25. Ripples in the Pond

Spiritual Masters always remind us how remarkable the human soul is, and that our ignorance is a kind of amnesia, a forgetfulness of our essentially divine nature. Learning meditation is a process of rediscovery, of regaining mastery of our wayward mind, moving out of its shadows into the light of the heart and of the soul, a journey of remembering. The English writer Lawrence Durrell very nicely described meditation as “swallowing the sky” – the analogy captures the great widening and deepening of awareness that meditation brings, the expansion of consciousness. Guru, too, employed many “sky” metaphors when teaching us the ABCs of meditation, referring often to the “vastness-sky,” “oneness-sky,” “freedom-sky,” “delight-sky” in his imagery.

I keep meeting people who remember Subarata’s meditation classes – strangers in the street, someone on a bus, or chance encounters. “Do you remember me?” they ask. “You came to our city twelve years ago, you and an Irish lady. You gave a meditation workshop together. I have been meditating ever since. My children meditate, too; we’re all vegetarians now as well.” There are thousands of those people out there, all with their stories, and we will never meet more than a few of them again. Yet these encounters bring a growing understanding of why Guru encouraged us so much to offer his teachings to the world, why Guru once said to us on the telephone – his voice charged with a great power – “I authorise you to manifest the Supreme!”

Guru knew that teaching meditation – along with the various other efforts we undertake to bring the message of spirituality to our world – was like the ripple of a pebble tossed into the pond, the consequences spreading out into space and time and literally changing the future. Invisible and immeasurable to us, the effects spread out in an endless multiplication, touching numberless lives in ways both small and large, and all of it unknown to us. If we could take a snapshot of any given meditation workshop, and follow the consequences in a single life, the ceaselessly multiplying ripples and consequences of that single moment when we put a poster up on a wall or handed out a flier, we would probably be amazed.

Guru saw very deeply into the interconnectedness of all life. Some of his insights are astonishing and redefine our place in the universe, establishing our oneness with all that exists. We are not at its periphery – the universe exists within us, and our consciousness itself is the origin and manifester of the worlds of our inner and outer experiences.

 In Kundalini: The Mother Power, Guru writes: “The universe, the universal Consciousness, the eternal Consciousness, the infinite Consciousness are all inside the spiritual heart. On the one hand, this spiritual heart houses Divinity, Immortality, Eternity and Infinity; on the other hand, it transcends everything…”

“We can never go too deep; we can never touch the boundaries of the spiritual heart because it embodies the vast universe and, at the same time, it is larger and vaster than the universe.”

The Tantric Master Lama Govinda similarly describes how, for the Buddhist, “the external world and his inner world are for him only two sides of the same fabric, in which the threads of all forces and of all events, of all forms of consciousness and of their objects, are woven into an inseparable net of endless, mutually conditioned relations.”

Guru was a kind of spiritual quantum physicist, aware that consciousness is the ground of all being, the very matrix of the universe and the principal medium for the transmission of light and spirituality. This is why he wanted so many of us to run in the New York City Marathon – 300 disciples, 300 meditators, could uplift the spirit and “feeling” of the race for 20,000 others. And on one Christmas Trip I remember him telling us not to share with our Centres back home a talk he had just given – from far away his disciples would feel and know the import of his talk through their meditation, their oneness with him. This proved so true! And why he delayed offering the New Year’s Message one year – he was waiting to see how much our aspiration would determine the coming energies and opportunities in the year ahead!

When I meet the people who met and remember Subarata, I am reminded of how great a gift we have been given to touch the world in an enduring, positive way. Her soul’s quality of inspiration is still resonating out there in our world, her sharing of her Teacher’s teachings spreading from those she met to those they meet, an ongoing dissemination. The ripples from those pebbles tossed into the pool will never cease, extending out into farthest space and endless time.

And I remember Guru’s words, reminding us that we co-create this world and that “Just one smile from my gratitude heart immensely increases the beauty of the universe.”