Back in early 2005 I had to have some major dental work done that wound up requiring that thirteen teeth be pulled—either six upper and seven lower, or seven upper and six lower, I can’t remember now. In any case, it required that I not only go to the dentist for the work, but that I also go to an oral surgeon for the extractions. I had decided to just have local anesthesia rather than be knocked out with a general anesthetic because the general would have cost me $300 more; plus, with the locals I could drive myself to and from the surgeon’s office which was only about three or four miles from my house—so I didn’t have to rely on getting a ride.
The evening before I was scheduled to go in for the surgery I sat down to meditate before going to bed, if for no other reason than to calm myself down in order to get a good night’s sleep. As soon as I sat down and closed my eyes I felt a sort of cone come down over me. Inside the cone was complete peace, calm, and love—calm, quiet love. Not ecstasy, not bliss, just infinite quiet love. And one more thing: the absolute sense of Babaji being there with me and that the love and peace were coming from him, for me. His presence was so strong that I opened my eyes several times to see if he was actually in the room. I sat in that cone of love for I don’t know how long, maybe 20 to 30 minutes, and then it was gone. And I was left with the effect of it, which was that every cell and fiber of my being was still in that calm quiet love. But nevertheless I hopped up and walked around the house, looking for Babaji. I could still feel him, I could still sense him, I just couldn’t see him. At one point I stood in the middle of my living room saying out loud, “I know you’re here. I can feel you. I want to see you.” And I walked around the house looking for him, hoping to see him. But I didn’t; but every time I asked to see him I could feel his presence even stronger.
So I went to bed and slept soundly until it was time to get up and get ready to go to the surgeon’s office. I drove there, reported in, and sat down in the waiting room: Babaji and I, still there, just like the night before. When I finally got into the dentist’s chair I could barely contain myself: every time I closed my eyes I would see Babaji’s face and then I would begin to dissolve into an ocean of gold-white light, and I’d get so blissed out that I would have to fight to keep myself from breaking down and crying (and having to explain the surgeon and his nurse what I was doing and why I was crying.) The surgeon put a large number of swabs in my mouth, one for each shot of local anesthetic—my mouth must have looked like a half spilled box of Q-tips. He kept asking me if I was OK and I kept mumbling in his direction, all the while trying to keep my composure and not cry from the bliss. He eventually started giving me the injections—I don’t know how many, but very many—and asking me after each one if I was OK (and I would mumble as usual).
Eventually the surgeon decided that I was numb enough to begin with the extractions. Along with the extractions he had to do some small local surgery so there was some cutting and stitches involved. I didn’t feel a thing. In fact, through it all, which lasted close to two hours, my biggest problem was to keep from crying from the bliss. Every now and then the surgeon would use more force than normal and it would distract me, and every time I would see Babaji’s face floating in an infinite field of gold-white light, and Babaji would call me back, and I would once again be submerged in the light. But I wasn’t concentrating, I wasn’t focusing, I was just submerged and merged—no effort on my part: it wasn’t a matter of yoga or mind control.
When I was through I was so blissed out that I was laughing, which isn’t something you want to do with a completely numb face and a mouth full of gauze pads. The surgeon explained that he wanted to see me again in four days; he said he normally did post-op follow-ups after ten days to two weeks, but he was going away to a conference during that period and he wanted to make sure I was OK before he left.
So I drove home and sat around waiting for the numbness to wear off, expecting my mouth to be extremely sore from all the surgical trauma. I was surprised when I could once again begin to feel my face, since I had been expecting things to be quite sore—but they weren’t. So I went to bed, thinking that my mouth would probably be sore in the morning, kind of like a cut or bruise being much more sore on the second and third days than on the day you get hurt. But I woke up in the morning to no soreness, and I had none during the day, or that night, or the next day, or the day after. And I never took any pain killer at all, not even an aspirin, nothing. There was no pain, period.
On the fourth day I went back to the surgeon for the post-op follow-up. He took one look at my mouth and said, “This is impossible! You’re healing like a six year old! I’ve never seen anything like this.” I just smiled. I couldn’t explain it to him. I couldn’t even begin.
Whenever I think of Babaji I always get that immediate sense of the calm, quiet love he has for me. It’s just there, that’s just the relationship he and I have. It’s strange, I guess, but I never think of him as being an avatar, or a satguru, or my satguru, none of that. Instead I think of him as my friend. Plain and simple: my friend. When I think of him as my friend is when I most strongly sense his love for me and mine for him.