In my younger days, if I were at the trial of Jesus, I would have probably voted with the rest of the crowd to crucify him. I used to be such a judgmental and closed minded person, which is probably why in 1999 all my traveling companions abandoned me in Sri Lanka, a small island formerly known as the Island of Serendipity off the southern coast of India.
Luckily, right before they abandoned me I had just finished a week long meditation retreat; otherwise, I might have struck them down “with great vengeance and furious anger” Pulp Fiction style. At the retreat an experienced meditator whom other guests called the “sitting one” said that I needed to go to India to get a hug from a guru named Amma. Continue reading →
Sometimes the smallest incidents reveal the deepest secrets. I was standing at the cross walk in front of our condo with my two sons in a double stroller, when a woman walked up and pressed the button to cross the street, “beep.” I had already pushed the button before she arrived, but I just smiled and waited for the light to change. “Beep, beep,” again the same woman pressed the button twice more. When the light did not change, she went in for another round, “beep, beep.” I could tell that she was getting upset that her desire to cross the street was not instantly gratified. In my younger days, I would have said, “you know, it’s on a timer don’t you. You can press it until it plays Mozart, but the light will not change any faster.” Instead, I just watched the light for crossing traffic turn yellow, then red. Then the left turn light lit up, but still the disembodied red hand mocked us from across the 4 lane expressway. “Beep,” the woman poked the button one last time in anger.
After dropping my kids off at school, I returned to the same cross walk. “Beep,” I pressed the button. I started to think about how much work I had to do at home after I cleaned up the breakfast dishes. “Beep,” I unconsciously pressed the button again. Have you ever done this? Why do we do this? Continue reading →
A close friend of mine is going through a nasty divorce. He has two beautiful kids, so a lot is at stake. His wife’s lawyer is falsifying dates in order to get his client alimony for the rest of her life. My friend is upset that if the ruling goes against him he will be paying a large chunk of his hard-earned money to his lawyer, his wife’s lawyer, his wife, and a bunch of other people who have no interest in the welfare of his children. I remember an English Professor in graduate school once told me that you never recover psychologically nor financially from a divorce. I hate to believe that this is true, but I’ve never been divorced so I cannot speak from experience. What I have experienced, however, is how gurus treat different disciples differently. Some disciples are treated like first-born children–they never leave the guru’s side; they receive constant nurturing. Other disciples are treated like red-headed step-children–they are expected to clean the latrines, instructed to meditate in caves, or encouraged to go on missions or pilgrimages. The great gurus know exactly what the disciple needs to attain enlightenment. Could it be that divorce is an everyday guru that is giving certain individuals exactly what they need?