Every morning either one of the Center volunteers or myself opens the Center with prayers. The prayers are a combination of the Himalayan Tradition’s Vedic prayers said in Sanskrit and the Christian Prayer of St Francis of Assisi.
This morning I opened the Center and began to pray in adoration of the Lord of Life, asking the Ultimate Teacher of Life (my Guru) to be actively present here and to enliven me with a true joy of service to all who would enter the Center. In the enlivening prayer, we pray that The Teacher of Life (God, Brahman in Sanskrit) lead us from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light and from mortality to immortality.
In Sanskrit it is this:
Asatoma sad gamaya. (Lead me from the unreal to the real.) Tomaso ma jyotir gamaya. (Lead me from darkness to light.) Mrityur ma’amritam gamaya. (Lead me from mortality to immortality.)
As I chanted this prayer, which St. Teresa of Calcutta (known as Mother Teresa) prayed often, I was reminded of my intense desire to experience the Light of the Divine (in Christian terms, The Light of Christ) within me. I have often longed intensely to be filled with that light so that I could know experientially the presence of God in my life. I want to experience this almost all the time.
This time, as I was continuing to chant, an insight came to me—the prayer asks that God “lead us from darkness to light.” I realized that I was trying too hard to experience that light, when all I needed to do was “surrender” and the Divine Lord of Life would lead me to that light. I would be able to experience the light of my core, the presence of the divine, by just surrendering.
So, I consciously and internally surrendered to my Cosmic Teacher, knowing deep down that I would be led to that Light when the time was right.
You see, I have an enormous ego problem. I like to appropriate to myself and take credit for most of the things that God does in my life. It has been hard to break that narcissistic, ego-oriented tendency. Most people don’t know that about me because I cover it up very well.
In any case, I will continue to pray and practice the yogic and Christian prayers and practices that are said to enlighten the believer, but instead of desiring and expecting the fulfillment of my prayers with a sense of demand, I will wait patiently to be led to that immortal Reality of Light.
I have decided to continue my effort, yet now surrender completely to my Divine Teacher, my most profound Guru.