Happinesss - Andrew Storms

(Photo Credit: Andrew Storms)

There was a young man at the retreat who had a beautiful smile and wonderful energetic enthusiasm. I took his enthusiasm as a sign of “aliveness” and deep inside I felt a twinge of envy (do I ever smile like that? Move like that?)

He seemed to attract people with his child-like energy, and I eventually sat down to speak with him. He had come a very long way and jumped through many financial and bureaucratic hoops to see Eckhart whom he regarded not only as a Master, but as HIS Beloved Master.

Lao Tzu - BK

(Photo Credit: BK)

He told me how he had come to listen to his Master, to be near him for a while, and to touch his feet in reverence. He had also brought him a small gift from his country, but sadly his request to see Eckhart to present him the gift had been met with skepticism by Eckhart’s staff. Still, he said that in the end it didn’t really matter if he got to speak to him personally or not. All that mattered was that he had made it to Omega to see Eckhart.

On the last day of the retreat, as we all walked out of “The Main Hall” where Eckhart gave all his talks, many of us got together to take pictures, exchange numbers, and to say our farewells. As I turned to leave I was met with the smiling face of the young man.

“How are you?” I said. “Where you ever able to give Eckhart your gift?”

“No” he said, his smile slightly affected. “But it’s okay, I wasn’t expecting it to happen.”

Strangely, in that very moment one of Eckhart’s staff came from behind me and tapped him on the shoulder asking, “Are you the one who wants to see Eckhart?”

The young man, a little shocked, simply nodded his head.

“Well, he will see you. Someone will come and give you instructions on where to meet him in about 20 minutes”.

Jump for Joy - Scott Ableman

(Photo Credit: Scott Ableman)

Do I have to describe the emotional elation which lit up the boy’s face in that moment? I’m sure you can imagine him in your own way. He could hardly speak yet his face and body, which were gushing with the effects of excitement, said everything. Before anything else could happen another man came to him and whispered some instructions into his ears and then said, “10 minutes”.

I looked at him, smiled and said, “You got your wish. I’m so happy for you!”

The young man suddenly threw his arms around me and embraced me so tightly, so genuinely, so full of overwhelming emotions and tears in his eyes. I was now witness to the fact that this moment was the actual manifestation of his dream.

The Dreamer - Edgard Mazigi

The Dreamer – By Edgard Mazigi

When he finally let go of me I said, “quickly, give me your information so I can ask you how it went!” In his sheer excitement he managed to scribble down his email address and within seconds he was already halfway across the field screaming with joy, “I’ve got to go!!! I have to go!!”

I stood for a few minutes not really knowing how to feel. Just a day ago I had envied this boy’s enthusiasm for life, but something was different now. He didn’t appear any less “alive” than he did before, but I knew that this meeting was a climax for him, and from a point of climax there is only one direction left to go. I felt sad wondering whether what I just witnessed was what Eckhart would call “happiness” or “joy”?

Interview with J. Krishnamurti, San Diego, CA 1974

(Video Clip Source: J. Krishnamurti Online)

Yes, Eckhart is a Master, but not ‘my Master’ or ‘your Master’. Rather, what he mastered was his own self. He is “a light unto himself”, and just like J. Krishnamurti who went around the world speaking for 60 years on being “as one is“, Eckhart spends much of his life trying to make people realize that to become a Master is to become “no one in particular”.

I believe that the Buddha‘s message was basically the same, as was Jesus‘ message. But in our enthusiasm to end our suffering; in our desperate attempt at filling the emptiness within ourselves we nod our heads in understanding, yet we never actually end the story. We never ACT on our own, outside the realm of influence or conditioning. Instead, we cling to the herds within and without and play follow the leader. The more afraid and lost we feel, the tighter we hold on to our “Masters”, passing our fears and their images down from generation to generation…

I wonder if that lovely young boy (or I) will ever realize that when he embraced me he was embracing Eckhart. When one embraces no one and nothing, one embraces everyone and everything. But as long as we embrace our past so tightly, as long as we embrace our Gods, our guru’s, our religions, our Dr.’s, our social, political, economic, and business leaders, what we embrace is fear itself.

If one is not ready to stand alone, how can one’s arms ever open up to receive all the possibilities? The never-ending embrace of all things fleeting and finite is an exercise in futility if the ultimate purpose is to find one’s self – that is – to be totally free from ALL fear and insecurity and simply BE (responsible for one’s own state of being).

Open Arms - Roger

(Photo Credit: Roger)

Let go of Rula. Let go of her story. Let go of her past. Let go of her perceived image with all its heavy baggage. Open your arms up wide and let the warm light of Life shine through the living being. If you can’t let go of the idea of “Rula” then who can?

That is why Eckhart’s retreat is not Rula’s retreat, as Eckhart can never retreat on Rula’s behalf. Only the one who is aware of “Rula’s self image” can retreat and finally end the Never Ending Story.