The white bird and the lake

In my early years of exploring meditation and the little-known subject of reincarnation, I came across a rather discouraging description of the long passage of time the soul supposedly takes from its very earliest entry into the earth arena until its full blossoming in God-realisation. Imagine, said the words of an old Indian text, a beautiful white bird flying to a large lake once every several thousand years and taking away a single drop of water in its beak. The length of time it takes for the bird to empty the lake is a description – metaphorical of course – of how long it takes for this journey to be concluded, for realisation or self-blossoming to be won.

A rather bleak thought! But encouragingly, it did add the further comment that for those who have a curiosity or an awakening interest in spirituality, the lake is almost empty and the long journey of the soul is not in front of us but already behind us.

Guru had an even more encouraging view of all this, and saw will power and intense aspiration as the key forces that govern the time we will take to achieve that final yoga or union with God… “We are our own fate-makers.” It is in fact we who decide how long our journey will take, not a pre-determined destiny. Sri Aurobindo concurs: “Fate can be changed by an unchanging will.”

 Guru saw every kind of spiritual quest as something precious, every faltering effort at meditation a step towards illumination, each truth-seeker an awakening soul setting forth… and laid out very clear guidelines that would add velocity and direction to our journey.

Like the map of a beckoning new world, he plotted out the requisite steps for us to take, offered us guidance in our great search for happiness, and helped us navigate the challenging perils and shoals of our lives. He filled us with courage and purpose.

It is always a joy to share these key steps and the essentials of meditation with seekers in our workshops around the world – and to pass on to them the view held by all the great teachers, that they have each reached a very special point in their life journey. God has tapped them on the shoulder…. “Wake up!” Yes, we are meditating because our souls are responding to a call from God, from the universe. In the image of the bird and the receding waters of the lake, the long journey is now largely over, the goal almost won.

Your days of excellence-joys
Are ahead of you
And
Not behind you.
Why then do you not
Immediately run and declare,
“The Goal is won”?

Sri Chinmoy