The Heart of the Matter
August 15, 2018
One Person at a Time

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My teacher, Prem Rawat, is a marvelous storyteller. From what I can gather, he tells three kinds of stories: 1) Jokes, which are the shortest kind of story there is; 2) Classic teaching tales that have been told for centuries and; 3) His own, personal accounts of meaningful moments in his life. All three of these story genres pack a wallop. All three, delivered at the right time in the right way, have the potential to uplift, awaken, and inspire.

The following story, which I heard Prem tell years ago, has stayed with me from the moment I heard it. I continue to drink from its fountain, refreshed every time I do. It's a story about his father, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, a great Teacher of his time in India, and a few of his students:

In the 1960's, a small group of Shri Hans' students, thrilled at the prospect that he was going to be visiting their village in a few months, made an extraordinary effort to get the word out. They handed out flyers, nailed posters to trees, organized introductory events, and did whatever else it took to alert as many people as possible. These were exciting times for these young devotees, moved as they were by the all-too-rare opportunity to pave the way for their Teacher's imminent arrival and the public event that would follow.

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Months passed. They worked around the clock, focused on just one thing -- inviting as many people as possible to hear their Master speak. Then the big day came. Everything was together -- the tickets, the ushers, the seating, the sound, and the music. But much to their surprise, only one person showed up. Just one. Supremely disappointed and experiencing who knows how many other painful emotions, they approached Shri Hans, solemnly, to deliver the bad news.

He just sat there, listening, nodding his head. Then he smiled broadly.

"OK," he said, "Very well! I understand. But do you realize how long this person has waited to hear my message?"

FOR YOUR REFLECTION: One person. That was it. Only one person showed up after months of effort. But the Master was not disappointed. Neither was he sad, upset, or judging anyone for the apparent lack of results. One person was sufficient for him. His was not a numbers game. His was something else. He was not measuring success the way most people do. He was coming from an entirely different place -- one that was filled with love, presence, and gratitude for the opportunity to share his message, even if there was just one person in the audience.

Maybe one day I will understand this. Maybe one day I will actually live this expression of truth. My strategy, historically, has been different. I conceive great goals. I make long lists. I execute a bunch of tasks in service to my great goals and, more often than not, there is a gap between my goals and what happens. Committed to a particular outcome, I usually end up feeling, much like Shri Hans' students, disappointed -- like I could have done better, way better. Like I blew it. Like the outcome I was going for would have manifested if only...

The older I get, the more I realize how flawed this way of thinking is. Having big goals is fine. There's nothing wrong with having big goals. But it's the attachment to my goals when things start getting strange.

While it's been years since I've heard Prem Rawat tell this story, I cannot get it out of my mind. And I don't want to. It's a lesson I need to keep on learning -- going beyond the numbers game and entering into the place where gratitude reigns -- the place where even one person showing up, or none, is not only sufficient, but divine.

Excerpted from this book
TimelessToday

PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at August 15, 2018 05:03 AM

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Welcome to Mitch Ditkoff's blog about what's really important in this life: Peace, gratitude, love, joy, clarity, and the effort required to wake up and smell the roses. Enjoy!

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