When Gangaji and I first came to Budapest in the 1980s, our first impression was of Border Patrol Soldiers with guns and Red Stars on their hats going through our luggage in our train compartment as we crossed the border. (It felt fifties noir at the moment.) So we were totally amazed when our hosts had a small gathering at their flat and we all sang the old hippy song, The River is Flowing together in a circle in their living room.
The River is flowing,
flowing and flowing.
The river is flowing.
Back to the sea.
Oh, Mother carry me
A child I will always be
Oh, Mother carry me
back to the sea.
When we walked into our first meeting at the communist community center, we saw a sweet man with a pony tail playing ragtime piano. I told him he looked like a California hippie. Since then, Akös has translated all my books into Hungarian and has been leading groups and satsang for many years now.
Sudden Awakening is called What Do You Want? in Hungarian and is finding an audience in the community here.
The theme of the retreat was disillusionment. The communist dream seemed like such a great ideal future: The brotherhood of mankind. Each giving what he can and receiving what is needed. Each equal in a non-hierarchical collective. But when it is not a dream of distant reality but something you are living day to day, it is seen to be a nightmare.
Then the dream of capitalism takes hold. Material wealth, comfort, individuality instead of the group, seems like a wonderful dream until you are in it and it is experienced as another nightmare.
Our personal dream of a future with a happy ending with loving partner, adoring children and perfect grandchildren, fulfillment through work, career, art and family is also a wonderful dream of the future. But it never turns out quite that way. To be disillusioned with our personal dream is the gateway to waking up from all dreams.
It was five years since I was last here. It is wonderful to see the depth of love and silence and vigilance in this sangha. It makes my heart sing. The fire of freedom and silence is lit in Hungary.
A Report from Akos
Thank you dear Eli!
Yes it’s an amazing 20 years with lots of changes. It feels good to be a part of your Budapest story. People are reporting me about more and more profound experiences as an after-effect of the Satsang and retreat with you.
The fire of silence is lit again, with even more flames.
I follow Papaji’s instruction: “Put more gasoline on it!”