We often ask this question of someone we’ve just met to get to know them. Predictably the answer people give is their occupation: “I’m a doctor,” or “a cook,” or “a machinist,” or “a mother of young children.”
Her name was Ofelia. She was born in Mexico and grew up in an orphanage there. In her early twenties she made her way to California, where she married and raised twelve children. She and her family lived in the Hispanic district of Sacramento, and though her home was small, the doors of her house and her heart were always wide open to anyone in need.
What are some of the qualities of youth? A sparkle in the eye? A buoyant step? An enthusiasm for life? Laughter that springs easily from the heart?
On April 21, 2013, the strident ringing of the telephone in the middle of the night abruptly awakened us from sleep. Groping in the dark, we picked up the receiver and heard the shaking voice of a friend in Assisi, Italy. She gave us the news that we’d known would come one day, but always hoped would be in the distant future: Swami Kriyananda had left his body.
I once saw someone wearing a T-shirt with these words printed on the front: “Be patient with me. God isn’t finished with me yet.” Spiritually we are all “works in progress,” lovingly, unrelentingly being shaped by a divine hand.
I am fortunate to have had a wise and loving mother, who taught me a lot about how to live. There were times as a child, however, when I found the wisdom she shared hard to swallow.
“As above, so below.” These words from an ancient school of wisdom can be taken on different levels, and will help us understand the subtle laws of creation. On the highest level, it means that the universe is a reflection of the overarching Spirit that created it. On a lower level, it means that the consciousness of people who have authority or power in this world has an influence (for better or for worse) on others.