Another night in another bookstore. The room filled to capacity. Eagerly my prospective readers wait, eyes fixed to the podium. Tonight they are inquisitive, “Why did you write this book? What was the creative process like? Does everyone need a Guru? What’s next?”
I’ve heard these questions so often I have time to think. I wonder who they see? Is it the writer, the teacher, the president of a non-profit organization, a seeker? Is it me? Feeling some distance, I let go and come back to the moment. I smile and answer as best as I can. I wait for the right moment to share some knowledge about the mind, emotions and breath. They want more. “What about conflict? How do you not get into conflict with co-workers or people who just keep pushing you into an argument?”
I respond evenly, “No one can make you do something you don’t want to do. Choose not to fight.” The crowd looks intrigued. “You can’t fight someone who doesn’t want to fight. It would be like fighting with yourself? Maybe that’s the sound of one hand clapping.” I think of explaining, saying something more. Maybe my answer was not enough? Have I left them confused? No one says a word. I stand in an ocean of stillness, feeling the grace of Sri Sri, my mentor. I’m reminded of his words and feel calm inside. “Don’t be the doer,” he has told me. “It is not what you say or do, it is your presence that makes a difference.”
There is an undeniable peace in the room. It seems like a good time for us to meditate. My audience is content and settles deep within. After the talk, I’m whisked away for a more intimate gathering with the local volunteers. Without them this event could not have come together. As I sit with them I am in awe, observing how people attracted to Sri Sri’s knowledge are drawn from such disparate sources.
Throughout my visit, the volunteers share their insights and personal anecdotes. They share their own treasures, causing me to wonder, who is teaching whom?