what is real? are you sure???

Have you seen Kumare?

You need to!

In a tiny nutshell that doesn't do this mind-blowing documentary justice, it's the (true) story of a man who pretends to be a guru to see who will follow him.

At first, the experiment is pretty much a joke to him, but as real followers begin to entrust their lives in this phony sage, things take a much more serious turn.

Kumare (aka Vikram Ghandi), finds himself with a multitude of fragile, vulnerable lives in his hands and the moral responsibility to guide them with loving kindness.

It's a fascinating transformation to watch Kumare metamorphosize from cynical prankster to--if you'll excuse the expression--a modern-day Jesus Christ.

See this film. Now.

It's a story that begs the question of whether there really is such thing as a guru and, if so, what defines one?

Is someone a guru because they say they are? Because others think they are? And what is their social responsibility once elevated to that pedestal?

Anyway...this blog post isn't meant to be a film review. It's actual about a Kumare experiment I ran myself...and the results that just blew me away.

In the movie, Kumare invents a bullshit partner meditation (pardon my French) called Blue Light Meditation. I was watching the film with half of my spring Teacher Training group and one of the girls suggested we do the meditation the next day in training. Each person who watched the movie would pair up with someone who didn't watch the movie and we wouldn't let them in on the joke.

We thought this would be HYSTERICAL. We died laughing just thinking about it.

Every day in my teacher training starts with meditation, so I opened the next day explaining the Indigo Light Meditation we would be doing that day.

I changed Blue to Indigo because it's a sixth chakra type of an activity and it seemed more legit.

Though it wasn't my intention, in explaining this indigo light that emanates from our third eye, I spontaneously launched into a lecture on each of the chakras, their energies, colors, and imbalances, which lent a lot more credibility to the exercise.

Basically, we would pair up and faces partner, gaze into their eyes and take the energy from our heart chakras and offer it to our partner. Again...this was a completely made up meditation, created as a joke by a fake guru in Scottsdale.

As we began the meditation, those of us in on the joke (me, I'm embarrassed to say, included) could not stop laughing. Those not in on the joke were confounded by our laughter and fully vested in the meditation.

And then, at about minute five (of ten) something amazing happened. My partner started crying. As I stared in her eyes, I could feel her love and vulnerability, beseeching me for comfort. And things got really serious.

Just like Kumare himself, I realized this was not a joke at all. My partner was deeply spiritually connected to me at that moment and she needed me. And I needed to take care of her...without any words or touch, just with my eyes and my offering.

Everything shifted in the entire room. No one was laughing anymore. Everyone was viscerally connecting to her partner. The joke became perhaps the most poignant moment of the entire training.

After the meditation, we each talked about what we experienced.

My partner, still choked up with tears, said that she had so much pressure on her life and so much imbalance, but in the meditation she knew that I was there for her, supporting her, and making everything okay.

While my original intention was to reveal to the non-movie watchers that this meditation was just a fake, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Instead, I talked about how powerful and transformative it was--because it was!--and how palpable the connection was between us.

Ironically, that was exactly what happened to Kumare when it was time for him to reveal his true self. He looked into his disciples eyes and decided he just couldn't do it (see the movie!!!!).

I knew I had to tell them the truth and cried that night because I felt I had betrayed their trust.

When I did tell them the next day, the previous day's laughter had turned to tears. I was so ashamed.

But no one was upset.

Because it was REAL.

No matter where it came from or what I originally thought, it was so real.

I did the meditation again in my summer training--this time before anyone saw the movie--and, again, the results were astounding.

See for yourself...

And ask yourself: What is really real after all?

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