Sadhguru marked his debut in California on the Midnights with the Mystic book tour on 30 May with a stop in San Francisco. The public talk entitled "Evening with the Mystic" was the 3rd book talk in the North American tour, and the first event on the Pacific Coast.
That Friday evening, the Indian Community Center in Milpitas was overflowing with guests that exceeded the expected attendance by far with over 700 people. As they were eagerly awaiting Sadhguru's arrival, a lively group of musicians captivated the audience. To everyone's delight, swirls of color wove into the melodic violin and guitar as a dancer twirled to the transcendent rhythms of the tabla. The crowd was soon mesmerized by the heightening intensity and energy which then set the stage for Sadhguru's arrival.
Sitting resplendently in front of the crowd, Sadhguru spoke with clarity and profundity which struck chords amongst the listeners. During the Question and Answer session which followed, Sadhguru gracefully challenged the questioners rather than the question itself.
The audience, composed of many families with children, sat intrigued as new dimensions unfolded before them. After the inspiring discourse, over a dozen people rushed to register for the upcoming teacher-led Inner Engineering Program in San Francisco.
The invitees then queued to have their newly acquired copy of Midnights with the Mystic signed by Sadhguru. They waited patiently in the long line leading up to a table decorated ornately with tulip petals and leaves, where the guests were enchanted to meet personally with Sadhguru.
People flocked around the merchandise table to purchase copies of other DVDs, CDs and books. The Sounds of Isha music playing in the background tantalized listeners' ears, who keenly purchased copies of the CD which quickly sold out.
The various Isha Projects presented at booths such as Project GreenHands and Isha Vidhya also caught the interest of many.
After the energized public left and the tireless volunteers remained, another treat was yet in store. The meditator musicians and a dancer performed an artistic overture which set the tone for the long-awaited Sathsang with Sadhguru.
Despite the intensity of the day's preparations, the room was bustling with excitement as all sensed the potential for Isha to grow rapidly in California. Many meditators, many of whom were seeing Sadhguru for the first time, were elated at the opportunity to ask questions that had been burning for a long time. Sadhguru's mention of the soon-to-be released Linga Bhairavi CD as a support for one's Isha Yoga practices, refueled everyone's enthusiasm to intensify their sadhana. As the night came to a close and the meditators were soaking up his Presence, Sadhguru left chanting "Brahmananda Swarupa". After such a fruitful evening, everyone felt a shift in gears and an amplification of new possibilities for the San Francisco Bay Area.
During the week, there were several smaller book talks and private gatherings where Californians were eager to meet with Sadhguru.
Honored to have Sadhguru in their home, one family of meditators organized a private dinner at their residence in Walnut Creek on 28 May. A silent hush fell over the room as Sadhguru entered and walked past the guests who stood in awe and great respect. Sadhguru then swiftly initiated conversation on cue while heading outside in the garden with everyone for a tasty homemade meal. Live string music drifted through the gentle breeze, creating a musical backdrop to the dinner conversations. As the sun approached the horizon, sending out streams of golden light over the hills, the guests were led back inside for an evening talk with Sadhguru. Many of them doctors and professionals, the invitees listened attentively as he spoke of inner wellbeing. The playful dialogues between Sadhguru and the hosts created an enjoyable ambiance for all. Following the session which had stirred up the quest for a deeper purpose in life within everyone, many guests encircled the merchandise and projects table, only to leave with their hands full of books and CDs. Touched by Isha Foundation's projects, several people also made generous donations. Despite the fact that it was getting late, many guests were reluctant to leave and continued probing Sadhguru for more answers to their unrelenting questions as they sat around him, seemingly untiring.
Earlier that day, a one-hour live interview and Q& A with Sadhguru was conducted on San Francisco's Radio KZSU, Stanford University's "News, Views & Music" program. In this interview, Sadhguru addressed a range of topics from the question "Why Inner Engineering?", to how to overcome stress, to an overview of Isha Foundation's activities, goals and objectives to the recent book Midnights with the Mystic. Sadhguru also gave an explanation of his well known quote "This life for me is an endeavor to help people experience and express their divinity. May you know the bliss of the Divine."
Perched in the sunny hills of Petaluma, the Institute of Noetic Sciences invited Sadhguru to give a talk to their members on 29 May. The organization is dedicated to exploring the frontiers of consciousness and its relationship to the physical world, while maintaining a commitment to scientific rigor. As he spoke, Sadhguru's words resounded from the eerie silence of the 200-acre Retreat Center, resembling an ashram's stillness. Heads nodded in understanding as the listeners resonated with Sadhguru's scientific approach to spirituality and the work of Isha Foundation. Before breaking for brunch with Sadhguru, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions which encouraged them to delve deeper on their spiritual quest.
Later that evening, the Fields Bookstore in the heart of San Francisco was graced by Sadhguru. Meditators, book lovers and spiritual seekers filled the cozy shop, creating an intimate setting. Many remained standing motionless by the door, or sitting on the floor, almost as if stilled by the energy of Sadhguru's words. Following the discourse, live violin music serenaded the listeners as they approached Sadhguru gently for book signing, or simply for a compassionate hug. Before leaving, to everyone's curiosity, Sadhguru systematically walked past all the towering shelves, and occasionally opened a book which caught his keen eye. As he ultimately turned to leave, there was no doubt that he had left his mark on the people who stood silent in awe, following him with their eyes as he walked out the door.