By Ben Waters, interviewed by Lori (Priya) Kenney
I’ve found something in sitting face to face with Gurudevi. I’ve found my Self. Through sitting and meditating in person with Gurudevi, I have formed a Guru-Disciple relationship. I know my relationship with her is the most important relationship in my life.
Through a series of synchronistic events, I showed up at Lokananda about eight years ago. I was in a tough place and needed guidance. When I called out to the universe for help, I was led to Lokananda. The energy there is extremely tangible. I’ve been going since that first day. I knew I found exactly what I was looking for. That’s funny because I didn’t know what I was looking for. It’s the wildest thing. If you want to have an adventure, this is the life.
Over the years, I’ve often gone to Lokananda carrying problems and heaviness. When I’m with Gurudevi, it all falls away. I leave it at the door. It’s freedom. I settle into a space that I couldn’t get to on my own.
Now I can get there on my own, but it’s still not on my own. It’s because that Guru-Disciple relationship has been cultivated at a depth from sitting with Gurudevi so much. She’s installed her Self inside me, and now I can access her Grace on my own. It truly is the wildest thing. I remember trying to understand the relationship. Sometimes my mind would ask, “What is this relationship? Why are you so drawn to Gurudevi?” One time I went into meditation on my own and felt her presence so strongly. I realized, she’s inside of me and outside of me.
During Covid, when we couldn’t go to Lokananda, I attended the online Japa Club, Meditation Club and satsangs. It was all tremendous. Those programs put me in the Grace and allowed me to deepen the relationship with Gurudevi. Still, seeing her face, looking into her eyes and hearing her voice in person is very different. Most of the time, I just sit and gaze at her.
She always says “You just think you’re coming here to see me. But really, you’re coming here to find your Self.” The best way for me to be my Self is to be with her. Grace is so palpable when being in her physical presence. If I have a question, I can ask her. Over the years, I’ve realized there really are no problems. It’s just wave disturbances in the mind-field. I don’t have as many questions now or things I want to talk about. It’s really about being with her. She pulls me so deeply into my Self. I’ve never left Lokananda having not been changed from being there. I never depart in the same state as when I enter.
Now Gurudevi is with me 24/7. I can feel it and tap into it. I don’t think there will ever be a time when being with Gurudevi won’t be the most important thing in my life. Even with Self-Realization, I will still want to be sitting at her feet.