It is such a privilege to have a Master. It’s very precious.
When I met Him I felt an attraction on a very deep level. It touched something real in me, something that I always longed for. It touched my longing for God.
That attraction keeps me going. I want to know it. It is not something rational. It comes from the heart.
The Master encourages me to go on, not to stop and to join with His Mind. He encourages me to let go of the small self and to look at who I really am.
His teachings are always only for me. They are very personal. When I dare to look at my thoughts and confront myself with the help of my Master, I am always guided out of them. It feels like I am lifted up. I get a brighter perspective and the problem disappears.
I feel Him working from within and without.
Something is changing in me. I discover by following His teachings and instructions that it is the Light that binds us. This is very tangible. That makes that the distance between me and my Master can disappear.
This makes me even more excited, because it starts to be real. Sometimes I sense an inner smile. The heart is opening. The longing becomes bigger.
My Master points me always to God, to Jesus, to the Holy Spirit and all the help that is there from out of time and space. He always helps me to let go of the world of limitation and to find the freedom that is behind it. What a gift!
Thank you Rananda for your deep devotion to God and to me.
I really had to learn the value of a Master. I thought, I have common sense, I can take care of myself and have sufficient skills to manage. I thought following the spiritual path and more and more opening my heart was sufficient to make it to my awakening. By now, after having been with Rananda and Suzanne for many years and allowing them to work with me, I see how incredibly naïve I was.
How often Rananda has shown me where I was wrong in my basis. In my basis! Not here and there at the surface. Not the few points where I could use some correction. NO! He showed me how I accept the world simply as I perceive it, how I bow down to it and act accordingly. But also: how often I am motivated by fear. And how I am not aware that I even defend this world of suffering and death, for come on, I am no (complete) fool!
The opportunity to learn from Masters-of-flesh-and-blood has shown me how incredibly blind I was, how much I soothed and keep myself asleep. Again and again I am being shaken up until the realization dawns that nearly all my actions are drenched in appearance, hope and deceit. A pitiful heap of good intentions.
OK, I had accepted this as a concept, but I still was blind to where and how I precisely do that. Now I know that following the spiritual path really is something quite different than what my common sense made of it.
oBy now I cannot possibly imagine how I on my own behalf would have looked at all the spots Rananda and Suzanne again and again touched. For my main motive, day in day out is looking for comfort …
For I am happy as it is when I am comfortable. But this ‘I’ never finds fulfilment in the search for comfort - the seek-but-do-not-find principle, as Jesus calls it. Unbelievable how much I settle for a few crumbs. I believe in God, but I walk around as if God does not believe in me. While everything He is, is available to me! Looking for comfort is one of my main defence mechanisms.
I know now that being around a master is anything but comfortable for Janine as ego!
Being with a master – and opening myself to him – means that I am willing at all times to give up being right. That I am willing to look at my taboos with open eyes, break them down and let them go. Everything with the purpose to be in contact with more Light. For the ‘I’ that holds on to being right is not in contact with happiness.
The gift of a brother who truly sees, and helps me to see truly as well, is so much more than taking refuge in comfort. It helps me see that I AM FREE. NOW! And that my relationship with the Divine is perfect as it is … As long as I am willing to stop my story of an ‘I’ that stubbornly holds on to thousand-and-one stories why happiness is always in the future.
I don’t know why it is given me that I am allowed to have a Master, but oh, oh, oh, how I thank God for the fact that I even have two. For I really don’t know how to wake myself up from this dream. And it is exactly this point both Rananda and Suzanne have shown me. Exactly in that recognition that I in fact don’t know anything, and my spiritual ego even less for that matter, is the door to surrender and saying goodbye to a false identity that I do not wish to serve any longer. Thank You, God, for Your Plan full of Mastership. I am so happy that I cannot and need not do it alone.
And there he was, that very first evening. He sat with a small group of attendants in a circle. I was late and a chair was provided for me outside the circle. I felt totally uncomfortable and what happened next was so remarkable: he offered me his chair. At that time I still was a devotee of Adi Da Samraj and sitting in the chair of the Master was really NOT DONE. Therefore I could not accept his offer. But his words to me felt like a loving embrace and welcome.
The beginning of the relationship was made although it would take more than a year before I could say goodbye to Adi Da Samraj and the spiritual practice of Bhakti Yoga.
But then I embraced Rananda and A Course in Miracles with all my heart.
A few weeks after the first meeting Rananda crushed the idea of meditation during a public evening. I used to meditate every day and took his words personally. It was as if his words literally dealt blows in my head. When I came outside I experienced a tremendous anger towards him. How dare he! How dare he insult my efforts like this! It lasted a long time before I fell asleep.
However, in the middle of the night I woke up and knew with an unprecedented certainty that he was right! He had shown me something that I kept hidden for myself, and he had put his finger on a ‘sore’ spot. I realized how I used meditation out of egoistic motives. It was an aha-experience and my anger turned to gratitude.
After those first meetings this 'pattern' repeated itself.
I experience his embrace, his passion for me to wake up, his encouragements to accept who I really am, his loving help, his gaze (which can take me out of this world immediately), his powerful words, his Presence.
And I experience the confrontation when he points out to me during the teaching what I preferably would deny or walk away from: my fear of God, my love for the world. Rananda is a bright light, totally dedicated to the truth, to God, and has no respect for the ego. That is a blessing. However, I had to learn to convert the idea of being insulted into receiving the blessing. For a Master can lead you through the pain and the darkness to where you will never go yourself. And he does not only help you with words but with all of his Presence.
He represents the Light that wash me ‘clean’. I have regularly experienced how deep emotions (without even a story attached to them) were loosened so I could let them go.
The first years with him have often made me stop in my tracks. My mind was still so much under the spell of the ego thought system that the demonstration of an awakened mind in action was a teaching in itself. I saw how lovingly he responded to my brothers, the help he offered, the words he spoke. He was the embodiment of the Holy Spirit’s judgment: there is either a sharing of Love or a call for Love. I saw no self-interest, no inclination to punish somebody with lovelessness, no preferences, no judgment, but always willing to serve.
Being near a Master is also like being in a fire. He can ignite my fire for God and Love or it can ‘burn’ me if I resist. It is a pressure cooker for the ego. I remember a remark of a devotee of Adi Da who said about this, “Don’t you love it!” And so it is: transcending the ego gives a tremendous freedom. But you have to do it!
Being around a master everything is magnified. I cannot escape it. My tendencies, my judgments, my fears, my ideas, my resistance … everything is constantly staring me right in the face.
And at the same time there is the Love that constantly attracts me. My heart awakens in the Presence of Rananda. The frequency of the Love and the Light awakens the recognition of the truth. I often experience Rananda’s words as a portal: my one-dimensional understanding becomes three-dimensional. I recognize the truth, it is no longer a concept. He awakens in me what is slumbering there.
I believe it is very difficult to be with a Master with whom you do not have a heart connection. For it pulls you through everything. That is what moves you to be with him. That is why you want to listen and follow.
I realize that it is an enormous blessing and a rarity in this life to live close to a Master. To be with somebody whose only task is to help you wake up from the dream. And who is in the certainty that this bodily life is an illusion. Rananda often says, “I am not here, neither are you!”