by Christopher Greenwood
Day 89 Lesson – Smashing of subtle expectations
We’re now back in Bangalore. The whole month has been incredibly busy, really intense and hectic with travel plans. We travelled many hours between the temples and locations on the most recent trip. I think we were probably on the bus one day, maybe for 11 hours altogether.
But despite all this, I’m amazed to observe Mohanji because there’s no rest. The pace continued as soon as we arrived back, with people meeting him, calls, messages, other work, organising all the activities for the land building in Ganeshpuri and other places. He’s tireless, whereas I felt tired from this travel. Now, settling back into a routine after the trips, it’s coming back to some familiarity.
I have to say that travelling with Mohanji was a real shakeup for me. I knew it would be busy; I knew it would be quite fast-paced and hectic. But it was a realisation for me of all the subtle expectations that I have in day-to-day life, which I hadn’t considered before. Usually, when I think of expectations, it’s the big things; trying to have a job, have a position, live in a particular location, maybe being treated a certain way by people. Those are the most obvious things.
But I’ve realised, from what it was like during the travel, that it was very difficult to continue work and progress with some of the activities during travel. I had a lot of expectations of the mind, which I wasn’t aware of. Even things like waking up at a certain time or sleeping at a certain time, having a certain drink, or all the things we take as comforts in our day-to-day lives. Once they’re taken away, it’s a complete shakeup.
Here in Bangalore, the routine is generally settled; it has a fast pace, there are definitely all the activities which we’re doing, but there’s a structure. For example, I have some time set aside for this, even recording this message. So, I can move things around quite well if I need to. But when I was travelling, there were some days when I really had to be aware of the time.
Mohanji’s operating philosophy, and how we work in the office, is “no postponement, no delay, it’s now”. This was taken to an extreme level. For example, I would have 10 minutes to get myself ready, arrange all my things, pack my bags, helping Mohanji, make sure he was ready to go, and ensure that everything was ready for the morning ahead. Even if I thought I had those 10 minutes just to take a bit of a break – if I didn’t use that well too (for example, to record this message), then later it could be a few hours. I would have to scramble to try and find a quiet place or set aside some time as we were travelling and meeting people to record it.
So it was an intense version of making the most of the time, being flexible, doing what you have to do now. All of that disrupted the expectations, which I didn’t even know existed. Even food, sleeping, it all shifted, and there was very little sleep. That learning or the practical experience of anchoring and stabilising during all that turbulence has been learned from this trip.
But looking at Mohanji, and I know I can’t compare, but just looking at how he operates – he never shifted. He was stable as ever, as when he was in Bangalore. In fact, he sped up in some ways because there were more activities, the dynamism of the day, new people to meet, suggestions to go on certain trips, and things like that. Incredibly dynamic, and no tiredness, no lethargy. After those long days, I could feel tiredness coming in, but for Mohanji, there was none, regardless of time, activities, or the number of people he was meeting. He gave the same presence, and he consistently gave the same presence.
On Sunday, we travelled back from the land in Chikmagalur, which we went to visit. This is where the exclusive centre for serious sadhana will be. And before that, it had been full days of travelling; sometimes 6-10 hours a day travelling between these temples because they are very far apart. Mohanji is always up in the early morning and finishes late. Everything continues: calls continue, work continues, the daily 4 am Club messages continues.
So, on Sunday, even though we had travelled six hours, he had a satsang planned for the evening. We set aside some time to account for traffic and to come back home, get some rest, and then do the satsang. But there wasn’t time; there were traffic delays. We had to stop somewhere at a restaurant on the way and set things up to do the satsang there. Mohanji also continued giving a talk to the volunteers of Ammucare afterwards. But again, there was no tiredness.
There’s a subtle difference now, which I’ve noticed spending time with Mohanji. For me, this gives insight into the bigger dimension of Mohanji and his operating stature. Because I’ve never actually heard him say, “I’m tired.” The only thing he has ever said is, “I feel fatigued; I have fatigue in the body.” Though that was a small thing, it’s a massive difference when I’m thinking about it now and having this thought thinking about all these subtle expectations that I have.
Because going through the Bootcamp and learning more from Mohanji’s teachings, those expectations are always in mind, at the mind level. Then, if that’s where I’m operating from, the expectations are being challenged, crushed, and this tiredness is there. Then when there is no mind, there is probably no tiredness.
So that’s why he says, “I feel fatigued”, because the body obviously takes on from the journey, from the travel on bumpy and winding roads, and things like this. It’s a very subtle difference that I was contemplating this morning. He never says “I’m tired” or “I feel tired”. It’s only: “I feel fatigued.”
The lesson emerging for me is how to develop that flexibility in all situations so that the purpose, activities, and everything else continues, as per the flow of life, as per the flow of and the day, the hours and the changes that happen within life. That’s one of the key things for the year 2021 – flexibility, along with stability and friendships.