This Thanksgiving, I am feeling grateful for all my teachers. The ones who inspired me, challenged me, helped me grow spiritually and intellectually. The ones who are still living, and those who are in spirit now, but whose loving, gentle inspiration I still feel as a blessing in my life.
I’m especially thinking of my Dad, who taught me to conceive a goal, clearly visualize it, and build it over time and through consistent, focused actions. And of Anandamurti, the founder of Ananda Marga, the yoga organization in which I was a student and for which I was meditation teacher in my college years and a few years thereafter. This period was life-changing and was immensely important in helping me cultivate my skills in spiritual mentoring and guided meditation.
I was never much of a guru person. In fact, quite the opposite. But I loved the meditation, the philosophy and there was something about Anandamurti with which I really connected. I loved his creativity, his humor and that he told people not to worship him, but to direct their reverence to God. That got my respect. And there was more. I had a surprising and wonderful Anandamurti experience years after I had left Ananda Marga, which I recounted in my book, Abundance Triggers.
I don’t think we ever lose the ones we love and who love us. They live inside us in we learned from them. And we feel them in dreams, in whispers of encouragement and in silent blessings of the heart that make us smile.
Perhaps the greatest gift we can receive from our mentors or give as mentors is the triggering of a sense of the wondrous love and support that is there for us, helping us to have the confidence to develop our gifts, the trust in life to extend them, and the joy of paying it forward.
As Anandamurti said, “You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars guides you, too.”