By Joshika Devi Dasi (Dr. Jessica Richmond)
I had no idea what it really meant to have a guru until I met Babaji. And I definitely had no clue what it meant to travel around the world and teach Vedic Psychology with Babaji within a few months after meeting him.
Needless to say, I was in for a big shock over the next few years after taking diksha as I continued to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire, attempting to avoid all the painful ways that Babaji was trying to invoke change in me. As a psychotherapist for over one decade, I thought I knew my mind pretty well. But it turns out I was dead wrong. And Babaji was not shy about showing me that, albeit in his cryptic, mysterious ways. At first, I wrote about these moments in my personal journal as a way to reflect upon and digest them. Eventually I started posting some of these stories on my blog. The day after each post my inbox would be overflowing with emails from people sharing similar stories. No matter from what walk of life, somehow, they could all relate to my stories.
When I shared my surprise with Babaji, he explained to me that storytelling is the most powerful way to teach, citing examples of the most exceptional teachers of the Indian culture that employed storytelling. He revealed that storytelling is a brilliant way to get the message across to someone without bruising their ahankara (ego). For no one likes it when their mistake, character flaw, inadequacy, or stupidity is pointed out directly. It is much more enjoyable to hear a story of someone else’s ego getting smashed. With this inspiration, I set forth to write a book of my stories. Many of my stories in the book are extracted from my original blogs written in 2019, but have been amplified with deeper explanations, and reflections. A very special bonus is that Babaji took the time to read the entire draft and then to personally infuse his wise words throughout this book. What a rare and true blessing this book has turned out to be.
When I gave Babaji the first copy of the printed book, I was so curious what he would say. After a few minutes in silence and suspense, of watching him carefully review the pages, he said, “I want that all of my students read this book. The lessons in here are crucial for everyone to learn. This book can expedite the serious seeker’s progress since many potent lessons are nicely compressed into just one book. What took you years of pain and suffering to figure out, Joshika, others can benefit from by applying the lessons to themselves immediately. The smartest people learn from other’s mistakes.”
This book, Lessons Learned from My Guru The Hard Way, contains 11 chapters, each revealing a window into one of my experiences of being faced with all the uncomfortable ways in which I was stuck. Some of the topics of my stories include how to navigate:
Each chapter ends with some of my reflections on how things might have been different, if I hadn’t been so averse to change. Each chapter concludes with a final “Lesson Learned.” I have also included some space at the end of each chapter for the reader to reflect upon each story and to jot down their own insights or lessons learned.
So I leave it up to you. My personal stories on the pages of this book are available to anyone who is courageous enough to use them as an introspection tool into their own heart. I hope that by sharing my experiences and insights, it can not only expedite your learnings, but also spare you some of the suffering along the way.
Joshika Richmond, PhD
Most inspirational books aim at disciplining your mind so that you can fulfil your ambition and manipulate people. But this makes you a bigger slave of mind and not its master. This does not solve the problem from its root.
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