I often find myself sharing the story of the response that the founder of The Oneness University, Sri Bhagavan (pictured above), had when I answered his question, “Chris, what do you want in life?”
I had prepared my response long in advance as I knew before the retreat that I’d have this opportunity to visit with him at the end of it and I was told repeatedly that he would be asking me this question. I actually had a very long response, as I was prepared for a long conversation, but as fate would have it, we had only enough time to visit for a short while. So I abbreviated my response.
I said to him, “I’d like to meet and work with the greatest minds on the planet that are active in projects that involve heightening the collective consciousness of the planet. People like Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer and Tony Robbins.” He thought that was pretty cool and he said that he’d help me with that. (Incidentally, as an interesting side note, I was seated next to Deepak Chopra two days later in a movie theater in Mumbai after spontaneously deciding to go to it at the very last minute and we’ve been in touch since.)
Bhagavan asked me what else I wanted. I knew we only had a few more minutes left so I got real honest with myself and decided to share my truth. After all, one of the most common phrases repeated by the teachers throughout the duration of the Level 1 Process was, “What could ever be wrong with your truth?!” So I busted out with, “I want a boat.”
Yeah. I went from heightening the collective consciousness of the planet with the world’s thought leaders to a boat. Everyone in the room giggled except him. He simply asked some clarification questions. He asked what kind of boat and how big and how much it cost. I told him it’s going to be a 68 foot Viking luxury sport fishing yacht with twin deisels and a tuna tower, an enclose bridge, a couple sweet state rooms and a killer parlor with etched glass windows and a flat screen that pops up from behind one sofa, etc. He appeared to be listening to the most captivating story he’d ever heard.
He asked me to tell him some more. So I did. I told him how I felt when I’m out on the ocean on a vessel like that. I told him that I love the smell of the diesel fumes, I’m mesmerized by the designs the propellers make with the water, I’m lulled into trance by the sound of the waves lapping up against the hull when adrift. I told him there’s no place in the world where I feel more instantly and infinitely connected to everything….and he leaned in and almost shouted, as if he just had an epiphany, “I got it! I got it. You’re going to do your greatest work from that place. The world NEEDS you to have that boat. I’ll help you with that.”
No giggling now.
The world NEEDS me to have that boat? Well, OK then. That was a first. I actually had to fight off the resistance to even share that desire with him in the first place – the learned self consciousness that came from being taught that that desire could be materialistic and therefore shallow, especially coming on the heels of some crap about consciousness heightening.
But like the dasaji’s (the teachers) had said all week, “What could ever be wrong with your truth?!” Not only could nothing be wrong with it, embedded inherent within it is your most powerful contribution to the planet.
So I guess I have to go get a 68′ deep sea fishing yacht. Hey, the world needs me to have it. Who am I to argue?