Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In threes

On the subway this morning, which was uncomfortably packed, a man's book kept drawing my attention, it was called The Anatomy of Peace, and I noticed that the authors, called The Arbinger Institute, had also written a book called Leadership and Self-Deception. I really need to learn speed reading, there's so much irresistible work out there. Meanwhile the woman across from me was wearing a nurse's uniform decorated with drawings of cartoon cats labelled as to type; fat cat, fast cat, hungry cat, mad cat, aloof cat, and I imagined some sick child who was really bored being greatly cheered up by her uniform.

The bulb above is the third in a run of broken bulbs in the last week or so. The first bulb spontaneously exploded while a bunch of us Brooklyn meditators were meditating. It was a fascinating night. Soon after the group started to meditate it began to rain, and I realized we were on the top floor from the sound of rain on metal above our heads. The rain brought to life the depth of the atmosphere, connecting us to the clouds over head, the thousands of feet in between, the roofing above us, and then the 10 feet of space in the room we were in, now a large drum. It was such a beautiful sound, the falling water drawing a connection between the earthbound and heaven. Then there was some odd sound to our right, and then a loud pop in the back of the room, which was later revealed to be a light bulb with a hole about the size of a quarter smashed into it. I've never seen a bulb burn out like that before.

It brought to mind another experience I'd had at one of the meditation sessions. One night I was there meditating with the group and suddenly got a headache in the region of my third eye. It worsened and lasted for about a day, followed by a day of feeling really down and out. After that the sky cleared and I was really elated and felt a sudden deep and profound appreciation of the treasure of other people's minds and good sense. Not really something I'd ever felt as much appreciation for.

I think the headache was a symptom of letting a defense crumble, renunciating the need to hide from minds that might be out to get me. Even if I may have been scarred by the behavior of some suffering souls whose angry minds seemed so loaded with a will to find fault, the people with whom I rub elbows everyday are kind, well intentioned and incredibly helpful. How beautiful it was to watch the spiritual eye open to witness the beauty and treasure that was there in front of me all along in the form of intelligent and well intentioned minds. It astonishes me how so many people are ready and willing to come to another's aid, as if they were just waiting to be given a chance. They're just like Tara, who sits posed with her right leg extended, ready to leap into action like a lightening bolt.

I wonder what it would be to live in a dream in which I was surrounded by zombies, fools and predators, only to have my glasses replaced and realize I was among angels, saints, geniuses and bodhisattvas the whole time. I can imagine that. That's what happened. It's a little embarrassing, but also, miraculous.

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