On Finding a Master
Stories of journeys, stories of a pilgrimage, stories of finding a teacher on some mountain, in some foreign country, are told in every tradition. Whether the path is across the street or across the world, stories of someone traveling to find a master make us pay attention. In the same way, some pay more attention to a word given from spirits than they would, the same word, spoken by a kindergarten student. There is something inside us that wants what we think we do not have. Something inside us, that believes that experts are not “from here”, regardless of where we are.
This is why we buy books. This is why we travel to sanctuaries, temples, mosques, and monasteries. This is why we pay counselors, psychiatrists, and life coaches. These decisions to seek something inside us, through something outside ourselves, are often attempts to confirm what we believe rather than to learn a new thing or to grow in some way.
If there was a way, we think, to find a master, we could cut through all of the trouble of learning a thing. We believe that by participating in a seminar or listening to a lecture, taking a month off work to seek a guru in India or live in a drastically different way, pursuing our dream or working full time helping the poor, that we would somehow find a secret that we have missed. Worse for our psyche than this belief is the guilt that comes when we go about our everyday lives, not accomplishing these lofty goals.
Subconsciously, we live our lives and believe there is a better way to live. We go about our days, some with joy, some with hesitation, thinking that there is a better way to achieve what we really want. We develop a case of, what I call, the “if only”s. If only I had more money. If only I could meet this or that person. If only I had time in my life to study this path or walk this road. We greet life with enthusiasm, yes, but always in the back of our minds, we hold the thought that we are limited in the happiness that is available to us.
It is interesting that people lament the fact that they missed the chance to meet Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, or Dr. Wayne Dyer. Also others feel their lives would be changed by speaking with Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, or Eckhart Tolle. All of these teachers from the past and these teachers from the present have one thing in common and it is not what you might think.
They lived with, and are currently living with themselves. They sought, and seek, something outside of themselves. Even the masters seek something outside of themselves. Whether through meditation, prayer, or a way of living that has been transformed by an experience, even the masters of thought and transformation have, in some way, been transformed. The difference between a master and an egomaniac is only found in how they recommend to others, how to find transformation in themselves.
All of these thinkers, I assume, went to, and go, to a place to find the Divine. This place was not, and is not, a particular place in the physical world and is available to each of us. This place is in each of us already. We may cover it with hatred, war, violence, gossip, self-importance, or dissatisfaction, but the light of that which created the world is in each of us. We may wonder how it lives in nature, how it made the stars, or how it led us to such good things, but mostly, we close our eyes and try to connect to it through something done differently than what it takes to only survive.
Only you know how to do this for you. Only I know how to do this for me. And whether you believe you are a master or you believe you are unable to connect to the creative force of Love, you are correct. If you heard the song of a bird and it made you smile, you are a master. If you have seen the grin of a child and felt joy, you are a master. If you have seen an injustice and become uneasy about the fate of others, you are a master.
As for your doubt that you are a master? My guess is that the person least likely to believe Mother Teresa was a saint was Mother Teresa. My guess is that the person most likely to doubt that the Dalai Lama is a master is the Dalai Lama himself. You are in good company when you doubt yourself, but do not doubt yourself. We are from the same Source. We are drops in the same ocean. We are beats of the same heart.
Whether you just finished a 45 minute mediation or you have not meditated in years, God is near you. Whether you prayed for everyone that came across your mind last night or you have never considered a Creator, God is near you. Whether your life has just begun or you are about to leave this form, the Source is with you. You are the master you seek. You know what you need and how to obtain it. Seek counsel, seek advice, seek direction, but do not allow these to be a hindrance in your acting out the creative manifestation of the Divine in your world.
Regardless of when you read this, it is a good day. Regardless of what you think of the writing of such things, you are a gift from God to others. From the ghetto to the Himalayas, the reason is the same. The Source is the same. The place we go for peace, love, and balance, is the same. Enjoy your method. Enjoy your result more. Take what comes, but create peace also. Offer love with the confidence that comes with having received love. Smile for no reason at all. Allow the unfolding of Life, through what you have come to know as your life.