One night I found myself in a very difficult situation, and in desperation and as a last resort I appealed to God, in whom I didn’t believe, saying, “If there is such a thing as God, you’ve got to help me”.
I had been brought up in a Christian family and had to go to church most Sundays but I’d never felt it helped me or gave me any peace. I felt worse for going, actually, as the idea of original sin and all the rules meant I could never feel good about myself. Because of my negative experiences with the church, which was Protestant, I found it difficult to believe in Jesus Christ and God. So I considered myself an atheist, I suppose, although I was idealistic and had high moral values.
I still had an interest in spirituality, however, and thought that there must be some metaphysical answer to the ills of the world and I was searching for the key that would unlock the door to the mysteries of life. I felt that there was some force (which I thought of as the life force) which looked after all the animals and plants on the earth without them doing anything. I thought that as I was, surely, just as important as the plants and animals then that force was, hopefully, looking after me too. I felt that if I could be more in tune with that force, without thinking, just like the plants and animals, then I could be healed as well.
So I started looking for a Buddhist meditation group. Buddhists don’t talk about God, I thought, but they seem to be people of integrity and very much at peace in meditation. But it wasn’t to be. All the groups I rang didn’t answer their phones. Eventually I decided to go to Sahaja Yoga, which I had heard about from a friend.
As it happened, Shri Mataji, the founder of Sahaja Yoga, was coming to my city the following week. Her lecture was extremely interesting and covered a wide range of topics including God and Jesus Christ. I thought, “Oh, no!” I was surprised, however, to find that rather than urging us to go to church and become Christians, Shri Mataji openly stated that many Christians were not as loving and forgiving as they should be and that their intolerance and hypocrisy had turned many people away from Christianity because they were not following the teachings of Christ as they should. That had been my experience! When Shri Mataji spoke about God I thought, “I’m not interested in having anything to do with God or religion”. But I was so impressed with Shri Mataji and she spoke about all sorts of other interesting aspects of spirituality as well. I decided I would put aside her references to God and try Sahaja Yoga.
I have never regretted my decision. Sahaja Yoga has been the most wonderful experience of my life. Over time I have learnt that the original teachings of Jesus Christ are quite different from the teachings of the Church which has twisted and distorted many things over time. I have also discovered the mystical aspects of Christianity, some of which were recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls and kept secret by the Vatican for many years. I do not have to follow the dictates of priests or ministers who interpret spirituality for me, tell me what to do and have power over me. I find real comfort and peace from meditating and from a personal connectedness that I never felt in the church. And, yes, I have learnt from my experiences that God does exist, and has taken many forms over the millennia, not just the form of Jesus Christ.
So if you, like me, have had bad experiences or have become disenchanted with the Church and feel nervous about the mention of God, don’t worry about it. Just put it aside and try Sahaja Yoga. True spirituality involves much more than the narrow view of God and religion that has been promulgated by Christian churches.
And if you like, you too can ask the question, “Does God exist?” or “Is there such a thing as God?” and see how the answer unfolds in your life.
The film about Shri Mataji’s life, “Freedom and Liberation”, will be screened in Bowral, south-west of Sydney.
Venue: Empire Theatre, Bowral
Everyone is welcome to attend and see this wonderful film about Shri Mataji who is the founder of Sahaja Yoga. Admission is free.
I received my realisation in 2005 and the joy and the love have been steadily growing ever since. I was fortunate to be in Sydney when Sri Mataji visited Australia in both 2006 and 2007, to feel the vibrations and share the joy with many yogis from around the world. However, now that I have listened to Mother’s talks over the years, I find my attention is focused more and more on the spirit and that Mother is always with me.
The other morning I woke at dawn with the sun just rising – and Mother is there. I had my morning meditation – and Mother is there. I look into the brown eyes of innocence in my brown dog, waiting patiently for the moment we go for our walk – and Mother is there. We walk across the paddock with the 360 degree view, and I as I look up to the sky, a bird flies overhead – Mother is there. When we arrive at the beach, the sun is about a metre above the sea – Mother is there. I feel the warmth of the sun, the caress of the sea breeze – Mother is there. The sea is glistening as the sun spreads over it – Mother is there.
On my way to work I ask Mother to keep me in the centre and become the detached witness. On the drive home I notice a sugar cane field in flower, the afternoon sun dancing on the shimmering flower tips – Mother is there. A traffic jam – the heavenly strains of a Mozart concerto plays on the radio – Mother is there. Time is just a concept and I always get where I’m going on Time – Mother is there. Life can be such a joy when we keep our attention on the spirit.