Grace Happens . . .
Remember the road trip I was on which led me to the door of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam? I had flown to Chicago to meet friends and family after my brother suddenly went to heaven, and from Chicago I drove further to points East, visiting more loved ones in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and even Washington DC, where one cousin and family live (Hi, Jack!). As my timing became more clear, I emailed ahead and said I’d be arriving on a particular Wednesday. My cousin wrote back saying that I wasn’t going to be the only VIP in town, that “some guy named the Pope” was also going to be visiting DC at that time. He would be addressing our congress right in the Capitol Building. I had no idea! Well, despite my Eastern leanings, I found myself excited at the prospect that maybe I could see The Pope. After a little online research, I found out he would be having his own private parade in the Pope Mobile down a major street on the same day I was arriving. That sounded great, except that I couldn’t arrive until evening, and the parade was late morning. Hmmmm. Well, what next? I found out that he would be addressing our congress the next day, and that the address would be live streamed on huge Jumbotrons outside the Capitol Building. I decided to go see. It turned out that my cousin was volunteering at a museum on the Mall right there the same day, so he took me on the commuter train and after stopping by at the museum, I went wandering toward the big scene with the goal of getting as close to the Jumbotrons as I could. These are like huge Hi-Definition TV screens. I was making good progress until I came to the perimeter fence, which was at least two city blocks from the Jumbotrons. I found out that to get any closer, you needed to have a ticket. They were free, but had to be obtained in advance. No more tickets were available. Well, I found a place looking through the fence where I could barely see one Jumbotron. It appeared like a dot in the distance. I decided to be satisfied and was happy to be in the presence of others who were interested enough to stand at that distance. I could feel their devotion. What happened next could only be described as Grace. One of the many security personnel who were standing guard on the other side of the fence suddenly walked right up to me and got my attention. He quietly asked me if I wanted to get in. I was dumb-struck. It took me a moment, but I managed to quietly say “Yes”, not knowing what he would say next. Guess what . . . he produced a ticket that was red with reflective silver printing with a picture of the Capitol Building on it, and he handed it to me through the fence! Then he gave me a little printed map showing where the entry points were, and off I went like a mouse in a maze. I had to pass about five security points, but with my magic ticket, they all waved me through. I could get right up to where the Jumbotrons were! Shazam! Now hear the rest of the story. There I was, taking it all in. The Pope was on the screens and they had huge speakers so we could hear his remarks from the chamber podium. When he was finished, the most amazing news was announced: The Pope was going to appear briefly on a balcony outside to greet us all. Amazing! And sure enough, before you know it, there he was! He not only appeared, but had a microphone and made a few comments (in english, no less!). I can’t explain why this whole thing was a thrill to me. This Pope is the first one I’ve ever really been interested in. And there he was. Praise God!
Meanwhile, here in Pennsylvania, I continue to count my blessings. Good health. Nice people. Great teachings. Beautiful nature. Inner bliss expanding. Am I dreaming? Hmmmm. Could be! 😄
QUOTES FROM MY NOTES
Search for God. Search for your Self. When you find one, you also find the “other”.
Don’t lose the sense of wonder when chanting, studying and praying. Don’t become mechanical.
Remember, the mind’s problems are not your problems.
Whatever you are a witness of is not who you are: Body. Mind. Ego, etc.
All eyes are God’s eyes.
This world is full of trouble, from childhood to youth to marriage to kids to old age. If you say the Truth can wait, you are in trouble. Seek the Truth now. Do it now. It cannot wait.