The CID of the Heart
If Maharajji taught me anything at all, it was that there’s no place to hide. Of course, it’s taking a lifetime to internalize that message. If he knew everything about me, which he made abundantly clear that he did, and yes, still loved me unconditionally, did I think that ended when he left his body? If I really knew that god, guru, and self are one, I wouldn’t ever try to cover myself with the chilly waters of that old river de-nial.
I remember back in the first week I was with him in India. It was so intense, so powerful, that I took a “vacation” from going to Kainchi one day. I washed my waist-length hair (a long procedure that took two buckets of hot water), smoked a chillum, bought a bag of my favorite Indian sweets, and went for a boat ride on the beautiful lake in Nainital.
The next day, when I arrived in Kainchi, Maharajji looked at me so sweetly. “You like the scenery in Nainital?” he asked. Although phrased as a question, it was in fact a statement.
You like Indian sweets?
Then he raised his hands and pretended to be smoking a chillum.
Ah yes, Maharajji. And I was taking a vacation from what?
I loved the way Maharajji let us know he knew. It was never cruel, never accusatory. He usually did it in a way that others around wouldn’t even know what was going on.
I was smoking a lot of beedies (those foul little Indian “cigarettes” made with a tiny bit of low-grade tobacco wrapped in a betal leaf) those days, mainly to hang out with the guy I was interested in. I really wanted to quit smoking, but didn’t want to lose the opportunity. One day, as I entered the ashram, Maharajji started up with me about smoking beedies. He said he caught me red-handed. He said he was the CID [the Indian CIA] of the heart. Stop! Then he called me over to sit in front of him and put his feet in my lap and held my hand. I gave away my pack of beedies. After lunch, Maharajji called me over to congratulate me on not smoking beedies anymore. Instant reinforcement! And then proceeded to marry me to the guy.
Yet, year after year, I find ways to hide. I’ve hidden from relationships under too many layers of fat. I’ve hidden from myself by getting wasted and watching TV instead of doing my creative work. I’ve hidden from my own needs by constantly caretaking others. Even knowing that the god/guru part of me knows my heart’s desires, I foolishly try to hide.
From what? Love?
It takes an immense amount of courage to live in love, in truth, in openness. Even though I asked Maharajji for a pure heart and mind and for faith, I guess I forgot to ask for courage. Back then, I didn’t know how much I would need it.