The Space in Between
When we are blessed by the physical presence of the Master – whether through his visit to our country or our trip to the Dera – our meditation is filled with renewed hope and resolve. We feel closer to him and his presence in our lives becomes palpable.
We realize that we are tired of the suffering and sorrow that assails our daily lives. We finally comprehend what the Master has been telling us all along: it is time to graduate to the next level in Sant Mat where all that matters is our practice. We realize that now is the time for action.
Over time, however, despite our dedication, it is possible to become despondent over our lack of progress. In a result-oriented world, we are disappointed when we do not achieve the inner experiences we expect; the dryness of our meditation becomes overwhelming. We feel we are suspended in an in-between world where our love is not strong enough to pull us to the Master but at the same time we do not enjoy the world either.
An ancient Indian philosopher has given the example of the potter’s wheel to describe this stage of the disciple’s life. The mind is doing its job by spinning the wheel to create pots full of thoughts and desires. When the mind stops spinning the wheel, even though desires are not being created, the wheel goes on spinning out of the momentum of past karma.
And so, this space in between the Master and disciple, while painful, is a natural step in our evolution to achieving union with the Lord. The wheel needs to continue to spin so that our karmas are completed.
Indeed it is at this stage where we most need to retain our positivity and approach our meditation with renewed resolve. Once we put in dedicated effort, the Lord will surely hear our pleas. As Maharaj Jagat Singh says:
So long as we lean on others He lets us do so, but when after repeated disappointments, we surrender to him completely, regarding Him as our only sheet-anchor, He comes to our succour instantly.
The Science of the Soul
At times like this, we need to remember not to focus on the results of our meditation but on our effort. One is reminded of the story of a disciple during the times of the Great Master. The disciple decided to isolate himself in the hot summer months to dedicate his time fully to meditation. Unfortunately, all did not go as planned. The mind rebelled, his meditation was dry, and after one month he felt that he had achieved no progress. Full of disappointment, he went back to the Great Master and asked why his Master made him waste a whole month without any tangible results. The Great Master patiently and lovingly explained that what matters is the effort not the results, for it is our efforts that will result in the opening of the Lord’s floodgates of mercy.
So also the Lord will accept even our most feeble attempts at devotion, provided they are grounded in love and sincerity. Maharaj Charan Singh used to give the example of the benevolent teacher who allows dedicated students who have shown demonstrated effort to graduate to the next class even if their exam results fall short of a passing grade.
In the final analysis, as we read in the Adi Granth:
We meet Him, only when He causes us to meet.
Maharaj Charan Singh used to tell us that all we can do is knock on the door. One day the Lord has to open the door and let us into His presence.
And so, when the space between the Master and us becomes unbearable, we must remember that no teacher is more benevolent than our Master. Our duty is just to sit diligently for our meditation and wait for the wheel of karmas to come to a standstill. It is not for us to evaluate or analyze the quality of our meditation. Indeed, our posture does not matter; the results do not matter; all that matters is our effort, our love and our sincerity towards eliminating this space in between – forever.
You exist. I exist not.
Can that which exists not demand something
from that which exists?
Who am I to do such a thing?
Khwaja ‘Abdullah Ansari, Intimate Conversations