of my house to get in my car, I noticed that the front right tire was flat. Immediately I started kicking the tire and cursing loudly. The F word ruled supreme.
Then I saw what I was doing. Three days ago I had made a pact with God that I would never complain or get upset about ANYTHING ever again for the rest of my life and here I was kicking a tire on a Pontiac LeMans and screaming like a total idiot gone mad.
To say the least, it was a humbling experience -- but one that was very good to have because it showed me clearly the gap between my empty vows and the state of consciousness I aspired to dwell in.
I've made some progress since then. Some. I'm still getting humbled. I'm still learning. But beyond the recognition of my imperfections and the ups and down of life, remains the "perfume of God" and the knowledge that I am -- as ALL OF US ARE -- extremely lucky to be alive -- with a choice, every day, of what to focus on. I choose gratitude.
Prem Rawat on gratitude
February 14, 2014
Happy Valentine's Day!
February 13, 2014
February 12, 2014
A Surprise Collaboration with Vivek
This morning I received a surprise email from Vivek, a young man from India I have never met.
Vivek told me that he had recently discovered my blog, The Heart of the Matter, and really enjoyed some of the visuals featuring excerpts of Prem Rawat's talks.
Since Vivek and his team were helping to promote the Youth Peace Fest (an event where Prem Rawat would eventually address an audience of 183,500 people), he decided to make a video of the slides, add some cool music, and show it at colleges, offices, and other venues around India to get the word out. Vivek noted, in his email to me this morning, that the show was a "big hit with audiences."
February 11, 2014
Happy February 10, 2014
Out of the Mouths of Babes
February 05, 2014
Youth Peace Fest in India
Prem Rawat was the keynote speaker at India's Youth Peace Fest. Size of audience? 183,000!February 04, 2014
The Glowing Ember of Your Heart
Everybody I know has something within them -- ember-like and glowing -- that is completely capable of flaming up at any given moment.
This "something" has been called many things by many people throughout the ages, but it does not need a name to give off light. Primal, elemental, and pure, it is the innate potential every human being has to be fully alive.
What fans the flame of this unnameable ember varies from person to person, but its essence is the same: the power to ignite a transcendental sense of wholeness, goodness, and joy.
Some people have this moment once in their lives. Some have it every day.
Here's my wish for you: Find that which fans the glowing ember of your heart. And when you do, give thanks.February 03, 2014
There's a Saint Louis, Missouri... Why Not a Saint Francis?
If you happen to be feeling overwhelmed at the moment, unappreciated, neglected, ignored, unloved, unsettled, diminished, disappointed, disillusioned, disgruntled, or just plain dissed, the following words from Saint Francis -- spoken over 800 years ago -- may be just what the doctor ordered.
By the way, you don't have to be a saint to get the value. Just a human being.
THE SAINT FRANCIS PRAYER
"O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light, and
Where there is sorrow, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."
The Shortest Sentence