Introduction: Five Fingers One Hand

ONE: The Writer

He had just donned his Wellington boots, cap and gardening jacket and was heading out to the garden shed. By the time I caught up with him, he was already shelling some dried beans. I stammered out my big idea.

“Blog?” he asked. “What is that?”

I tried to explain. This was a new way that you could communicate with people on the internet, even people that you didn’t know. We had been recording his talks ever since he arrived in Australia and, as he knew, I hadn’t done much writing at all since the book – but I had been itching to work on the new talks, turn them into articles, or a book – or something. But it would take years to write another book, and all the other things were important too. This blog could solve all of that.

“It is a nice idea,” he said. “Now where will you put these beans? Get some paper to wrap them in. You have to plant them in spring. Brown beans are very good for iron.”

I walked home thinking that sometimes it would be nice to post one of Guruji’s health tips on the blog too.

The idea of keeping a “weblog”, or a kind of diary on the internet, appeals to me on three levels: firstly, I love writing as a creative, and sometimes cathartic pursuit.

Secondly, there are certain challenges involved with a blog. For one thing, I am something of a perfectionist. When it comes to writing, I am inclined to edit any text to the point where the line between good and not so good goes fuzzy. I admire journalists immensely for their ability to write quality articles and reports to a deadline. So, in order to keep this up, I will have to write within strict time-limits and let it go – whoosh, out to the universe.

To introduce myself properly, I would have to say a little about all the main activities in my life, and mention that I can count them up on the fingers of one hand: One: I am a writer. Two: I am a singer-songwriter. Three: I am a performer (well, almost). Four: I am a practitioner of Kriya Yoga – with a family (that last one deserves a sixth finger!) Five: I am a school teacher.

Life is certainly varied, interesting and busy. And believe it or not, my mind has been known to complain that there are simply not enough hours in a day! Surely one of the creative pursuits has to be given up?! Am I destined to be the proverbial ‘Jack of all trades, master of none?’

Then I had an epiphany a couple of months ago. I realised: Five fingers, One hand. Fingers are separate entities, yet they work together and complement each other. And the one hand could not even move without the life-force or prana. You can call it God, Allah, Bhagvan, Cosmic Energy, or whatever you prefer – but without it, there would be no breath, and no life. A blog could serve as a reminder to see each of the fingers as belonging to the whole. To surrender it all to Him, and remember that with God, everything is possible.

So thirdly, whilst I enjoy writing within the context of my personal life experiences, just as I did in Footsteps to Freedom, Four Spiritual Masters and a Beginner, the primary motivation is to link these with talks, stories and examples of my spiritual Guru, Yogi Prakash Shankar Vyas. Without him there would be no blog. But if Guruji’s words continue to bless, benefit, and inspire others half as much as they do me even as I write them, it will be more than a worthwhile endeavour.

Until last week, I had no idea how to start this new project. Guruji speaks and tells stories on so many topics and frankly, all of it makes for fantastic blogging (and song writing material). In a blog anything can change, but it occurred to me to rotate the subject matter according to four main themes: at least these will help me to choose what to write about as I go along.

Over the course of the next four weeks I plan to introduce Guruji a little more fully, update you on the other ‘four fingers’ of my life, and tell you what those themes will be. After that we will get this blog rolling.