If you ask for something, the universe has a way of delivering. Maybe not when or how you expect it to come, but it does arrive. In my case, I had been searching for a teacher, a messenger of truth, for a person who had personally been to the mountain top.
I studied different paths and actually had come to a point where I realized that most of these paths all pointed to the same thing. But to have a teacher that has been down that road and lived what they taught, well that is a something special and is what my heart yearned for.
So, when a friend invited me to a presentation by a monk who had spent time in the jungles of Nepal, something in my heart urged me to go. The monk had spent time with a young man named Dharma Sangha who had completed a 6 year meditation without food or water. The meditation had started when he was only a boy and did not stop until he had accomplished his goal. The monk spoke of this message of Maitri (loving kindness) that Dharma Sangha was spreading and the truths that were encountered during his meditation. The compelling stories seemed to speak directly to my heart and I knew there was something special in this message. Then an alarm went off in my head and I realized that this was THE boy!
About 7 years earlier when I was living in China I remembered seeing a show on the Discovery channel about a boy in Nepal they were calling the Buddha Boy. This boy was meditating without food, water, or sleep. They couldn’t figure out if it was a hoax or if this was the next Buddha. I remembered watching that show wondering if this boy was going to be a great teacher and lay out a path of truth. At that time his meditation had just started, so I figured I would let time reveal what this boy was up to. My heart told me that I would hear the result at some point in the future, so I just filed it away and went on with my life. Now it had come full-circle and this story of the meditating boy had come back into my life! When the presentation concluded my girlfriend and I looked at each other and we quickly agreed that we were going to Nepal to see Dharma Sangha for ourselves.
We looked into tickets and settled to leave in about 6 weeks. I was filled with excitement and wonder, curious as to what I would encounter in Nepal. Was this the teacher who I had been searching for? Each day in my meditation I would call out to Dharma Sangha asking for guidance and preparedness for the upcoming journey. Then on one of the days before the trip my heart was crushed. I looked on the internet and saw that Dharma Sangha was not receiving guests, as he was working on putting his teachings into a book. I thought how could this be?!! We bought tickets already and were set to go. Then rather quickly I calmed down and knew that this is all part of my journey and that there was nothing to worry about.
The day finally arrived and we landed in Kathmandu. We were greeted by some of the sangha members when we arrived. Over breakfast I tried getting as much information as possible on what to expect, what the jungle was like, was there any chance we’d be able to see Dharma Sangha, what had others learned from their experience, and on and on. My appetite for answers regarding Dharma Sangha and his teachings was insatiable! I couldn’t wait to get into the jungle.
When we made our way to the jungle we were met by the monks and other sangha members. There were only a few foreigners in the camp and a handful of monks. As expected we were told that we wouldn’t be able to have dharshan with Dharma Sangha. So, we just opened ourselves up to the experience of being there. We had a remarkable time hearing of the other sangha member’s stories of being around Dharma Sangha, what they had learned and how their paths were unfolding. We talked a lot about what Dharma Sangha’s Maitri teachings actually were. Everyone had a slightly different take since the teachings had not yet been written down.
What I noticed was how each person’s take of the teachings seemed to resonate with what it was that individual needed.
It was that, but also that the teachings were not quite so easy to put into words. We were trying to put into words these deep truths that took Dharma Sangha 6 intense years of straight meditation to come to.
The days in the jungle were filled with tranquility, reflection and internal work. It seemed as if just being in the same area as Dharma Sangha caused an energetic cleansing to take place. The time was certainly not easy for me, but it was powerful. I began noticing how my path was unfolding and how important the sangha was. Dharma Sangha’s love and light seemed to beam out of each person in the sangha. Even though we weren’t able to see Dharma Sangha we felt as if we were with him just being there with the sangha. As our time in the jungle came to an end we felt gratitude for the new friends we had made and for the opportunity to be there. We left Nepal knowing that we would be back… we just weren’t sure of when that would be.
After returning home we did our best to integrate what we had learned on our trip and wondered when we would return to meet Dharma Sangha. One night I had a dream where one of the sangha members told me when a puja was going to happen. I told my girlfriend in the morning, but kind of brushed it off as just a dream. Sure enough a few weeks later I saw the email that the puja was going to happen on those exact dates as in my dream. We knew we had to go to get blessings directly from Dharma Sangha, so again we bought our tickets.
Landing back in Nepal was great. It felt like a homecoming. The puja was in a beautiful location with the Himalayas as a backdrop. Thousands of Nepali people flooded into the town and we joined them along with the international sangha to receive our blessings. Over multiple days we received many direct blessings from Dharma Sangha. It was fantastic to just sit and meditate in his presence and contemplate what he had accomplished. But just as wonderful were the conversations and exchanges between the sangha members. Everyone and everything was imperfect, in a completely perfect way! I found my expectations of what I felt Dharma Sangha should be and what each person in the sangha should be just slip away. We were all perfect and we each brought our lessons and challenges to the mix in perfect order.
Removed by a couple years from my first experiences in Nepal with Dharma Sangha I would say I’ve grown a lot. Dharma Sangha has said that whether or not you go to be near him and become a devotee is not important, but following your spiritual path is.
Our paths are constantly unfolding around us.
I feel Dharma Sangha’s presence working through the sangha, in the jungle, and in all aspects of my life. Even though I still work with different spirtitual teachers and paths, I’ve been able to have Dharma Sangha act as a North Star of sorts in my spiritual life. If I’m ever feeling off-course I tune back into him and the teachings and realign with my path and love. I feel incredibly grateful to him for that and to the entire sangha for their support and encouragement.
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