Monday, April 11, 2011

A Sacred Thread

Yesterday I threw up my arms and said, “Oh Universe, take me!”  My husband laughed and said, “The Universe took you a long time ago!’

Thirty years ago, when I traveled with Swami Muktananda (Baba), I had a deep, passionate, loving relationship with him in my heart.  When my father came to Miami Beach to meet him – with the intent of rescuing me from a cult – Baba said, before my father could even speak, “She’s my daughter.”  And such was Baba’s presence, that all my father could do was to nod his head in agreement. 

What is this sacred connection?  Why is it that I have always felt that I have a special relationship with my teacher, even though clearly he/she has hundreds of other students? 

There is a famous Hindu story – the Rasa Lila.  Rasa means “nectar,” and lila means “dance.”  Krishna is the Lord of Love, and he always lives near his gopis.  The gopis are the cow-herders who passionately love Krishna’s form.  Whenever he plays his flute, they come running.  If she is nursing a baby, she throws it on the bed and runs to Krishna.  If she is half undressed, she rushes out the door with her sari flying.

And this is the good part:  Krishna manifests himself for each gopi and dances with her.  Each one believes she has the one special relationship with Krishna, as she ecstatically dances with him. 

I have always felt a sacred thread connecting my heart to the heart of the teacher – even in the Soto Zen tradition.  This can be confusing and disconcerting unless one realizes that it is beyond gender.  That the relationship is sanctified.  That it is the relationship between those who have dedicated their lives and being to the dharma.  Who belong to each other in the dharma.  Perhaps lifetime after lifetime.

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