“Meditate like Christ. He lost himself in love.”
Meditate Like Christ
One day a Canadian man arrived for his first visit with Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji). He didn’t know much about Maharaj-ji but had heard about him. Maharaj-ji didn’t give lectures or formal teachings; didn’t write books; and, as far as I know, didn’t formally initiate people. He just kept shining like the sun. Flowers don’t need to read a manual on how to bloom in the sunshine. So when Maharaj-ji asked this man why he’d come and what he wanted, he was unsure how to respond. Finally, he replied, ‘Can you teach me how to meditate?’
“Maharaj-ji’s response was: ‘Meditate like Christ. Go. Sit in the back of the temple with the other Westerners.’
“The guy came to the back, and we asked him about his darshan. He told us that Maharaj-ji had said to meditate like Christ. At first we were surprised. ‘What! Meditate like Christ! What does that mean?’ But then we thought about it. We were always trying to get Maharaj-ji to tell us what practice to do, but he’d never give us any specific instructions about yoga or meditation. Now he’d said this. If he said it, he must know how Jesus meditated. We decided to ask him about it. We were so excited — we were going to get the secret teachings at last!
“Later in the day, when Maharaj-ji came to the back of the temple to hang out with us, [one among us] broached the subject that had us all buzzing. ‘You said to meditate like Christ. How DID he meditate?’
“It seemed as if Maharaj-ji was about to answer, but instead his eyes closed and he sat there completely still, completely silent. It felt like he’d totally disappeared. In all the time I’d been with him, I’d only seen him sitting motionless like this a couple of times before. It was extraordinarily powerful, as if the whole universe had become silent. Then a tear came down his cheek. We were in awe. After a couple of minutes, his eyes half opened and, with great emotion, he quietly said, ‘He lost himself in love, that’s how he meditated. He was one with all beings. He loved everyone, even the people who crucified him. He never died. He is the atman [soul]. He lives in the hearts of all. He lost himself in love.’
Once again, Maharaj-ji had gone right to the heart of it all. I was stunned. There was nothing I wanted more than to be able to lose myself in love, but there was nothing that seemed farther away. As Kabir once said, “It is easy to bear the heat of fire and likewise it is possible to tread the edge of the sword. But to sustain an unchanging love is a most difficult business.”