One day while I was attending an event at Self-realization Fellowship, brother Balananda, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, shared a personal story:
“Forty years ago I was living in the Encinitas Center in California. To develop the body and will, a buddy of mine and I decided to swim in the ocean every day. We started in the summer. The ocean was beautiful and comfortable. So we swam and swam, every day in the ocean up and down along the coast.
“Then September came. Then October came. The water started to get colder in the morning. But my buddy and I developed a strategy. Every morning, I would put one foot in the water, and say, ‘This water is as warm as yesterday’s water.’
“Then we would jump into the ocean and swim. Our minds did not feel much difference.
“Quickly, January came. The oceanside weather was very, very cold. But still, we just put on our wet suits, and put one foot in the water, and said, ‘Today’s water temperature is the same as yesterday’s.’ Then we would jump into the ocean and, swim.
“A few months ago, I returned to Encinitas for visit. We jumped into the ocean and swam along the beautiful coast. People saw us and wondered, ‘Who are these people?’”
Brother Balananda laughed heartily. Then he said,
“At one point during those years I said to myself, ‘If I can train myself to swim in the ocean all year around, I can find God in this lifetime.
I can find God in this lifetime.”
Brother Balananda’s story made us smile and feel uplifted. What a wonderful story, what a beautiful resolve!
I want to find, and believe that I am finding, God (read: communion, joy, devotion, truth) in this lifetime. Furthermore, the training is to find God in small moments. Just as in this minute, I search and initiate a thought of peace and vitality. The journey has been interesting and assuring. How has your journey been?