Meeting the guru

From The Optimist Magazine
Summer 2014

Author of international bestsellers, including The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist. paulocoelhoblog.com

I met Mick Brown at Frankfurt airport. He works as a journalist on The Daily Telegraph in London and had been sent to interview me during a stopover between flights. I ended up putting off my next flight until the following day, for Mick was no ordinary journalist; he had traveled the world as a “spiritual tourist” (the title of the book he published in England) and had many stories in his luggage.

For example, Mick told me that he once had received a pamphlet from an organization with links to Indian mysticism, saying that a guru called Mahaguru Yogi Arka would be giving a series of lectures in England. Mick discovered that he was staying in a family house north of London, and he went to visit him in order to write a report for his newspaper.

As soon as he rang the bell, a young woman opened the door and, without saying a word, beckoned him into a room. Arka was sitting in there, cross-legged, apparently meditating.

Mick did not know quite what to do, until the master opened his eyes and indicated that he should sit down in front of him.

“Have you a question to ask me?”

Mick had several, but they all seemed to have vanished from his mind. The only question he could think of was:

“What are people looking for when they come to a guru like you?”

“Imagine that you are sitting before the ocean,” Arka said. “What do you want from the ocean?”

Mick thought for a while and replied: “Peace.”

Arka nodded.

“Peace. You look at the ocean and you understand that it can bring you peace. Another person might ask for a fish to eat. Another might think about the oil that lies at the bottom of that ocean, and want to know where those riches are hidden. People want different things, but the ocean is wide and can give each person what he or she asks for.”

Mick remarked that he had met many gurus in his lifetime; how could you know which one to trust?

“When a person tries to impose his way of thinking on someone, then he cannot be called a guru,” replied Arka. “Anyone who asks you to trust them does not deserve your trust. Anyone who believes they have the truth is on the path of lies. Anyone who tries to convert someone has not yet understood the meaning of spirituality. Do you remember going to school when you were a child? There you found teachers of English, physics, chemistry and history. The spiritual apprenticeship is carried out in much the same way: Different teachers teach you different things, and they all play a part in your inner growth, but only your own consciousness can put all the things you learn into some kind of order and take from it what interests you.”

Arka went on:

“You must understand that the path you take is entirely your own responsibility. You will need to use heart and mind in equal proportions, and you will come to understand that these two forces are not enemies. Then you will reach a very important conclusion: Every question carries within itself its own answer.”

Those words made sense. Arka was looking at Mick very intently; he had apparently not finished his explanation.

“And love. Love is the bridge that joins head and heart, the attractive force that keeps the planets and the stars in their orbits. Scientists call love ‘the force of gravity.’”

Arka got up.

“Do you have anything else to ask?”

“What should I do in order to find the truth?”

“Stop searching for it. And look around you—the truth is there.”

As the old Zen proverb says: If you want things to come to you, get out of the way and allow them
to approach.
 

Solution News Source

Meeting the guru

From The Optimist Magazine
Summer 2014

Author of international bestsellers, including The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist. paulocoelhoblog.com

I met Mick Brown at Frankfurt airport. He works as a journalist on The Daily Telegraph in London and had been sent to interview me during a stopover between flights. I ended up putting off my next flight until the following day, for Mick was no ordinary journalist; he had traveled the world as a “spiritual tourist” (the title of the book he published in England) and had many stories in his luggage.

For example, Mick told me that he once had received a pamphlet from an organization with links to Indian mysticism, saying that a guru called Mahaguru Yogi Arka would be giving a series of lectures in England. Mick discovered that he was staying in a family house north of London, and he went to visit him in order to write a report for his newspaper.

As soon as he rang the bell, a young woman opened the door and, without saying a word, beckoned him into a room. Arka was sitting in there, cross-legged, apparently meditating.

Mick did not know quite what to do, until the master opened his eyes and indicated that he should sit down in front of him.

“Have you a question to ask me?”

Mick had several, but they all seemed to have vanished from his mind. The only question he could think of was:

“What are people looking for when they come to a guru like you?”

“Imagine that you are sitting before the ocean,” Arka said. “What do you want from the ocean?”

Mick thought for a while and replied: “Peace.”

Arka nodded.

“Peace. You look at the ocean and you understand that it can bring you peace. Another person might ask for a fish to eat. Another might think about the oil that lies at the bottom of that ocean, and want to know where those riches are hidden. People want different things, but the ocean is wide and can give each person what he or she asks for.”

Mick remarked that he had met many gurus in his lifetime; how could you know which one to trust?

“When a person tries to impose his way of thinking on someone, then he cannot be called a guru,” replied Arka. “Anyone who asks you to trust them does not deserve your trust. Anyone who believes they have the truth is on the path of lies. Anyone who tries to convert someone has not yet understood the meaning of spirituality. Do you remember going to school when you were a child? There you found teachers of English, physics, chemistry and history. The spiritual apprenticeship is carried out in much the same way: Different teachers teach you different things, and they all play a part in your inner growth, but only your own consciousness can put all the things you learn into some kind of order and take from it what interests you.”

Arka went on:

“You must understand that the path you take is entirely your own responsibility. You will need to use heart and mind in equal proportions, and you will come to understand that these two forces are not enemies. Then you will reach a very important conclusion: Every question carries within itself its own answer.”

Those words made sense. Arka was looking at Mick very intently; he had apparently not finished his explanation.

“And love. Love is the bridge that joins head and heart, the attractive force that keeps the planets and the stars in their orbits. Scientists call love ‘the force of gravity.’”

Arka got up.

“Do you have anything else to ask?”

“What should I do in order to find the truth?”

“Stop searching for it. And look around you—the truth is there.”

As the old Zen proverb says: If you want things to come to you, get out of the way and allow them
to approach.
 

Solution News Source

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