“Life is not a bed of roses.” That’s what Babuji said in a Whisper from the Brighter World on April 19th of this year, which I’ve attached to the bottom of this post. He went on to talk about how life’s challenges are essential to the process of evolution and it all ties back into so much that I’ve read throughout the Sahaj literature – It’s because life is not a bed of roses that we’re not impressed by the idea of a life of sannyas or retreating to the Himalayas permanently to seek enlightenment. From the very beginning of life – period – the only evolution that’s ever happened has occurred because of a challenge or stimulus faced. “Trials are necessary and formative; without them there would be nothing to drive things forward,” he says. I have always said that, as human beings, we’re endowed with a unique and highly-evolved ability to learn without the need for misery. But that doesn’t in any way conflict with the idea that life would come inherent with trials. Trials are necessary. Misery? Pain? Suffering? Those are fully optional.
The month of June, for me, was kinda full where trials are concerned. Most of May, for that matter, too. I was approached by a zonal coordinator wondering if I’d ever considered serving as a preceptor and I was thrilled at the idea. For anyone unfamiliar, this role comes with no glory. As I understand, it’s mostly an opportunity to plug in deeper and serve on a greater, more thankless scale than other abhyasis. Still, that’s exactly what sounded good to me. I’m always happy to assist my local Heartfulness community – be it financially, with my time, with my meditations, or with any skills I possess which will help further our cause. And to be clear – I do or have done all of those things and there’s never been time when I’ve been told “no” to serving because I’m not a prefect. But still, the idea of serving as a prefect made me happy and so I agreed to become a candidate.
I’m a little sad to report, however, (and I do mean only a little) that my candidacy was not successful. After doing what most people would considering jumping through hoops as part of an embarrassingly, insanely disorganized process, and receiving what many would interpret to be positive signs along the way, it was ultimately decided that I would not be chosen. My region / zone did have others who were put forth as candidates and some have been successful. And it’s not uncommon at all for a candidate to be refused on the first try, or the second try, or the third, etc… I know of abhyasis who were so taken with the idea of being a prefect / preceptor that they would approach the current Master in tears because of it and be refused multiple times. The only part of my unsuccessful candidacy that truly ever bothered me (and this is less the case than when things were fresh) is that there was very little in the way of productive feedback given. We all had to study like CRAZY. We had to have read many of the Sahaj Marg works. We had to pass a test which took me, personally, something like six full hours to complete. We had to do a number of other things just to be considered – and that’s truly just fine. Most of those ridiculous hoops jumped through were, at a minimum, for the sake of showing who we were, exhibiting our commitment, and demonstrating that we’d invested in our own understanding of the Marg. These are all good hoops to make people jump through.
But then the answer came and was hardly more than a “No.” (To be clear, it WAS more than a flat ‘No,’ but hardly.) I can say with all honesty and no bitterness that this was the toughest part to accept. Nothing was communicated in regard to whether I passed the written test or whether I hadn’t had enough sittings or really in regard to any of the other hoops which were jumped through just to be considered. All of this process wrapped up just before I made the trip to New Jersey to see Daaji – except I never saw him. I mean, I did see him – once a day or so, from about 30 feet away. Common sense, and some private conversations, told me that there were others in Newark that weekend which were also rejected in this way. To my knowledge there was never a concern for helping these failed aspirants understand the nature of our rejection or how to reapply more effectively. No compass was given so that I could better myself as a candidate – which, obviously, is all for the sake of serving Heartfulness on a deeper level.
That’s something I still think about from time to time, but anyone who knows me at all also knows my life is anything but stagnate. It was around this same time that I was very afraid of leaving Indiana, even for a weekend, because a dear friend of mine was expected to pass away at any time. She didn’t pass until a few weeks after the New Jersey weekend but when she left, I think she took something with me. I’m still trying to sort that out fully, and with any luck I’ll write about it here – but don’t bank on that. The weekend after the failed prefector candidacy was finalized, I had to hop right back into grhasta life and keep moving. Always moving. Always.
Sometimes reality is challenging. But it is what it is. Being turned away as a prefect, everything leading up to that, and then Leah’s death which followed after was enough for a significant shift in my perspective. Fires of change felt SO hot during that period and I’m certain some dross I’d been carrying was burnt away. I do recognize a difference – a very clear before and after, although tough to put words to it. The whisper shared here was something shared with me by a local prefect – the one who’d put me up as a candidate. I was actually reading it from having received it on my own when she sent it to me along with the words, “Reality is enough, and as such, all is well.” Babuji was our guide, two guides ago. At different times in my Sahaj journey I’ve felt my connection to him more strongly than at other times, usually feeling more attuned to Lalaji, but I can tell you Babuji hit the nail on the head in the whisper given.
“Reality is enough, and as such, all is well.”
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti