I'm sitting in the Neptunian Women's Club in Manhattan Beach, at our normal weekly Lakshmi meeting, but it's not normal. I doubt it ever is, but tonight I can't even cling to the illusion of normality — Rama is farther 'out' than I've ever seen him. It's hard to put a finger on what makes this night different — he's as funny as ever, his talk is as precise as ever — but somehow there is a quality to Rama and to the room that I've never felt this powerfully before. The quality is absorption.
Rama talks and answers questions as usual, but as the night gets later and later, the pauses between each burst of speech grow longer. He speaks for a while, answering someone's question, but then instead of looking for the next question, his eyes close, seemingly of their own volition, and he slips seamlessly into samadhi. Rama just sits there, totally absorbed, and the room fills with silence and an intense white light. It is as if tonight the silence is running things, and when it calls, Rama has no choice but to follow. Some of the pauses last for seconds; others go on for 30-40 minutes.
No one seems to mind. We meditate along with Rama, experiencing second-hand what it is to be a prisoner of light. Around midnight, he opens his eyes, looks around the room, and says, "That's enough for tonight. Go home.” About half the group gets up and leaves, but Rama's eyes close again and he remains in his chair, seemingly unable to move.
The rest of us know the feeling — we don't move, either. We sit quietly for another hour or so, no one daring to disturb the incredible level of silence in the room. Rama opens his eyes again, seems surprised to see us still there, and says, "Ok, this is it now — everybody go home!” But then he slips back into samadhi, and although about half the remaining group gets up and leaves, I cannot join them. I couldn't move if I tried.
This goes on for hours; I think we finally left sometime after 4:00 a.m. At some point, Rama gives up the pretense of trying to get the rest of us to leave, and begins to intersperse his periods of absorption with amazing talks. We're talking high-level stuff here — answers to questions he's refused to deal with for years, prophecies about what to expect in the coming decades, amazing amounts of data — but somehow, at least for me, more information is conveyed by the periods of silence.
It's as if the 'talks' are about finite bandings of light — colors, as it were. But the real talk is about infinite light — white light — from which all colors emerge and into which they are absorbed. And the lesson is about how we can become absorbed, too.