Shri Mataji's face became serious. "As far as I know," she said, "I am the only one who can do it en-masse. Once, in India, 6000 villagers got it at the same time. But if there is someone else who can do it, then I am only too happy to retire. I am sixty years old." (At times she looks half that.) "I am happily married. I have a beautiful house as you can see. It would be good to settle down and stop all this travelling around all the time. But until I find someone else who can do it, then it is up to me, isn't it? To meet the seekers and let them know how to gain this gift that is their own, their right, this Union with God."

"Could I receive this gift?" I asked. Shri Mataji's eyes danced, "Put your hand above your head," she said. I did as I was told. There was a faint, oh so faint coolness on my hand. I looked round to see if there could be a draught coming from anywhere, but there was no air conditioning and the windows were closed.

"You feel it?" I nodded, tentatively. "That is the beginning. Perhaps while you were drinking your tea you said to yourself, 'I'd like that experience,' and," Shri Mataji snapped her fingers, "you got it. It can only happen if you desire it. Give me your hand."

She took my hand and started tracing a cross over the palm. "You think too much," she said. "Your mind is busy, busy, busy, thinking away." From that moment on it wasn't. It was hardly thinking at all. "Too much thinking can give people diabetes. It is not sugar that causes diabetes, it's thinking. We can cure diabetes. After realization. And this new thing AIDS, after realization we can cure that too. With realization you become your own guru. You can diagnose your own problems and those of others, and you can cure them. Anybody with their realization and the desire to develop their spirit, can cure and be cured."

At this point a wave of most pleasant well-being swept over me. It wasn't a trance or a hypnotic state (I've experienced those) - it was a feeling of deep peace. I regretted my next question. It caused the smile to fade from Shri Mataji's face.

"How much are you going to charge Americans for this experience?"

"It is part of evolution," she replied. "It is a gift of love from God, who is the ocean of love, the ocean of compassion. How can you pay for that? God does not understand money. How can you pay for your evolution? Did you pay to stand up on two legs? Anyway, why would I want money? I come from a wealthy family. My husband is Secretary General of the United Nations International Maritime Organization here in London. I do not need money. I do not accept money." Shri Mataji let go of my hand and smiled.

"Better now?" she asked. I nodded. "That is because your brain is not so active. You are more balanced, more centered, more relaxed. Have some more tea?"

I put my hand above my head again. The coolness was still there. Perhaps even stronger.

"There are so many great seekers in North America," she said. "I want to meet them."

Now, almost a week later, when I sit down quietly, that sense of peace and relaxed happiness returns. I am hoping it won't go away!