Walking-challenging-becoming, part 2

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Doing business1

This morning I went out walking. First I saw two Russian girls, Olga and Rosa. I was returning after my mile and a half turnaround point and I had gone another 100 metres when I saw them. Luckily I saw them and they saw me. Their eyes were good and my eyes were good! They turned around.

Then, a little further on, I saw Nilima with water weights in her hands. I talked to her and asked her to do something. There I was doing business. Then I saw Agraha standing nearby and I talked to Agraha. This is how I take exercise!

In the morning I did three miles and at the tennis court I walked another mile, so it became four miles. I wanted to do eight miles, but today I have to be satisfied with four miles.

  1. WCB 43. 28 August 1998

Seeing Anita's soul1

Sometimes when I go out walking, I make a left turn onto the Grand Central Service Road, and continue towards Queens Boulevard. Then I make a left turn on Queens Boulevard and pass the courthouse. I go to my two-mile mark, and again I come back. When I am returning, about 100 metres before the one-mile mark, there is a particular tree.

About ten or twelve years ago, I was walking there. It was raining a little bit heavier than drizzling. On that day I saw Anita hiding behind that tree. She had seen me and she was waiting for me to go by. Now, whenever I take that route, I invariably see her soul near that particular tree. While going out, I do not see her, but when I am returning, I always see her.

  1. WCB 44. 28 August 1998

Savitri's special tree1

This is another tree story. In Flushing Meadow Park there is a particular tree when you enter into the park. Once our Vancouver Centre leader, Savitri, fainted there. She had run or walked to the park to join our sports activities. Then she fainted. What is worse, her soul left the body. Sri Chinmoy happened to be there. I knew that she had died. The soul was in that particular tree. It was not a huge tree. By God's Grace, I brought her soul back into the body. Then she lived at least six or seven years more.

In those days, we used to have our races at a course in front of the Tennis Centre. Usually I would run or walk to the races from my house. When you enter the park, there is a small parking lot. Right across the street this tree is located. From my house, it is at my two-mile mark.

Now, each time I pass by that tree, I invariably see Savitri's soul on one branch at the top of the tree. Any time I go, I see her soul. That is the place where she passed away and then came back again into the land of the living. The soul does not stay there all the time, but the soul has left a very deep impression at that place. When Savitri's soul left the body, it was something very significant. Similarly, when I saw Anita hiding near the tree, she was going through some significant changes in her life. When something very serious happens, that particular place keeps a record. Otherwise, every day when I go out, I see so many people. Today I saw Nilima, Agraha and the two Russian girls. But if something happens of a very serious type, it remains permanently there.

  1. WCB 45. 28 August 1998

The compassionate barber1

I went out walking and passed by a barber shop that I go to from time to time. It is near the funeral parlour on Parsons Boulevard. I looked in but my barber was not there. His assistant was working. I did not go inside because my pocket was empty. I did not have a cent. Without money, how can I get my hair cut? So I started to walk home. After I had gone about thirty metres, whom did I see? The owner. When he saw me, he said, "You look so young! You need a haircut." The barber's flattery started.

I said, "True, I need a haircut, but I do not have any money."

"Never mind, never mind, no problem!" he replied.

He forced me to come with him, so I went back to the shop with him. I said to him, "I want you to cut my hair, not your assistant."

"Of course, of course," he said.

Then I asked him to cut my hair very carefully. While cutting my hair, he started asking me questions. I said to him, "I am sorry I do not have money with me. I will send one of my disciples with money to pay you."

He said, "Do not think of money." Then he told me, "I have heard from your disciples that your brother has recently passed away."

I said, "Yes, my brother passed away."

Then he said, "So, how come you are close to God and we are not?"

I said, "I am trying to be close to God. We are all trying to be close to God."

"Was your brother as close to God as you are?" he asked.

"No, I am a little closer," I answered.

So this is how our conversation went. He was very nice. After he had finished, I walked back to my house and then I sent Pulak with money. Six dollars is the usual fee because I am a senior citizen, so one dollar extra I give them as a tip. But this time I gave Pulak ten dollars and I told him, "Do not take anything back."

So Pulak gave the barber ten dollars and said to the man, "You are very nice to my teacher." He wanted to give Pulak three dollars back. But Pulak said that he did not want anything back.

The barber said that my disciples are very, very good. From many parts of the world they come and they are very respectful, very kind. He was talking all about the visitors. Our barber, Sundar, cannot handle all those who come, so this barber gets very good business.

Whenever you go to a barber, you get the whole world news in a second!

  1. WCB 46. 4 September 1998

Exercising and dieting1

Every day I have been trying to walk eight miles. My disciples have to go to work, but God is kind to me. He has made me a vagabond; I can spend time taking exercise. Again, perhaps even if you did not have to go to work, you would not have gone out. Lethargy would have devoured you.

I start my journey early in the morning. Some days I go out at four o'clock. Most days I try to be out right after four. The latest is 7:15. This morning I went at five o'clock. Some nights the goddess of sleep does not condescend to visit me, and on other nights I rest for an hour or two. So the body has to be trained either by the soul's light or by adamantine will-power.

I try to walk vigorously. Recently, I have been taking only 200 calories a day. Sometimes I go under 200 calories. That is the only way I can lose weight. Since I began doing this, I have lost a pound every day or even over a pound. By the grace of Pranika, Shephali and Nishtha, all the calories in my food have been faithfully recorded. I am trying to stick to this diet. When I take Mexican food or Italian eggplant, I immediately gain five pounds. When I eat most delicious Indian food, I automatically gain six pounds. Then it takes me two or three days to come back to where I was.

My mileage and the route I take are all recorded by Paree and Govinda. And also, for discovering different routes, I am extremely grateful to Ketan, Pulak, Dhanu and a few others.

While I am walking, I get tremendous inspiration. At that time, I am meditating and meditating. I am not singing any song or thinking of "cabbages and kings". I am meditating. When you walk or jog, you, too, can meditate.

And also I have an excellent hobby. When I am walking, I pick up pennies, nickels and quarters. Last week I was blessed only with a penny. Then this week I found a dime. About a month ago, I found a quarter near Main Street. It was beneath my dignity to bend down. I was having some back pain. But the quarter spoke to me, "If you do not bend down and pick me up, I will give you an immediate cramp!" So I picked it up and naturally I did not get a cramp. Now I very faithfully pick up these pennies, nickels and so on.

  1. WCB 47. 5 September 1998

The soul's voice1

I went out walking and Nemi was also out walking. I was going away on one side of the street and she was on the other side. So I did not see her at all. I was not looking in that direction. Then a very deep voice called me. I thought, "O my God, it is Nemi's voice, it is her soul's voice."

When I heard the voice, I turned round and then I saw Nemi.

  1. WCB 48. 11 September 1998

The heavy footsteps1

After seeing Nemi, I made a right turn and I was coming towards Sulochana's and Pramoda's area. Behind me, I was hearing somebody's heavy footsteps approaching. I did not know who it was, but right in front of me, I was seeing Sandhani's soul. I was blessing the soul, but who was behind me I did not know.

Then, while I was blessing the soul, I saw that Sandhani was passing me on my left side. His soul was right in front of me, and he was passing me, but he did not greet me and I did not greet him. He went about 100 metres and then turned into his driveway. I am certain that it was Sandhani. I was getting the same vibration from the soul.

When I asked Snigdha if Sandhani went out to run this morning, she said he never runs early in the morning. He always runs in the evening. But I saw him quite clearly! Then I asked Sandhani and he said he did go out early this morning. So it was proved. Then I asked him if he had seen me and he said no. That explains why he did not stop and greet me. He just passed by on my left side and then made a right turn into the driveway.

  1. WCB 49. 11 September 1998

A street flooded with disciples1

One night Saroja was telling me all the houses on her street. The first house on that street is Jyotsna's. Then it goes on. Once Vidagdha was in front of Pramoda's house where she lives. Next is Sulochana's. When I see Sulochana, I make a special point to wave to her two or three times. Pramoda walks so fast with long strides. I have seen her walking many times. Bhima is also on that street. One day I saw Sahana's father leaving to go back to England with a heavy suitcase. He had just opened the taxi door when he saw me. Another time I saw Vinaya. He was going to New Jersey to perform. I always see many, many people on that street. That street is flooded with disciples!

  1. WCB 50. 11 September 1998

Blessing Madal Bal Bakery1

Four days ago I went walking in the morning along Union Turnpike. As I was coming back, I passed by Madal Bal Bakery, which is right at my two-mile mark, but it was fast asleep. The door to the cafe next door was wide open and people were going in.

Whenever I pass by Pratibha's bakery, I make a special point to bless it. This time I touched the door. I saw that on the door there were one or two pages showing our activities.

I am supposed to get a salary from Madal Bal on a regular basis, but the boss missed for many, many weeks. Now she has compensated.

  1. WCB 51. 11 September 1998

My life is more precious1

While I was coming back from this morning's walk, I was going along the Grand Central Service Road. The light was about to turn red, and I saw a dime in the street. A car was coming towards me quite fast. If I had bent down to pick up the coin, I would have been run over. My life is more precious than the dime. So with my left leg, I kicked the dime in the hope that it would come near the pavement. Then the car passed by. Afterwards, I looked for the dime, but I could not find it. God knows where I kicked it!

  1. WCB 52. 11 September 1998

Using occult fire1

This morning at 2:25 I went out to walk. I crossed Sulochana's street and came to my 500-metre mark. A car drove past me. It was older than the oldest. I was on the pavement, so there was no problem while the car was driving by. All of a sudden the driver stopped the car, got out very abruptly and looked at me in a very hostile way. Then he started running towards me. He was a tall, thin, young black man. I saw that I was about to have an unfortunate experience.

Instead of running away, I took two steps towards him and used five cents' worth of my occult fire. Immediately he ran back to his car. He was not a divine person at all. He was about to do something undivine. These past few weeks, I have been walking at two o'clock, three o'clock, four o'clock and nobody has bothered me. Union Turnpike is so good —- it is very bright. But these local streets are full of trees and so many places are very dark.

  1. WCB 53. 15 September 1998

The best exercise1

For me, walking is by far the best exercise. I cannot run, I cannot jog. If I jog, I get pain everywhere. But when I walk, somehow I manage.

If I can lose some more weight, it will help me in so many ways, specially when I walk. I am really grateful to my walking. Walking is a great advantage, a great boon to me. While walking, I am meditating most seriously.

  1. WCB 54. 15 September 1998

Making improvement1

Our philosophy is progress, progress. So this morning I made some progress in my walking. At a quarter to five, I went out. I went to my two-mile mark on Queens Boulevard and came back. My timing was one hour, 12 minutes and 40 seconds. Before today, my best timing this year for four miles was one hour 14 minutes and 29 seconds. So I have made improvement, plus my Queens Boulevard course is a little bit hilly.

About ten years ago I did a marathon walking at 15-minute pace. I do hope that one day I can come back to 15 minutes a mile.

I am going to write a book about my way of losing weight. I have been taking only 200 calories a day for the past two months. Only once a week, on Saturdays, I have 1200 or 1300 calories. So under 200 calories per day and walking eight miles —- but do not try it!

For the last three or four days I have walked seven miles. Now I want to maintain my daily total at seven miles. And I have done many other things, too: we had our celebrations, I played music and we meditated and meditated. From the spiritual point of view, this Celebration was by far the best. We prayed and meditated. No amusement park!

  1. WCB 55. 16 September 1998

A cute story1

Let me tell you a cute story. I was walking near my house and a young black girl came running across the street. She came up to me and said, "Are you Sri Chinmoy?"

I said, "Yes."

She said, "God bless you. May I shake hands with you?"

I said, "Yes."

She shook hands with me with utmost respect. Then she put both her hands on her heart and said, "Such a good man living in this area."

  1. WCB 56. 23 September 1998

"A very good job"1

At half past four this morning I was walking on 150th Street. A lady looked at me and I thought she was crazy, so I got frightened. I began to move away from her. Then she had to say, "Keep going. You are doing a very good job."

  1. WCB 57. 23 September 1998

The power of concentration1

This afternoon, while I was out walking, I passed by Sulochana's store and I saw that Goran was painting the door. I stood there for two minutes to draw his attention. He was wearing one of our famous T-shirts and he was going on, going on. I was standing only ten metres behind him, but he did not see me. I have to appreciate his power of concentration.

  1. WCB 58. 24 September 1998

Smiles for Sulochana1

About two weeks ago, when I was out walking, I saw Sulochana watering her lawn. I began screaming "Sulochana" and, finally, she turned round. Otherwise, she was not seeing me.

Of all the disciples, I see Sulochana the most. No matter which side I go, she is there. She gets my smiles not once, but at least four times. For others, I give one smile or even half a smile, but Sulochana gets at least four different types of smiles from me.

  1. WCB 59. 24 September 1998

Pleasing Mother Lakshmi1

About two months ago, when I was warned by a quarter, I very faithfully bent down and picked it up. Since then, I have picked up pennies, nickels, dimes and so forth. Today also I got a penny. I bent down very devotedly so that I would not displease Mother Lakshmi. If Mother Lakshmi becomes mad, she can turn someone into a street beggar, so we have to be very careful.

  1. WCB 60. 24 September 1998

In the seventh heaven of delight1

The other day, when I was out walking, I saw Mitali. Mitali, as usual whenever she sees me, was in the seventh heaven of delight. Mitali is the only disciple who jumps up and down when she sees me. No matter how many times a day she sees me on the street, she jumps up and down, up and down.

  1. WCB 61. 24 September 1998

"Please bless my baby"1

I was walking along 150th Street. I crossed to the right side of the street and a short Indian-looking man called to me from the left side of the street, "Swamiji, Swamiji, wait, wait!"

He had a child's carriage with a four or five month-old child inside. I waited and he dragged the carriage across the street. Then he lifted the child up and said, "Swamiji, please bless my baby."

Very affectionately, I put my hand on the child's head and blessed the child. It was a little girl.

I said, "May I ask her name?"

"Her name is Lakshmi," he replied. He was so happy. Then I asked him where he came from and he told me that he comes from Trinidad.

  1. WCB 62. 28 September 1998

The little girl's request1

This afternoon I was walking on the right side of the Grand Central Parkway. An elderly couple was walking ahead of me with their little granddaughter. Both of them were about eighty years old and she was seven or eight years old. The three of them were blocking the pavement. I could not walk by them. I was approaching quite fast, but they were blocking the way.

When I came near them, the little one saw me and moved aside so that I could pass. As I went by, she said to me, "Sir, please walk slowly! You are frightening my grandfather."

So I started walking slowly. I passed by them and I could have resumed my former speed, but I listened to her request. I continued walking slowly the rest of the way home!

  1. WCB 63. 28 September 1998

An incident-filled excursion1

As you know, I have been walking eight miles a day for the last two months. Now I am walking seven miles a day; I have decreased. Seven is my special number, so I was wondering why I had to do eight miles. Now I do seven. On rare occasions, I do six and then I compensate the next day by walking nine miles.

Anyway, at three o'clock this afternoon I started walking and I have quite a few amusing stories to tell you. I decided I would walk four miles. I went along 150th Street to the Grand Central Service Road and made a left. Then I went to Main Street. I crossed over Main Street and continued to Queens Boulevard. I had covered about one and a half miles and I was extremely, extremely thirsty.

I had brought with me a ten dollar bill and a twenty dollar bill in case of emergency, but I hate to carry water or any kind of drink. I was planning to cross Queens Boulevard and go into one of the stores. Some disciples go to Pasta Lovers and I thought I could buy a drink there, but I did not want any Italian food.

Then, right near the courthouse, I saw a vendor. I was so relieved. An old man, very thin and short, was selling drinks. On the table I saw the drinks and I was able to read "Snapple" on the label.

I asked him, "Do you have Diet Snapple?"

He said, "Yes." Then he picked up one can to give me. I asked him, "Are you sure it is Diet?"

"Are you deaf? Are you blind?" he screamed. "I told you it was Diet. Look, it is written 'Diet' and 'Snapple'."

"I am not deaf, I am not blind," I replied.

He took my ten dollar bill and turned his back to cover his money while he counted out my change. He wanted to hide the money that he had. The drink was $1.45 and he gave me all one dollar bills in change. I did not count the change. I thanked him and went away.

  1. WCB 64. 29 September 1998

The knish temptation1

Then I walked about 200 metres. Just past the courthouse, I saw another vendor. I was still drinking from the first can. I had not finished even half. But I threw it into the garbage bin and went up to the second vendor. I said to myself, "Today I am in the world of amusement, so let me have another experience!"

This vendor was short, about forty years old and he had a moustache. He was very polite and from his accent I knew that he was Puerto Rican. I asked him the same question: "Do you have Diet Snapple?"

Very politely, he said, "Yes, we have." He charged me $1.30 —- fifteen cents less than the previous one. He was so kind and polite. Then I noticed that he was also selling knishes. Knishes have become my most favourite snack. An argument was going on inside my mind whether to buy one.

Temptation and greed were on one side and my stupid diet was on the other. I was saying to myself, "In the morning I took a knish, now again I have to do it? Tomorrow I will feel miserable when I get on the scale. Yesterday I took a knish after eight o'clock at night and I gained weight, so today I promised that after four o'clock I would not eat anything. Now it is already after four o'clock." Then my greed and temptation would say, "Who cares if tomorrow I gain one pound?"

The argument was going this side and that side. I felt miserable. Finally my diet won. I had to be content with my Snapple. This time I drank the whole can.

  1. WCB 65. 29 September 1998

The encounter with Bruce1

Once more I went on my way. I was on the pavement. You call it the sidewalk. I do not like that word; I call it the pavement. Perhaps it is a British word. Anyway, I saw a van coming towards me. It was about fifty metres away and it was honking and honking. I saw that it was Bruce. Whenever he sees me, he screams, "Guru, Guru, Guru," twenty or thirty times, plus he honks. So many cars were passing by me, but Bruce was screaming and screaming.

  1. WCB 66. 29 September 1998

A sweet exchange1

Now I had completed my two miles and I was wondering, "Shall I go back the same way and make it four miles or shall I continue walking in the same direction and go to Hillside?" Then I remembered that if I went to Hillside, I would have to climb up 150th Street, so I started going back.

Right in front of the courthouse, I saw a little girl. She was three or four years old. She was wearing white. She said to me, "Sir, would you like to have a piece of candy?" Such a sweet, little girl!

Then her brother came. He was a little older than his sister. He said to me, "No, you have to give me a dollar." I did not feel like giving a dollar to the boy for the piece of candy, so I walked away. Then I heard somebody running behind me. I turned around and saw that it was the little girl. She said, "I want to give you the candy free."

Immediately I put my hand inside my pocket and took out three one dollar bills. Quickly I gave them to her. Then her brother came. I gave him a dollar. I was holding the candy in my hand. I said to her, "Will you make me happy? Please take it. I am on a strict diet."

She said, "I do not want money from you. I want to give it to you for free." Her name was Eva. She was so nice.

  1. WCB 67. 29 September 1998

Looking for Main Street1

I continued walking. I came back and crossed Main Street. Then I saw an elderly gentleman, tall and thin and a little bit weak, coming towards me. He said to me, "Sir, please tell me if I am heading towards Main Street."

Main Street was only forty metres away. I said to him, "Yes, yes, you are quite close." And I showed him the way.

He was so happy. When I can give people correct information, I am in the seventh heaven of delight. When I cannot tell them, I feel miserable. I told him this and then I felt that he wanted to speak with me. So I was describing how twenty years ago I had the same problem. I was fifty metres from Union Turnpike early in the morning and I had to ask an elderly woman where Union Turnpike was. She just pointed straight ahead and said, "You are so near. You are facing it."

So this elderly gentleman and I were in the same boat. Then he told me that he was about to turn back because he was arguing with himself whether he was going the right way. He did not know he was so close. So it went on. Two old men had a very nice conversation. He gave me a broad smile and I gave him a broad smile.

  1. WCB 68. 29 September 1998

Adopted by a little dog1

I came to my new 800-metre mark. It is a round circle and a long line. There I saw a white dog that looked exactly like my Sona. It was white and bulky. I did not pay any attention to the dog. I was just walking.

Then the dog started following me and licking my left calf so affectionately and lovingly. I covered more than ten metres and it was only licking my leg. The owner came running. He said to his dog, "You love this man more than you love me, Tak!" The name of the dog was Tak. Then he grabbed the dog and put it on his heart and went into his house.

Here the dog not only followed me, but it was licking very affectionately my left calf. I knew that it was not going to bite me. It was only showing me all its affection.

How many incidents one can have in the course of a walk!

  1. WCB 69. 29 September 1998

The memorable mile1

This morning I went out to walk at 4:20 and I came back at 5:10. Nobody will be able to guess correctly how far I walked. In fifty minutes, I walked one mile. One mile! Every twenty metres I had to stop and massage my legs, sometimes holding the rail or the fence. I went along 150th Street to the service road and made a left turn. Then I went up to my 800-metre mark and turned around.

When I was returning, around 300 metres or so, a car stopped and Aushadi came out of the car to greet me. Then I continued walking. What kind of pain I had! Usually I go six or seven miles, but today I could not. I need rest. Tomorrow I will take complete rest.

This experience I shall always remember: fifty minutes I took for one mile! There was, unfortunately, no juicy story, nothing. Only I saw four or five buses. At that hour there was nobody to sympathise with me. The buses were empty, empty, empty. There were no passengers inside.

  1. WCB 70. 1 October 1998

In trance1

Yesterday I was walking in front of Pramoda's house. She saw me, but she was in trance. I was also in trance. Both of us were in trance. I think she was singing a little bit or whistling. Then I drew her attention and she saw me.

  1. WCB 71. 3 October 1998

Running styles1

Today I was watching Pulak when I was walking. When I walk, people are running so fast. The other day how fast Nilima was running in the street. She was getting ready for the marathon. From time to time I see Natabara. He also runs quite fast. Chandika I never see running. I am killing myself, but she is always in the car. I have also seen Nemi and Jyotsna in the car. Bruce is the best! When I see Bruce, he says "Guru" quite a few times very loudly and then for forty or fifty metres he goes on honking.

  1. WCB 72. 10 October 1998

The devoted cyclists1

This morning I went out three times to walk: at four o'clock, six o'clock and eight o'clock. I want to show that I can maintain strength even after losing forty pounds. The joy of losing weight itself gives me strength!

Anyway, at four o'clock, no human being was visible. At six o'clock also, I was lucky that there was no interference. Then at eight o'clock something cute happened. I saw two of the disciples who work at Aparajita's restaurant. They were cycling. Both of them put their hands on their heart chakra. One of them had proper head gear and the other one did not have. They were extremely devoted.

  1. WCB 73. 12 October 1998

Conversation with Dhrubha's soul1

I turned off 150th Street into the side street and I was coming back to my house. All of a sudden, I saw great Dhrubha's soul, right at the corner of my street. I said something nice about Dhrubha to the soul, and the soul flattered me by saying that it is all my unconditional compassion and concern. I told the soul that before Dhrubha opens up his Divine Enterprise, I will give him a name for the store. Yesterday I went to see two of the places that he had in mind. I rejected one and accepted one, so I am sure the one I accepted he will take immediately.

That particular side street is only 50 or 60 metres long. Then I came to my street. Whom did I see? Drubha. As usual, he was leaving his newspaper clippings inside my door and he was coming out very soulfully and devotedly. I do not think he saw me. He came down the steps and made a left turn. He was going away very soulfully. I can prove that it was Drubha. I am not colour blind. He was wearing green shorts and a white T-shirt.

His soul had come to me just two minutes before but he did not see me. What was he doing? He was adoring his own feet while he was walking! I was only 25 metres behind him. I was watching what he was doing. But he did not see me.

The soul does exist. I do not know what to tell those who do not believe in the soul. But for those who do believe in the soul, Heaven's Door is wide open.

  1. WCB 74. 12 October 1998

Greeting Sandhani1

Again at ten o'clock today I went out walking. This was the fourth time. Near my 400-metre mark, just after Sulochana's house, I saw Sandhani vividly. He was standing on the pavement. He was holding a plastic bag or something similar. Then he put his hands on his heart chakra and bowed. I gave him a smile and he gave me a smile. From there I returned home.

Last time I saw him, his better or worse half had to argue with me and say that it was not possible because he does not go out early in the morning. Then it was proved that I was right: I did see him. This time he saw me, greeted me devotedly, and I greeted him blessingfully. So there is no problem!

  1. WCB 75. 12 October 1998

The famous 150th Street1

Some more incidents also took place during the same walk. Savita saw me leave the house wearing a red garment. Then I saw somebody wearing red shorts and a red T-shirt. That person saw me and was hiding behind a bush. I immediately knew that it was Savita who was hiding. Then she came out and was standing there when I went past on the other side of the street. I smiled at her and blessed her very nicely.

Then I went another 50 metres. Whom did I see? Kalpita. She crossed the street and I was going on. Then, when I turned round a few minutes later, I saw Kalpita following me.

Like this, I see all different people when I go out. Last night, when I went out at eight o'clock, I saw Anjali running and running on 150th Street. How could she run at that hour? Savita knew that I had gone out, so she phoned up Anjali.

Our 150th Street is famous. I like it so much. Although 150th Street is full of confusion, it has light. There is less light on the left side, near 148th Street. When I walk there, I do not get so much light from the streets. But on this side, 150th Street, in spite of the fact that restlessness runs riot, I see and feel more light, abundant light, I mean inner light.

  1. WCB 76. 12 October 1998

At the mercy of the garbage collector1

This morning I was walking in the airport, at TWA. I took a bottle of water with me and I put it on one of the red seats. At that hour, nobody was there, nobody! Every round I would come and drink a little and then go on. I am supposed to do six rounds and a little more.

After my fourth round, I saw that my water bottle was missing. Then 20 metres ahead of me, I saw that a dark-skinned, fat lady was holding the water bottle. She was the garbage collector.

I screamed, "Oi! Oi! My water, my water!" I began walking very fast towards her. I was practically running. She saw me approaching and then she deliberately threw my bottle into the garbage bin, the one on wheels that they move around with them.

I said, "What have you done? I was screaming! Did you not hear me?"

She said, "Yes, I heard you, but it was too late."

"You were holding it. I was screaming, 'My water!' and you heard me. You were even facing me. You saw that I was coming. How could you throw it away?"

She said, "It is too late." She was saying it the way the police do when they give tickets.

I became disgusted. I said, "Thank you very much."

Then she had to tell me, "Do not be so sercastic." I said, "Sercastic? What is sercastic?"

She said again, "Do not be so sercastic." Instead of saying 'sarcastic', she was saying 'sercastic'.

I said, "I shall give you one hundred dollars if you can spell the word correctly—one hundred dollars!" So she started: "S-r-…" I interrupted her, "That is great! Forget about it."

Then I went away and walked one more round. When I came back to the place, she was still standing there. She said to me, "I am sorry."

I said, "You are sorry?" I had in my pocket a ten dollar bill. I said, "Take it. You are sorry."

She gladly took my ten dollar bill.

Then I continued, "Please do not do this kind of thing. You saw me, you heard me. And still you threw my water in the bin." The bin was full of such dirty, filthy things. I could see my water bottle right on the top. But how could I take it and drink it? Luckily she did not bring it out and give it to me. She did not do that. She knew that I would not take it.

She said to me, "I am sorry," so I gave her ten dollars and she took it very gladly. If she had not seen me, she could have thrown the water away. But she saw me not even 20 metres away. I was screaming!

  1. WCB 77. 12 October 1998

The pretender1

Yesterday I was walking at Aspiration-Ground. Then I decided to walk back to my house. It was around half past four in the afternoon. On the way, I saw a little boy coming out of his house. Very fast he ran out and then he deliberately fell down in the middle of the street. He was lying down, pretending that he had been hurt by a car and he was dying or dead.

I was only ten metres away from him, so I saw the whole thing. As I came closer, I saw another boy of his age come running out of the house. This boy was calling, "George, George, George! What has happened? Has anything gone wrong? Are you hurt?" He thought that some serious accident had taken place and George was severely injured. Although it was only half past four, it was quite dark.

When I came near the boy who was lying down, I said to the second boy, "Nothing is wrong. He is all right."

This little boy, George, who was lying down, looked at me and put his finger on his mouth, asking me to keep quiet. So I kept quiet. Then I saw that the boy who had followed him was still worrying. He was sincerely concerned to know what had happened and why George was not talking. He kept asking, "George, are you hurt? What happened? Was it an accident?" All kinds of things he was saying. He was terribly afraid that George had been hit by a car.

At last I said, "Nothing is wrong. George is only pretending."

Immediately George stood up, smiling, and said to me, "Mind your own business!"

I said, "Sorry, sorry, sorry! You are right, you are right!" What could I do? George was only five or six years old. He could not have been eight. He had to say, "Mind your own business." So I said, "Sorry, sorry, sorry."

I did not know what to say. That street is not properly lit. If a car had come while he was lying down pretending to be hurt, he would have been in serious trouble. And the concern that his little friend was showing was so sincere that I felt sorry for the one who came to his rescue. Alas, why did I open my big mouth?

  1. WCB 78. 12 October 1998

A morning insult1

This morning I went out walking. I crossed Main Street. A white car was coming towards me. I was quite safe because I was on the pavement. Then the car stopped and a man came out. He was extremely fat, at least three times as large as I am! He was holding a piece of paper and he said to me, "Do you know English?"

I said, "I do."

Then he gave me the piece of paper. He came from New Jersey and he was looking for a particular street, but I could not read the handwriting.

The man said, "I thought you knew English! All right, you are a wise guy!"

  1. WCB 79. 24 October 1998

My little friend1

Then I was coming back. The other day I told a cute story about a white dog that lives near my 800-metre mark. Today the owner of the dog was carrying the dog into the car. I happened to be only four or five metres away. The man kept the dog on his heart chakra. When the dog saw me, he got so excited and wanted to come to me.

The other day also, he followed me, licking my left calf. That time the man had to come and grab him. Today the man said, "It seems that my dog has a deep attraction to you."

This little dog looks like Sona. He really likes me. I gave him a smile and went on my way.

  1. WCB 80. 24 October 1998

The meditation tip1

Yesterday around half past ten in the morning, I was coming to the tennis ground walking. I came to 150th Street and made a left turn and an immediate right turn. Then I saw two men working. One was on top of a large tree, cutting the branches, and the other was picking them up and putting them in a truck. I was trying to somehow manage to walk on the street and they were almost blocking the road. A young girl saw my predicament and gave me a smile.

When I drew near the two men, I said to the one who was cleaning the road, "How I wish you would come and cut down the tree in front of my house. It is quite dead. On the 23rd of September you were supposed to come."

The man answered, "Oh, you have to write to the authorities."

"I have written to them," I replied, "but they do not listen."

Then the man said to me, "I know you. Your picture is everywhere. I have come to quite a few of your meditation sessions at PS 86."

I could not recognise him at all. Then he said to me, "When I come to your meditation, I get so much peace, but it lasts only for one day. I have so many problems that the peace only lasts for one day."

I said, "I am glad that at least for one day your problems are solved."

He smiled at me and went on, "Please tell me how I can solve my daily problems."

I smiled at him. I was trying to move away. He said to me, "Wait! Wait! You have to give me a tip."

Idiot that I am, I said to him, "I am so sorry. I have no money today. I am not carrying any money."

He said to me, "I don't want no money." That kind of English he used. "I want you to give me a meditation tip."

Then he stood in front of me. I thought that by 'tip' he wanted me to give him money, but he wanted me to teach him how to meditate. He was asking me how he could make his mind calm and quiet. He was extremely sincere. I said, "All right."

The man up in the tree was observing us, but he did not mind at all. We were facing each other. First I asked him to breathe in very slowly and quietly. He did this very nicely and he was very, very happy. He said to me, "You are not only a great man, but you are a very good man."

  1. WCB 81. 30 October 1998

A ride to the tennis court1

I continued walking and came to Parsons Boulevard. There at the intersection I saw Ranjana's car. She was going to the tennis ground and from there she was planning to go somewhere to do her sports. I entered into the car and came with her to the tennis ground. That was about half past ten.

  1. WCB 82. 30 October 1998

Corn or blueberry muffin?1

Early this morning, at five o'clock, I walked to Queens Boulevard. As I approached the courthouse, I became very thirsty. I said to myself, "Let me finish my two miles and on the way back I will eat or drink something."

I went to my two-mile mark and I was coming back. After 500 or 600 metres, I saw a man standing there selling doughnuts and drinks. At least two hundred people were standing in a queue in front of the courthouse. They were very polite; there was no screaming, no riot.

I was more thirsty than hungry. Then hunger also attacked me. I took an apple juice. Daily I drink apple juice. Then I saw some nice doughnuts. My favourite is coconut. Inwardly I was saying, "Here I am desperately trying to lose weight. How can I think of eating a doughnut? Yesterday I took a solemn oath not to go off my diet and now another hostile temptation-attack has come!"

But my hunger was too strong. I surrendered. I said, "Again, there is tomorrow. I will be serious again tomorrow."

So I took the drink and I was about to tell the vendor to give me a doughnut when I saw at another place five or six corn muffins. An American man and I were standing practically together. He said to me, "Let me take mine first."

But the vendor was an Indian like me. He said to me, "Take, my Indian friend."

I do not know who the vendor is, but he was Indian. Then the American said, "I, too, am Indian."

"Says who?" asked the vendor. Then he served me first.

I said, "I would like to have a corn muffin." There were five corn muffins and one blueberry muffin. The vendor said, "You are asking for a corn muffin, but you are pointing to the blueberry." I looked and I saw that he was correct.

Then the American said, "Look, he does not know the difference between corn and blueberry muffins!" That was my experience at around seven o'clock.

  1. WCB 83. 30 October 1998

The timely warning1

Six black teenage girls were in front of me. They were on the other side of the street. They crossed the street and came to my side. They started walking about ten metres in front of me. Then I saw a tall, stout, black lady coming towards me, passing through them.

She said to me, "Sri, Sri, these are terrible people. Please do not be so close to them."

She was advising me and warning me. If she had said it a little louder, perhaps they would have come and attacked her. I listened to her advice and took another route.

  1. WCB 84. 9 November 1998

Walking at sports day1

Today at Sports Day I tried to walk a few laps but too much cold air has entered into my right knee. On the other side of the track, beside the long jump pit, each time I went there, I suffered. On the side where we held the sprints, there was no wind, but as soon as I went to the other side, there was so much wind!

  1. WCB 85. 23 November 1998