The Job of the Guru
December 10, 2008
Tuesday night was for me the last night of a several-day seclusion—one that is ending more or less as I write this blog post. (The time-honored practice of seclusion is one of silence and of being alone with God.)
During this seclusion, I spent some time outdoors, some time meditating (of course!), some time sleeping (too much?), and some other time writing, thinking, and listening to spiritual talks.
Whether a seclusion seems “good” or “bad,” one thing I usually feel during them is closer to Paramhansa Yogananda, my Guru, whom we at Ananda affectionately think of as “Master.”
And so it was that, as I lay down on Tuesday night, I asked Yogananda, “Master, will you help me fall asleep?”
Ouch… I had missed the pillow by about a foot and hit my head on the wall instead. I’ve lived where I am now for years, and this is the first time I can remember this happening.
I lay in bed, trying to sort things out. Was Master trying to… um… tell me something?
After thinking it over, I decided to accept the new pain in my head as a gift from God, and got up. Once I took the experience this way, its message was clear enough:
The job of the Guru is not to help us fall asleep. It is to help us wake up.