A spiritual teacher can come in the most unlikely of places.  Picture yourself in India, in the presence of a wise soul, listening to stories that resonate with some deeper truth, words that you receive with gratitude, lessons that come free of shame, guilt and harshness.   You might imagine yourself in an ashram, a yoga hall or in the dark corridors of Nizamuddin, the  Sufi quarter of old Delhi.  You might imagine sitting with spine erect and eyelids lowered, or that chanting is resonating in your heart chakras.

Nizamuddin Market

Instead,  you are in the back seat of the ubiquitous Indian vehicle, the mid-sized Maruti, zigging and zagging along the highway from Delhi to Agra, on your way to the Taj Mahal.   This teacher is in the front seat, a simple driver, married with 2 children, and much younger than his eyes would appear.

Prabhim Mehta wove his way through stories as easily as through India’s schizophrenic traffic, with frequent forays into the  themes of surrender, equanimity and acceptance.  We learned about life, loss, and balance in equal measure with laughter and wonder.  To our amazement, his driving never faltered and his tales never ceased.   We learned about his family, his customers, how he learned to drive, and the all-too-many journeys through Rajasthan.  We encouraged him to write a book, and he simply replied, “but who would read it?”  His humility was unparalleled.

By the third day, my heart was sufficiently opened so that tears copiously fell during my last minutes with him.  Like  any old and wise soul, he was direly concerned but urged me to dry my tears and move on.  All is well, and all was well, and I am glad to be alive, having been in the back seat of one Delhi driver, wise and kind.