Michael Rossato-Bennett lives in NYC. He is a householder with a wife, two beautiful children and two dogs. He has accepted the challenge to become Enlightened in one year. Will he succeed?

A conversation: Is Hari a good Teacher? from Michael Rossato-Bennett on Vimeo.


Day 49 Do it here…

DAY 49


My wife crawls into our bed already half asleep, a bit bonkers from her schedule. She has been up for 24 hours.  Her job as an emergency room nurse working nights plays havoc on our lives.  I want to spend time with her, but she wants to be up when I want to sleep and vice versa.

She is crawling into bed as I am getting up.  I tell her I have to go do my meditation.  She says ‘Aww, don’t go away!’

Strangers in the night

Sleepily, she pats the bed and says, ‘Do it here!’

What a concept…

I am sitting on the bed, looking at her.  Sometimes, I am so amazed to find myself surrounded by so many beautiful people.  Family can be a miricle.  This life I am living is so much more beautiful than the one I came into as a child.

Looking at her, I find myself telling her what I do in my meditation- I am telling her what you told me to say before I meditate.

‘Do you know that I state my intention before I beging to meditate and that my intention is to be able to feel you more?’

It is such a revolution for me, a loner, to consciously reach out with my heart and my intention.  I am starting to understand the depth of my habit of closing off my heart and trying to stay safe always.  So, feeling like I am doing something very risky, with my fingertips touching her body, I begin my meditation.  As I meditate I am amazed at how much I feel her.  It is as if her soul is reaching up to me, pouring through my fingertips.  In the meditation I am actually overwhelmed by the ocean of her.  Sometimes, in my mind, I have the terrible habit of saying to myself that she is less than I want.  I tell myself that she is not very spiritual, very disciplined, that I could have done better in my choice of a partner… I am not proud but this is what I say to myself. (I am sure she says the same about me! That I am not the world’s greatest catch) But, in this moment, I truly realize what a fool I am.  She is so big, so beautiful.  I am so lucky to get to share space with this ocean of a being!

I feel her feeling me, being moved by her husband going higher, being stronger.

When my meditation is over she wakes up, revitalized, and we make matzoth-brie for everyone and then go out for a walk as a family.

(NOTE: Hari, I want you to come over and interview my wife about how she feels about my meditating…)

Now, we are home.  The day was nuts.  My son  Inno is going through something! He is really playing hard with being depressed if things do not go his way! It is like he is trying on a mask!  What is he doing?!

Finally the kids are asleep- Now, I am asking myself, “What am I doing with my enlightenment project?”  I have given my self this task of reaching enlightenment in one year and I am definitely feeling that I am not doing enough.  I am not serious enough; I have not done enough research!   All I have done is agree to follow a Teacher.  Is this crazy?  Am I crazy?  I have not done any research on enlightenment really.  Who is this Guru of hers?

I go in and kiss them in bed and then I must do some research-
I go to YouTube.   I find out Hari, my Teacher, is part of a movement that happened in America in the late 60′s.  Yogi Bhajan came to America and taught Kundalini Yoga- I listen to the followers they say cool things, but I am not sure I really trust them, they have the fractured bodies of Southern California kids.  And then I find a clip of her Guru, Yogi Bhajan.  He is dying in the clip.  He is 72 and this is a clip of him doing one of his last teachings. Still, I can see why she followed this man. The way his spine is- this is how I want to be.  I love the non-fracturedness of him.  He is talking about how every person must be able to initiate himself-

Now it is very late.  My wife is doing that thing she does, sitting in front of the TV.  She has just watched 9 episodes in a row of Weeds on Netflix.

I am in the other room researching enlightenment and she is pouring the stories of people caught in money, lust, love, need, and violence over and over into her head.

I go in.  She tells me she felt something in the morning with the meditation.  I can tell she liked it.  She felt me as ‘big’ in some way. It must have appealed to her Latin nature I guess.  She winks at me, she wants me.  This is rare for me, her coming to me sexually.  Hey, maybe this enlightenment stuff does have some benefits!

I tell you, we have to build a real bedroom and soon!- … we cant keep going into the bathroom, the only door with a lock, forever!

Anyway, it is beautiful, us.

Then, she goes back to the TV and I go back to the Internet and download a chant- My Teacher has given me a new assignment – to chant the Long Ek Ong Kaar for 20 minutes.  I can only find a 7.5-minute one.  I load it 3 times.  I watch some of the Sihks on YouTube do the chant. This is a powerful thing.  It is very aggressive, masculine.

I am sitting on the couch; she is in the comfy chair.  We are watching episode 11 of Weeds.  I have the chants loaded on my iPod, I am thinking of this morning and I say to her,

“So, I have to do this new meditation, do you want me to do it here or in the other room?’
‘Do it here’, she says
“Are you sure, this is a real weird one!”

She says she wants me to do it here.  I am a little scared.  You see, I know what intrigues me about Yogi Bhajan; it is the way he is.  I love how powerfully the energy sits in him and I want to be like that.  The energy does not sit in me like that now, but in my gut I know that this chant will push me in that direction.  Do I want to let her see me struggle to let energy occupy me in a way that it does not now?  Do I want her to see me doing this thing for the first time?  I could look very stupid, very struggling…?

Oh, what the hell!

I do it.

It is not an easy chant; five minutes in I realize the chant goes up the spine.  Chanting, I am like a bricklayer, building a tower, allowing energy to rise up my spine with each chant… 22 minutes later I am done.

We go to sleep, but before we do we have a little spat about spending too much money… very enlightened of me.

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