Dear Sister / Brother:
ON TOUR WITH MASTER – MILANO, ITALY
May 15 - 16, 2006
Report by sister Kimm Jayne, USA
Rev. Master arrived at Milan, Italy airport on the 15th to a joyful crowd of about 150 Italian, Swiss, and French abhyasis. He shook hands, patted children, and spoke personally with many as he made his way to the car. All went to “Natura Docet,” a rehabilitative sports center where visiting abhyasis and Master would stay for the one-day stopover. Upon arrival and check-in in his dorm room, Master was treated to a lunch of salad and al dente pasta with his choice of tomato or pesto sauce. Dessert was a freshly made tiramisu and most around the table took seconds. Then, “Mama Mia!” Master said, he was served fresh Italian coffee. It was served in the traditional espresso cup and Master joked that it was good but with one taste it was gone!
At 5:30 pm, about 280 persons attended satsangh on mats in a dome-covered indoor tennis facility. Afterward, when someone asked him if he was tired, he gave a short talk on how the body can fail, but that spiritual life never fails. That spirituality is beyond the material life and does not fade, even while the body does.
He stood to leave and then surprised everyone when he simply moved to the outside terrace and sat down for a chat. Everyone was delighted with such personal attention and access to their Master! For about an hour he answered questions on a large variety of topics, including “how does one lose consciousness of time” to “how does one make plans and surrender at the same time” to “how can one alleviate suffering caused by grown children who have made poor choices.” He punctuated his answers to questions with imitations of animals, and drew gales of laughter for his impersonation of a snorting bucking horse (emphasizing that we must be in the saddle and control our thoughts, the thoughts should not control us).
Every few minutes a jet airplane would pass over head and each time Master would stop talking and watch it pass. He joked that he had a samskara for airplanes because he liked watching them so much. At about 7:30 pm, he reluctantly left the crowd for dinner.
The next morning Master gave satsangh at 7:30 am, ate a quick breakfast, and headed off to look at the proposed ashram site, about 20 minutes away in the countryside. A caravan of eight cars followed him to the rural farm property, which was surrounded by maize fields and woods in the distance. Master inspected each room in the unfinished farm house while the Italian abhyasis explained the proposed purpose of each room. On the ground floor (known as the first floor to Americans) was his bedroom, complete with large closet and bathroom, a small living/dining area, and the proposed meditation hall, with seating for 130-150. The first floor (second floor to Americans) held dormitory rooms, another bedroom, a bathroom and a room that would have floor-to-ceiling glass windows facing toward a small grove of trees. Master declared it would be the studio. The top floor held more dormitories. Out of most upper floor rooms were full-length balconies so one could bring the outdoors in and enjoy the restorative environment.
Master sat on a chair facing the house under an evergreen tree to get the feel of the place. Someone asked him how it felt and he said it felt like home, but that then again he always felt at home wherever he was. He said he always feels at home because his heart is at peace. Master then proceeded to ask several European abhyasis how they felt about the property and they responded that they liked it and it was peaceful. He then gave permission for the European abhyasis to raise money for the future.
As Master readied to leave the ashram for a private rest stay at an abhyasi’s home in France, an Italian couple approached him and asked to be married, right then and there. Master looked around the group, smiling and everyone watched to see what he would do. The couple seemed very sincere and intent to be married right now and Master’s heart was soft toward them. He married them on the spot, in the yard of the property.
May 16 - 18, 2006
Report by sister Kimm Jayne, USA
On the 17th evening about 300 persons from all around France gathered at Brother Guy Joris’ home to attend a 6 pm satsangh given by Master. It was held outside on the patio and lawn. After the sitting, Master walked the grounds, which are about 2 acres, and learned about the different types of trees on the property. Of course, he stopped and greeted old and new abhyasis, teased the children, and told brief stories to the crowd that slowly moved with him.
Most persons left and Master had a quiet dinner and then worked.
On the 18th morning about 70 abhyasis came for a 9 am satsangh. The weather conditions had shifted overnight and a big storm brewed with gusting winds and occasional rain, but it cleared for the satsangh. Master took a shopping trip and then came back for rest and work.
Brother Ajay gave the evening satsangh to very blustery weather conditions. It started to rain and storm as he came outside and all of the abhyasis rushed toward a small patio enclosure. Somehow everyone fit underneath it - for a beautiful satsangh to the sound of the roaring wind and occasional thunder.
After satsangh Master met with an abhyasi sister from Babuji’s time and they exchanged many old-time stories about their travels and journeys together. A young Swiss boy who now lives in Manapakkam with his parents told about the Lalaji Memorial School, how he liked the students and teachers very much, whereas in other schools he did not.