Monthly, PremRawat.com will be publishing first-person reflections from people around the world who are experiencing the benefits of practicing the techniques of Self-Knowledge as taught by Prem Rawat – a simple way to turn one’s attention from the outside world to a place of inner peace. Each individual’s reflections are unique, based on their own life experiences. This month’s reflection is from Alla Rogers, currently residing in Washington, D.C.
I belong to a writers’ group and we often begin our writing exercises from prompts. One of the prompts that inspired me to write the following story was from Allan Watts: “Write as if it is your last breath.”
Many years ago, when I was 33, I was faced with a moment in which I thought “this might be my last conscious breath.”
I was in an operating room being prepped for an eight and a half-hour surgery for cancer. I felt vulnerable in my hospital gown, lying on a cushioned stainless steel operating table, covered by a blanket in an otherwise refrigerated room. Both of my arms were extended in order to receive the IV lines. In my mind’s eye, I imagined myself in a benevolent posture of crucifixion and total surrender. The anesthesiologist hovered nearby.
In the slow operating room minuet that signaled I would soon be unconscious, my thoughts presented themselves to me like visitors bearing farewell gifts. Each gift was an affirmation of the goodness of life – my life.
My thoughts drifted past like clouds on a summer day. One by one, they came and went:
“I’m so glad I got to be here.”
“I’m so happy to have experienced so much of this wondrous world.”
“I’m so glad that my biggest questions about life were resolved
with a resounding YES!”
“Does true love exist?”
“Are we complete and whole?”
“Are we human beings the intersection of the finite and the eternal?”
“Is gratitude the simplest expression of prayer?”
To all of these witnesses of my life, I answered YES once again. It was a joyful affirmation of my entire life existence. I was floating in a sea of gratitude.
As I drifted off to who knows where, I prayed for everyone ministering to me in that operating room to be guided. I was at peace and I was grateful.
I then also prayed to hang around just a little longer. That was 42 years ago.
Looking back at the ten years that preceded my moment of truth in the operating room, I realize, now, how much density I had been experiencing – so many highs and lows: marriage, the birth and death of a child, career changes, spousal alcoholism, and financial pressures, just to name a few. But throughout all of it, I was comforted and guided by a simple inner practice I had learned from Prem Rawat at the age of 23 – a practice that provided me with the understanding that all the tools I needed to survive and thrive were already within me.
Prem calls this inner practice “Self-Knowledge” and it has been my anchor and my compass ever since.