The throngs of excited travelers moved quickly past us as they dragged their luggage and children along in search of their departure gates. We were in the Frankfurt airport with a long layover waiting for our connecting flight to Rome, and then on to Assisi. We would be spending the next month in Assisi, sharing with our Ananda spiritual family as well as with devotees from all over Europe.

While we waited for our flight, we were frantically studying Italian so that we might have some semblance of facility to converse with our friends. Intently focused as we were, we were surprised when a man suddenly stood before us. He impressed us with the clear, strong energy which shone in his eyes and in the radiance of his smile.

“I’ve been watching you from across the room,” he said, “and when I saw your beautiful smiles, I just had to come over to talk with you.”

He began asking us about our lives, and strangely it felt like we were old friends, picking up where we had left off at some other time. He was sincerely interested when we told him about Ananda, the path that we follow, and how we came to dedicate our lives to a spiritual search.

Pierre (our new/old friend) was an American, but he’d been living abroad for the past fifteen years serving as head basketball coach at the Tony Parker Academy, one of the finest athletic academies in Lyon, France. “We coach people from all walks of life—from undefeated pro teams, to high school kids looking for a career in basketball, to people who simply need help and encouragement,” he told us.

He listened thoughtfully as we explained how we teach meditation to help people find their own highest potential. Then he looked at us intently, and said, “That’s what I do, too, but in a different way. I’ll tell you a story about how I work with people.”

And this is the story he shared. Pierre had been working with a group of autistic children, using basketball to help them develop self-confidence. The children loved coming to his class, where they were learning how to overcome fears and limitations. All of them had improved in their skills except for one little girl, who remained withdrawn and unable to shoot a basket.

In the gymnasium where they practiced, the front row was an impressive stretch of plush, red-velvet seats which were reserved for VIPs. Pierre had been told by his boss not to let the children use these seats, so as to keep them pristine for the “very important people.”

But seeing how hard the kids had worked and how much they had achieved, he said to them at their last class, “If you can make a basket, then you can sit in one of those red-velvet seats.”

No sooner had he said this than he realized he had made a terrible mistake. The withdrawn girl would not be able to make a basket, and she would feel even more alienated from the others. One by one each child went to the free-throw line, and one by one they each made a basket. Bursting with happiness, they took a seat in one of the fancy chairs.

Finally it was the turn of the special child. She tried several times and failed. Then Pierre took the ball from her, and said, “Now close your eyes, and see yourself making a basket.” After a short time, he asked her, “Did you make it?” “No,” was her reply.

“Try again,” he encouraged her. “Did you make it now?” Still “no.” After repeating this several more times, she finally was able to say with amazement, “I made it!”

Only then did Pierre hand her the ball, and for the first time in her young life, the girl made a basket. The whole class cheered jubilantly for her, and she took her place in one of the special seats—truly a VIP.

how to visualize success in endeavor with meditation techniques and tipsAfter sharing this story, Pierre looked at us deeply and said, “Tell the people that you teach that if they can see it, they can do it.”

So, my friends, we share Pierre’s love and wisdom with you. No matter how impossible the search for God may seem at times, if you see your soul embraced in His light with enough concentration and aspiration, you will be able to achieve that which you most ardently seek.

With joy and love from Assisi,

Nayaswami Devi

Jyotish and Devi are launching a new course, How to Develop Harmonious Relationships. Learn more here or take a free 15-minute webinar

Listen to Devi as she reads the blog, then expands on it, often adding special behind-the-inspiration stories and answers to common spiritual questions. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (7:37):


  1. Thank you Devi for sharing this story. I remember Swamiji that he also met special People when he was traveling. Ananda smiles are the best.
    In Joy, Gyandevi.

  2. Such profound truth so simplisticly said!! Thank you for this!

  3. Thank you for sharing such a deep wisdom in a beautiful language. it mattered to me a lot at this point in time. Wishing you joyful and safe travels!!

  4. I needed to read this today! I have been facing daunting personal trials this last year with my husband dying, and caring for my autistic daughter. Recently, Divine Mother guided me to our next home, so I have been packing for weeks to travel a long way with my daughter. I have been feeling exhausted and overwhelmed… and a little scared. Thank you for writing about this man and how he teaches people to overcome their fears. I CAN SEE OUR NEW LIFE IN FRONT OF US! Now I can do it!

  5. This is a beautiful thing Pierre is doing. I felt the tenderness of his heart as I read this story, and clearly Divine Love is flowing through him in his work. Thank you for this story, as it brought to mind an article written by Jyotishji many years ago in the Clarity Magazine days! The article was on the power of visualization, and I was thankful to be reminded to “see it the way I want it” in all things. It is a powerful opening to one’s spiritual life and advancement. Thank you!

  6. Unlimited Possibilities! Thank you 🙏🏽 with love ❤️!

  7. Amazing story, deeply moving and beautifully following in Swami’s footsteps. Thank you for sharing this inspiration with us. Love and blessings.🤽‍♀️


  9. This story brings such a smile to my heart. Clearly your radiance is already spreading far and wide. I love the wisdom from your new friend and I bet he will be sharing stories from you too. Ever new joy to you and all.

  10. Thanks, & blessings in your travels, Devi & Jyotish! 🙏

  11. A lovely story. Thanks and enjoy stay in Assisi and travelling to India.

  12. Wow, to Pierre & the little girl. The concept is so breathtaking, if you can see it, it’ll happen!

  13. Thank you dear Devi ji, it’s a beautiful story… love, persistence and positivity make everything possible.

  14. I see everyone eating quiche tonight, celebrating together, feeling so happy and then singing happy birthday to Jyotish because it is his birthday, and everyone’s heart feeling so much love singing and blowing out the candles, and each making a wish for Jyotish 🌬🎂and Jyotish far away feeling all our love and also for you dear Devi traveling with him in this beautiful life loving Master and Swami. I see you so happy and blissful now and forevermore 🌟AUM

  15. Dear Devi,
    The story is so inspiring! So beautiful how you and Jyotish were beacons of light for that beautiful soul, and that he was able to magnetize right to you in the airport. And the story was exactly what I needed to hear today. It was absolutely the perfect advice, and so simple! Thank you and many blessings on your journey!

  16. What a blessing to read this today! Thanks for sharing your Divine encounter with Pierre. Realizing kindness and goodness exists in so many places on this planet. ❤️

  17. Dear Deviji,
    That brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful story. Sharing the Light.
    Thank you for the gift of who you are, you inspire me to shine brighter.
    God and Guru’s blessings to you always. Enjoy your travels. PS: Happy Birthday Jyotishji

  18. Very sweet and so true. I love how he come over and just started talking. Wonderful that he was on the lookout for smiling faces. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Thank you for the inspiration, Devi, and for your Divine Friendship to all!

  20. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for this inspiring message through this blog! I enjoyed reading it and will put it to practice.


  21. Thankyou dear Deviji for sharing this experience. Very helpful and deeply touching 🙏

  22. Had goosebumps reading the story Ji. so beautiful and touching and what a wonderful lesson you have given us thru it. ” if you see your soul embraced in His light with enough concentration and aspiration, you will be able to achieve that which you most ardently seek”… LOVING this. Thank you dearest Devi Ji.
    PS: waiting eagerly to see you both, your beautiful soul warming smiles and just to be in your presence.

  23. A study was done on free throw shooting where three groups established a base line for each individual on percentage of baskets made. One group then just practiced shooting for a few weeks while the second group practiced and visualized shooting and the third group simply visualized every day and did not shoot at all. At the end of the practice period, the group that did the best was , of course, the one who visualized and practiced but very surprisingly, the visualizing only group was just about equal in skills attained as the one who practiced with no visualization. Maybe we should accurately visualize a great result in every good thing we do including meditation…. best to all.

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