Master arrived at Tampa airport at 8: 30 p.m., and was driven to St Petersburg Beach, where He was scheduled to stay at the Sandpiper Hotel. A reporter from the St Petersburg Independent was among the hundreds present at the airport, and she accompanied Him to the hotel; the next day, a very long, perceptive article with many pictures appeared in the paper.
Morning meditation sessions were held at the hotel; afternoon sessions, preceded the first day by a delicious lunch served to all 400 persons present, were held at the home of Mrs Sunnie Cowen, the local group leader. These were wonderful times enjoyed by all, on the shore. The police, who came to check on the large number of cars parked on the streets, stayed to hear the Master’s talk. Evening talks were given at the Unitarian Church, St Petersburg Junior College, and Eckert College. In the late evening, after the talks were over, Master would come down by the hotel swimming pool and give darshan to the dear ones. One night Master was talking very beautifully and intimately about some of the helping factors He had found in His own practice:
He mentioned John Bunyan, the author of ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress,’ whose motto was, Write something daily.
Then He referred to Henry Stanley, the famous African explorer; his motto was, Finish something daily.
He asked us all which was better; then told us: I think Stanley’s is better.
He said not to put off till tomorrow what could be done today; He said,
If you work that way, you will wake refreshed; otherwise, that unfinished work will be going round and round in your head.
He said to meditate until we were satisfied, and told a story of two farmers who used to meditate every morning until they saw the Radiant Form of the Master. One day they did not see Him; and it so happened, that that was the day they were to take their turn to get water from the canal, which they badly needed for their crops. If they missed their turn, they would be in trouble indeed. But they decided between themselves to continue meditating until they saw His form. And He came up, because they had sacrificed for Him; and with His Grace they did not miss their turn at the water.
He said further,
Make best use of your nights – don’t sleep until sleep overtakes you; help others, do introspection, and meditate.
He added very humbly,
This is the way that I have followed.
At this magical session, there were a group of Spanish-speaking disciples present who knew no English – some of them had come up from South America – and Master wanted His message translated into Spanish. So one translator was found, a dear young man who was invited by the Master to come right up and sit beside Him so he could translate over the microphone. The man was so overwhelmed at being so close to the Master that he kept forgetting what Master was saying, so that Master had to repeat His message over and over again, to the edification and amusement of all. It was a loving and relaxed time.
Initiation was given on the morning of 5th December to 46 persons at the Sandpiper Hotel. The next morning the Master left for Miami at 6 a.m.