If a little meditation can give you this kind of experience...
by Pragya Gerig
I grew up in a little village in the countryside, where being Catholic and going to church at least once a week was a must. When I was a little girl I asked my mother, "How do you pray?" She told me, "You just have to imagine talking directly to God." This was the best part of my spiritual education.
When I turned 20 I moved to Nuremberg. In Nuremberg I attended services at different churches, but there I felt nothing. At the same time I heard for the first time of the teachings of Sri Krishna and Buddha. I learned that they had taught the same principles as Jesus – love, devotion, compassion, forgiveness. I felt confused, and since I often doubted certain things in the institution of the church, I stopped going altogether. I thought, "I will just be open to everything – one day I will find the right faith for me."
After I stopped going to church, I sometimes woke up in the middle of the night screaming and having the really intense feeling, "I have forgotten something!" At that time I did not consciously know what I had forgotten; but unconsciously I was searching for a connecting link with God. I converted from Catholic to Protestant and listened to various spiritual talks. Finally I went regularly to a Christian student community at the university. Whomever I met and felt inspired by, I asked: “Do you know the way to talk to God?” Even the priest at the university was asked this question. Every semester we had a brochure about the whole programme in this student community – from meditation to theatre practice. Finally the priest agreed to add one more item: “Talks about God.” Every programme was well attended, except for that one – it seemed nobody wanted to talk about God.
Then, finally, I thought I had found what I was looking for. In this student community I met some really inspiring girls who belonged to a Christian group. They lived a pure life – like nuns – in a normal world, with an open heart, and tried to be a shining example to the rest of the world. I was really impressed by them – how they behaved, and how strong their belief was. So I thought, “That‘s my new way.”
For years my boyfriend had been doing a kind of meditation of his own. Often I used to scold him, “That‘s just a waste of time, sitting there and doing nothing.” In the meantime my boyfriend had read a book about occult practices, and I thought, “Either I find him a meditation group that suits him, or I have to break up with him.”
Soon I discovered a poster for a lecture about meditation. It took me a whole day to convince him to come with me. The lecture and the person who gave it were not to my taste – I found everything quite boring. I would have left after five minutes, but my boyfriend insisted on staying, since I had bothered him the whole day and forced him to come with me. So I stayed until the end and even took a leaflet about their books with me.
One or two weeks later I got the idea that I could try to do meditation on my own. I found a little booklet with a simple meditation technique, where you imagine the sun in your heart. I was sitting there for maybe ten minutes, imagining the sun in my heart, and when I opened my eyes, I was overwhelmed with what I saw. Thousands of streaks of light were coming out of my body and mirroring my subtle body, so that I was just facing my subtle self. I thought, “If a little meditation can give you this kind of experience, how will it be when you really meditate?” At that moment I remembered the leaflet with the books about meditation and immediately ordered the book Meditation by Sri Chinmoy.
When I got the book and started reading, I thought, “That‘s what I have been looking for all along!” In previous years I had tried to read a few books about Zen, but I always fell asleep after a few pages. This book I could read for hours, and it contained all the themes I always wanted to know about. So, Zen meditation was not meant for me in this incarnation. I fell in love with the meditation book and read it a few times within a week – but I had a kind of fear when I saw the pictures of Guru. Then the idea came to me: "You just have to look in the eyes of the picture. There you will see the truth."
So I took the photo which was captioned 'Sri Chinmoy demonstrates contemplation' and looked into his eyes. As soon as I looked into his eyes, my heart started racing – really fast and hard. Light was streaming into me, and it felt like an explosion of light in my heart. I could see my whole body filled with glowing light. Before, I had read in the leaflet that Sri Chinmoy was a sportsman. At that moment I was directly connected with Sri Chinmoy, and so inwardly I said, "I am very sorry, but I have to shut the book! I am not a sportsman like you. I think I will get a heart attack if I don‘t close the book!" I never, ever had this kind of racing heartbeat before or afterwards. I closed the book and was sure that I had found a real Master.
From that moment on, the only wish of my heart was to become a student of this Master. Within a few days I wrote to the address listed in the book and asked how I could become a disciple. One month after I got the book I was accepted as a disciple.
One month after I had sent in my picture, my boyfriend sent in his picture, too. When I told him my experiences while doing meditation, he said to himself, “What she can do, I can do, too.” And later he confessed that within three month he had made more progress than during the previous seven years, when he was meditating on his own.
I am eternally grateful that I got the chance to meet my Guru, and to be his disciple.
First steps on the spiritual path
More stories from Sri Chinmoy's students.
Meeting Sri Chinmoy for the first timeJanaka Spence Edinburgh, United Kingdom
People see something in Guru and want to be part of itSaraswati Martín San Juan, Puerto Rico
An intense, concentrated FireToshala Elliott Auckland, New Zealand
An early spiritual experienceAshrita Furman New York, United States
Learning to love songs ever morePatanga Cordeiro São Paulo, Brazil
A Truckload of Humanitarian Aid Sails through CustomsArthada Platzgummer Vienna, Austria
Now you are in the boatKaushalya Casey Toronto, Canada
The day when everything beganBhagavantee Paul Salzburg, Austria
All I needed was the Supreme, and I would always winPragati Pascale New York, United States
Reflections on meditationJanaka Spence Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The Swimming RelayToshala Elliott Auckland, New Zealand
interviews with Sri Chinmoy's students