Whenever we think about strength, almost automatically a certain type of pictures gets created, being fit, being intelligent, having endurance, reaching ones goals. When I talk with people about their life, especially their wishes for their life, I often notice this underlying assumption present in those pictures. If I want to live my life according to my ideas or wishes, I have to know what I want, and I have to be strong enough to pull that cart through the mud or uphill, till I reach there. And it sounds perfectly reasonable, logical. We know how the world functions, and accordingly we assess the whole situation.
But the truth is we don´t know how the world functions. We only think we know. We see how economy functions, how people function, and make our conclusions. Depending on whether somebody is successful in reaching his or her goals or not, we evaluate this person as strong enough, intelligent enough, disciplined enough, courageous enough to risk etc. Magazines, TVs are full of pictures and stories about people who managed this on some level of their life. And I also looked at life and myself like this, naturally. This is also the world I grew up in, this is how people talked, and what I was taught in school.
Now, I am lucky. I live and work what I dreamed to live and work, in an environment I dreamed to live in and work in.
Many years ago, after I had discovered groups and Meditation and had found something that gave direction and meaning to my life, I realized, I want to have a Meditation center, in the countryside, and live there together with people. Now this was quite an absurd dream, as far as “reality” was concerned. I lived and worked in Tao Osho Meditation Center in downtown Munich. I spent everything I could put to the side on longer stays in Osho´s Ashram in Pune, India. More precisely, I lived half of the time in Munich, and half of the time in Pune to be around Osho. And I just started to work with people. My parents were not rich, I didn´t have any money, so the logical conclusion was: Forget this dream. It is simply not within your reach.
But the dream came true, and the way it came true showed my something about life, about existence, about myself. Something, that was totally different than what I thought how life functions. All big aspects of my work were not things I chose. It started with Ericksonian Hypnosis and NLP.
I sat in Tao at the breakfast table together with friends, and read the program of the Osho Multiversity in Pune for the coming season. I read Hypnosis training, and said, this I will do. Decided. Now the funny thing was, I never even had a single session of Hypnosis in my life, nor did I read about it. And I really went for it. And even now, almost thirty years later, I am still greatful for this soft approach of creating friendship between conscious and unconscious, becoming yourself, respecting your individuality and resources.
The next were constellations. Again in Munich. I had heard about Hellinger, he also lived in Munich, some friends went to see an afternoon with him in the university, they talked about constellations, and I did not really like it. Some time afterwards I went again to Pune for half a year, I just arrived, when I was asked: “Bhagat, we have a training in constellation work for therapists who work here, and we need to translate some material from German to English, could you do this for us?” I agreed. While translating I slowly got interested. I knew the training was already full. But I anyway decided to simply ask whether they couldn´t let me still join. I asked, and they said, sure. Come.
And the next was Shangri La. I had been invited to lead a Vipassana group in Lazany, the house had been bought by an Austrian who worked in Prague, who wanted to create a Meditation Center here, a group of friends started the place, and invited me for leading this group. But something did not work out between them, and the owner decided to sell the place again. Few days before my group was scheduled to happen. When we arrived, the house was empty and locked, a woman from the village appeared, gave us the key and left. After the group the participants said to me: “Bhagat, you have this dream of creating a Meditation Center in the countryside, here you have it!” I got dizzy. There was no phone, and it was not possible to get a phone at that time, mobiles did not exist. I didn´t even have the money to pay for this old house. This was 1995, and the villages looked really bad. I knew maybe 5 people from Czech. But somewhere inside I felt, this is your chance, jump. And I jumped. I went back to Munich, and it was amazing. Within 6 weeks I organized the money, friends and parents helped me, I dissolved my flat. 6 weeks after the decision I moved in in Lazany. It was still a long journey, but everything worked out with time. These experiences were the teachers, where I realized, I did not plan or want any single one of them. All I did was to say yes to what existence offered in that moment.
And this is exactly what strength is about, to have the courage and trust to say yes and move ahead on your way. There was no effort involved, just perceiving the invitation, feel whether this is for me, and have the guts to say yes.
When something like this happens, we know real strength, and that effort and hardness only take us away from strength. We know, that strength is something to surrender to. And sure, we do need commitment to keep going, but again, this is rather about being courageous to feel what happens on this way to us, and continue, not a hard discipline.
And same with joy and peace, follow your path, and joy happens, peace happens. Live your life, with all challenges and difficulties, feel, look at everything, say yes, trust – and see, joy is present again in your life, moments of peace manifest.
If I put it all together. It was not me who looked for this, existence offered this, my contribution was to have the courage to say yes. What a relief to see this, it takes away such a burden, that I have to know, I have to make the right decision, I have to do the right thing. Simply too much of “I”. I said yes, and strength, commitment, joy and peace happened.