I was what you call a classic unconscious seeker

Rupantar is the race director for the ultradistance races we put on in the New York area, including the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile race - the world's longest race.

I was what you call a classic unconscious seeker. I was an ordinary person in high school. I was an athlete, but I never heard of spirituality, meditation, yoga or anything like that. I went to university and I was a good student. I didn't do anything crazy, never tried any weird stuff, and was just an ordinary person.
    
I love to read though. I always enjoyed reading. I was an English literature major, and in my last semester I had to choose my courses. I chose a course which I knew nothing about, on Eastern religions.

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So in my last semester of college, I'm taking a course on Eastern religions. The books were by Suzuki and Alan Watts. Those were the main proponents in the West on Eastern philosophy. Early in the course, the teacher mentioned meditation, just mentioned it. I was curious and wanted more information on it. After class, I went up to the teacher to ask him about what he could suggest, books to read on meditation.

I was waiting in line and as it turned out, there was a disciple of Guru's in the class. He told me afterwards that he never, ever did this before: he just walked up to me and interrupted me on the line and started talking to me. As soon as he started speaking to me, I think I became a disciple. He didn't have to do anything.

I met with him every day. Because I went to a Catholic school, we met in the church. He would meditate and we would meditate together. I would ask him millions of questions. But everything he said, I accepted. There was no hesitation. I actually think I became a disciple immediately, even though I wasn't conscious of what a disciple meant.

At this time, Guru had a Centre in Wilton, Connecticut. It was a small house in suburban Connecticut. It was a two-story house. On the second floor Guru held the meditation.

You couldn't see Guru if you weren't a disciple because all the disciples were up front and Guru was off to the side. So I stood in the back with my friend, who was a disciple, and just tried to absorb everything.

This was in 1971, May of '71, and at that time Guru was very approachable. After the meeting was over, Guru went down to the ground floor and sat in a chair amidst everybody. The disciple brought me up to Guru and introduced me to Guru. I still can see the whole picture. I can see Guru with his beautiful smile, sitting in the chair.

Then Guru said, "You have a very beautiful soul."
But I think everybody has a beautiful soul.

Sri Chinmoy and Rupantar a few years later, in 1977

What you need
You can get only From your heart-book,
And that heart-book Is God’s Compassion-Eye.

Sri Chinmoy 1