I am fascinated by the Guru. Learning from him is not like a typical, linear classroom experience. The instant I express a desire to learn something, I am on the alert. The Universe conspires to begin teaching immediately and I don’t want to miss an iota of it. I am in awe of how the Guru Principle works in and through him and through everything around him … which of course means everything around me. What is this Guru Principle? It is that mechanism in the world that supports our evolution, our expansion in awareness. 

Although it’s more than ten years ago, I can still remember an incredible moment we shared. It was after a week of full on activity. It seemed I just had to turn around and there was some situation that required urgent attention. I needed respite. The birds song was high as they sang their last hurra for the evening as I stood outside the meditation hall in the quiet evening, just before sunset. The glare of the intense sunlight gradually dissipated. I gazed into the horizon at the distant ocean liner slowly going out to sea. A wisp of cool air soothed my senses after the intensity of tropical heat of the day, gently tossing the velvety white frangipani flowers, releasing their perfume. A profound peace settled into my being and I closed my eyes to savour the unfolding nuances within. 

Eventually I opened my eyes and the Guru was standing next to me. We did not look at each other, there was no need. He left but that wordless communion remained.

Was that simply a random event? Something to chalk up as a pleasant memory? What was the purpose of it? How did it fit into my evolutionary journey? That timeless, soul enhancing peace motivated me to keep up my meditation practice, as I now felt convinced it was possible to live in that state. That moment of Grace brought the inspiration to keep going.

The week before, I journaled my longing to connect with the sacred within. It always seemed just beyond my grasp in my sitting meditations and not even conceivable in daily activity. 

The myriad of challenging situations in the ensuing week took all that I had to deal with them. My spiritual quest was put on the back burner. But to cope with the seesaw of life, I kept the “Om Guru” mantra constantly in my mind. When I didn’t know what to do I said the mantra, while I cleaned I said the mantra, in the midst of conflict I said the mantra. It was not a conscious decision to repeat the mantra, I was just trying to deal with stress. So in the pull and push of life, I held on to the mantra for stability.

Did the “Om Guru” mantra pull me deeper into the field of the Guru without my being aware of it? Of course because the mind was occupied with the mantra, there was less mind chatter, and it was easier to manage the negative emotion. The mantra was helpful when physical, mental or emotional healing was needed. It prevented me from dissipating my energy in worry and held me in a more elevated state, leaving me more empowered. Even the sound of the mantra brought comfort.

Come to think of it, the myriad of situations did not allow me the space to build stories in my mind. Neither was there much time to talk to others. The urgency of the situations pulled me into the present moment. I saw the difference between examining myself in a situation and dwelling unnecessarily on an event. So I saw a whole new way of dealing with the play of life, a way that brought greater inner freedom and peace.

In terms of the Gunas or the modes of operation, there was an awareness of lack of light within me and seeking of more light or centeredness, so I was aware of a certain level of tamas (darkness) in my system. It was like a weight holding me down, a weight I could not shake off. Then there was a lot of activity or rajas quality during that week. The focus of the activity was to remain centered so there was a sattvic intent. And it led up to a wonderful, purely sattvic moment with the Guru.

What about those who contributed to making it a hellish week? Didn’t the Universe use their tendencies to challenge and give me the opportunity to go deeper within? So even though I thought I put my longing on the back burner, the Guru Principle orchestrated life events to bring it to the forefront. Of course I had freedom of choice in how I dealt with those situations. Would I use it to evolve or get further mired in tamas or darkness?

But what gave the impetus to begin the mantra repetition? What gave the support to stay in the light instead of fighting with others or getting lost in frustration? Deep inside was a whisper of intuition. Despite the noisiness of my inner and outer environment, the more importance I gave to that inner voice, the more guidance it provided. Paying attention to my inner process showed me how to tune in. So I was never alone in my spiritual practice, the whole Universe (inside and outside) was there in support.

Those challenges were actually vehicles for my growth. I have let go of the stories and the personalities involved, I have only retained the lessons learned. I saw that I need not blame anyone, I need not react negatively. I could respond in a neutral way that brought more openness into the situation. My emotions need not be elevated nor down in the dumps, I experienced the inner stability of harmony. It was the beginning of self management. Later I learned deeper levels of seeking, but that is a story for another day.