On a warm and muggy night in Tampa, it was the end of a majestic and wonderful evening. An Isha volunteer, who was one of the very last to have their copy of Midnights with the Mystic autographed, leaned over and said, "Sadhguru, thank you for coming to our town." As Sadhguru signed his name, he quickly replied, "How could I not come, with all the work that you've done."
This magical and enchanted evening was the culmination of five months of intensive effort on the part of a group of energetic volunteers. Knowing that it is a huge privilege to have Sadhguru come to Tampa, the meditators committed themselves to making this happen in a grand way. So it was fitting that this event was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Tampa Bay. They had all worked and worked towards this event, and when the day had come, and the momentous moment was moving swiftly towards them, "It felt to me as if we collectively took a long smooth breath and let it out slowly, as the first visitors began to arrive," one of the volunteers shared.
Sadhguru came to the hotel at around 6:45 pm, of course handling the driving duties himself, with Midnights with the Mystic co-author Cheryl Simone as his passenger. His arrival had the air of the red carpet at a Hollywood awards program with a throng of volunteers waiting to greet him with a garland of flowers and escort him to the grand ballroom. Grand Hyatt Hotel personnel were also present as greeters and so the last of the attendees and other hotel guests who happened to be around quickly realized that someone very significant had just arrived.
At 7:15 pm, after a short video depicting the worldwide work of Isha Foundation and Sadhguru's many and varied humanitarian activities, Sadhguru took his seat on the dais with the grandeur of 1300+ people waiting to hear him speak. A wave of gratitude and inexplicable emotion came over many of the volunteers as they realized their efforts to bring Sadhguru to Tampa had turned into reality. For some it was hard to fight back the tears.
One of the local newspapers had this to say about the upcoming event: "This Sunday, local folks get the chance to meet Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, a spiritually enlightened individual who also happens to be a renowned Indian yogi and mystic, as well as an author, teacher and peace delegate." The writer ended with this remark, "Rumor has it that Vasudev is a charismatic speaker, and he'll likely offer some fulfilling insight to those feeling spiritually starved." As Sadhguru began his talk, he quickly demonstrated that his speaking abilities are no rumor. He immediately captivated the large audience with his easy-going and approachable demeanor, quick wit and humor. Once again, Sadhguru proved his special knack for sizing up an audience and extemporaneously tailoring his talk to the mood of the crowd.
He started by putting everyone at ease, poking a bit of fun at himself with the suggestion that he appeared to be the only one who clearly was in the right line at the airport which had him being checked into the country as an alien. He then de-mystified what it meant to be a mystic, in a way which made it seem as though he were having a one-on-one conversation with everyone in the room.
From there Sadhguru launched into his discourse on the importance of Inner Engineering as a process through which one could experience one's true nature. The goal of life's seeking is close, very close, he said. All that is missing is the right technology to approach it. He drove home the point with great clarity that the creation and the creator are within each and every one of us, and it should be our life's work and purpose to realize and experience this for ourselves.
During a portion of the talk, a Tampa summer thunderstorm raged outside. It accentuated Sadhguru's point that while we can't always control our outer environment, we can control our inner atmospheres. And what a blissful atmosphere it was for those two hours of being in Sadhguru's presence. As is the case whenever he speaks, two hours went by as though it were a few minutes. Sadhguru's talk ended around 9:15pm and a long line formed quickly for the book signing segment of the evening. Cheryl and Sadhguru autographed books for forty-five minutes without any apparent signs of writer's cramp.
At 10:00 pm, 100+ meditators were back in the hall seated on the floor for a special Sathsang session with Sadhguru. He continued some of his thematic discussion from the talk. A main point was that we should confront the challenges of life with emptiness, for emptiness is vast enough to hold everything. After a short question and answer period, Sadhguru saw everyone off with "Brahmananda Swaroopa", a powerful chant about all-inclusiveness, boundlessness and ultimate bliss.
In addition to the 1300+ guests and the volunteers who experienced the Midnights with the Mystic tour, Sadhguru also made some other appearances and left lasting impressions on many more people while he was in town.
Sadhguru on local TV Sadhguru and Cheryl Simone were guests on the WTSP morning show, Studio 10. Cheryl recounted the story of her search for inner peace that led her to Sadhguru. And Sadhguru answered the ever recurring question, "What is the meaning of life?" You can watch the segment here.
Mayor proclaims "Sadhguru Day" On Monday evening, Sadhguru attended a private dinner party in Seminole to which a select group of local business and community leaders were invited, including the mayor of Seminole. The Mayor spoke highly of Sadhguru and his many humanitarian initiatives, reading a proclamation that declared 4 August 2008 as "Sadhguru Day" for the City of Seminole.