Don’t Waste Time Counting Cars

i-became-my-heart-leo-cocks-book-cover
In his posthumously published book, I Became My Heart, Leo Cocks tell stories of his experiences with Paramahansa Yogananda in the three years before the guru’s passing in 1952.

At one point, while Leo was living at Lake Shrine, a temple and spiritual sanctuary owned by Yogananda’s organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, he professed a desire to go for a car ride with Yogananda (who was called “Master’ by devotees).

Here is an excerpt that tells how Leo’s desire was granted:

I was thinking I would finally get my ride with Master. I would just be there with him and enjoy his presence. So we got in the car and headed for the Lake. I waited for him to bless me and tell me some stories. But he didn’t do that. He was looking at a newspaper! Then he would put the paper down and see a car coming. Then he would ask me, “What kind of car is that?” Now when I was a kid, I was pretty interested in cars. I used to go down to the showrooms and see the new models and all of that stuff. I’d tell Master what kind of car it was and then I’d sit quietly again. Then he’d do the same thing!

Another car came and another. It seemed like he did that six, eight, ten times! And finally it came to the point where I realized, “Well, I’m not going to be able to meditate and just be with him like I thought I would. I might just as well relax.” I thought I would start to figure out what kind of car it was as it approached. That way, Master wouldn’t have to wait for the answer. I stopped trying to meditate and started watching the approaching cars. Right at that point, he reached over to me and gently hit my chest with the back of his hand. I felt a wonderful peace and joy fill my chest. From then on, he didn’t ask any more about the cars. And for maybe twenty or thirty minutes, I was quiet too, just feeling his presence. I just wanted to do whatever he wanted me to do.

In the end, he gave me what I had wanted. But I had to do it on his terms, you know!

This experience was an important lesson in surrender. I had to let go of my desire to just sit quietly alone with him. I had to tune it with him and what he needed me to do. I had to learn the lesson he was teaching me.


Indeed, Leo wanted the right thing but for the wrong reasons. He wanted the blessings of his Guru, but on his terms, in a way that met his expectations. It is only when he surrendered to a wisdom greater than his own that his intent became pure and his will aligned—through his Guru—with the conscious, living intelligence that governs all of creation. His desire remained beyond his reach until he chose to selflessly serve Spirit instead of selfishly serving his ego. And when his desire was granted, it was infinitely more satisfying than his ego could have imagined.

This dynamic holds true for whatever you desire in life. Only by surrendering do you discern that which is truly valuable. Your soul yearns not for what is external but for what is eternal. And it is only God, it is only Love, it is only Joy that is eternal. Ultimately, a spiritual seeker’s sole desire is to have no desire other than unbroken attunement with the Source of all that is.

You grasp what it means to be in this world but not of it when you find yourself desiring the Giver behind all gifts more than the gifts themselves. If seeking God is not your greatest desire, all the treasures of the world will not satisfy the restless aching deep within your soul for meaning, purpose, and Divine communion.

Surely there is no greater gift to a man than that which turns all his aims into parching lips and all life into a fountain.
And in this lies my honour and my reward,—
That whenever I come to the fountain to drink I find the living water itself thirsty;
And it drinks me while I drink it.

Kahlil Gibran





Click here to view all my posts about Paramahansa Yogananda and Self-Realization Fellowship.





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