Whenever I Need You Most, You Are There

27 January 2010

Dearest Pranananda,

Hello dear Teacher… I have a profound story to share with You, regarding an act of kindness You gifted me recently, and how much it meant to me.

Last week, I returned from an 11-day, silent, Vipassana meditation retreat.  If You’re not aware of this technique, Vipassana (in a nutshell) asks participants to go deep into the sensations of their bodies, and learn to and remain neutral to what comes up, as a vehicle for just being with (i.e. accepting) “what is.” During what they call “Strong Sittings of Determination,” we sit for at least an hour—without moving a muscle—going deep into these sensations, and acting as the impartial observer as much as is possible. Our meditation schedule was intensely rigorous:  10 hours and 45 minutes a day, honoring noble silence for 10 of the 11 days… very little food… just depth, introspection, observation, and being with what is.

On Day 4 of the adventure, they taught us the really deep part of the meditation technique, and that’s when it was requested that we stop moving for an hour at a time. I had a story running through my head—that I wouldn’t be able to do it, that I simply didn’t have the stillness or stamina to stop moving, nor did I have the strength to remain impervious to the pain I knew would surface. But something had clicked in me earlier in the day:  I had felt a deep trust in this process, sensing how much it could help me, and I decided to give it my all. If I could sit still for this first one-hour experience, then I would stay, knowing it was in fact “for me,” and that I was capable of completing this intense process.

Roughly forty minutes in, I started caving in. The pain in my body felt devastatingly intense, and I felt as if I had nothing to hold onto. At the very moment I was about to give up and move, giving in to my ego’s desires, Your image lit up in front of me. “Why don't you ever call on Me for help?” You asked me gently (or not so gently, if I recall correctly.) I really didn’t have an answer (something about being stubborn). “Do you remember what I said to You, the day you acknowledged that I am your Guru?”

“Yes, I do. You said that You would never do anything that wouldn’t serve me.” I watched Your eyes very intently, and then finally uttered the words, inside my mind:  “Pranananda, please help.” All You did then is lock Your gaze directly onto mine. I stared deeply into Your eyes and totally lost myself, as well as the story of the pain, the resistance to the process. Everything became fluid, and my strength rose up to greet my struggling mind. We shared a smile, and then Your image vanished. But I was strong again—rock solid—as I completed the meditation.

For the rest of the retreat, my focus and strength would at times wane, but I stayed for the entire journey, and did a fairly decent job of transcending the resistance. The experience turned out to be incredibly profound. I have found a stillness inside, which I had never before accessed, and I’ve been in a really strong, centered, and detached-yet-loving space in the days since. I want You to know how much You helped me access this divine center, and how much I appreciate all You do for all of us.

Thank You for being there when I needed You most, and for reminding me that I only need ask.

So looking forwarding to seeing You in a few weeks, here in Las Vegas. Zimmaron mentioned that You are planning to see the show “Le Reve.” I would love to buy Your ticket as a tiny reflection of my thanks. You’ll love “Le Reve.” It’s really enchanting. 

Much love to You, Master…



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