Getting a visa to visit the United States from my home country is no easy matter. Our government doesn’t want to lose any more citizens to that land of much greater opportunity. And the U.S. isn’t exactly recruiting new residents from where I was born. Several people I knew, including a member of my family, had already tried and failed.
Still, when I heard about the Yoga Teacher Training course offered at Ananda Village in California, I decided I had to come. I am trained as a lawyer, so I went about preparing the documents in my most lawyerly way. I started with a formal letter of invitation from Ananda that explained what the course was about and how long it would last, to show that my intention was to go to the U.S. and then return home.
I even prepared a speech and rehearsed it word for word in my mind.
Finally the big day came, and there I was standing in front of the consul. Suddenly my mind went absolutely blank. I managed to hand him the letter of invitation but forgot all the other documents, even though they were right there in my purse. Every word of my prepared speech disappeared from memory.
Without any conscious decision on my part, I found myself mentally chanting, “God, I love You. God, I love You. God, I love You.” I was behaving as if I were in front of my meditation altar in the privacy of my home, not standing before the consul trying to get a visa. But I was unable to do anything except silently repeat, “God, I love You.”
The consul carefully examined the letter of invitation. “How nice that you are going to train as a yoga teacher,” he said with a warm smile. “Yoga is a very useful discipline.”
Even when, a few minutes later, he handed me my multiple entry visa into the United States, my mind stayed blank except for “God, I love You.”
Friends and family were amazed that I got the visa at all, and incredulous when they heard that it was given to me without benefit of any of my carefully prepared materials.
My only explanation was, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.”