Okay, call me an optimist, but at age 60, I am just getting started. I still have much to learn. However, as I look back, my most important learning has come through my spiritual experiences. At age 19, I first learned meditation. I spent 22 years in the ashram (residential learning facility) with famous spiritual master from India, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, guru of the Beatles and of Deepak Chopra. And I spent another 20 years studying and teaching New Thought.
When I was under the tutelage of Maharishi, I used to meditate from 5 to 20 hours per day. I practiced complete silence and did not utter a sound for up to 4 months at a time. I entered my room and did not appear for up to 8 weeks at a time. These experiences taught me to be still, to be patient, and to listen. I learned to speak when I have something meaningful to say. I learned to be at peace and harmony, to heal myself, and to be self-reliant.
In the ashram, I experienced many trials that caused me to look deep within. My guru would often ask me to complete various tasks, only to tear them apart, and then require these tasks be redone repeatedly. Every time the task was repeated, there was an improvement, a greater striving for perfection. In this way, he helped me develop skills that I never knew existed. And I let go of preconceived notions and ideas. So I suppose you could say that in the ashram I learned how to strive for excellence.
The job of a guru is to help the disciple release the stranglehold of the ego and to surrender to God. I cannot say I was very successful during the time I was in the ashram, when I was in my 20s. In fact, in many ways, I let my ego get the best of me.
But in my later years, I have learned to cede to the will of God and follow my inner guidance. I cannot say I have succeeded perfectly, but I do my best to listen to the “still small voice” voice daily and to follow that guidance. It is a challenging road to follow. That is because God wants us to grow, to expand, to stretch beyond our ego-envelope, and fulfill our destiny. By trusting and following the inner voice, I am shown things that I do not necessarily want to look at, but these help me become a better person–more aligned with Spirit. When I follow inner guidance, my life is like a grand adventure–like jumping off cliffs continually. When you jump off a cliff, you know that either God is going to catch you–or else you will have to learn how to fly really fast.
So I look forward to this grand adventure, as I continue teaching others how to hear the voice of God. Will you join me?