There is a small, hand-painted sign in the dining room at The Expanding Light Retreat that says: “The Guest is God.” Those of you who have been here and seen that sweet little sign have probably been struck in some way by the gracious power of our retreat motto. The thought may have crossed your mind that you weren’t feeling much like God, looking much like God, acting much like God, in coming to the retreat.
If the retreat were to have a second motto, it just might be: “Come as you are,” as this is truly how God arrives here, in each of you – just as you are. The Guest who is God may be a young person from Israel who’s come to the retreat for our month-long Yoga Teacher Training. God may have a guide dog and have come to rest and restore after a traumatic incident that has changed who God is in her. Perhaps God arrives as a mother needing to re-frame her life as her children grow and live their own lives. God often comes as a karma yogi, young or old, rich or poor, seeking or found. God may come for a weekend and just barely touch the surface of how our staff and teachers live the teachings of Yogananda. God may come for 3 months of personal retreat, looking like the wounded warrior, and very slowly become healed and blessed.
So, however God is in you, come as you are. Because here the Guest is God, and here we see God’s love, peace, joy, expansion, hope, and energy in each and everyone of you.
I call this the “Come As You Are” affirmation, my very favorite of Yogananda’s Scientific Healing Affirmations:
I will go forth in perfect faith
In the power of Omnipresent Good
To bring me what I need
At the time I need it.