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My Lesson from "The Source"
I planned to start on a Monday morning. The time was 1:45 AM, the weather was cold. After a bathroom run, it was back to bed. If it had been closer to 3:00 AM, the plan was to arise, bathroom, "Listen to the morning breeze," turn on the computer and start writing. Other mornings, when awakening around 3, after the bathroom run, the weather channel was turned on to see if it would be sunny or another overcast, cold, gloomy day and then maybe "Cheers," "Andy Griffith" or "All in the Family" - The old funny ones - then back to sleep for a few hours. It felt good if I slept past 7:30.
The day before, Sunday afternoon, Dr. Wayne Dyer was on PBS (KOCE) - I had watched him before and thought highly of his show, but I had seen it, so, was about to turn to another channel when he said, "This is the first time this show has been on the air." Immediately, the DVD burner was turned on and set to record. My intent was to copy the show and watch it later. As it turned out, I watched the show. It was a terrific show and very inspirational - That, by the way, was the title of the show, "Inspiration."
Dr. Wayne Dyer, read a section of a poem from Rumi: "The morning breeze has secrets. Donít go back to sleep." The entire poem is at the end of this story. He explained the phrase and itís implications. It is that early time in the morning, usually between three and four in the morning. It is a time when many people are awakened, go to the bathroom and then go back to sleep. The time for each individual would vary, but it was usually between three and four in the morning. He consistently awoke at three- thirteen. That is the time of the greatest inspiration and creativity, the time when you are the closest to your source. He suggested that you arise, put your feet on the floor, feel the morning breeze and listen to your inspirational thoughts. That was the time he went to his writing desk and began writing - Most of the time the thoughts just poured out onto the paper.
He asked the audience to raise their hands if they had early awakenings - it looked like the entire audience, of three-thousand, raised their hands. When individual members of the audience were asked what time they awoke, the hour was centered around 3:00 AM. I decided to give it a try since, I too, also awoke around three. Thus, I am sitting at my typewriter writing this.
However, in a way, my plan was not carried out as I had intended. As I said earlier, I awoke at 1:45 and, after my bathroom run, turned on the weather channel and then watched "Cheers" and "Andy Griffith" before going back to sleep. Thus I didnít awaken until 5:58 AM. But, I did, at that time, put my feet on the floor and feel the morning breeze, although there was a strong desire, on my part, to roll over and grab some more Zs. Am looking forward to tomorrow morning when I awake at my usual time, which is a few minutes after 3:00 AM.
At this time, Iím going to make my morning, Jason Wynterís tea, have my crystal vitamin C, a garlic pill, a mini aspirin, a one-a-day pill and a l-lysine pill, to start my day. My plan is to return to this computer and write. I intend to write the story of what led up to and motivated my desire to watch Dr. Wayne Dyer. Thank you God.
It started a few weeks earlier when my car was diagnosed as critical. At that time I felt connected, I had peace of mind and felt very happy, that was until my acted up. Here was a financial crisis that pulled at my peace-of-mind, but it was delayed because a long time friend living in San Rafael, Ron McAllister, gave me a car he was planning to sell. I flew up to San Francisco and drove back in a beautiful 1990 Infinity Q45 with 105,000 miles on it. God was smiling on me. It looked like new. My friend told me that it smelled like there was a gas leak. I drove back to my home in Huntington Beach, and it ran fine, although I did smell hints of gas.
A Huntington Beach mechanic, who looked at the engine, told me that it would be very expensive to fix this car. He suggested selling it and getting a cheaper car. He would help me make a trade. I drove home to think about it. Two cars and both needing expensive repairs was a bit depressing. One morning I decided to find the gas leaks. It was easier than you can imagine. The hose in the front of the car was spurting gas. Took the car to a parts store and bought hose and new clamps, changed the hose in front of the store, in case I needed some other parts. My car was fixed, or so I thought. A few days later, I again smelled gas. A hose below the other one was also leaking. Both hoses had weak clamps. Back to the parts store, changed the hose and clamps and presto, no more leaks. It was fixed and I was in heaven. Dr Dyer spoke of the magical number 18, he said it was symbolic of the one infinite source. My car is an Infinity.
Called my friend Lou, to go for a ride in my new car - who lived two apartments down the hall from me.. He had ridden in it when I took it to the mechanic, he also smelled the gas. Lou is eighty-six, met him about four years ago, when I moved into my apartment in Huntington Beach. He had a car at that time, but we used to go for daily walks. Got to know him pretty well. He was divorced from a woman who had taken him to the cleaners with credit cards that he never had himself. He still doesnít use credit cards. He was married prior to that wife and had two children and two grand children. He told me about his problems with them. It was sad, especially with his daughter. We were both photographers in our early days and both of us loved woman, so we had plenty to talk about on our walks.
Then, one day, he was broadsided by a women who was on her cell phone instead of watching the light. His car was totaled. So, I always called him when I was going to the market or someplace that he might enjoy. I found him an attorney to help him with his accident details. We learned a lot about each other through our daily walks, our lunches together and while fishing. We went fishing off of the piers along the coast. At that time I was teaching drama in Corona del Mar, so I wasnít always available.
I thought we were good friends. I enjoyed helping him. If he had trouble with his computer, I would fix it - took him shopping for computer parts, radios, DVD players, groceries, etc.. He was a nice man and it was no burden for me to help him, I enjoyed it. Then something strange happened. He didnít answer his phone or door when I tried contacting him for our daily walk. After three days of this, I notified the management office. Two of the staff accompanied me to his door. They knocked and called out to him. He opened the door. He was hesitant and reluctant to talk. I asked him if he wanted to go for a walk. He replied that he wanted nothing to do with me. This shocked all three of us. He told the office people he would come down and explain.
It seems that $200 was missing from his apartment, and he thought I took it. The office told me what he had said and also told me that they thought he should be put into a care giving home. They were going to tell his relatives to move him out. It appeared as if he was taking medication and stopped or took too much. Lou and I ceased to take our walks and we didnít phoned each other for about four or five months.
Then one day, he was coming down the hall, as I was approaching my apartment. I greeted him with a smile and we shook hands and became friends again. The incident was over and we didnít speak of it. A year later there was another similar incident. I donít remember what was missing, although I remember him complaining many times about things being gone, like music CDs, fishing poles and other things. I always thought he just misplaced them, but he would be adamant about it. His grandchildren visited him frequently, as did his daughter and his son. From what he told me, it was possible that they were borrowed. It wasnít my place to say or do anything, so I didnít. After some time, we were once again back on good terms.
At Christmas time, my play Cancel Christmas, a childrenís musical that I had written, was being produced by the Huntington Beach Playhouse at the Central Library Theatre. I took Lou to a performance, +and he sat with me while I signed my book for people (I had published a book adapted from the play.) He said he enjoyed it, and that he enjoyed meeting the people who stopped by the table to tell me how much they liked the play. We were now riding in my new car and feeling good.
Over a year has passed since the last incident. The weather had been gloomy and very cold. We were still taking our walks, sometimes up to the mechanic to see how my older car was coming along and how high was the bill climbing (new head, turbo, etc. - It was depleting my little bit of savings.) Occasionally Lou and I had been meeting in the puzzle room. We worked Jigsaw puzzles at night when everybody was in bed. Our walks, by the way, were always afternoon walks, because Lou slept until eleven or twelve. I preferred early morning walks, but waited for Lou.
Lou, always seemed to have a few women in the apartment building, who were calling on him, bringing him the morning paper or visiting him. At age eighty-six, I thought that was great. For myself, I avoided that like the plague. No beautiful young thing would want me anymore. That part of my life is finished. Anyway, one woman seemed to act as if I was in competition for his time. I told Lou about it, and told him that I felt it was good to be with them if he liked, but, pleease, do not get me involved with them.
The next day he told me that he was having trouble making a music CD, so while finding the problem, which was simply that there was nothing on the CD he was trying to copy, he told me that someone was coming into his apartment, when he wasnít there, and using his paper shredder. I had trouble believing someone would do that, and when I looked into the bottom of his shredder, there were only a few papers in there. He told me that he knew because the switch was in a different position.
The week prior to this I took him to Costco ( I was a member) to buy a Sony CD player that had beautiful sound. Found a coupon and saved him thirty dollars on the deal. He wanted to take the player up to the large TV room and play music for anyone who wanted to listen. He loved music and had a lot of tapes and CDs. I loaned him a luggage cart so he could wheel the Sony up to the TV room, it was heavy. I mention this, because on Friday, I took some of my pesto sauce down for him to taste, he told me to take back the cart. He told me that he was afraid to leave his apartment because someone was coming in and moving things when he wasnít there, so he wouldnít be playing music in the TV room..
I noticed he was acting evasive, similar to the way he had acted on the last two incidents. I pressured him to tell me. He didnít want to talk about it. It seems that some one had come in and moved some papers off of his computer desk onto the floor. I had something cooking on my stove so wasnít able to talk more about it with him, plus I got that old feeling. As I said before, I was feeling depressed myself. I believe the weather was a factor. When I recognize depression setting in, I usually do meditation to overcome it. But, for some reason, I had neglected to do that.
Later, when I was picking up my mail, I noticed the woman, who was driving Lou around, talking to Helen, the office person. I asked them if they had seen Lou, that I was concerned. The woman replied with a bitter sound to her voice that he was perfectly okay. I told Helen about Louís feelings about the shredder and about the things being moved. She told me that he had come down to the office and told her about it. The woman said that she believed him. She said that he thought I was doing it, and that she felt the same way. I was dumbfounded, as was Helen, who knew about the other times.
I told them that I felt he was going through paranoia. Her reply was, "What do you know about paranoia? You arenít a doctor." I told her that I had studied Psychology at the University of Miami and had some experience with it. She told me that she also studied psychology in college and that she couldnít tell. I told her that she didnít get much out of that psychology class. She said I was insulting her. It was clear that this situation could go nowhere, so after a few more stupid words between us, I left. Later I spoke to Helen, who agreed that she would call his son about this. He was off his medication.
As for me, Iíve had some revelations about the whole situation. First, I was greatly disturbed about this, although it was my third time. With the other mood I was in at the time, this compounded it. Saturday, although, in my mind, I held no anger and had forgiven them their accusations, I had no motivation - not even motivation to meditate. I had plenty to do, but just wanted to hibernate - which I did. I awoke the next morning, Sunday morning, and felt at a loss with the world. I had disconnected from the source, and knew it.
I decided to go to the Center for Spiritual Discovery in Costa Mesa. Funny thing, I typed in Recovery instead of Discovery - that was really what I was looking for "Recovery." Got on line to make sure of the time. I had been there a couple of times, but forgot the schedule. Saw that the subject for Sunday was "Defining God." I wanted to hear about God, so that was what I was looking for.
Got to the center early, there was a volunteer fair going on, with booths and many people attending. I didnít want to come in contact with anyone, so I hurried past the crowd, entered the center, took a seat and began to meditate. I was feeling better already, but still in withdrawal. I could hear the entertainment and announcements outside, but tuned into my meditation. After about ten or fifteen minutes a young man sat next to me and extended his hand and introduced himself. I didnít want to talk to anyone and felt put upon. But, after shaking his hand, and after he told me this was his first visit, that a friend had brought him, I started to come out of my shell. I told him this was my third visit. Told him this visit was to find an answer to a dilemma that was bothering me.
His friend arrived and we were introduced. About that time, the center was filling up and the music began. Soon there were some very lovely vocal solos and then Dr. Jim Turrell, the pastor, came on to talk about defining God. But first, he introduced Paul Williams, who talked about his discovery of the Center and how it, and AA, helped him maintain sobriety for eleven years. I was in an isle seat, and as he walked past me, we shook hands. His grip was firm and honest. That was inspiring, then Dr. Jim spoke, quoting Joseph Campbell. I was quietly reconnecting.
Dr. Jim has a great sense of humor and uses it. His talk was very inspiring. It almost seemed directed at me. When he finished there was a beautiful closing song. As we were leaving I turned to the young man who sat next to me and told him I had found my answer. When he asked me what it was, I smiled and said, "Forget about it." With that, I did forget about it, I was reconnected. We shook hands and I told him, "Thank you, you helped." I walked to my car feeling complete, motivated and happily connected again.
I had planned to visit my Family in Irvine after my visit to the center. I phoned to see if they would be home. My Daughter, Samantha, told me that the children had a full schedule for the day. It felt better to go home and see them another time. I told my Daughter about my experience and that everything was better for me. She has great understanding and love. That was the icing on the cake.
When I got home, I took a short walk, fixed some lunch and started to scan the TV. This story has gone full circle, we are back to the beginning. As I typed this, I realize there is no beginning nor ending - It is just being connected that is important.
One new thing - Today, the woman knocked on my door and apologized for her actions, said she had been going through depression. I smiled and told her I had already forgiven and forgotten about it. I told her that the incident had been a great spiritual benefit to me.
Thanks to Dr. Jim Turrell, Paul Williams and Dr. Wayne Dyer, Iíve not only reconnected but have strengthened my connection with the source.
Spring Giddiness - Jalaluddin Rumi
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
I would love to kiss you.
Daylight, full of small dancing particles
All day and night, music,
Anger is a motivational tool, but it is also a health deterrent. So when we see the price of gas rising and think of those individuals who are profiting from it, and think of our youth, being killed and maimed, fighting to protect those interest, for those individuals, it makes the blood boil. What does that accomplish? Well to start; it contributes to your ill health. Your ill health contributes to the profits of the pharmaceutical industries, who are part of the oil industry group. The ones who choose your president and everything that concerns you. You lose all the way around.
You ask, "What can I do about it? How can I make a change? I vote, but it doesnít seem to matter."
If you are asking yourself those questions, you are at least one step ahead of those who blindly follow, accepting what ever is dished out to them. Those questions are good starters. Now go deeper and ask yourself more questions. Then search for some answers.
But, when you do, first be aware that there is an alternative to anger. This might make you laugh, but if it does, laughing is healthful. Anger will not solve anything, and, as I said before, it will make you sick. The alternative to anger is love and forgiveness. Yes, love and forgiveness have much more strength than anger. It takes practice and hard work in the beginning, but the rewards are beyond all limits. You will feel better and you will be healthier. Then you will be able to help make changes.
If you see all people as one, and that we are all in different stages of spiritual development, then it will be easy to forgive. Donít shy away from the word spiritual, we all have an unknown spirit that drives us forward, when we allow it. There is the problem; our egos wont allow it, our egos get in our way. We werenít born with an ego or with anger. We were taught those deterrents by well-meaning individuals. We were taught to measure our selves by our possessions and positions. If you werenít number one, you were a failure. Keep up with the Jones and be a normal person - follow the herd. Most of us did, and those who didnít were labeled strange.
Okay, youíve started to forgive and to love. Doesnít it feel good? Now, what to do about those problems of price gouging and wars? Start someplace, any place, to help the whole planet earth. Go to an Earth Day celebration on April 22nd - any Earth Day celebration. You will meet people who are doing something; you will see ways to help save this planet. If you have adapted to love and forgiveness, you will have plenty to do. You will no longer ask, "What can I do?" The rewards are many. It is all up to you. Leave your ego at home and go get some spirit.