Somewhat later the same year, I attended a seminar on three eastern and three western mystics. One of them was Anandamayi Ma (1896 – 1982). Her name means bliss permeated mother. She never identified with her body and was completely devoid of any trace of ego. She had total recall back to the time of her birth – and even before that. When she was an adult, another Indian mystic, Paramahansa Yogananda, came to see her and asked her to tell him something about herself. She said there was little to tell and then said this to Yogananda (whom she addressed as Father):
My consciousness has never associated itself with this temporary body. Before I came on this earth, Father, I was the same. I grew into womanhood, but still I was the same. When the family in which I had been born made arrangements to have this body married, I was the same. And, Father, in front of you now, I am the same. Even afterwards, though the dance of creation changes around me in the hall of eternity, I shall be the same.
Her husband considered divorcing her when he realized he would not be having the usual type of married life. However, he decided to remain and be one of her followers. Philosophers from all over India would come to see her and ask her questions. Although she was not educated, she answered them all effortlessly. It dawned on me that if I had a state of consciousness like hers, there would no be the slightest trace of emptiness. So, I decided to base my daily meditations on that. Within two years a flow of energy through the body began to occur when I meditated. I was very grateful. In addition I quickly realized that A Course in Miracles was the help that I had been looking for. I wanted to absorb it as thoroughly as possible and have been using it for the last 33 years. During that time there have been no problems, pains or sickness. However, this requires some explanation because I did have a stroke, a gall stone attack and a heart arrhythmia during those years.
They all sound serious but they were nothing. None of them were fearful, and only one (the gall stone) had any pain (only for one day). I was hospitalized for a week with the stroke but in spite of many potentially painful procedures applied to determine the “physical cause,” there was no pain or fear or after effects. Afterwards I saw that I chose the stroke because I believed I needed a defense against the truth. The gall stone was needed to bring to my attention a mentally buried feeling of being betrayed by an important colleague. My doctor said I should have my gall bladder removed but I knew that releasing the grievance was all that was needed. So I kept the gall bladder but not the grievance.
One night I felt a pressure on my chest. It wasn’t painful but it was not supposed to be there so I went to the hospital. They said I had an irregular heartbeat and put a pacemaker in my chest. It would not do anything unless my heart rate became too low. When it did, the pacemaker would emit an electric signal that caused the heart rate to increase. In this case I knew exactly what mental condition caused this, and felt I might need some time to change it, and the pacemaker would let me have the time I needed. It took a few years to change it, and the change occurred naturally. Then the battery in the pacemaker died. My doctor scheduled an operation to put in a new battery. I did not think it was needed but I was hesitant to go against his medical knowledge. Then a miracle occurred. A different doctor (the surgeon) said it had been firing so infrequently that it was not really pacing my heart. So I did not have the battery replaced. That was several years ago, and all is well.
A separate thing named me,
I no longer wish to be.
I wish to fold it up,
Put it in a drawer,
Walk out the door,
Arm in arm with everything,
Not looking back.
THE RIVER OF WATERS
I am called the river of waters,
For my spirit covers the earth.
I open my eyes on the mountain
For the melting ice is my birth.
I awake a drop of moisture
With sleep upon my eyes.
I feel the pulse of others,
And hear their newborn sighs.
I lift my eyes to the heavens,
And drink the warmth of its sun.
I join with my brothers and sisters,
And together begin to run.
Down the rugged hillsides,
Across the grassy slopes,
We’re more like wind than water,
As we spray the earth with hopes.
I’m a rushing mountain torrent
A lazy, wandering stream.
I’m a mighty winding river
That houses all men’s dreams.
I am called the river of waters,
For my movements never cease.
I am born to seek the ocean,
And there to find my peace.