May Your Dreams Not Come True


A rather brash young student heard that there was a very wise Zen master in the region and went to seek him out.  He located the master in a mountain temple and turned up there one day asking for council.  The young man was shown into the garden by one of the monks, where the master sat in peaceful contemplation.  “I am very ambitious and I want you to tell me how I can fulfil my dreams of a successful life”, said the young man.  Without looking at him, the master replied, “may your dreams not come true.”  The young man became angry, “what do you mean, what kind of answer is that?  I came here asking for your guidance, and that is all you can say to me; it seems that you are just an old fool.”  Still angry, the young man turned and left.

Years passed and the brash young student became a brilliant architect; well respected in his field.  He’d never forgotten his visit to the temple and what the master had said to him; in fact, it had played on his mind all through his studies and working life.  It got to the point where he couldn’t stand it anymore and he decided to take a trip back to the region, seek out the master, and tell him exactly what he thought of him.  He made the journey to the temple and demanded to see the master, who by now was quite old.  He was shown once again into the garden where the master sat in peaceful contemplation.  The man launched into his speech, “I came to see you many years ago to ask your guidance on my future, but you said, “may your dreams not come true.”  I went away and studied and now I am a successful and well respected architect.  Had I listened to you I would have achieved nothing, what do you think of that?”

The master looked at the man, smiled and said, “yes, I remember you.  So, you are now an architect are you?  Successful and well respected you say?  It seems that the only thing you are the architect of is your own bitterness.”  In that moment, the man suddenly realised what the master had meant all those years ago, and bowing his head in gracious humility, he apologised for his rudeness and left.

This story, at first glance, doesn’t appear to make any sense; why would anyone not follow their dreams?  Did the man not become very successful in his chosen profession?  However, the beauty of such stories is that they are very profound, and the reader has to dig much deeper in order to find the truth contained within them.  When we focus on outer goals, while at the same time neglecting the inner, we are only strengthening the ego.  The man in the story illustrates this by having held on to his bitterness for so many years.  The soul, however, contains unlimited possibilities, so by focusing our attention on one worldly goal we are blocking those possibilities.

When we focus on the inner, we are allowing life to open up to us in countless ways.  Had the man in the story not been so headstrong, he could have been a successful and well respected architect whilst at the same time enjoying all the unlimited opportunities that life offered.  Instead, his success (which was only relative) came at a price; the bitterness that poisoned his soul, until the penny finally dropped and he understood the master’s teaching.

Eyesight To The Blind – Extracts


The draught for my latest book is coming along nicely. I’m currently working on Chapter Nineteen; I estimate that there will be another three or four. I thought it would be a good idea to give you a sneak peek, so here is an extract from Chapter Eighteen:

There was one little incident of note that is worth sharing with you here. The business of “surrender” is something that I know a lot of people struggle with.  In an ideal world, we would all love to surrender unconditionally to the Divine, and just lay back and bask in all the rewards.  But in practise, it’s quite difficult.  However, during my visit to Sai in 2010, I experienced first hand that when you surrender to God, nothing can harm you.  Every day after darshan, devotees, if they wish, can pass through the Mandir.  It’s one of those things about Prashanthi that can be quite frustrating, because on one hand, it is an amazing experience to behold the interior of the temple.  But on the other hand, you are ushered through so quickly by the seva dals that you don’t even have time to blink.  The knack is to understand that all is just Swami’s play, and as grand as the inner temple is, it is only matter and will one day exist in a different form; also, it helps to remind ourselves that all frustrations are simply egoic and the result of thwarted desires.

So, the protocol is that after darshan, those wishing to file through the temple form an “orderly” queue starting from the front of the dais.  At some point the seva dals give the signal to move, and devotees step up onto the dais and file through the temple and out again. On this particular day the crowds were so vast that I didn’t even think about trying to get close to Swami, I just sat somewhere towards the back of the hall where I could be as comfortable as possible.  After darshan I continued to sit and soak up the God-man’s vibrations. As I did so the queue for the temple had grown so long due to the hoards, that it was now continuing to form where I was sitting and further on towards the back.  I just sat there with my eyes closed basking in Swami’s love as chaos ensued around me. I was then aware of people falling on top of me.

I felt that basking in Swami’s love was more important than avoiding being crushed, and decided that I would just surrender myself to him.  At that point I felt myself sliding along the concrete floor.  I opened my eyes to see an Indian man with a look of horror on his face as he held my arm.  He’d seen the people falling on me and dragged me away.  He’d leapt into action; rather like Superman, the only difference was that he wasn’t wearing his underpants outside his trousers.  I smiled and thanked him; it was a very smooth ride.

A typical darshan in Sai Kulwant Hall

Hands That Serve Are Holier Than Lips That Pray


Burn with loveStrictly speaking no one needs a church, as in a building, or a priest, because we have everything we need at our fingertips. Reading scriptures may signpost the way to truth, but it doesn’t enable us to experience truth. A friend of mine was recently feeling guilty because she had not been to church for some time. But to anyone who has similar feelings I say this:

Your physical body is your church and your own life experiences will tell you what is true and what isn’t. Our own perception of truth is forever changing, although “ultimate truth” is changeless, so let your conscience be the inner voice of God that guides you to the aforementioned ultimate truth. If you have stopped going to church, maybe it’s because your soul is crying out for change and is trying to guide you onto the next stage of your journey. Maybe the church of organised religion no longer serves your soul’s purpose.

If you are craving to merge with God the solution is simple. Serving God will bring you closer to God and the easiest way to serve God is to serve humanity for the Divinity is present in all. Look around you; who are the people who are closest to you? Start with them; simple acts of kindness and the odd word of encouragement here and there are a great solid base on which to build the foundations of your journey. Then be guided by your conscience and spread your love out into the world when the time feels right for you.

Don’t feel guilty; you are wasting time. Love all, serve all!

Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray – Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Service to humanity is service to God – Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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