A Spiritual Student of the Sage



 CHAPTER 5

A Spiritual Student of the Sage


Great dreamers' dreams are never fulfilled, they are always transcended.

-Alfred Lord Whitehead

It was now 8:00 p.m. and I still had to prepare for my court appearance the next day. Yet I was fascinated by the experience of this former legal warrior who had dramatically transformed his life after meeting and studying under these marvellous sages from India. How amazing, I thought, and what an extraordinary transformation! I secretly wondered whether the secrets Julian had learned in that far off mountain hideaway could also elevate the quality of my life and replenish my own sense of wonder for the world we live in. The longer I listened to Julian, the more I came to realize that my own spirit had become rusty. What had happened to the uncommon passion I brought to everything I did when I was younger? Back then, even the simplest of things filled me with a sense of joy. Maybe it was time for me to reinvent my destiny.

   Sensing my fascination with his odyssey and my eagerness to learn the system of enlightened living that the sages had passed on to him, Julian quickened the pace as he continued with his tale. He told me how his desire for knowledge, coupled with his sharp intellect—refined through many years of battles in the courtroom had made him a well-loved member of the Sivana community. As a mark of their affection for Julian, the monks eventually made him an honorary member of their band and treated him like an integral part of their extended family.

   Eager to expand his knowledge of the workings of the mind, body and soul, and to attain self-mastery, Julian spent literally every waking moment under the tutelage of Yogi Raman. The sage became more like a father to Julian than a teacher, though they were separated in age by only a few years. It was clear that this man had the accumulated wisdom of many lifetimes and, most happily, he was willing to share it with Julian.

   Beginning before dawn, Yogi Raman would sit with his enthusiastic student and fill his mind with insights on the meaning of life and little-known techniques that he had mastered for living with greater vitality, creativity and fulfillment. He taught Julian ancient principles which he said anyone could use to live longer, stay younger and grow far happier. Julian also learned how the twin disciplines of personal mastery and self-responsibility would keep him from returning to the chaos of crisis that had characterized his life in the West. As the weeks slipped into months, he came to understand the treasure-trove of potential sleeping within his own mind, waiting to be awakened and used for higher purposes. Sometimes the teacher and his student would simply sit and watch the blazing Indian sun rising from the deep green meadows far below. Sometimes they would rest in quiet meditation, savoring the gifts that silence brings. Sometimes they would walk through the pine forest, discussing points of philosophy and enjoying the pleasures of each other's company.

   Julian said that the first indications of his personal expansion came after only three weeks in Sivana. He started noticing the beauty in the most ordinary of things. Whether it was the marvel of a starry night or the enchantment of a spider's web after it had rained, Julian absorbed it all. He also said that his new lifestyle and the new habits associated with it started to have a profound effect on his inner world. Within a month of applying the principles and techniques of the sages, he told me that he had begun to cultivate the deep sense of peace and inner serenity that had eluded him in all the years he had lived in the West. He became more joyful and spontaneous, growing more energetic and creative with each passing day.

   Physical vitality and spiritual strength followed the changes in Julian's attitude. His once overweight frame grew strong and lean while the sickly pallor which had characterized his face was replaced by a splendid shimmer of health. He actually felt as if he could do anything, be anything and unlock the infinite potential that he learned was inside every one of us. He started to cherish life and to see the divinity in every aspect of it. The ancient system of this mystical band of monks had started to work its miracles.

   After pausing as if to express disbelief at his own tale, Julian grew philosophical. 'I've realized something very important, John. The world, and that includes my inner world, is a very special place. I've also come to see that success on the outside means nothing unless you also have success within. There is a huge difference between well-being and being well-off When I was a hotshot lawyer, I used to snicker at all those people who worked at improving their inner and outer lives. 'Get a life!' I thought. But I have learned that self-mastery and the consistent care of one's mind, body and soul are essential to finding one's highest self and living the life of one's dreams. How can you care for others if you cannot even care for yourself? How can you do good if you don't even feel good? I can't love you if I cannot love myself,' he offered.

   Suddenly Julian grew flustered and slightly uneasy. 'I've never opened my heart to anyone like this before. I apologize for this, John. It is just that I experienced such a catharsis up in those mountains, such a spiritual awakening to the powers of the universe, that I feel others need to know what I know.'

   Noticing that it was getting late, Julian quickly told me he would take his leave and bid me adieu.

   'You can't leave now, Julian. I'm really pumped to hear the wisdom you learned in the Himalayas and the message you promised your teachers you would bring back to the West. You can't leave me in suspense — you know I can't stand it.'

   'I'll be back, rest assured, my friend. You know me, once I start telling a good story I just can't stop. But you have your work to do, and I have some private matters that need to be taken care of.'

   'Just tell me one thing then. Will the methods you learned in Sivana work for me?'

   'When the student is ready, the teacher appears,' came the swift reply. 'You, along with so many others in our society, are ready for the wisdom I now have the privilege of holding. Every one of us should know the philosophy of the sages. Every one of us can benefit by it. Every one of us must know of the perfection that is their natural state. I promise I will share their ancient knowledge with you. Have patience. I will meet you again tomorrow night, this time at your house. Then I'll tell you all that you need to know to put far more living into your life. Is that fair?'

   'Yeah, I guess if I've done without it all these years, waiting another twenty-four hours won't kill me,' I responded with disappointment.

  And with that, the master litigator turned enlightened yogi of the East was gone, leaving me with a mind full of unanswered questions and unfinished thoughts.

   As I sat in my office quietly, I realized how small our world really was. I thought about the vast pool of knowledge that I had not even begun to dip my fingers into. I thought about how it might feel to regain my own zest for living, and about the curiosity I had had when I was younger. I would love to feel more alive and to bring unbridled energy to my days. Maybe I too would leave the legal profession. Maybe there was a higher calling for me as well? With these weighty considerations on my mind, I turned out the lights, locked the door to my office and walked out into the thick heat of another summer's night.



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