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The Atman’s Apprentice

“Can anyone pick out a yarn of a particular count? Only if you are in the trade can you distinguish between a forty count thread and a forty-one.  If you live with a yarn seller you can also develop this talent.”

This yarn about the yarn-seller is one of the Great Master’s signature stories.  It illustrates so well the subtle abilities that a sincere aspirant acquires by keeping close company with an adept guru.  In the same way that an experienced merchant knows the tricks of the trade and is aware of the many fine points of the craft, so too the true spiritual teacher knows all the many teachings and how to apply them, having insight into the workings of an aspirant’s mind.  When a novice first approaches the spiritual preceptor, some of what is said by way of teachings, and performed by way of example, is foreign and disturbing.  But much is going on under the surface, both in the student’s mind and in the guru’s transmission.  The ring of truth emanating from the teachings, though sounding far off and muffled at irst, is having its profound effect on the seeker’s subconscious mind, breaking down many age-old barriers formed by the repetition of negative thoughts and actions in past lives.  As these obstacles of congealed negative mental energy are broken down, diffused and neutralized, the mind gets its initial glimpse of divinity and experiences its first taste of internal peace.  As time in proximity to holy company auspiciously passes, the aspirant finds not only peace, but discovers that the many fine attributes seen in the guru are actually natural to the Self within and come easily to the surface.  Thus does the novice, if sincere and persistent, gradually pick up the subtleties of the Divine Mother’s presence and teachings through the transmission of Her beloved vehicle, the guru.

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