My friend Jeannine Perlman — Jah-Woman — has inspired a number of posts here. It makes sense, she was in my Dreamers Club, a spiritual growth group. There I came to appreciate her profound and quietly gushing spirit.
Since then I’ve interviewed her. It took some coaxing, she doesn’t see as quickly what she possesses, what others see.
In the interview Jeannine professed to a spirit crush on Sri Anandamiya Ma, the Hindu saint known as the bliss-permeated mother. Though Sri Anandamiya Ma gained spiritual fame for her teachings, for her inclusion of women among her top disciples, for her tireless yet tranquil pace — for decades she never stayed in one place more than two weeks — it was her darshan that people sought out.
Darshan is a tricky work to translate. It can mean blessing, the way a priest will bless you. It can mean perceiving, specifically perceiving the divine, often in another and especially in the presence of an exalted spiritual figure. In another variation it can mean radiance, the way one connected to spirit radiates the sublime.
I bring this up because Jah-Woman — who reveres Sri Anandamiya Ma, one known for the joy and purity she emanates — also exudes some kind of powerful love-n-peace vibe. You spend a little time talking things spiritual with her and you find yourself enveloped in a heady buzz of goodness.
In her own way, Jeannine gives darshan to those who meet her.
Jeannine’s quietly uplifting presence alerted me to this principle:
You take on the characteristics of those whom you internalize.
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