The Golden Age


Sydney Meditation Retreat

How often have you asked someone to pick something up for you while they're at the shop, and then they've arrived back with the wrong colour, or the wrong size, or even with something completely different to what you had in mind? How often have you realised, as you mumble an answer to "Is that what you wanted? I wasn't quite sure … " that you need to explain things clearly, and fully and maybe several times over if you want to get a message across.

Communication is something that's easy to take for granted. But people are different; each person has had different experiences in the world. And therefore, two people can attach different meanings to the words they're using to try to communicate with each other.

If I say "Buy me some tea while you're up there, will you? Just get something nice," you'll go ahead and get the kind of tea that you like. If all you've ever drunk is Bushells, that's what I'll get. If you happen to be a fenugreek tea fanatic, I'm in for a shock if to me, "nice tea" means peppermint or rose-hip. In fact, if I'm sloppy enough to word my request as above, I shouldn't be too surprised if instead of rose-hip tea, I find myself with a take-away Chinese meal and you there saying "I wondered why you wanted your tea at ten o'clock in the morning … "

When it comes to trying to explain to someone the experience you get through meditation it becomes a little easier, and a little harder. Easier in that you can be sure that what you're talking about is something that basically, everybody can relate to. The source of satisfaction is the same for everyone. It's not like fenugreek tea - food for one and a housemother's bad joke for another. But it's harder than normal communication because meditation is something that the person you're speaking with hasn't experienced yet. The words you use to describe it - "a vibration", "peace", "love" - have different meanings for him.

So helping someone understand about Knowledge takes patience, and takes care. It takes being sensitive to that person, to their experiences of life, to their understanding. It takes a willingness to go back to basics when necessary, to move forward when the time is ripe. It means leaving our ideas behind and sharing our experiences honestly. And of course, for all this to happen, it means being surrendered to Guru Maharaj Ji, inside and out, so that experience and understanding are there to be shared. Externally, we're always changing as we understand a little better what we're doing, and how to express it. At the Essen conferences in mid-1975, Maharaj Ji said that DLM should be like a very together tailor's shop, able to come up with a suit of perfect fit for anyone who walks in off the street. For that to happen, there will obviously need to be some changes. My mother would feel more at home at 63 William Street introductory satsang nowadays than she would have felt in the yoga whites and incense days at Riley Street. But she still wouldn't really feel easy. And I know my personal attempts to communicate something about Knowledge to her haven't been super successful either. Our ability to relate has evolved since 1972, and can continue to evolve.


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