It's no secret that my heart's desire is to find a guru, a spiritual teacher who will lovely guide my spiritual evolution. I thought the only person who understands the longing in my heart is Yogananada. (it's quite amusing to watch the silly things that go on in my mind). Anyway, I've been listening to Autobiography of Yogi on cd in the car.
Yogananda's beautiful words are so inspiring. They also fuel the inner fire of desire for a spiritual teacher. In Yogananda's day, a spiritual seeker travels from place to place in search of a guru. Today, a spiritual seeker has a much harder time, especially here in the good old USA. I suppose in India there are gurus on every corner but here, in Abington, PA - not so much.
I start wondering what I would find if I do a google search for a guru. With Yogananda on my mind, I google the self-realization fellowship and TA DA! there is a center just 5 minutes from home!! How do you like that!! Could it be that just like Yogananada who searched all these far off villages only to find that his guru's ashram was only 12 miles from his home??
I found a self realization fellowship center. The direction say its above a motorcycle shop and directs you to use the side door. I open the door at the top of the stairs and find myself in a dark dingy hallway. The door at the end of the hallway indicates it's the meditation group. So I open the door. There's a man standing in this dark little room with his back towards the door. He's doing some sort of weird movements and I don't want to disturb him so I wait. I rumple my paper in hopes that he would turn around but he doesn't. I look around the room. No one else is there but there are tons of photos of Yogananda and his gurus, books, CDs. Ok maybe I'm too early so I decide to leave the room and wait outside for other meditators.
There I am in the dirty, stinky hallway. After quietly backing out of the room I realize that I left my shoes in the room. While I'm waiting there are"biker dudes" coming in and out. There's a group of women practicing their singing and dancing act in another room. Then a guy comes walking down the hall. Tattoos everywhere but I notice he's wearing malas. I ask him if he's going to meditation. "yes" he says and leads me into the room. He directs me into the "chapel". I sit and the guy doing the weird movements begins the"service". He chants in English and plays the harmonium. Not very well but whatever. They pray and we meditate for a long time. 1 1/2 hours! They end with prayers and weird hand gestures. I left and as I walked to my car I felt strangely lighter and I couldn't help but wonder. "how'd I get here again?".
I'm not sure I'll find what my heart desires there in that group but I know for sure I'll find it in the lotus of my own heart through my own sadhana.
Hari Om~ Hari Om~ Hari Om~