“Eat Cheerios,” it said! I thought I heard something wrong so I asked the same question again, “What is my calling? What should I really do moving forward?” I again heard a voice inside me that said, “Just eat Cheerios for now.” I was so irritated with it. Here I was at my annual spiritual retreat deep inside the Texan hill country all by myself for 6 days – meditating, cleansing, and contemplating and asking deeper questions about my spiritual calling and the answer I get every single time is – Eat Cheerios!
I thought I was doing something wrong. Maybe being alone for 6 days with no people to talk to, no gadgets to play with, and no books to read was really getting to me. In my previous retreats, I had always shared the beautiful cottage with other Heartfulness meditation practitioners. Even if we weren’t allowed to talk to each other, I knew there was someone in the cottage; there was another presence and that kept me going. But this time it was different. When I reached the retreat, Suzanne – the caretaker of the retreat who is also a senior Heartfulness meditation instructor informed me that I will be all by myself for 6 days and the entire beautiful cottage was mine. And I excitedly said, “Yay, all mine!!” After 3 days, my reaction was pretty much like, “Is it really all mine for all 6 days?” 🙁 This was my toughest spiritual retreat ever. I had to live with me!
When I started hearing my own voice in my own head about eating Cheerios, I thought I was having a retreat overdose. I love Cheerios but it was 11 in the morning and it wasn’t time for Cheerios. I looked around and obviously there was no one watching me so I said to myself, “why not?” I walked to the pantry only to find the Cheerios container empty. I was slightly disappointed because as funny as it sounds, deep inside I thought that was my calling at the moment. I tried closing the doors of the pantry a little forcefully thinking to myself, “So much for finding my calling!” Just then, through the half closed door, a big box fell on my head from the pantry shelf. I bent down to pick it up… and guess what? It was a box of Cheerios kept on the topmost shelf, which I couldn’t see before but which probably fell on my head from the force of the door!
I picked it up and stared at it for a whole minute. I absorbed what I was looking at and I knew my question was answered. I smiled. I always think that Nature has the greatest sense of humor and it always speaks to me in the language I understand the best. What a dramatic way to answer my question!
Eating Cheerios was not my calling; what was written on the box of Cheerios was my calling. This was no regular cereal box. It was a Star Wars edition box of Cheerios! The backside of the box said in bold letters “Bring LIGHT to the DARK SIDE!” It also said, “There is a disturbance in the Force. Can you bring balance to the universe by matching the correct shadow to each of the glow-in-the-dark decals?” It felt like a very personal question that Nature had thrown at me in that moment. In that silent moment shared between Nature and me, I answered yes. I said I was going to try my best to bring light to the dark side. How could I not say yes? After all, it was being asked to me the Star Wars style…in the language I understood the best. Also, in Heartfulness, we meditate on the DIVINE LIGHT illuminating our heart from within.
I carried my bowl of cereals to my favorite corner in the cottage and began eating quietly when everything suddenly became clear to me. Few days ago, a friend asked me what makes Heartfulness meditation so different than other meditation practices and I said, “The Transmission also known as the ‘Yogic Force’ or the ‘Life Force’ that is transmitted directly in to your heart when you meditate makes Heartfulness meditation stand out.” The very first spiritual Master of Heartfulness, Lalaji said, “The Sanskrit word for Transmission is pranahuti (prana meaning life force; ahuti meaning offering). When it is directed into our hearts, we are filled with a force that transcends our own level of development. Just as electrical energy can be transmitted, so also spiritual energy can be transmitted. Transmission is the utilization of divine energy for the transformation of human beings.”
My friend looked at me for a whole minute and then asked me again, “So how is that possible? How can some “Yogic Force” get transmitted to your heart? And how will I know that my heart is receiving the transmission? And how does this Transmission help me in my day-to-day life? I warmly smiled at my friend. These were valid questions. 10 years ago when I started meditating, I had the same questions. But now, receiving and feeling Transmission had become my second nature and I don’t know life without this constant special vibration in my heart. On a daily basis, Transmission to me is like having a spiritual armor around me that protects my interior environment even if my whole world on the outside is falling apart. It’s like having your own super power. This special energy is not something that can be explained in words. It needs to be felt deep inside your heart and for that you need to meditate.
I was trying to find the best way to connect to my friend at that moment to explain the Transmission. I knew I had to speak in the language we could both relate to. And finally, I found a way! We both bonded over Star Wars, Star Trek, Superheroes, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter etc. Secretly, I have always had an ambition of being a “Spiritual Ninja,” who meditates in a superhero cape! Well…I guess its no more a secret now. My friend knew my ambition and we always joked about it. I knew exactly what I was going to say to explain the Transmission!
I asked my friend, “Do you remember what George Lucas the creator of Star Wars said about the Force? Here are his words, “The act of living generates a force field, an energy. That energy surrounds us; when we die, that energy joins with all the other energy. There is a giant mass of energy in the universe that has a good side and a bad side. We are part of the Force because we generate the power that makes the Force live. When we die, we become part of that Force, so we never really die; we continue as part of the Force.”
This is what Yoda, the Jedi Master said about the Force, “For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between land and ship.”
And here is what the Spiritual Masters of Heartfulness have said about the “Life Force” or the Transmission, many many years before Star Wars was created, “The body lives and grows at the physical level and so sustains itself on physical food. The soul, being spiritual in nature, needs nourishment of a higher plane. In Heartfulness, this spiritual food is called Transmission. All Transmission comes from the source, through the Master. Transmission is not limited by time or space. As water flows through a water pipe, so the Transmission flows from the heart of the Master into the waiting heart of the aspirant.
The body is alive only because the soul is in it. At death the soul flies away, and then we say the person is dead, and call the body a corpse. So the body lives by the soul. How does the soul live? I will tell you. The soul lives by Transmission which we can think of as the essence of Divinity.”
And suddenly my friend totally got it and now wants to try Heartfulness! It is funny how we trust the external sources more than our internal strength. It is easy to watch the movies and believe in the Force but it is so difficult even to consider the idea of the spiritual Life Force only because we feel it is intangible. It is said that even George Lucas created the Force to awaken the sense of spirituality in the younger audience. Feeling the Transmission within you is not at all difficult. All you need is willingness to sincerely meditate daily. Find out for yourself why Heartfulness meditation is so different and special from all other meditation practices. Get your cape; Be a Spiritual Ninja. Let’s bring Light to the Dark Side!