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An Inner Dialogue at the Ashram Avalokitesvara in the hills of North Bali

Written by Gede Prama

Questioner: Why did Guruji Gede Prama get the corona virus in almost 3 weeks.  Living the fact, Guruji is living in a forest where there are very few people who lives there, and already taking care of his body health very carefully, taking care his nutrition for the mind, and nutrition for feelings and spiritual nutrition are also well maintained.

The Inner Guru: Spiritual learning is not a learning to look great.  Spiritual learning is a learning to bow down in deep humbleness.  This includes bowing humbly in the face of illness and pain.  He who is keen on this path will understand through personal attainment that pain and disease are very purifying and perfecting the journey of the soul.  Without pain, the journey of the soul is like a kite that has never met the wind that blows.  Without pain, one is prone to slipping away and becomes into a parrot (apologize for my word, this means talking about something based on reading only. Just based on the logic on a very superficial surface).

Questioner: But these condition cause shamefulness.  Or kimud in Balinese languange.  The spiritual master whom is expected to be a sturdy banyan tree, where many people can take shelter safely and comfortably. Are even collapse due to this deases.

The Inner Guru: In the deep spiritual world, having a sense of shame is a very good sign.  A sign that there are still hidden many spiritual gems inside.  Especially ashamed to do something that is not commendable, ashamed to not be able to account for the words that have been taught, ashamed to hurt other people.  The advice then, never feel low because you still have this type of shame.  On the other hand, it is a very noble act.  It may be despised by a handful of ignorant people.  But this quality is highly glorified by people who have a clean, clear and beautiful heart.  In the short term, flooding may have upset many people.  But in the long run, flooding makes the surrounding environment becomes fertile.  You were born when Mount Agung erupted violently.  But take a look, the stones of Mount Agung that were spewed out in 1963 are now becomes a magnificent and beautiful shrine building.  The same thing happens with shame at this time.  Who knows one day it will turn into many beautiful and magnificent things.

Questioner: Many people need justification from an old holy books.  What is the justification behind a spiritual Master whose health nearly collapsed for 3 weeks?

The Inner Guru: In Hinduism there is an old tradition called Vyutana.  In Buddhism there are old stories about Bodhisattvas.  In the Church there is a very Great soul named Jesus Christ.  The three of them were born intentionally in order to take some of the suffering in this world.  This is because some of the faces of life are like zero sum of games.  In order for someone to be healed, some other must be willing to take the illness.  For someone to be happy, some other must be willing to take the sadness.  And the sacred task of taking some part of the suffering in this world has always been taken up only by Vyutanas like Mahatma Gandhi, Bodhisattvas like Acharya Shanti Dewa who vowed to continue to be reborn in this world until this samsara world is empty, and this also happen with Supreme souls like Jesus Christ.  In a clean and clear language, thank you for being given the opportunity to take on this super noble task.  Even once a thousand years there is not necessarily a single human being who dares to take on this noble task.  Mainly because the pain was very excruciating.  There was no way ordinary people could bear it.

Questioner: People need an actual proof that after a Bodhisattva (Vyutana) takes some of the great suffering in this realm, this realm (at least the island of Bali) will show signs of improving.

The Inner Guru: Be careful rushing into this territory.  When humans look at the natural surroundings, they are not only seeing the outside, but also seeing the landscape of the soul within themselves.  Observe the human response to fallen dry leaves.  For a sterile city person who has no gardening hobby at all, falling dry leaves is seen as something that is completely negative.  Nothing positive reside there.  For gardeners, or those who like gardening, fallen dry leaves are organic fertilizer that fertilizes plants.  As a matter of time it will turn into beautiful things like beautiful flowers, cool trees and beautiful butterflies.  At this level, dry leaves have a completely positive face.  For deep spiritual cultivators, fallen dry leaves are a symbol of a high level spiritual achievement called Sarmapan (complete surrender to wholeness).  Perfect sincerity in front of God.  It’s kind of a perfect oneness experience.  As you can see, a small incident of a falling dry leaf.  It gives birth to 3 different thoughts at the same time: “negative, positive, and holistic”.  The same will happen with nature after this incident.  Do not expect that everyone will be amazed.  Never ever.  Beautiful things will only be seen by those who have beauty inside them.  While those whose thoughts are very negative, will only see the negative things in every situation.

Questioner: People need practical steps that can save them in these super uncertain times?

The Inner Guru: You have seen with your own eyes in the hospital, how many people are suffering from the corona virus.  It is no longer a hoax, no longer news spread by any profit seekers.  Tell to the public wherever you are, the government’s hands are very limited.  They can not take care of everyone.  And even in a country like Indonesia which has a large amount of population. The good news is that humans can be the best healer for themselves.  Advise people to take best care of themselves.  Refresh their memories of the kingdom of healing inside: “The king is named varied nutrition straight from nature (various fresh vegetables and fruits), the queen is called sufficient exercise, the crown prince is a beautiful sleep”.  In addition, remember the standard things recommended by the government: “Wear masks, do social distancing, wash your hands regularly, maintain a good immunity”.  To reiterate the previous message, the government cannot heal everyone.  But you can be the best healer for yourself.  Lastly, health is not everything.  But without health, everything is useless.

Photo caption: Yesterday after Guruji arrived at the Ashram, after being treated for almost 3 weeks in the hospital, Ibu (Guruji’s wife) and Guruji’s youngest son Ram performed Namaskara.

About the author

Gede Prama

Gede Prama started his spiritual journey through a dialogue with his symbolic Guru in a village at the north of Bali. The journey is then being enriched with his experiences of studying abroad, his meetings with the world greatest spiritual Gurus: His Holiness Dalai Lama, The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as Professor Karen Armstrong; and also being deepened by his intense meditation practices.

Despite the fact that he was once a CEO of a large corporation with thousand of employees, and was traveling abroad frequently for the purpose of teaching, yet, being deeply moved by the Bali bombing incident in 2002, he then decided to leave everything and went back to his home island.
He has never leave Bali for the past few years. In fact, he rarely leaves the silence of the forest where he lives, except for the purpose of teaching at the sacred sites within Bali.

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