Prem was really intense this morning. Usually Radha steps out followed by Prem and we all stand up to Samasthi (mountain pose with hands in prayer in front of the heart). Normally, as soon as he stands in front of the room, he closes his eyes, we all follow and begin chanting the “Om” that leads us into our morning prayer. But as soon as we stood up, he sternly told all of us to sit back down. I thought, “oh no, who hurt themselves or did something stupid that will warrant a lecture from him and Radha as a precaution to be more conscious in our lives and practice?” He told us to find a comfortable seat and close our eyes. Obediently, we all sat down and closed our eyes for a few breaths. Soon after we hear a loud ‘gonnnnnng’ from his Tibetan bowl humming across the silence of the room. I open my eyes and hear him firmly say: “WAKE UP! It’s time to wake up.” He was obviously upset. I wasn’t sure if he was going to cry or yell next but he told all of us (about 25 of us) to get up and gather in the middle of the room. So we huddled together and put our arms around each other. He says there was an earthquake here and the earth beneath us is shaking and telling us to wake up. He starts crying. Those of us sensitive to tears begin to well up also. There was a small earthquake at 1:08am the night before the tsunami hit Japan. I didn’t realize it hit at 1:08 in the morning. 108 is an auspicious number in Hinduism (Click here for ‘108 Signficance‘). He starts to say that 2012 isn’t about 2012 but right NOW. We all need to be taking responsibility and it starts with each of us individually. That’s why we do our practice every morning—so we can be present and go out into the world; connect with others and smile at people. To be able to say to another, “Namaste: I recognize the Divine in you that is also in me”. At this point, I feel someone’s tear drop on my arm, penetrating through my skin, becoming a part of me, and I feel that I am One with everyone and everything.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.