THE BLOG

Sitting With Mother Meera

10/23/2012 02:50 pm ET | Updated Dec 23, 2012
  • Jack Schimmelman Writer. Executive producer and director of new Martha's Vineyard opera entitled 1854.

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Photo used by permission of the Mother Meera Foundation USA

I am cleaning my bathroom. Scrubbing. It is a dreary Brooklyn fall day, 1995. I fulfill my obligation. Suddenly, my body is infused with a feeling that is impossible to describe. I fall to my knees, crying. I know in an instant that Mother Meera has enabled me to feel this way. She has lifted a veil allowing me to connect with my soul. I repeatedly whisper "thank you, thank you, thank you." Words approach my feeling. I am speechless.

Unconditional love.

For 10 years, I attended a group that sat before a master teacher. Early in 1995, friends in this group told me about Mother Meera. They suggested I read a New York Times article about her. After reading it, I assured myself that I was not interested in this so-called Avatar. The article revealed a devotee gone over the hill. He was besotted. No guru for me! Didn't believe in it.

So, I went on my merry way, convinced that I was on the virtuous path. After all, I was sitting in a class conducted by a Socratic teacher who revealed secrets of the universe to us. The same friends who had told me about Mother Meera went to Germany, where she lived, and received her Darshan. They came back to announce that they had been thrown out of the room for laughing too much. That was it. Now I was convinced that this Mother was a sham.

Thus, the day arrives when I am cleaning my aforesaid bathroom. My soul is electric. I knew that at the moment I was brought to my knees I had to go to Germany to see this Mother Meera. After all, my bathroom was sparkling!

In the law firm where I worked as a legal secretary, I arranged for a two-week vacation in October 1995. My friends told me that Americans could receive Darshan two consecutive weeks twice a year. I flew to Frankfurt, took a train to Limburg and then took a bus to my destination, a small village sitting on top of a hill overlooking Thalheim where Mother Meera lived. The homeowner, a very nice fraulein, welcomed me warmly. I arrived exhausted on a Wednesday. The next evening would be my first Darshan. I tumbled into my bed in a small room and thanked God for my safe arrival. The next day I awoke excited. That evening, as the sun was setting, I made my way down a steep hill to Thalheim to find Mother Meera's house. I glide to Thalheim's valley. I am happy. I arrive in front of Mother's modest house to find a group of people gathering to go in. We are given instructions and we follow the speaker. We are swans seeking our pond. (Today, Mother gives Darshan in a larger hall in Schaumberg.)

We enter, and we know that from that moment we are silent. If there are any last minute instructions they are whispered. Finally, I enter this very small room. In the center sits a beautifully arranged, modest chair with a cushion before her seat. I am terrified. I am honored. That unconditional love first discovered in my bathroom once again floods my body. All souls vibrate. We are seated on three sides. When Mother enters, everyone stands. She is a small, unassuming young woman. She sits. She is silent. We sit. One by one, without any particular order, people wordlessly come to Mother and kneel in front of her. She is giving Darshan. I watch intently. I stare at Mother, seeking a false note. Not entirely believing my own experience. People seem to know what to do. I remain terrified. Surely, she will see my darkest places and reject me. I am ashamed. Am I worthy of this tiny woman's blessing? At some point I join the line waiting to kneel before Mother. The line goes into a hallway outside the room and for a few minutes I cannot see her. I feel deprived. Finally, I am at the entrance to the Dashan room and I can see Mother clearly. Instinctively, I put my hands together in prayer. Eternity lightens my heart. My soul rises. As I move forward on my knees to kneel before Mother for the first time, I bathe in grace. Finally, there I am, in front of her. No one between us. I bend my head and reach for her ankles as I had seen others do. She does not flinch. She puts her hands on my head. When she finishes, I look up into her eyes for the very first time. This is the limitless well for which I have searched. I yearn to live there, floating in her gentle whirlpool. Elegance defined.

She lowers her head and I must leave. I get up. I am a bit wobbly and I am offered a hand to walk to my chair. My hands are still together, in prayer. I arrive at my seat and, for the first time, I realize I am shaking a bit. Someone offers me a hand to sit. I accept. As I sit, tears appear. I weep quietly. Silence. The person next to me whispers, "It's okay, let it all out. I did my first time."

Everyone has kneeled. I look at the people across from me and see a pink light pulsating from each person. Mother closes her eyes and bestows her Darshan privately on each person seated in her home. After a few minutes, she finishes. Everyone stands as she leaves the room. Every soul expands. We are silent. Grateful.

Flashlight in hand, I ascend in the dark up the same steep hill which I descended earlier that evening. It is a beautiful autumn evening.

The author continues to kneel before Mother Meera. If you wish to know more about Mother Meera, go here.