Sat Nam Dear Family,
It was June of 1987. I picked up the Siri Singh Sahib for our usual lunch in Beverly Hills. It would prove to be not a usual day. We arrived at La Scala restaurant and our reserved table was already set. Our table overlooked the sidewalk and street outside. Many stars, celebrities, sports figures, you name it,often walked by our window and we would share waves as we continued our lunch. There were usually three or four staff members also at our table as well as a security table nearby. This was the prosperous 1980’s and life was good as a Beverly Hills yogi.
After lunch we continued our custom of walking a few blocks to a shop we often visited waving to local shopkeepers and giving money to those on the street looking for handouts as if they were on our payroll. As we entered the shop the Siri Singh Sahib spotted a beautiful gold, perpetual calendar watch made by the famous watchmaker Patek Philippe in the front window. He asked the owner, Jerry, to show him this watch. I already owed Jerry a great deal of money, well over $200,000, and I knew who was going to pay for this watch if he liked it – ME. This was part of our relationship. He pushed, I covered the ground.
I really had no idea how I was going to pay Jerry what I already owed. I was living in faith believing that the universe and my teacher would cover and me make things right. But, evidentially, at this time my faith had a limit. Usually, I was O.K. with whatever he wanted; maybe it was my biorhythms this day, maybe I had reached my level of faith, maybe I wasn’t as obedient as I thought, who knows. In my insecurity, I leaned over to the Siri Singh Sahib and said, “Sir, you’ll never push me past the point of matching up, will you!” And rather than say, “Shut up kid, I’m the teacher and you’re the student, don’t you even know the ground rules.” He just compassionately said, “No son, I won’t.” I had so much faith in him, so much trust, that’s all I needed to hear. I said, “Let’s get the watch.”
All my doubt, all my judgment, all my worry, vanished. This is the true blessing of the student/teacher relationship. When the student is stuck, a word, a mantra, even a glance, removes the block. This is why, for someone like me who reaches blocks he didn’t think he had, a teacher is necessary so I could move forward. Shortly thereafter, my trust in him came through. I paid Jerry what I owed and was able to move forward to his next test. Life definitely wasn’t boring.
M.S.S. Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa
Chief of Protocol