This is an experience I had immediately after Hurricane Rita
impacted us on September 24, 2005. I had just returned from the 10 Day Deepening Process for enlightenment at
Sri Bhagavan's ashram in Golden City, India.
Peace in a Hurricane
copyright © 2005 - by Enlightenment-Online.com
Living in Louisiana 250 miles north of New Orleans, I was far away from the wrath of Hurricane
Katrina* only to be impacted by Hurricane Rita just two days after I
returned from the 10 day deepening process in India.
Hurricane Katrina was pretty much a nonevent for us. We didn't even get the much needed
rain we'd hoped for out of it. That day (August 29, 2005) was overcast, breezy with steady 25 mph winds, and
a few periodic sprinkles of rain. Hurricane Rita, just four weeks later, was quite a different
The eye of Rita came closer to us as the storm moved inland and resulted in much higher winds,
three inches of rain (which we still needed since it hadn't rained since Katrina), some downed tree branches and
power lines. I was one of the lucky ones and was without electricity for only sixteen hours.
Before I left for India I'd emptied the refrigerator of perishable food, so I was completely out
of several necessary items. There's a nice grocery store about three blocks from my house where I often shop,
so the day after I returned from India I went to the supermarket to restock the basic necessities of bread, milk,
eggs, fruit, etc. To my surprise the store's parking lot was almost full, something I'd never seen before,
and inside there were long lines of people in the checkout lanes. Even though I'd shopped here for several
years I'd never seen so many people in this store at one time.
As I stood in one of several long lines at the checkout counter, I asked the lady in front of me
what was happening. She said that everyone was "stocking up in preparation for the hurricane." My
immediate thought was an incredulous, "Why?!? All it's going to do is rain." Then I noticed the other
shoppers had their carts filled with cases and cases of bottled water, canned food, toilet paper, batteries,
etc. I also began to notice the solemn seriousness on their faces.
Fear pervaded. But that's not what I felt at all.
I paid for the nine items I had in my basket and went home. Even though I admit there was
one fleeting thought as to whether I, too, should be worried, for the most part the difference in my attitude from
the other shoppers was striking. So much so that I stopped to take stock of exactly how I felt.
The 10 Day Deepening Process was just that--a deepening--and among a number of things, resulted
in a deepening of the peace I already felt. I can best describe this as a feeling of being in an "outrigger
of peace." If you can picture a Hawaiian outrigger (a canoe-type boat with large floats on either side of it
extending out over the water creating a stabilizing effect), that's how I feel. I'm in a huge outrigger of
peace--so large and so stable it can't be shaken.
This was all becoming clear to me amidst the wind and rains of Hurricane Rita. There was no fear
or apprehension, and I fared perfectly well. The food, candles, and batteries I already had at home were
plenty. I couldn't help but think back to a time six years ago (long before I ever heard of Bhagwan) when the
electrical power went off for 24 hours. I remembered how angry, frustrated and very impatient I was with the
whole situation, but not this time. I felt none of that.
I've found that sometimes our experiences of the "qualities of enlightenment" can be quite
dramatic, but they can also be very subtle. And it may take something out of the ordinary (in this case, a
hurricane) for us to notice just how deeply these "qualities" have seeped within us and how strongly we've come to
stand in them. The plane of peace I'm now centered in is far broader and much more stable than
We often expect immediate and dramatic results from the enlightenment deekshas we receive, and
sometimes it happens that way. Other times we just begin to recognize later that there's been a slow, steady
blossoming within us of the qualities we've been seeking. They can accrue so quietly, gradually, and
naturally that they become a part of our everyday lives without much notice or fanfare.
No one can predict how the deeksha energies will unfold, grow, and flower inside us, what this
flowering will bring or the timing it will take. We can only receive it as it comes and express our gratitude
when it manifests. I'm forever grateful to Amma and Bhagavan for everything I've received, both the profound
and the reflective, and look forward to everything that's still to come.
* Creation comes out of destruction--
The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina spawned rebirth in many forms. One beautiful creation is
a website by a Louisianan (her story as a hurricane survivor is quite interesting), and is dedicated to the people and spirit of New
If you've ever visited or seen pictures of New Orleans and loved the ambiance of its style and
architecture, her site shows how you can bring some of that historic grace into your own home and garden.
I've included this link to her site out of my own love for this beautiful city where I once lived.
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