I first got to know Anand at the beginning of 2016 when he enrolled in my Masterful Living Course. He has been a cherished member of our community for nearly four years. In the nearly four years that he’s been part of our spiritual family many of us have come to know Anand, and his beautiful shining heart, very well.
Anyone who knows Anand knows that he is a talker. He has a very active mind, and a heart as big as the sky. Nothing is more interesting to him than to be able to connect with others and to share this journey of life together, to make sense of it, to find our way to more Love, more Peace and more Joy.
When I first had the opportunity to know Anand he was struggling on many fronts, and I have watched him grow, shift, and change. Through our many discussions and his diligent inner work and prayers, he came to realize that BY FAR the most important thing to him is to be loving to the precious people in his life.
We all heard him say again, and again and again, how important it was to him to be a good husband to Linda, to really support her and make her life better. He felt the same way about his parents. It was extremely important to him that they feel cared for and loved by him, and that their relationships be harmonious and loving.
Anand saw early on that the key to happiness and love in his relationships was for him to stop judging himself and everyone else. He became ever more vigilant in catching his judgmental thoughts, and tossing them out of his mind for the unhelpful distractions that they are.
Even though life was sometimes quite challenging for Anand with his physical body issues, he grew ever more enthusiastic about this journey through life and his ever-expanding ability to Love without conditions, and to see the perfection and beauty that is in everyone and everything if we’re willing to see it.
Anand’s enthusiasm for being able to shift out of negative mental and emotional patterns into being able to extend compassion and Love to everyone he met, was infectious and inspiring to all of us in community with him.
Anand became a facilitator of one of our Mastery Circle’s this year and was so completely loved by the participants in his care. So much so, that they weren’t content to meet just every other week and had been meeting every week, just to have the benefit of learning with him and from them. Anand told me just the week before his passing how much he loved being able to be a facilitator and what a blessing it was to him too.
Anand and I were going to talk next week about how he could deepen his spiritual practice and also how he could be of greater service. He told me that he had never been happier in this life. What a gift to feel that way so fully just as you are taking leave of this world!
Clearly, Anand’s gifts and talents are needed elsewhere, and heaven has an idea of how he can be more helpful and spread his enthusiasm in other ways than hanging out with us.
To say that Anand will be missed in our lives is an epic understatement. His is a presence like no other. A friend and spiritual brother like no other.
I keep thinking of the words of the beautiful poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye:
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there.
I did not die.
What I’ve felt ever since I recovered from the initial shock of the news that Anand had passed, is his great enthusiasm, his wholehearted laughing with joy, his delight at the adventure that lays ahead, and his desire to help us all feel Joy at having had the opportunity to love him and be loved by him. I feel he is constantly reminding us not to weep for him, nor to cry for ourselves, or think of loss, but instead to celebrate the gift of life we share with him and that still lies before us.
He is still reminding us to love, to laugh, to live fully and to forgive.
Anand blessed our lives, as we blessed his. No regrets. Just love. That’s what he knew was most important. We can honor him by loving each other and ourselves and celebrate his life of great Love. Thank you, Anand, for your many gifts of Love. You taught us so much!