During the summer of 1995, I was visiting Shree Muktananda Ashram with my wife and children to offer seva. During an evening satsang, Gurumayi spoke about the importance of being vigilant in our daily activities. She said that while we are completing a task it is important to pause and carefully review our actions prior to taking the next steps. In this way we confirm that everything is in order before moving forward. Gurumayi reminded us several times: “Be clear. Check. Double check. Be crystal clear.’’ As soon as I heard this teaching, I knew it held great significance for me.
Right away, I began to apply Gurumayi’s teaching in my professional life as an aerospace engineer. As I worked on complex projects in the design and assembly of jet engines, I would remind myself of Gurumayi’s words: “Be clear. Check. Double check. Be crystal clear.” In an industry where budgets are big, timelines are fast, and safety is paramount, pausing and looking again was often a saving grace, and over the next ten years I became known among my team members for practically error-free work.
Over time, I began to notice other, more subtle changes in my work as I put Gurumayi’s words into practice. In the brief moment of pausing to double check, I would enter a moment of stillness. And from that interior space of silence, there would often surface a fresh perspective, along with innovative yet pragmatic ideas. By making a habit of pausing to gain clarity, I gave myself space to access the ever flowing inspiration of my inner Self.
This teaching has also brought great benefits to my home life. The Guru’s words began to arise naturally when I was preparing a meal for the family, planting flowers in the garden, or playing a family game. No matter what I’m doing, when I pause and pay closer attention, I become more present in the moment and feel a greater sense of ease and connection with the people and environment around me. That ease spirals outwards, and quite naturally everyone and everything around me benefits from the ease as well.
When my son was young, I often helped him with his mathematics homework. I shared with him Gurumayi’s teaching of “Be clear. Check. Double check. Be crystal clear.” Together, we practiced the discipline of pausing and re-focusing. Over time, he learned not to rush through his homework, and in the process I learned more patience. I’ve been amazed at the discipline my son has developed over the years with his studies and in his life. Once, after a college calculus exam, he told me he had paused to double-check his work. There were several problems that he hadn’t answered because he didn’t know how to solve them, and his intention for going back to them was only to find errors in his completed work. He said that by pausing to check his work his mind had become quiet and he had received inspiration from within about how to address the unsolved problems. Fifteen years after I received Gurumayi’s teaching, it bore fruit in the life of my son.
The effect this teaching has had on my spiritual life has also been profound. It has served as a guiding light, which has supported me in maintaining a sense of spiritual constancy over the years. Once I went for a time without regularly chanting, meditating, or reading Gurumayi’s writings, telling myself I was just too busy. Then one day, the true voice of remembrance arose within me and asked, “Are you sure there’s not a way to resume your practices? Did you check that there’s not a way?” I paused and reevaluated my schedule and, sure enough, I did find a way to create space for the daily discipline of the practices and the experience of joy that flows from doing so.
Gurumayi’s teaching, “Be clear. Check. Double check. Be crystal clear,” continues to reverberate within my heart and provide guidance in every part of my life: in my profession, with my family, and in my sadhana. To this day I marvel that the contemplation and implementation of this one teaching has taught me so much about the power of vigilance and has brought so much grace and sweetness into my life.