The earthquake

What an experience we had at five minutes past four this morning! I was meditating with my eyes open. All of a sudden, I felt the whole building shaking. My room is on the top floor of the hotel. It was a really frightening experience. Because I was on the 17th floor, I was seeing the top of the building going this side and that side, like a tree. The top floor was not only shaking; it was bending sideways like a tree. At that time, when you are having the experience, the thought that they build the buildings to withstand earthquakes does not come. Only you have a rising fear.

So many people were awake in the hotel. Perhaps they felt that death was fast approaching. The whole experience lasted for a minute and a half. I think if it had continued for another two or three more minutes, perhaps some girls would have fainted.

— 22 December 1997 Lake Atitlan, Guatemala