The Heart of the Matter
May 12, 2021

Prem Manchester.jpg

These days, I am doing a lot of reflecting. "Unhurried consideration," is how the dictionary defines it. "To think deeply or seriously about," which, I might add, is not the same thing as being "nostalgic" as some people might assume.

When a person looks at their self in a mirror, they see their reflection -- their appearance. Our reflection, however, only reveals our body. The reflection I am talking about reveals another part of us -- that which is beyond the body. And though, this kind of reflection isn't always accurate, filtered as it might be by perception, bias, and faulty memory, it is an important element of what makes us homo sapiens -- "the ones who know."

Reflection helps us learn, grow, and become more self-aware. And while it is always possible that reflection can devolve to nostalgia or obsessive analysis, done consciously it is a great boon -- a wonderful opportunity to wake further up.

From what I can tell, one of the silver linings of Covid-19 has been the opportunity for billions of us to reflect more deeply on our lives. With more time on our hands than ever before and many of our life patterns disrupted, opportunities for reflection abound. And I count myself as one of those billions, having used at least some of my socially distanced, quarantined, all-bets-are-off time to take a good, long look into the mirror of my life.

Sometimes I like what I see. Sometimes I don't. But I always learn something -- however subtle, an insight with the potential to help me live a more conscious life.

Two days ago, deep in reflection mode, I remembered something about my past that I had not thought about for many years -- a curious behavior of mine that has much application to my life TODAY, some 40 years later.

Here goes:

As a young student of Prem Rawat, in the 1970's, I did my best to attend as many of his events as possible -- large group gatherings where, for a weekend, sometimes as many as 10,000 of his followers, having traveled long distances, would convene to listen to him speak.

At some of these events, on the second day, there would be an opportunity to get on line and come before him -- a kind of receiving line -- known, back then, as a "darshan line". This experience, for me, was always astounding in a way that compared to nothing else in my life. Always it was radiant, deepening, soulful, timeless, renewing, and very much beyond words.

With thousands of people in the audience wanting to enjoy this experience, some kind of logistics were required -- a way to facilitate the "people moving" process. And so, whoever the ushers were, at the time, would signal a section of the audience to stand and make their way to the back of the line that had already formed. The rest of the people in the hall would simply remain in their seats, looking forward to the moment when their section would be called.

Now, here's the curious thing -- the memory that, two days ago, surfaced for me as I was reflecting on my life. More often than not, when my section was called, I would move to ANOTHER section in the hall -- a section that had not yet been called. Logically speaking, one would think I'd be "chomping at the bit", or "raring to go" -- thrilled for the opportunity to make my way closer to Prem. But logic was not the driving force at that moment. Something else was. And for me, that particular moment always brought with it an accompanying feeling that I WASN'T QUITE READY to approach Prem -- that I needed to be deeper... or more receptive... or more devoted... or more whatever.

And that's why, when my section was called, I would move to ANOTHER section of the hall that had not yet called. You see, I wanted to be sure I was REALLY "in the right place" to have my special moment with him.

And while, as I look back at that time, I can appreciate that my intentions were "good", now, many years later, there is something very revealing about that particular behavior of mine that has great resonance with my life today. Just like some people believe they never enough degrees... or money... or time... or friends -- the ruling experience that something is lacking -- I, too, back in the early days of my soul's aspiration, was coming from a place of lack -- my assumption being that somehow I wasn't READY to fully appreciate the brief moment I was about to have with Prem.


I am happy to report that those days are over. It took a while, but I finally got there -- the understanding that life is a "come as you are" party -- that there is no special way to be... or act... or think... or feel... and that each and everyone of us are perfect as we are in THIS moment.

Indeed, one of the extraordinary gifts I have received from Prem Rawat is precisely this recognition -- what sometimes has been referred to as "I am that I am." Selfhood. Pure being. Presence. In other words, whoever we are in THIS moment is enough. The imagined "perfect self" that we dangle in front of ourselves like some kind of spiritual carrot is not only a waste of time, it is totally unnecessary.

As Lao Tzu once said, "he who knows he has enough has enough." And it's corrolary is also true, "He who knows he IS enough, is enough."

Not only do I have enough, I AM enough. And not only am I enough, I AM, which is, basically, the whole deal.

No matter what path we walk, skip, hop, run, leave, return to, or write about, we are here, now, alive, and well. AS WE ARE. Yes, we are enough -- you, me, and the other 7.7 billion people on planet Earth. AS IS. In THIS moment, breathing one breath at a time. Rich, poor, young, old, single, married, known, unknown and everything in between.

Indeed, this is one of the great teachings I have received from Prem Rawat. Even more than a teaching, it is an EXPERIENCE -- that THIS moment, right here, right now, today, wherever I happen to be, regardless of the circumstances of my life and how I stack up in relationship to my concepts of what would be better, is the PERFECT MOMENT. God is here now. Life is here now. Breath is here now. Love is here now. Gratitude is here now. Freedom is here now.

And there you have it, my friends, no matter what section of the audience you are sitting in.

Ready to stand?

Photo: courtesy of TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at May 12, 2021 07:49 AM

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