The Real Deal

mbb-red-background-small1Chameli and I just got back this week from the Transformational Leadership Council meeting, which this time was in Bermuda.  We attend these meetings twice a year, they are usually in very exotic, beautiful places.  It is a group put together by Jack Canfield a few years ago for writers, teachers, and seminar leaders to get together to relax together, network, support and inspire one other.

Before we go on I have to confess to you that the TLC meetings are simultaneously both the most inspiring and the most challenging event of my entire year.  Normally I get to be the king in my own tiny little world.  I’m in the habit of traveling somewhere, being met at the airport, giving a seminar, and being the center of attention.  The TLC meetings throw me back all the way to being a new boy at school.  Everybody in the group is extremely accomplished in their field.  Jack Canfield, as you know, has sold hundreds millions of books with Chicken Soup for the Soul. John Grey is one of the bestselling self-help authors of all time with his Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus series.  The movie The Secret, whether you agree with its philosophies or not, has sold millions of copies and was filmed at a TLC meeting in Vale, Colorado.  So, when I show up I feel truly like a nobody.  And I don’t mean this in the “awakened” way: check in-there is nobody here-there is only space.  I mean it in the I want to crawl under the table and disappear sort of way.  The TLC meetings really bring to the surface whatever feelings of inadequacy or not being good enough that are still lurking to be met.

One of the really high points this time was meeting Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith, who had not been able to attend for several meetings prior.  As you may or may not know, Michael has been in the limelight recently: appearing regularly on Oprah as well the author of Spiritual Liberation and the subject of a new movie.  If anyone might have reason to feel special or exclusive, you could say it’s Michael.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I see people on national television talking about great and lofty ideals I am always curious to know, how are they off-camera?  Are they really living what they are talking about? I brought that same curiosity to meeting Michael, and I am thrilled to send you my report.  Here is an extraordinary, open, humorous, humble and generous human being – remarkably so, in fact.

Being around him for a few days, I saw that he makes no distinction between how much attention or interest to give to different people. What is the opposite of a snob?  That’s what I’m talking about.   He was living the same quality of friendly good-humor with a long-time friend, with a New York Times bestseller, with a Hollywood actress, with the hotel staff, and– I am delighted to say–with Chameli and myself.

There is one moment that really stands out in my mind from that meeting. The entire Transformational Leadership Council was getting on a bus, which would take us to a ferry for dinner at another place on the island.  It was an antique bus, dating back to the first vehicles on Bermuda: open windows and wooden bench seats.  Chameli and I were among the first on, we sat at the front. Slowly the bus filled up with the assembled writers, speakers and teachers.  When Michael got on, he sat on the seat next to us on the other side of the center isle, leaving a space open next to him.  Right at the end, a young man boarded the bus who was working in the kitchen at the hotel.  Like Michael, he had dreadlocks, must have been about 20, and wore a baseball cap backwards on his head.  Michael right away struck up a conversation with this young man, with just as much interest, curiosity and openness he had brought to every meeting and presentation at the conference.  By the time the bus dropped us at the ferry station, they were laughing together and had become friends.

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On the ferry ride itself Chameli and I got to spend our own time with Michael.  He shared with me the remarkable story of his life, characterized by profound spiritual openings in his early twenties which led him to create the Agape Spiritual Community in the early eighties.  He became a father very young, his children have left home now. But he told me that his house in LA is always full. He and his wife love to take care of people, to share all they have and to constantly create community.

This is a very authentic man,  who has touched my heart very deeply.  I recommend you to listen to his words and imbibe his spirit.  Next time you are watching Oprah and wondering if it’s all just make-up and showbiz, rest assured this is a man who walks his talk through and through and through.

Check out Agape’s website here

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8 Responses to “The Real Deal”

  1. Karin August 4, 2009 at 6:32 pm // Reply

    Thank You. For the great text and the absolutely heartwarming photo picturing You, Chameli and Michael. Heartwarming is an understatement. Don’t have words enough as usual so I stop here. Thanks for sharing! 😀 It’s been an amazing day, and so this in the evening… am I lucky or am I lucky 😀

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  2. Anton August 6, 2009 at 7:02 am // Reply

    Nice to hear from you, it is always inspiring…and makes me very curios! One impulse more, to read of any of his books, one of them is waiting long time in my book-shelf,…(chicken soup for the soul), tnx for your sharing, Anton

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  3. Jane August 6, 2009 at 7:13 am // Reply

    I know of Michael through the Unity Organisation – and enjoy his writings and talks. He seems to me to be this really tactile, loving person. Have you heard of Unity? It began way back in 1886 as part of the New thought Movement. Please take a moment to check out the UK site, or best you look at the USA site http://www.unity.org/

    Blessings Jane

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  4. Raindance August 6, 2009 at 8:08 am // Reply

    In regards to Michael Beckwith, what you have observed is truly the case. I know him and his precious wife via their Facebook pages; since I am almost a neighbor to you and Chameli, I am too far away to attend an Agape service. But when he recently had to slim down the numbers on his Facebook page, I received a personal email from him. He took time and care in explaining that he was “up against” the 5000 member limit on his FB page and invited me to join his fan site so we could continue to stay in touch. I still hear as regularly from him on that site. I was so touched that he cared about one person that much, that I wrote him back and thanked him. He and RBB are truly the “real deals”. Thank you so much for sharing this. It was an authentic thing to do. Many blessings…

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  5. Heinz Köllermann August 6, 2009 at 9:36 am // Reply

    Dear Arjuna,
    thank you very much for your honest words and the report about meeting Michael. When stars become human then there is a chance for normal people.
    Thanks a lot.
    Heinz from Germany

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  6. Alice August 6, 2009 at 12:29 pm // Reply

    Rev. Michael is a keystone in the New Thought/Ancient Wisdom movement, as well as the Transformational movement of humanity. Some of us have had to good fortune to be aware of this man for a long time. I was happy to see him recognized by you. I think we might call him a “man-of-god” as he allows his divinity to express completely and always. He channells divine inspiration when he delivers a message, he shows up with his god-self fully exposed. He appears to have transcended egoic drag, he does not suffer from not enoughtness or better than blustering. Praise does not even stick to him, he bounces praise off of him and directs it to all others involved in any endevour. He models Love, he wants everyone to have Love, he knows the Truth about all of us being Love – only Love and we can channell love also.

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  7. Morgine August 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm // Reply

    Thank you for affirming my feelings of the man. I now a couple people who might have been present with you. I do not know of course. However, I found from a friend, they were NOT the same people who write the books, play in concerts and movies. They turned into the angry, money making, wheeling dealing, kinds of people that totally shocked my friend to her depths! She was sharing a house with them and was expected to clean up after them, even though she is an artist in her own right. They were real slobs! She finally had enough and left.

    It is great to know that some of these people are as loving and compassionate and humble as they appear to be!!

    Love, Morgine

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  8. Andrew November 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm // Reply

    You were amazed that Rev. Michael struck up a conversation with someone that sat next to him on the bus? Dude, you need to get out more!
    Nice pic. One suggestion: Have your picture taken out of the sunlight, or start wearing a hat. You could way pull off a fedora, or a miter!

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