The Foundation Within

Mar 31, 2024

Periodically, publishes 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. This month’s reflection is from Joel Metzger, currently residing in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, USA.

“No, no. Definitely not! Lasting contentment is not possible for anybody.“

Years ago, this is what I believed. From every direction in my life, I faced obstacles, conflicts, and demands. My mood bounced up and down many times every day. Was it possible for me to experience contentment that does not slip away? No way!

The cynic in me could not imagine a comfortable future. But I kept searching. I often read books on self-improvement and attended lectures on spirituality. And yet, I could not find what I wanted.

That is, until I heard about Prem Rawat.

People were telling me: “He helps you feel the contentment that you already have inside.” But this made no sense to me. I thought: “I’m pretty self-aware. How can Prem Rawat show me something in myself that I do not already know?”

Still, his words spoke to me in a deep way and eventually my next step became obvious – to experience, for myself, what he called “Self-Knowledge.” That is, learn how to turn my attention from the outside world to a place of peace within myself.

The Self-Knowledge that Prem Rawat helps people experience is very simple. I felt as if I was entering a room in my own house that was ignored and forgotten. In time, by practicing the techniques that Prem Rawat taught me, I came to appreciate the delicious simplicity that filled this room and began experiencing a feeling of enduring beauty and strength.

I felt as if I was entering a room in my own house that was ignored and forgotten.

On the outside, I watched my life blossom – a happy marriage, a sweet young daughter, and the flowering of a great career. We lived in a big house with a swimming pool. A golf course and the ocean were a short walk from home. My life was all I could hope for – the ideal picture postcard. 

But those outside circumstances are not in our control, and sometimes things shift and change. This truth was soon demonstrated to me, suddenly and traumatically. 

I recall nothing of that night and know only the newspaper’s account and police report. I was driving home, alone, to my wife and daughter at a safe speed after a quiet evening with friends. Another driver was speeding towards me on the wrong side of the road. He was highly intoxicated. Our cars collided head-on at a combined speed of 120 mph (190 kph). The drunk driver was thrown from his car and died immediately, along with his passenger. 

For two months, I lay unconscious in a hospital. Doctors offered little hope. “Severe brain damage,” they told my family. “Life in a nursing home.” 

In the first weeks after my accident, hope came as my coma lightened. However, waking did not happen overnight like in the movies. The next two months were a nightmare of being unable to talk, walk, or think clearly. 

In my surreal dream, I was taken away from my family and friends, dragged cross-country, institutionalized in a locked ward of mental patients, and subjected to painful procedures. Then came seven months of rehabilitation therapy, all day long. At first, I was more like a newborn than an adult, and needed to relearn how to talk, walk, count, and relate to other people. I dramatically improved, however, much to the surprise of my doctors.

At first, I was more like a newborn than an adult, and needed to relearn how to talk, walk, count, and relate to other people.”

I now live with a serious disability that impairs me both mentally and physically. My sense of physical balance is pitiful, and I need two canes when I walk. My reaction time is diminished, and I cannot drive a car. My speaking ability is also impaired. My unclear speech is especially frustrating when I want to communicate the clarity that comes to me from my practice of Self-Knowledge. 

In my life, devastating chaos struck me out of the blue. In just one night, my entire world fell apart. I lived through a practical demonstration of the experience that part of life can change and another part is constant. Until this proof, my understanding of that reality was merely intellectual. 

Now when I find myself standing on shaky ground, I know how to steady myself with true strength and stability. Prem Rawat helps me recognize an enduring foundation within. No words can express my gratitude.

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