Just so y’all know… the picture at the top of part 2 is not my Guru – it’s actually Swami Sivananda Saraswati. A truly wonderful man – born amongst the high caste of India, he studied to be a doctor, then ‘squandered’ all of his family money on caring for the sick and the poor.
My Guru and me – a meeting
So. A couple of weeks after the rune workshop I attended, I drove an hour across Sydney back to the beach-side home of my Guru-to-be. This time we met in the upstairs part of his fascinating house – a place I was to spend a great deal of time at, over the coming years.
I followed him around the kitchen while he made lunch, trying to figure out what questions to ask him. But I was a little unsure, and so he asked me a few questions to get the ball rolling.
G: So are you interested in spiritual work, then?
Me: Yeah, I guess I am. I have no idea why I’m here… just that after the other weekend, I wanted to come and talk to you again.
He kinda giggled a little at that point.
G: Okay, so generally in spiritual work, it’s about wanting to grow. Having that true wish to grow above and beyond what you think is possible for yourself. Does that sound like something that you’re interested in?
Me: Definitely! I mean, I’ve had all kinds of spiritual experiences of one kind or another. Been involved in all sorts of pagan things – but none of them have really been ‘right’, you know? They’ve all felt pretty empty in the long run.
I remember telling him about this energetic experience. He seemed interested, sorta.
But he never pushed any ideas onto me, though. Didn’t sensationalise anything.
Also, he never said anything like: ‘I’m a Guru and you should get into Tantra and follow me’. Never.
In fact, he barely told me about that side of what he taught. Though he wasn’t hiding anything either, but didn’t big-note himself or explain too much at that point.
Instead, we talked runes. We talked about the breathing practices I was already doing and ways to explore and expand on that.
He gave me some additional practices which would add other dimensions to what I was already doing. He suggested I keep track of anything I noticed.
And he asked me to get in touch if I had any questions.
This was the tricky part. He was leaving the country after living in Australia for years. But for various reasons he was now returning to America.
I still didn’t know yet he was my Guru. Only that he was incredibly wise, kind, and willing to share with me what he knew.
Waaay back when…
Cast your mind back folks – the late 1990’s were a time when not everyone was on teh interwebs yet! Horrors!! Can you believe it? I know, right!!
I did have email at home by then, but my Guru did not. I was given a postal address in New Mexico – where he ‘might’ be. It was all very sketchy.
So, I started doing these practices – but my fiancé (at the time) was very suspicious of my sudden interest in my Guru.
Mind you, that relationship was falling apart anyway. And my complete fascination with a man he’d never met (regardless of the fact that this man had now left the country), didn’t help matters.
But what could I do? It was a very, very powerful experience and connection.
The early years – in absentia
There are several common experiences people have upon meeting their Guru – if they ever meet one, and if that Guru is in fact their Guru (and just coz you meet someone like that doesn’t make them your Guru at all) – often the first reaction, if there’s a connection – is either love or hate. Something very strong anyway.
My infatuation though, gave way over time. I realised it was not a romantic expression of love. But rather, I’d met someone who was more interested in my potential as a human being than anything else. He had no concern for any physical or material definitions of who I was. He wasn’t trying to get in my pants.
He only ever wants to know about my capacity for spiritual growth, and is thrilled whenever something new opens up for me.
Meanwhile, my world rapidly turned upside down with the instructions given to me by my future-Guru. And there was no one around I could ask about it all. I can’t quite explain what I mean though… except things were unravelling.
Like… the very fabric of my perception of this world was being unwoven. Disconcerting? Youbetcha! I was freaking out a bit, but still… enjoying it all at the same time. It was along the lines of… starting to see atoms instead of solid shapes. A bit like that scene at the end of The Matrix with the play between computer code and solid shapes (but not quite so green and black).
And none of this on drugs, I promise!
I wrote to him, but he didn’t get my letter for a long time after he returned from India. In the meanwhile, I was more than a little worried by my experiences.
Eventually I received a letter from him – an aerogram!! But there wasn’t enough in the letter to really assist me. So at that point, I had to give up my practices because I was losing my grip on reality – which affected my ability to function in my day to day life.
Always a little sensitive to energy, its possible I had more pronounced experiences than my Guru had expected. But it was enough to scare me into stopping things in their tracks.
I was mad at my Guru and mad at myself… but mostly I wished I was near wherever he was. So I could ask questions and just keep learning.