In conversation with another renegade free thinker this morning, I shared my experience of Braco, who shared his gazing gift at Agape this past weekend. He suggested I write about my experience as it may serve others. You can find my friend Ran at http://livingthedreamdeferred.blogspot.com
This past Sunday, Agape welcomed Braco (pronounced Brat-zo) and he shared the gift of his silent healing gaze with the congregation at all three services, and twice in afternoon sessions. He was accompanied by a group of individuals who took care of the logistics and support functions.
I had the opportunity to experience his transformational gaze three times on Sunday. I didn’t know what to expect, however the information shared through the announcements, and materials shared at previous services left a lot to the imagination. He is not listed, prefixed, or titled by anything other than his first name, and in this context I am using Guru to mean a person who shares a gift that is relatively rare, that positively impacts others. And also, how the others have a variety of reactions, responses and perceptions from interacting with said Guru. This describes Braco, even though it is not what he calls himself. More on Gurus later!
His arrival was prefaced by talk of his silent gaze, and the advisory that pregnant women and children under 18 were not to be in the room when he gazed. This wasn’t going to be a regular lecture or sharing. Not that the teachers that come through Agape are all speakers and lecturers. Some chant, some dance, some wave and shout! Yes, Agape has welcomed a wide range of characters, both in the audience and on the stage.
When Braco took the stage, the first thing I noticed was he was very centered and contained (he wasn’t looking around or obviously expressive), he was dressed in jeans and a casual shirt, no formality or charisma to speak of. In fact he seemed very relaxed yet measured. When he took the stage, he took his place, everyone stood to meet his gaze, a piece of music played while his gaze slowly swept the room a couple of times, and after a few minutes he stepped down from the stage and it was over.
Well, the gaze was over, however the after effects and ripples continued for a while. During his gaze I became aware of a few things.
First, apart from the music that was playing, there was no sound, no talking, no movement, no shuffling or noise, the large congregation standing still and receiving or meeting his gaze. This is a rarity for the Agape crowd that usually populates the Sanctuary, usually some of the audience is talking, texting, in movement or otherwise distracted, except sometimes during meditation!
Second, the energy in the room seemed to settle down. There was a deep calmness and a resting in Presence that I felt permeate the Sanctuary.
Third, when his gaze came toward me and then reached me, I experienced it visually and kinesthetically. I won’t go into details of what I experienced, that you can ask me directly another time. For me, it was not a transformational or healing experience on a conscious level, where my life is forever changed. Others may have had that experience. What I will share is I felt that his gaze was not pushing or requiring anything, it was, if anything, an authentic and deep acknowledgement, perhaps the simplest and most powerful experience I have had of what I perceive Namaste to actually mean.
It was recognition, acceptance, unconditional love and a lot more.
I realize that the more inner work I do, the subtler it becomes. The more I trust myself and let go of seeking the outside solution, healing, teaching, the easier it gets, and the more personal the teaching becomes. I’ve been on a conscious journey of my own for over 25 years, and as everyone’s path is different, I haven’t necessarily seen all the possibilities of teachers and Gurus. Yet I have lived through enough experiences and transformations that I have what has been reflected to me as a mature and developed view on life.
I’ve apparently maturated through varied levels of growth and human development so my responses have been deemed post-graduate fodder! The Agape International Spiritual Center has had it’s doors open for almost 25 years as of this writing, and has been my spiritual home for over 16 years. Over that time, many teachers, presenters, Gurus, speakers and special guests have entered the Sanctuary and added their gifts to the community.
Many came through the doors and took Agape’s stage after the release of The Secret four years ago in 2006. Occasionally some have come with agendas that were more taking than giving, however that’s grist for another post, loosely called “False Prophets Seeking Profits Falsely!” I am aware that the word Guru evokes different feelings and responses for each of us, so let me clarify my use of it here.
Beside it’s Hindu and Sikhism roots, a Guru is defined as a spiritual leader or intellectual guide for a religious group or movement, especially one considered not to be mainstream; somebody who has a reputation as an expert leader, teacher, or practitioner in a particular field; a person’s revered guide, mentor, or adviser in spiritual or intellectual matters. I know for many people who are starting their journeys, there are many teachers, guides and self-professed Gurus who offer opportunities to have big results and massive experiences that change their lives. I went through that. A lot.
I also know there’s many flavors and levels of growing, of developing and learning more about who we are. Some are incredibly powerful, others are powerfully incredible (in their own eyes and marketing). There are incredibly gifted teachers and guides out there. And there are many glamorous, charismatic, and sensational self-branded teachers and self-professed gurus out there who sell elegantly flavored snake oil, often labeled as the next big thing.
I have witnessed many of both flavors, and my advise to you is simply this. Trust your gut, trust your heart, don’t blindly believe. And yes, immerse yourself in the real, the good, the honest. Beware the charismatic attraction! Seek the depth, not the glamour.
I found Braco to be real, good and honest. Sharing his gift, his heart, and his love in service to all. Thank you Braco, for your gift, for your service, and for reminding me of who I am.
Personal growth as it is labeled, is just that, personal. You, dear reader, have freedom within your individual grasp, freedom to seek your own path, to choose your own teachers. Exercise your individual right to make your own choices. You have the power to choose for yourself. Use it wisely!
As always, your comments are welcomed. Thanks for reading.