Baba was incredibly patient. Over and over again he addressed an issue from every possible angle for the sake of the disciple. He was always changing and adjusting his approach, so that the student could grasp what he needed to understand.
By his very being Baba modeled that patience is not putting up with what should not be tolerated. For someone committed to power via some form of woundedness or incompetence, patience is always putting up with one thing or another; to be “good” we must put up with. Baba was not like that. He was patient without being a doormat.
|Patience||Agitation / impatience|
|Putting up with||Decisiveness|
People saw, in their minds, Baba being agitated/impatient. They did not understand that Baba was being decisive. But people expect teachers to be patient and put up with all sorts of dysfunctional and inappropriate behaviors. Baba was such a great model for me. When he would just look away—wow. If you had any understanding, you knew. You knew this was not about Baba; this was about you. You needed to realize you were not being appropriate.
He was patient with me. He was patient, patient, patient, and when I couldn’t make the change he was decisive with me.
He made me watch this with others. While I worked closely with him, he would show me when people were power tripping and how he would give them the chance to stop it. But if, alas, they were determined to win, Baba would have to be decisive.
When I was in a difficult position during my time as Baba’s appointments secretary, I felt powerless. I wanted the situation to change without costing me my job. It was completely untenable. Baba of course knew what was happening and was patient with everyone involved—until finally, for all of us, he made a move. He did the most loving thing possible. He took me out of the mix. Out of the job. He freed me in a way I had been unwilling to free myself. I knew I needed help, and he took action. Thank God I lost.
I had to lose in order to get what I wanted, and what Baba wanted for me: Love. My perception that the job kept me close to Baba was mistaken. Baba wanted me to go to God, and the only way out was to get rid of the job. He was perfectly free, and did not care about the roles we all played; he cared for each of us. So care looked very different from what some might expect.
A false guru would have exploited a person in my position, encouraging her to stay in the job rather than do what was best for her.
In dealing with the mundane, Baba was always leading each student toward Reality. But he knew we all had to learn first from the physical plane. And so many people thought that work was beneath them. Or they thought, superficially, that work on that level is all there is to spiritual practice. And yet Baba was patient, hoping each one of us would willingly see things as they truly are and understand the physical plane as an echo and not Reality.
The Guru always wants what is best for the disciple, what will bring the disciple to Love. A student who is not interested in going to God, to Love, will resist what the teacher directs. Love does not always look so attractive. So the small self will dismiss the Guru’s teaching. But Baba was patient; he would continue to give until finally there was no hope. Then the student won—and lost everything.
Baba’s patience was anything but putting up with what should not be tolerated. Putting up with is not healthy for anyone, but we have to be willing to see that we demand that from our teachers. Baba was generous, because he was truly clear. Because of his patience, so many of us were given so many opportunities to become aware of the gift he was offering.
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