Today in the States we celebrate Mother’s Day. Baba was for me both my mother and father. He brought me up; he cleaned me up. My first mother and father were my first teachers. They continue to teach me my life lessons. I owe them much, since they introduced me to the part I am playing and helped reveal the “tools”, so to speak, that I am using. From an early age, though, I knew there was more to life. But could not find it on my own, and surely could not figure out how to change on my own.
The great beings come in and free us from the repetitive soap opera, the boring drama where we repeat the same lines and never are free. Baba was willing to provide for each of us the framework that would free us from the tyranny and monotony of our small self. I am most grateful for his parenting, because I was sick of my drama and wanted to grasp what rests under all this. Like any good parent, he used everything he needed to get through to me. Sometimes it looked ugly—not because of him but because of me. I required him to appear as the harsh parent in order to get through my stubborn ego.
As a teacher, I play a similar role, and I am not arbitrary. Baba modeled teaching each individual appropriately. Each of us has a different play, though our roles may intersect or appear similar. So I am listening for what is right for you. If I tell someone to do something, I mean it. If you want to know why I say what I say, then ask me then and there. Deciding not to do what I say and then sneaking around really does not work. Be straight with me and then we can move forward; deviousness undermines everything.
If you want to see me privately, you need to be practicing throughout the week. We cannot have the same class again and again and again. That is inappropriate. If you are working, we can grow; otherwise, we are wasting time. It is okay: I will still like you, I will love you, I just won’t see you privately. There are plenty of ways to ask me questions, if you have them and are working.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the treasure hunt. The clues are everywhere; we have to see them and then discern appropriately. There is nothing that cannot be used as a lesson. When we see the world this way everything becomes heightened and amazingly alive and vital. Every event with Baba, no matter how mundane, was a lesson to be pondered.
We tend to focus on the dramatic moments in life and look to them for teaching. Living with a great saint showed me in truth there are no such moments if I am awake. Since everything is God, all events are designed for each of us to learn. The simplest event around Baba could have the greatest import for those of us willing to learn something. Daily life with nothing for the small self to grab onto was where the work really happened. The routine wore the ego down, so that then Baba could easily chop it off. Isn’t that what a good parent does?
Running away from lessons never helps. We then find ourselves stuck and unable to free ourselves. Honest answers are the only way to unlock whatever is preventing us from moving forward. Running away allows us to continue sitting in the same mire. We are left to repeat the same dramas again and again. We can sit there and believe that we do not need to change, that everyone outside needs to.
Spiritual teachers remove our identification with the original part we play and bring us back to who we really are. We are then in right relationship with the universe. Just as a child must be taught that they are not the center of the household, we must be taught that we are not the center of the universe. A good parent or teacher will discipline us and provide the appropriate lessons and tools to establish ourselves in right relation. And then they send us out able to be free and not dependent on them. We should know that our teacher has our best interest at heart. We do not run; we respect the one that gave us life.
So today I acknowledge my mother for giving me life and being my first teacher. And I acknowledge and honor Swami Muktananda for giving me my life and showing me the way Home.
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