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This week we look at experiencing through others experiences. My uncle, my dad’s eldest brother and the patriarch of our family, was a very scholarly, educated, and spiritual man. He had studied and practiced yoga and meditation on his own and I considered him a master in his own right. I was fortunate to share several interesting conversations with him as I became more serious in my own practice.
I had gone to Baltimore for a work conference. My aunt, uncle and cousins lived about thirty minutes away and I decided to extend my stay in the area a few more days to visit them. During this visit, I told my uncle about the books I was reading at the time and made a reference to some teachings of Swami Rama. He then shared his own personal experience, which I truly needed to hear in the moment, and I hope makes you smile.
He shared that he visited an ashram with my grandmother and got carried away reading some books in the temple library. The curators had locked and closed all the gates and main entrance. They found my uncle and grandmother sitting in the library and told them they were now closed and would have to leave. Then as they were walking out, he realized that he left his sandals in the front hall and there was no way to get back to through. As they were walking away from the ashram, a man came behind them with my uncles shoes in hand. My uncle could scarcely believe his eyes, as this man was none other than Swami Rama. My uncle fell at his feet with the utmost humility and gratitude. And all Swami Rama said was “Would not a mother bring her child his shoes.”
I think about this story every time I feel like I need to be more compassionate, a better listener, and a better friend. It is my reminder to experience gratitude without expectation.
This week think about a familial experience that has had a subtle, but powerful impact on you. What was it about this person’s experience that moves you to act in a different way? What is the wisdom you walked away with? Do you share this memory with others?