One time, I was on an elevator with a famous Spiritual Guru. He was an Asteroid of Awe and a Ray of light that totally changed my life. I have many stories about him, and I’d love to share one of them here.
Its a beautiful, wild, and 100% true story of exactly what I’m intending to impart in the last few blogs I have been writing. It may seem fantastical, but it happened. Love, literally, defied gravity. The experience wholly and utterly changed what I believe is possible, and hence, completely changed me.
I offer this story to all people, of all faiths and no faiths with a deep bow of respect to all traditions and non-traditions. If the “guru” thing weirds you out (and it weirds me out), either skip the blog or just read with an open heart and an open mind. Just think of it as a powerful encounter with a gifted teacher.
I love a holy man named Sri Sri Ravi Shankar very much. I have never been comfortable with calling him my “Guru”. In fact, I don’t love the world or culture of gurus. My western operating system sort of rejects that kind of thing. I am also not a joiner of groups that appear cultish. Not my bag. Seen it go bad too many times. I do, however, love to learn from and be around luminous and visionary human beings. In my life I have met a few. One of them is Sri Sri.
What I will say is that my relationship with him opened doors in my heart that had been sealed shut through trauma, hurt, and pain. He’s the best spiritual friend I could have ever asked for. He showed me, in real time, in real life, the Love and Power of the Divine.
There’s a lot more magic to the story, but for the sake of brevity. I met Sri Sri in 2002 in Los Angeles. An odd and amazing part of the story is that I had dreamed of him in 1996, before I ever knew of him, 2 weeks before my father tried to commit suicide. I saw his picture in LA in 2002 and KNEW I had to meet this man. It was one of those rare moments in life that feels sacred, holy, and pre-destined – where passion, purpose, and power merge into a vortex of possibility.
I knew instantly hearing him he was an embodied Master and that I would do well to listen to him and follow his teachings. I did, to the best of my faltering ability. I felt a Love like never before. In an instant, my whole life changed direction. For years after that I was an ardent, enthusiastic, loving, and on fire student. I am pretty sure he saved my life. I was driven, pissed off, angry, confrontational, hurt, lonely, scared, self-absorbed, and traumatized. I learned to achieve and survive, but I never learned to thrive. Sri Sri gave me that gift by helping in more ways I could ever share here.
Because of my Martial Arts background, I would volunteer to help organize and direct his “security team” at local events in Seattle and Los Angeles. I loved being near him, its like standing next to a 1,000,000 watt bulb of Love. Every time I was around him, it felt like something in my Soul clicked. Something ineffable and inexplicable transpired that always had a massive positive impact on my life.
Here is a miracle story that I still think is crazy and spooky. The punchline: we think we know where we need to go, but Love knows where we really need to go. We might think we know where we are headed, but Love knows the destination. Love will come, sometimes like an anvil, sometimes like a feather, and begin to tear down the walls we have built to keep Her out.
It does this so we can know that we are Love, and that our purpose is to help bring others home. We are here to burn brightly with the Flame of Love.
At the end of a private meeting with community leaders, I was to escort Sri Sri to his car and cavalcade in the basement of the hotel. Smooth, safe, well planned out. My ego loved the attention I got. I loved barking orders to others. I loved the special feeling of being close to the Master, near the important people. I loved feeling tough and untouchable.
To the very degree my inner child inside felt exiled, alone, and less-than, I sought to remedy that pain on the outside. It never worked, I just didn’t know any other way. Thats where Grace comes in.
Grace always knows. It just needs a tiny opening, just a modicum of willingness. There is a plan for you, there is a Wisdom to your life. Its just a few degrees from where you have been looking. Its right behind your eyes.
Love sees right through our BS. Once Love has its target on us, those ego games are going to get smashed. It has to happen. We are like beggars sitting on a diamond and we don’t even know it. We get comfortable and happy in our discomfort and unhappiness. We lie to ourselves and we check out.
Sometimes Life has to come kick us off our begging box and break it over our head to help us realize we had the Diamond all along. The greater the gap between who we Really Are and how we are actually living, the stronger the medicine needs to be. This is why when we are far from what our Soul is asking us to be, pain comes along to bring us back Home.
I was in the elevator with Sri Sri along with another security detail crew member and the elevator man. I told the elevator man, “Press B. We are going to the basement”. He pressed B. I watched with my own eyes. The elevator started going up. Really.
I looked at the elevator man and he shrugged and pointed at the small, beautiful Indian Guru in the elevator with a smile on his face. It was a cosmic joke. I felt I was in a surreal dream. The elevator stopped on something like the 12th floor. I just followed Sri Sri as he went to a hotel conference room. He knew. Without knowing.
This is what Masters do – they are not bound a 3D world of time and space. He knew there were about 50 people who had driven from Canada to see him and all got held at the border. They missed our event with Sri Sri. No one had told Sri Sri about the group and where they were. He knew. My security detail team and I had coordinated all communication. His loving heart could feel beyond the limits of distance and time. People who have near death experiences will report this as well. There are some humans who don’t wait to die to fully live. Sri Sri is one of those people.
There is no way he knew. Interestingly, one person came to me a few minutes before the elevator incident and asked if we could bring Sri Sri upstairs to meet the group from Canada. I said, “no”. I was addicted to my plan and design. No one told Sri Sri. And yet he knew. We are so connected beyond time and space its spooky. And consoling.
Love knows. Love will find you. Spirit will find you, even when you feel stuck at the border, in the in between world of who you are and who you are becoming. When you feel lost and alone, Love will find you. Even if you have said “no”, Love will find you and say “Yes”. It just needs a tiny crack for the light to get in.
In that room, with all those people that loved him, Sri Sri reached into his pockets and began doling out Starburst candy to everyone.
He was feeding them with Love. And humor. And joy. No special treatise on nondualism, no glib preaching. Just love. Radiant love. It changed me. Forever. Someone today asked me how to forgive. This is how I learned to forgive. By standing next to a burning bush and getting set on fire.
He was showing me how small, selfish, and limited my own ego was. I wanted to be important. He wanted to show me real Giving. I wanted to be loved. He wanted to show me HOW to LOVE OTHERS. I wanted certainty, he showed me that life is most fully alive in the uncertainty, when the elevator goes the wrong way. He showed me that the real healing is healing others. The real happiness is bringing joy to others. What I thought would bring happiness was a paltry excuse for what Life has in store when I get out of the way.
He showed me that the miraculous exists always, all ways, right in the middle of these busy and hectic lives. Right in the middle of the ordinary the extraordinary is blossoming and burgeoning. Do we have eyes to see, ears to hear? I’ll share more miracle stories when the time right, but Sri Sri showed me that miracles are the most natural and normal thing. And the miracle is never the outer event, the miracle is that sweet Love that inspired them.
Watching those people’s joy, seeing their light and authentic happiness changed me. The feeling that I had just watched a literal miracle changed me in ways I can never put into words.
That love was still Real in my dark night many years later. Love is still doing its thing with me. I am still a work in beautiful progress, and so are you. And together, we are whole.
I do not work with, nor am I remunerated in any way by the people and organization I speak of in this blog. In fact, I was inactive in the organization for years all the while still practicing their techniques. I just offer it as a story of love and hope that changed my life. The Art of Living is a wonderful organization and I highly recommend their courses. I am excited to see Sri Sri a couple times this year. It always fills my heart and, like the North Star, gives guidance and perspective on my journey.
We never know the power that one meeting can have. My time with Sri Sri largely guided me to practice the chiropractic approach called “Network Spinal Analysis.” The transformation I had using his breath-work techniques guided me master and teach Somato Respiratory Integration. I will be forever grateful.
I pray the words that feel so alive in my heart can be of use to you and support you on your journey wherever you are at. Please let us know if there is anyway we can support you. We are walking right beside you and cheering you on!
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