During an all-day Christmas meditation this past month we sang a chant specially blessed by Paramhansa Yogananda during an all-day meditation that he used to lead:
Do not dry the ocean of my love
With the fires of my desires,
With the fires of my restlessness.
For Thee I pine, for Thee I weep.
“Christ is here,” Yogananda told those present. “Sing it to him.” Later Yogananda made the immortal promise—to those in the room that day, and, through them, to all in future who would likewise turn to the Christ within: “Because you have sung this chant here today, whenever in future you feel delusion pressing in upon you, sing it again, thinking of this occasion, and Christ will come down themselves to save you.”
Not only through this chant, but in uncountable ways, as many as the moments of our lives, do the Great Ones come to ferry us across the ocean of delusion—to show us their love, their constant readiness to lift us into freedom, and to teach us to see behind every experience their guiding hand.
Walking down the hill to his little cabin, the old man saw a golden-crowned sparrow crash into the front door with such force that he bounced back several feet and landed on his back, stunned, tiny feet in the air. Time slowed. A gentle force seemed to move through the man’s left hand, turning the tiny form upright, then through his right hand, covering and sending warmth. His eye fell on a statue of St. Francis, gazing lovingly at a little bird on his arm. A prayer went through him to this holy protector of all God’s creatures. Soon there was a stirring inside the cocoon of cupped hands, then a feeling of warmth and a palpitating heart. His upper hand moved aside. A small deposit appeared. A small beak opened to pant for breath. The little bird pushed himself upright. Another small deposit appeared. He craned his head around, examined the man’s face, then, with a little hop, turned his whole body around to face the man. Satisfied with his examination, he flew to the trunk of a nearby oak, clung there a moment while he peeked around for a last look, then flew up to disappear in the canopy overhead.
Here in miniature is God’s love for us, His little ones, and His way of friendship: to the stricken, His hand appearing to hold and heal; then, the crisis passed, His hand sending blessings for the journey ahead. God is the Doer—our part is to stand ready to act as willing channels for His love.
Another day, going about his work, a little caught in busyness and the thought that his project of the moment mattered (delusion was pressing in), the old man became aware of the form of a very small boy, perhaps two years old, perfectly still, gazing at him with deeply calm, unblinking eyes. The man remembered that look, that same rapt attention during some weeks of tractor work around the boy’s home—the boy a silent spectator from behind the railing of a second-storey porch. Now the boy’s eyes—round, pellucid, direct, soft—held the man’s. A thrill went through his heart. The little boy reached down to pick up a stick, walked directly up to the man, all the while gazing right into his eyes, held up his gift with both hands, paused a moment, still perfectly silent, then turned and walked away. Such pure generosity of spirit took the man’s breath away. The stick rests on the dash of his work truck, reminding him that God is always right there, calling him Home, back to his true center of loving calmness; that He sees everything, knows everything, judges nothing, wishes only to give of Himself, to lead His children out of self-absorption and into absorption in the Self.
In this way was the man shown God’s presence even in the little moments of life—and even more, how to make an offering to the Lord, how to offer himself, all that he is and will ever be, freely, with both hands, to the One whose love sustains and blesses us all.
I’ll cry no more, Thou mine evermore!
Thee I find behind the fringe of my mind.
Hide no more, Lord, hide no more!
Leave me not, Lord, leave me no more!
In divine friendship,