My Dear xxxx,

Thank you for your mail and Holy Ganga water and sticks. I was last in India over 35 years ago now and I have not been back since. In a way any desire I have to travel to a place has been nicely fulfilled by others such as yourself. Another student here went on a pilgrimage to Mount Kailas and that means I don't have to go there myself - is the way I view it.

Pilgrim scenes have the same effect as photographic collections that tourists have. They can serve to joyously recall pleasant sights and sounds. The scenes and feelings that served to elevate your spirit at Dakshineswar and the lessons learned can now be used as runways for meditative flights. Air planes need long runways to take off, but once they have the necessary momentum they can rise above the clouds. In the same way we take the Lord's Grace of constantly supplied thought in the form of beautiful heavenly scenes gathered in our subconscious album and use them as our mental runways until a certain transcendence is reached. Using the analogy of flight a "successful" flight depends on smoothness and effortless continuity. Whenever I am in a plane, it exhilarates me to see the glory above the clouds and reminds me of the spiritual comparison. If we learn to take advantage of every encounter we have to be a leading reminder of God's loving presence or our own glorious Divine Self we will be playing the life game well and with good humor.

The Lord's Grace has been showered on you in the forms of apartment, location and the Centre close by along with its members and friends. A little reflection shows how despite some painful thorns in life, rose flowers are blossoming everywhere. Since the Lord is closer than breathing and only seems to be absent when our attention is distracted, there is no necessity to travel anywhere. He is the unborn one whose consciousness is unflickering residing in the eleven-gated city that we conventionally call "body".

In the Lord's own time and at His own pace I hope to visit you again.

Love and Blessings

Originally Published: SUNDAY, JUNE 27, 2010