Tears of gratitude

by Ishani
New York

In November of 1969, I had been meditating for fifteen years with another spiritual group in Manhattan, but I felt that I was not making much progress, so I started actively searching for a living spiritual teacher.

One day, I walked into a new health food store only about five miles from my home in Westchester. I wanted to tell them how happy I was that they were opening in my community, because in those early days the next closest health food shop was at least an hour’s drive away. As I entered, ready to introduce myself, I noticed a tiny Transcendental photograph of Guru on a book displayed on a shelf in the far corner of the shop. Its light drew me like a magnet.

As I came closer to the photo, I asked, "Who is this?". The shop owner replied, "That’s Sri Chinmoy."

I heard the intensity in my own voice as I responded, "Is he alive?“

"Yes," the owner replied. "He is going to give a talk about meditation at my home in Larchmont in a few weeks. Would you like to come?"

My heart started to pound. "Oh yes. I’ll get a baby sitter for my children and I will be there."

He gave me the directions to his apartment and, on January 13th, 1970, I drove from my home in the worst snowstorm the New York area had seen in fifty years. As I passed many accidents on the road, a part of me wanted to turn back, but the need to see this man kept me going. The journey, which should have taken only twenty minutes, lasted almost two hours.

As I rang the apartment bell I thought, "I am so late that Sri Chinmoy has probably finished and is on his way home." But when the door was opened, I saw Guru sitting at the other end of a large room. After removing my coat and boots, as I sat down behind the other seekers, Guru looked up at me. Suddenly, all the problems I was facing at that time seemed to wash away; I experienced pure bliss. My eyes filled with tears of gratitude to Guru for allowing me to walk this earth with him. I never dreamed he would accept me as his disciple, but he did! And that was the beginning of a new, remarkable and fulfilling life for me.

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoycentre.org