This is the last in my Puttaparthi series as I leave tomorrow morning for Pondicherry where I will continue my blogs.

I realized this morning in Baba’s mandir (temple) about the power of distraction and remembering what is important to focus upon to appreciate the moment and transform the most. After the sloka recitation, and bhajans (chants), as usual, comes Aarti and chanting of the Sai Gayatri as the procession takes place to Baba’s Samadhi to pranam and honor Baba. As we chanted the Sai Gayatri, the older Indian gentleman sitting next to me chanted to the sloka completed “off” from the timing (and tune) being led by the student chanting with the microphone. He rushed through the first phrase much faster, slowed down a bit after that, but was distractingly (for me) and loudly distinct from everyone chanting around him and in the hall, including me.

At first, actually for quite awhile, I paid attention to his chanting and was thrown off by his timing and pitch. I wondered how he couldn’t hear everyone else, let alone me sitting right next to him. I judged. As time went on, I realized I was focused there rather than here, within myself, to the chant, its vibration, its intent for honoring Baba. As this realization happened, I started to play with my attention and noticed the difference within me when I focused within, how I could feel the Shakti, expand the vibration within me, become peaceful when my attention was focused within. As I did this, the gentleman actually moved closer to the timing of the first phrase, although he went back to his faster pace after a while.

For the most part, I stayed within myself and reaped the benefits of my focus. When we went up to form lines near the Samadhi, he was in the line next to me still “off” (although “on” for him), and I smiled to myself. As he moved up faster to the Samadhi in that row, I could still hear him and laughed inside. I paid attention to the waves of Shakti coming from Baba’s Samadhi, to the large powerful, framed photo of Baba hanging near the ceiling above the Samadhi. I looked into Baba’s eyes, and took in his loving smile, as I approached the Samadhi. I pranamed my head on the marble next to Baba and felt my love for Baba, and Baba’s love for me, with my focus in that moment.

We now proceed to the afternoon when I made my final visit to Baba’s meditation tree (I have become quite addicted to that banyan tree with the yantra underneath of it). The bats were still squeaking, the monkeys still swaying from the trees, as I sat underneath of my favorite branch on the left of the tree (see photo), and then with my back up against the tree trunk on the left. Along the way, I came to the theme of this blog in meditation, as my brain lit up with such a high frequency. This time my chest opened and heart expanded in relationship to the expansion of my brain. The breeze wafted through where we sat, the trees moved, I felt the softness of the air on my face and appreciated these moments of meditation and being in the moment. Yes, this is what matters most, being present, focusing within, on the expansion of our heart and mind, on BEING, and as Maa teaches, on THE BECOMING, and on THE DIVINE IMPULSE that runs through us in each instant and moves us in our evolution of consciousness and the matter.

Goodbye for now from Puttaparthi. Please join me next in Pondicherry with Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, and all ways with Maa.




ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention another example from this day about distractions of the past and being in the present now. As I wrote in my book In the Path of Light with Maa, there was a male sevadal at Baba’s ashram who used to always “get everyone’s goat”, so to speak, yelling at the men to move closer, closer, closer, Sai Ram, Sai Ram, Sai Ram. He was very nasty, at least that was my and many others’ assessment of him. I used to be distracted by his presence when I was entering the Omkar room, Baba’s meditation room which we entered at 5 am in the morning for chanting of slokas and silent meditation. I would say to myself, “What is he going to do today?”, “Where will he tell me to sit?”, and he usually put me in the corner somewhere. I bring this up now because I saw him as we proceeded into the Omkar room after pranaming at Baba’s Samadhi, sitting in a chair outside the Omkar room. I looked at him, remembered him, and saw him for who he is now and smiled. He smiled right back at me, a big warm smile. Paying attention to his presence now, not being focused on the past but on what matters most, the heart. JAI SAI RAM