Follow That Man
When we’re first initiated, it’s not uncommon to expect that within six months we’ll be sitting at the top of Trikuti overflowing with joy. However, ten or even twenty years later, we may find we’ve failed to rise much beyond the toes, never mind the eye centre. Untangling the karmic threads formed during the eons we have spent in this creation is a mighty task demanding courage and perseverance. Imagine sitting in front of a huge plate that contains a mountainous pile of spaghetti and being asked to unravel it thread by painstaking thread without tipping it off the plate.
Add to this seemingly impossible task the setbacks and hardships that life can bring, and it’s hardly surprising that many of us at some point throw our hands in the air and relegate meditation to something we do between going to work, taking care of the family, spending time with friends and relaxing in front of the TV or with a book.
But we’re missing the point. We might not yet be able to see the Master inside in all his radiant glory, yet each one of us already has at some level a personal understanding (based on our own experience) that he is certainly no ordinary human. And yet he is human too, and it is the very fact that he appears to us as much man as Master which enables us to connect with him and thus begin our spiritual journey.
And this is no ordinary journey on which he takes us. In the furious rush of this world, we face unrelenting exhortations to do things, to get stuff, to be someone - but in travelling this spiritual path, we’re asked simply to sit still and stop thinking.
This little injunction goes against everything the world stands for. We’ll gain little worldly respect for our endeavours in following this path, and may even be ridiculed. By and large, however, the world is simply indifferent, because Sant Mat is not the path of the world. The point here is that we can’t measure our progress on the path or our relationship with the Master in worldly terms.
He draws us from the dark shadows of our lives like a puppet master. We come to him frayed and suffering; in the orbit of his magnificent love we are soothed. A gentle burning takes place; the accumulated detritus of immeasurable time, the invisible layers of caked dirt and misery, are slowly cleaned away.
A steady stream of letting go
Perhaps we have some intuitive grasp of this when we see the Master. And maybe too we understand that for all our kicking and screaming we have no choice but to come to the Master, to this man who is so much more than a man, and follow him home. We gradually begin to understand that this path is but a steady stream of letting go, a gentle unfurling of our real nature, a release of the unnecessary burdens we carry. But it’s not an easy journey. In fact, at times it can be tremendously difficult, as the Master moulds us in the furnace of his love.
So if we’re disappointed that we haven’t attained what we had hoped when first initiated, or that meditation feels a hundred times more difficult than we expected, let us take heart that we are travelling not on a path of this world but on one that takes us out of this world. It’s not a journey we’re familiar with; we don’t know the wayposts or the distance to be travelled. But we can be certain that it is taking us towards our long-forgotten home. So it behooves us to carry on taking small steps forward, to continue fighting the mind, and to keep faith with our Master, who has come to guide us back.