Yashodhara (Joy Spencer)

Once the guru touches your heart and opens you to his grace, it lives with you for a long, long time. Not just one lifetime, but many, many lifetimes. There's always the red thread that comes through and touches you time and time again. In saying 'the grace of the guru', we don't mean the higher vibrations you get when you walk into a room, or a hall, or anywhere where you come into contact with Swamiji. It's something much greater than that. If it's touched you, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Of course we're not always good. At times we're naughty, but it doesn't matter, because he knows that the way we're going to learn is by experience. So even though he can help us, he lets us experience it first. Then the hand is held out, and again we're back in the fold. Actually, we've never been out of it. We all get a touch of ego, and we all think we know better than the guru, but we don't. Discipleship is a testing ground, and we go through all the tests and trials. Your guru is your mother and father; he's everything you want him to be. He's always there.

One of the biggest problems for householders is brought about when one partner is following yoga, and the other partner is not. This can cause a lot of conflict. If a husband is following yoga practices and the wife is not, or vice versa, be patient, be tolerant. This problem often comes from a lack of security in the other person. Think about it. They're afraid of losing you. So, instead of withdrawing, and being negative, reach out, just reach out and touch them. Give him or her all the love and attention that's necessary, and you'll be amazed at the positive response and the gradual acceptance that you'll get. This is very important because it does happen in yoga, and we're seeing it happen more and more; one person is evolving just a little faster than the other. Remember the needs of the other person. Reassure him or her; it's very important. Give the love and sense of security that's necessary. Self-love is also important. You can give and give to other people, but there comes a time when you must also turn that love inward, and give it to yourself. It must come from the heart, not from the head or the mind, there must be depth to it.

All your problems come from your desires. Often they are selfish, and it's the same with yoga, which can often be a selfish desire. Don't let it be! All negative mental tendencies come from our own selfish desires. Therefore your longings should be of a higher level, for that which will help you to evolve, to reach out, without hurting or treading on other people. The moment you cause pain, distraction or problems for others, the desires become base. The mind plays tricks only if you let it, and we all do sometimes, everyone of us.

Your satguru (true teacher) helps you expand and fulfil yourself, to give, and this is the secret of living. To give and occasionally to receive, and to accept. Your satguru allows you to experience the good and the bad, because it is only by experience that you live and grow. There's no other alternative. You put that experience away and you carry it from lifetime to lifetime. So that when the same situation arises again, it's all there; it all bubbles up, comes out and helps you. There's always help from your guru, no matter where you are, or where he is, he's always there to reach out and touch you when you ask for help. If there could be but one wish fulfilled that would reach out and touch the hearts of all, let it be that everyone may find their own satguru.