Years ago in Hawaii I had an experience at the ocean that beautifully illustrated the power of meditation and the guru.
While vacationing on the island of Kauai, I went to a beach to swim with a few friends. There I saw sets of ten-foot waves crashing along the shore. It seemed impossible to get through the high, turbulent surf. Yet, I knew it was possible. I could see swimmers beyond the surf bobbing happily in the gentle, rolling ocean. They’d made it through the surf. I wanted to be there with them.
Swami Kriyananda said that no one would ever seek God without the tangible example of liberated souls like the Buddha, Jesus Christ, and Paramhansa Yogananda. Seeing the swimmers beyond the surf was incredibly enticing and I longed to be with them. So I braved the crashing waves.
But the surf was too powerful for me and I was pounded and tossed about like a stick of driftwood. Defeated, I crawled out of the water onto the beach looking like a drowned rat.
After catching my breath, I stood up and again looked longingly at the swimmers. Meanwhile, a local “waterman” had been observing my attempt to reach the open ocean. He walked over to me and introduced himself, then shared the secret of swimming through ten-foot ocean waves:
“Swim on the surface until a waves approaches. Then dive and swim underwater until it passes safely overhead. Surface, and swim like mad until the next wave comes.
“When you dive beneath a crashing wave,” he cautioned, “hold your arms and hands in front of your face in case the wave pounds you into the seafloor.” With a big smile, he said, “This will protect you.”
The waterman’s advice and encouragement made all the difference. I followed his instructions to the letter and was able to maneuver through the turbulent surf, without too much excitement.
I joined the other swimmers who were happily gathered together chatting and reveling in the gentle rising and falling waves. As I floated peacefully, I felt embraced by an awesome, yet gentle love emanating and pulsing through the Great Ocean. “Oh make me Thyself,” Paramhansa Yogananda wrote, “that I behold my little bubble of self ever floating in Thee!”
Spiritual teachers tell us, “This world is a nest of troubles.” We don’t have to relate to surface, or superficial, realities on their own terms. If we live on the surface of life, far from our spiritual center, every passing wave will throw us.
When I tried to fight my way through the high Hawaiian surf, I was defeated. But when I dived beneath the waves, the surf’s power over me vanished.
Why not dive beneath the waves of life’s restlessness and limitations by regular, ever-deepening meditation and God remembrance? The Divine Presence awaits us at the center of our own being. The guru, at home in the oceanic consciousness of God, is ready and willing to guide us to the seas of Spirit.
When God sees that a soul deeply desires freedom, he sends him a guru. Just as the waterman’s instructions allowed me to realize my aspiration to reach the open ocean, the guru’s God-magnetism and careful instructions will enable us to pass successfully through all of delusion’s waves.
Remember the waterman’s sage advice. When creation’s waves loom above you, with their apparent destructive power: dive beneath them.
May your practice of meditation and God remembrance bring you ever increasing joy and freedom.
Blessings of light,
Please share with us what has helped you transcend delusion’s power and find inner peace amidst life’s crashing waves.