Colorful Associations


Just outside our front door there is a little cluster of yellow daffodils surrounded at their base with a profusion of vivid blue violets.

It brings back the memory of my first meeting with a true Guru (spiritual teacher), Swami Muktananda Paramahansa. At the time I was in training to become a Certified Rolfer® with the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration. There was a special day event at the Siddha Yoga ashram in Upstate New York designed for people in the creative fields. Baba Muktananda was very pointed in his talk. Meditate.

Meditation opens the door to creativity. Baba had the knack in his public talks to speak to each one in his audience directly and personally. I was very impressed when he exhorted us to meditate, (I paraphrase) Meditate if you are an artist, meditate if you are a dancer, meditate if you are a Rolfer. You can't get any more literal than that.

And his advice has born fruit. I soon realized in my private professional practice that meditation was an essential to keep me centered what with all the impressions that can show up when you are engaged with a client in an intimate transformational process of change. (Meditation is so much more than about unlocking your creative potential, but the subject of creativity was what drew me.)

There came a time in the program where I had the chance to have Baba's darshan, a face to face meeting. As I waited in my place in line I had this insight that what was also happening was that I was entering a sacred place within my own heart. My prayer in that moment was that God would look after the family from whom I had recently been separated.

I had been told that Baba had a reputation for liking hats, so I brought one as a gift. It was a bright blue baseball hat with lightening bolts flashing on either side.


Traditionally Swami Muktanada greeted each visitor with a brush of a wand of peacock feathers. When my turn came I presented the cap. No response. He was busy looking everywhere but in my direction. I shook the cap a bit; still no notice. Then I very vigorously shook the cap in front of him. Remember, the intention was to have my prayer for my family offered and received. I was very earnest. He turned to me with eyes way wide open and mouth agape. My eyes closed and I felt a very deft pass of those peacock feathers on one side of my head, and then on the other. The mind fell silent.

As I said, the intention of my meeting was to offer a prayer to God. Under the hat I had three shards of ocean sand-smoothed green glass that my two daughters gave me after some beach combing on Coney Island. I wrapped them in a small precious piece of purple paper handmade from banana peels. I did not show Baba the little package, but left it along with the hat at his feet.

The nature of Darshan is mysterious. It is a Sanskrit term meaning "sight." It is a meeting between disciple and Guru. It is an event in consciousness. You can get to see yourself in a deeper, more insightful way.

It was a fleeting impression but clear nonetheless. I felt guilty about surreptitiously giving him that little package. Guilty. Aha! I saw in that moment of grace something that had been operating in me, coloring my consciousness. I was holding myself as guilty. Just to let it go. It is said that you only truly give to yourself. I trusted that the prayer for protection for my loved ones was received, loud and clear. I also received the gift of an important insight. Not a pleasant one, that I was holding on to guilt; but a necessary one. When you approach the Divine, you always get what you need. What you want, that's another thing. They say if you want to get what you want, want what you got. 

Swami Muktananda wrote many books. One is titled "Getting Rid of What You Don't Have." Guilt: self-imposed/created, therefore self-surrendered. See through the unreality of the self-created that rule your life.

Some years later at the ashram I spotted a young boy wearing what looked to be that very cap. It took my breath away.

And, today, some beautiful yellow daffodils and blue violets.

Thank you, Baba.

God does work in myterious ways . . .

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