Some years ago, our friend Garrett was diagnosed with a glioblastoma tumor on the brain.

He underwent a rigorous regime of chemotherapy and radiation which culminated in the administration of a “trial drug.” When it too showed no positive effect, his condition rapidly finished out its destined course. Garrett passed with freedom in his heart and loving surrender to the Divine Will.

Garrett was surrounded by family and friends throughout his treatment, some of whom would get him out for a walk whenever possible. Sometimes on these walks there would just be silence. At other times, there would be conversation. And sometimes, it would just be Garrett talking.

A walking buddy shared with me that on one occasion Garrett started saying the words, “Garrett is a great lover of God,” repeating them like a mantra. It wasn’t part of the conversation at hand but it was what Garrett was able to say because he had repeated those very same words so many times before to himself.

My friend shared with me that for someone who has a brain tumor such as Garrett had, the mind cannot always respond verbally in accordance with what it is thinking, nor what it wants to say. Rather, it simply goes by default on the well-worn pathway that it is accustomed to. This can cause a great deal of frustration to the patient or, as in Garrett’s case, a joyful acceptance of what is. His acceptance and love were a gift to all who had the opportunity to be with him.

The wording of this phrase is intriguing. Given in the third person, it indicated a level of detachment from the ego and what was happening to him. The words themselves offer a powerful indication of the commitment of Garrett’s heart to God. It seemed his “default vocabulary” referenced the most important thing to him, and “the most familiar,” his love for God.

Garrett’s behavior highlights the importance of the inner conversation we each carry on inside ourselves. Thoughts have tremendous power, as do our meditations, forming a pathway in our consciousness which directs our devotion toward our soul’s destiny.

The following words of Paramhansa Yogananda’s are from the 1932 edition of Metaphysical Meditations and are offered as a suggestion for beginning a meditation by centering devotionally in the heart.

Lock the eyelid doors and shut out the wild dance of tempting scenes. Drop your mind into the bottomless well of your heart. Hold the mind on your heart bubbling with your life-giving blood. Keep your attention tied to the heart, until you feel its rhythmic beat. With every heartbeat feel the knock of almighty Life. Picture the same all-pervading Life knocking at the heart-door of fifteen hundred million human bodies and of billions of living creatures. The heart-throb constantly, meekly announces the infinite power standing behind the doors of your awareness. The gentle beat of all-pervading Life says to you silently, “Do not receive only a little flow of My life, but expand the opening of thy feeling powers, and let Me flood thy blood, body, mind, feelings, and soul with My throbs of universal life.”

*The title of this post is words from Paramhansa Yogananda’s poem, “God, God, God.”


  1. Beautiful celebration of life. Thank you Garret and writer.

  2. How nicely written, thank you. I tried to capture that story of Garrett in writing once and I couldn’t get it. Thank you so much for capturing it and explaining it so beautifully.

  3. I Too create mantras that comfort me in certain times. I like Garret’s and will use it for myself. Thank your for sharing this wonderful story.

  4. Wonderfully powerful inspiration! Thank you Maria!

  5. Thanks for the inspirational story….I need it very urgently.Jai guru I know His helping hand is always hold me in every possible way.

  6. Wonderful.Thanks a lot for sharing and kind guidance.
    Jai gurudev.Pranam.

  7. Thank you, Maria, this was an inspiration! Just what I needed right now.

  8. Beautiful! Thank you for taking the time to express these ideas so articulately. May we all follow your example and take the time to inspire others. Blessings and joy. Terry Rood

  9. Thank you for capturing the inspiring spirit of Garrett’s mantra. What a beautiful way to show the qualities of one who lives with God ever present in their hearts and mind. Thank you Maria.

  10. Thank you, I need this the most at this time when I’m sitting on the wall!!

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