The Centre of the Target

Shaivya Rubczynska
Warsaw, Poland

It was freezing and snowing, February 1991 in Warsaw.

Two girls were standing in the street, facing the modest poster with just a few words on it.
"Look, it is for free", said one of them.
"Let’s go inside; we still have one hour before the theatre", answered the other one. "By the way, what is meditation?"

Inside the small performance hall, there were an astonishing number of people – more than 200. On the stage, a young man sat at a table with a tiny, black-and-white picture on it. Then he started his talk in German, translated by an old lady. He said that he was from Berlin and that the face in the photo was his Master’s. After a few minutes, I stopped listening. It was so nice just to sit there; I felt relaxed and peaceful.

Suddenly he said: "Now we shall do an exercise, and you’ll see for yourself what concentration and meditation are. Please, close your eyes."

I closed my eyes. Everything disappeared. I was inside a stream or waterfall of love and joy, something immense and strong, but delicate at the same time, an almost tangible and silky feeling of…of what? I couldn’t find a name for it, but it was feeding me as if I had been hungry for centuries without even being aware of it.  But I was sure that that force or that love was exactly what I had been waiting for forever. Did I cry?

"We have to go."  
"What?"
"Open your eyes. We have to go. We are already late."

On our way out, we stood for a while at the table by the door. There were some books and pictures of that man from the black-and-white photo. His eyes were strong and soft, sad and loving. The boy on the stage was saying: "If you want, you can bring your pictures tomorrow. There will be two more meetings." We left. But I didn’t enjoy the theatre that evening.

"Why did he want us to bring our pictures?"
"He said he takes them to New York."
"Why to New York?"
"I don’t know,  but I think that man (pointing to the picture) lives there."

Without seeking any further explanation, as if all was clear and decided, we had new photos of ourselves taken, and in the evening we gave them to the boy from Berlin. He said he would give them to his Master and perhaps he would accept us as his disciples. Meditation, Master, disciple – all this was so completely new, yet so exciting, and I had always been one to take a risk.

The boy left, and a few months passed by. The event was over, and I didn’t think of it any longer. At the end of April, he appeared again in Warsaw and said to me: "Sri Chinmoy has accepted you as his disciple."

I felt the needle of the compass whirling suddenly and strongly in the middle of my chest, and a feeling of incredible joy and victory. I started to laugh. The arrow had hit the centre of the target.