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Wake Up

The one sure thing about life when we are born: we will die one day.
With this present pandemic crisis, death in the news is a daily harrowing occurrence unlike any other time that we have lived through. We might tune in every day to see the toll it’s taken, or to hear the predictions about how much longer this disruption in our lives will last. It’s become a blight of soundbites, charts, and scrolling updates that leave us confused, overwhelmed and unsettled. We wonder if it will go back to the way things were, or worry if it doesn’t, what the new world will be like. It’s an urgent wake up call for us to be in touch with our own mortality, no matter our age or health.

Wake up, O man,
Shake off your slumber;
Be alert within, obtain chintamani
The rare wish-fulfilling jewel.1

With so many of us in government-sanctioned isolation, what a gem of an opportunity to reflect upon things we rushed past daily and pushed aside in our “normal” lives. We can examine what our priorities are in life versus what our priorities should be. Do they match up? How can we rearrange our lives to be in line with what we want? Do we have the courage to make changes, to press that reset button? Why not make this into a fortuitous time while we are trapped inside the sanctuary of our homes! We’ve been primed by our Masters and the teachings for this. Don’t we wish for more hours in the day – well, it’s like we are now granted this gift of time to do extra meditation and stepped up simran. Let’s wisely use these thoughts of mortality as positive motivation, a clarion call for action.

Life is so uncertain, brother,
And I still haven’t unraveled its secrets.
What am I to do? No formula has worked for me,
I have now decided to seek refuge in the Master.2

As followers on this Path of Love, in times of trouble (as well as times of happiness) we know what to do. We have the cure, the panacea to all ailments: our meditation. Waking up for us means waking our spiritual selves that have been dormant for lifetimes. It means shaking up our routines to make meditation our number one priority. It’s essential that during this time of so much uncertainty, that doing our spiritual work regularly will provide the calmness and balance needed to get through all the challenges we could be faced with, not just during this present health crisis, but throughout life in general.

As Baba Ji often proclaims, “Just do it!” Sit down and do your meditation. Do it with grace, sincerity, and ease. Close your eyes. Navigate the inner darkness with a steady stream of the five holy names. Hear the sacred sound and grab on for dear life, because the Shabd is the eternal spring of spiritual awakening, the precious jewel within.

Death will come one day for sure. Let’s be prepared.

  1. Kabir Sahib, The Weaver of God’s Name, p.379
  2. Sar Bachan Poetry (selections), p.313