… Then Guruji appeared …
There He was, just twenty precious feet away, sitting there …. “Hhmmm…. soooo… tell me… how are you… what shall we discuss??”
Two hundred blank minds and faces just stared back at Him – this was the teaching body of South East Asia and we could hardly manage a Jai Guru Dev between us. We were mesmerized, lost in sight-seeing – and Guruji was the sight! An hour went by and still He stayed to love, nurture, laugh, wonder, encourage and inspire us into believing we are as great as He knows we are.
The days passed, each packed from wake to sleep with the healing balm and enlivening breath of His Grace, and always so much laughter. Bawa became about 10 years old and we were all in his gang. He playfully demonstrated the effectiveness of the Purpose, Process, Payoff, Time and Yes approach to teaching – (if you want to know what that is just become a Teacher), and he had a fun yet profound game for every point he wanted to make.
We all became childlike again. Unfortunately (?!) the Australian group, led by Shaj and Atul, were the naughty rajasic ones at the back of the class flicking sweets at the well behaved satvic ones at the front, hiding their yoga mats, sending them on spurious errands, playing Frisbee in the corridors etc.
One incident was quite nostalgic for me. (read about Ivan’s earlier chappal Karma) I had realized early on that in the affluent environment of a 5 star hotel, one could randomly leave ones chappals anywhere and they would always be there on your return. I was elated by this small fact and began leaving my chappals with impunity – the middle of the hotel foyer, at the bottom of the swimming pool, even in the lift – they just kept being wherever I left them. This was surely chappal heaven.
But then the bubble burst. One day they simply vanished. It was strange, when I left them outside that morning’s session, even though it was the same place as always, and surrounded by a couple of hundred others, I remember feeling a knowing twinge that this was indeed the last time I would see them. I glanced back at them over my shoulder as if to say ‘farewell and thanks’ and I’m glad I took the opportunity to say goodbye, as my chapel karma has obviously not played itself out yet. They dropped my body and moved on. I was secretly happy about that.
Meanwhile the bliss rolled on. One session we were completely spellbound by the innocent charm, humour and devotion of Banudidi and everyday Dinesh was in the main conference hall entrancing and inspiring hundreds of joyous Part II participants. It was always an enlivening moment to enter that jubilant space for Satsang in the evenings, we were all totally intoxicated with replete with manna from heaven, delivered to our doors by the inevitable Bawa and Dinesh, and of course, the fountain of all wisdom and Grace, Mr G. Every smiling face reminded you of the preciousness and great fortune of having been found by your Guru.
All too soon the tears of excitement that had mingled with the tears of joy, running alongside tears of wonder and the most precious of all tears, tears of gratitude – were followed by the tears of longing. The courses had ended and Guruji had left. We know He has taken permanent residency in our hearts, yet we have all shared that almost unbearable feeling of emptiness whenever He leaves.
But He was not done with us yet. When Sarah had told her Agent she was going to Bali, he had managed to organized an operatic concert for her there. So we stayed on, moving into a beautiful villa arranged by the promoter. The concert was a sell out – everyone loving the programme of better known arias, accompanied by a beautiful Balinese choir as the chorus.
One of the Balinese singers happened to be married to the manager of the Oberoi in Lombok, a hotel with the reputation of being the most beautiful in South East Asia and, you guessed it, we were invited to spend our last three days there as his guests, everything complimentary! Oh the things we do for our Guru!
love you all…
ps tomorrow our adventures in Singapore while Ivan and gang were living it up in Bali… 🙂