A humble magnet call,
A whisper by the brook
On grassy altar small–
There I have my nook.
Similar to Paramhansa Yogananda’s above poem, one of my first experiences with God was on a “grassy altar small.”
My first trip to Ananda Village was for Spiritual Renewal Week twenty years ago. I camped out at the Expanding Light, the meditation and yoga retreat at Ananda Village in Northern California where SRW is held.
At the end of the week, after daily yoga, meditation, and inspiring classes, I felt deep gratitude for the week of inspiration that I received. One morning as I was leaving my tent “on a grassy altar small,” I remember a feeling of deep peace washing over my being unlike anything I had ever experienced before. It felt like someone hit the inner spray button on the windshield wiper of my consciousness. It wiped away the debris of my restlessness. As clarity dawned, I remember thinking, “My God, this is how you are supposed to live all the time.”
The theme for this year’s SRW was “The Road Ahead: Paramhansa Yogananda’s Path to the Future.” In one of the first classes, Nayaswami Jyotish shared that the road ahead will be filled with challenges (economic crisis, climate crisis, and worst of all divisive consciousness). He offered ways that we can ride the vehicle of our early dwapara yuga energy age through the right use of our body, will, and intelligence.
Taking it to a deeper level, Jyotish advised that the real way to “ride” the road ahead is to levitate above it through attunement to the guru’s consciousness.
How do we attune to the guru?
I remember the first time I met Swami Kriyananda. After an incredibly inspiring weekend program, a small group of people brought him to the airport. As he went through security, he turned around and our eyes met. From about fifty yards away he raised his hand high and waved to me with such energy and enthusiasm. I was deeply touched that he would take the time and effort to say goodbye to me with such dynamism. Although it was a simple act, it’s always stayed as a golden memory in my consciousness.
I think he was giving us a clue that to attune to the guru we need to act as his enthusiastic, loving channels.
In addition to selfless service, to deepen our attunement, Yogananda urged us to meditate. One day as I was meditating recently at our Ananda Desert Retreat in 29 Palms this poem came to my mind (inspired by Yogananda’s).
A humble magnet call,
a whisper on the plain.
in arid desert clime,
There I have my rain.
God’s grace rains down upon us always. As we deepen our yearning and magnetic call to Him, we get drawn into Her, the divine magnet of us all. As Yogananda says in Autobiography of a Yogi:
“His intense craving begins to pull at God with an irresistible force. The Lord, as the Cosmic Vision, is drawn by the seeker’s magnetic ardor into his range of consciousness.”
So let’s resolve after this spiritual renewal week to go ever deeper into our own humble magnet call to receive the Magnet of us all.