Tag Archives: Consciousness

The Day I Met Gracie

The experience was somewhat atypical but provided a lesson that was truly unique.

I met Gracie a couple of years ago. A chance encounter lasting only a few moments, it quickly became an auspicious one that I will never forget. Gracie approached me first, unafraid and
appearing to ask a silent question. Her eyes met mine and clearly seemed to say to me, “Is it okay?” My answer was almost automatic as I respectfully honored her politeness with a friendly and affirmative nod of approval. She seemed satisfied with my reply and quite grateful that I had acknowledged her as someone I was happy to know.

Turning her head away as though she was being pulled toward the next item on her agenda, Gracie circled my outstretched legs and made her way over to my wife’s reaching hand. The weather was kind to us that day, another perfect afternoon in San Diego. We relaxed in the shade of a huge tree alongside the harbor, watching boat after boat drifting along with the breeze. Every conceivable necessity had been neatly taken care of, and my wife Debbie and I were comfortably propped in our beach chairs, aware of little more than the invariable passing of time.

All at once I noticed that Gracie must have stumbled on a new best friend! I was delighted by how taken she was with Debbie, the manner in which she expressed a mutual awareness with us about everything that was going on at that moment. Gracie seemed to love just being near Debbie. After another moment we both looked up as Gracie’s owner, a man perhaps in his late sixties, stood near and apologized to us for her boldness. Debbie and I told him not to be concerned, that she really was a dear friend. He explained her restlessness resulted from having been left more or less alone for the past month, during which time he was recovering from a heart attack.

The kind man appeared very sad. He told us he suffered the mild heart attack immediately following the death of his wife and, after he had recovered much of his health again, he began taking Gracie for short walks as he and his wife had done before. Following a moment of silence he said goodbye and resumed his walk, beckoning Gracie to follow. She bounced along here and there, happily following the nice man who had so graciously told us his story. And after another moment, the two disappeared among the other people passing by.

Before we lost sight of them, though, I looked at Debbie and said, “She’s here. His wife is with Gracie.”

Debbie replied, “I know—they’re together now.”

When We Go…

Recently, a colleague that I had known only briefly asked me to answer a couple of intriguing yet provocative questions. At the time, I was taken aback by the idea that there was someone else in my life that also had a strong desire to explore such weighty musings. My friend asked me quite candidly:

“What happens to us when we die?  What will we be taking with us?”

The questions he posed really took me by surprise, but I definitely sensed that he wanted a description of fact rather than opinion or belief.

Laguna0Simply by calling on me, he helped me immensely. He may even have knowingly nudged me closer to the source of infinite understanding, causing another spiritual and psychic awareness to bloom within me once again. I had been posed with two simple yet wonderful questions, an earnest longing for the truth by someone I considered my mentor—not the other way around. Strangely enough, I never before believed they were significant enough to satisfy with an answer.

I wondered intently about what exactly would drive someone to want to know the answers to such questions and then wound up creating the same intense desire within myself. I needed to know the answers as well, and I subsequently remained attentive, listening for the sublime gift of knowledge during my daily meditation. I intentionally posed many of the ideas that I had learned from the spiritual community alongside the generous providence bestowed on me by my friend. (Please see the chapter “My Friend” found in The Primal Contradiction)

There may never be enough time to ponder all that we wish to know and understand but to
know what is truly important will forever peak my spiritual longing. Consequently, I maintained my focus just enough to allow the intuitive, and invariably veered away from any rational explanations that I might come up with on my own. And after several weeks had passed, the entire lesson surprisingly appeared quite reasonable to me—even rational.

I experienced the following impressions during meditation as well as afterward:

~ We will reunite with the one that longs for us.

~ Divine essence will bestow itself upon us and we will completely understand all of it once again.

~ We will know intimately all of the harms we received as well as those we inflicted during our time here.

~ We will begin to learn how the mind was created and the reasons for its attachments to such sources of unrest.

~ We will release everyone and everything until we become one with all again… and our love will expand infinitely.

~ We will begin to remember and continue to know everything we experienced during our lives as corporal beings and recall our existence before our time here.

~ We will have the power to embrace the knowledge we wish to retain.

~ We will continually perceive the essence of our existence as a relationship with not only the divine but also the divine in others.

~ We will never lose our individual awareness of our self or our divine oneness with our self because it has been with us eternally.

~ We will once again truly know the bliss of being one with others.

~ We will continue as… who we are.

Miracles Happen Everyday!

About one year ago, my wife, Debbie, decided to take her niece, Kim, who was visiting from the northeast, on a drive to the coast of Southern California. Besides doing some shopping, they also planned to spread Girls at beach1some ashes, the remains of Kim’s mother who had died months earlier, upon the waves of Laguna Beach. Linda was my wife’s elder sister. She was found alone at her home, unconscious due to a sudden stroke. She died a few days later.

The drive along the coast highway took them through a series of picturesque, beach communities. The mood was peaceful, the journey relaxing as well as scenic. At one point, though, they found themselves waiting at an intersection for a stoplight to change. The cross street to the right was an immediate climb up a steep hill and to the left a short descent leading down to the beach. Everything seemed perfectly normal.

They were stopped in the right hand lane next to one car to their immediate left and another in an adjacent left turn lane. As soon as the traffic light changed from red to green, both of the cars to the left of Debbie and Kim proceeded into the intersection. But Debbie’s car would not move forward. No matter how hard she pressed on the accelerator, the car wouldn’t budge. Something was preventing it from moving forward.

All at once, a large, black SUV appeared, barreling into the intersection downhill from the right. The driver of the SUV never slowed, appearing to have either been distracted or lost the ability to brake. The SUV struck the side of the car that had been waiting beside Debbie and Kim, forcing it sideways to then smash into the car waiting to make its left turn. As they witness the trauma of the accident unfold before them, their car was released, and Debbie and Kim were allowed to proceed on their way.

My wife drives a small, economy car, most of which lies well below the bumper of a typical SUV. If they had been allowed to continue unhindered, Kim would have most certainly lost her life, as the SUV would have struck her at eye level first. As they drove way, both Debbie and Kim knew immediately that the power guiding their lives had revealed itself to them directly.

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Afterward, while perusing the boutiques of Laguna Beach, Debbie and Kim met a woman who ran a tiny shop downtown. She introduced herself and then shocked both of them by informing them that they were there to spread ashes at the beach! Taken aback by such a surprising comment, they both thought to themselves, How did she know? How did she know? When I heard this, I knew I needed to find out more.

Months later, I went to meet the woman who ran the tiny shop. I really wanted to find out what she could tell me about me! But I found nothing unusual about her and instead went away considering the day to be quite uneventful. I forgot all about her until a week later when I noticed a small business card sitting on the counter in our kitchen. It was a card my wife had taken from the tiny shop owned by the mysterious woman.

The night before I found the business card, and after struggling for many months, I had finally come up with the book’s title, The Primal Contradiction. And as I looked down at the business card, I realized the name on the card was derived from the same words I had chosen for my title. The mysterious woman from Laguna Beach was the one who actually gave me the title for my book.

Happiness: Is it Real only when Shared?

The Primal Contradiction

I suppose before attempting to explore a claim such as this, I should try to describe my own interpretation of what happiness means to me. It is, after all, an internalized Happy Boy2sensation, quite personal to every one of us. And although we can more or less agree that happiness has a positive effect on the quality of our lives, we have widely varying experiences from which we draw our memories and interpretations of what it truly means to each of us.

For me, the intensity of happiness that I experience correlates with the degree of peace I am given to feel in both heart and mind. It is an expression of self-awareness free of any self-centered interests, a veritable consciousness of the immeasurable depths of oneness. It is the blessing received when we find ourselves neither here nor there, the birthplace of imagination and creativity, and the exclusion of the rational, calculative mind. An ardent emotion absent of worldly concerns, happiness is the spiritual gift we find during meditation.

But I also know very well the sensation of happiness resulting from interacting with other people, the wonderful feeling of elation created when our spiritual energy is shared Meditation3with one another. By joining with others in this way, the very essence of our existence has a tremendously positive impact on us all. We bond together in the presence of the divine. Extending ourselves in this way, we create an energy exchange that is far greater than what one person could ever accomplish alone.

If I say that in my own experience, happiness is most real to me when I am alone, I must immediately contradict myself because I know that I am never truly alone, even when isolated from those who share their lives with me. During those precious moments spent in meditation, I often feel the presence of others, friends that have either gone before me or have simply chosen to help me when I might need them. Their dispassionate yet spot-on messages are sometimes quite clear.

The sense of affinity granted by a spiritual friend in this way has so often produced such profound peace within me that I have come to realize true happiness lies beyond the life we Sunset6know today and that we are merely given a taste of what happiness really is. Thinking that we are alone simply because we are isolated from others may seem perfectly normal to us. We are often taught that this is absolutely so—that we are distinctly different, separated from each other because of our individuality. But what if this claim is only a half-truth?

Perhaps we are nothing more than separate human beings, going about our personal business day after day; but what about the essence of our spiritual awareness? Is this just an ethereal idea
considered unimportant when compared to the claim we place upon our individual humanness? Aren’t we also spiritual beings capable of joining with one another… any time we wish?

From the moment we begin to perceive our role in this world, it seems that we are encouraged to cultivate an individual human identity rather than rediscover the shared spiritual oneness we have always had with one another. We are taught to become specialized as individuals, to stand out from the crowd, and to forget the fact that as spiritual beings, we need never be apart. We are shown precisely how to nurture separateness within our own minds and ultimately contradict the commonality of our spiritual nature.

We are indeed faced with a contradiction the moment we choose separateness over wholeness—a primal contradiction. When we deny that we are all part of an omnipresent divinity, we begin to forget the natural spiritual bond we share with each other.

Meditation: The Gift of Life

The Primal Contradiction

It was the morning after. The life-changing ordeal I described in the chapter, And Then I Die from my book, The Primal Contradiction was over. As soon as I awakened, I couldn’t help noticing how brightly the morning sun shone through the window of my room. I remember that everything before me was utterly clear. The sensation of now gripped me—my awareness was empty.

Sunrise6I had no thoughts at all; in fact, my old ways of evaluating the world had ceased entirely. There was an attitude of newness glowing from everywhere around me. I took it all in with such a feeling of genuine gratitude that I now knew where I would be going, that I was being shown at that very moment exactly what I would need to pursue today and tomorrow. Giddy with an effervescence of energy, I had become silent for the first time in my life.

A confidence was instilled within me. The sensation of being all in one place, all at one time kept reassuring me that everything was going to be different now, that I would be rising above the seemingly unchangeable conception of my old self and saying goodbye to the mundane way of life that I had held so dear for so long. For the first time, I could afford to relax completely, knowing I would never again need to be enslaved by the interminable ways of thinking that I had known all my life.

Before that morning, I had read only a little bit about meditation. I knew what was meant by the general idea but never took any of it seriously or understood what the actual experience entailed.

Without really knowing much of anything about the discipline, I began to practice meditation. I wanted to enhance the energy bursting from within, to grow Meditaion1toward the direction I knew my life was now heading. It didn’t seem to matter where I was or what I was doing; my thoughts remained few and far between. And as my level of awareness grew, I realized that there was no longer a reason to indulge in the self-centered stream of cerebral dialogue I had known so well for such a long time. Consequently, I learned how to consciously silence my unwelcome mental ramblings whenever they occurred.

I practiced Hatha Yoga postures and exercises that I saw others performing and began to devote a significant amount of time attempting to unify body and mind, to bring about further spiritual transformation within my self. I began reading esoteric texts, those that would elicit the receptive state of mind I now wanted. Without even realizing it, the manner of thinking I had known since I was a child began to disappear from my memory. The mundaneness and boredom, which had permeated my life for as long as I could remember, became something that I no longer knew. I was set free.