Keep In Touch

November 30, 2010

Keep In Touch

Keep In Touch

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of Happy Destiny”…

This morning I woke up late. As I scrambled out the door, I noticed a beautiful sunrise, but decided there was no time for prayer and meditation — I’d do that “later.” I got on the road, and as I waited at a red light it struck me…

I have four phones and a cellphone.* I check emails, voicemails, texts, and chats. I write letters and send cards. I’ve used Palms, Blackberrys, Androids, iPhones, iPads, tablets, cell phones and smartphones. I have Macs, MacBooks, iMacs, netbooks and PCs. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. I use wikis, webinars, and the world wide web. I send PDFs. My calendar has “events” and the events have alarms, ticklers and pop-ups: my reminders have reminders. I check Google Calendar to tell me where I’m supposed to be, Outlook to tell me what I’m supposed to do, Explorer to tell me where I was, FourSquare to tell me where I am and a Garmin nav-device to tell me where I’m going.

But I don’t have time to sit still. If I’m resisting prayer and meditation, perhaps time isn’t my issue.

Just for today, whatever my issues might be, I’ll ask for the willingness to “Keep In Touch,” and make the real connection. At times it might feel uncomfortable, challenging, tenuous, inconvenient, suspicious, unfamiliar, frustrating and even unsavory. Perhaps it just feels like “a waste of time.” But I’ve heard that if I take these actions — in spite of my own best thinking — it will bring me into conscious contact with a power greater than myself: the power to change and live life on life’s terms. And that, I’ve found, is when great things will come to pass.

Happy trails!

*PS  Staying connected: There are approximately 6,000,000,000 landline and mobile telephone subscribers worldwide, which is only slightly exceeded by the approximately 6,900,000,000 men, women and children currently populating the planet.

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Conscious Contact

October 9, 2009

Conscious Contact

Conscious Contact

Greetings, fellow trudgers* on “the road of happy destiny”…

Do you do prayer and meditation? How’s it going for you? Me, I have my ups and downs. Sometimes a little Ravi Shankar helps, some sandalwood incense, maybe start with re-runs of Kung Fu.

This morning in a group meditation, I couldn’t get with it. I tried breathing, then I stopped. Ha ha. I focused on a mantra—but it was so freakin’ repetitive. I tried connecting but “I couldn’t get with the flow, dude—too many negative waves.” It got me thinking how much trouble I’ve had all my life connecting with a Higher Power. Having a personal sense of a spiritual life—one that might be readily available to me—has not come easily.

I felt frustrated. I tried to remain still and kept my eyes closed. I was thinking spiritual stuff like “How soon do I need an oil change?” But after a bit I did drift off. I found myself in a vivid day-dream. I was seeking out a Higher Power. In the dream, I learned that God was in a house. I went to visit the house, a cute little Tudor affair with half-timber and stucco, leaded windows. I thought, “Nice house God’s got. Cute.” OK, so my daydreams come with architectural detailing… go figure.

I went up the walkway to this big wooden door. Solid mahogany, iron strap hinges, cast-brass lion’s head knocker, big brass doorknob. “Say what you want, God is not cheap,” I thought. I knocked on the door. No answer. I rapped with my knuckles again, harder this time. Still nothing. I waited a bit, and then grabbed the big knocker and clapped it down a few times. “Is anyone home?” I called out. No response, no sound at all. “Hello!! Anybody there?” Nothing.

“That’s just great,” I thought. “Nobody home. Another stupid daydream, total waste of time.” I started to get ticked off. I was thinking “Here I am, I take the time and trouble to visit God, and no one even answers the door. How perfect is that?” I stood in front of the door and called out one more time, gave up and headed back down the walkway. When I looked back at the house, it was as still as when I’d walked up.

By the time I reached the sidewalk, I was getting really pissed. Unfortunately I also wasn’t looking where I was going (those two things seem to go together for me). I tripped on a huge crack in the sidewalk, landing on my hands and knees. Now I was mad, and hurt. I yelled “Goddammit!” and I thought I heard faint laughter, but when I listened I could only hear some stupid dog start barking, which only fueled my anger and embarrassment. I wanted to yell “Shut up!” but I figured I’d look even more foolish.

I skulked down the street, fuming, lost in thought about how unavailable God has been to me all my life. All these crummy things that have happened to me, all the disappointments, the losses. Where’s God been through all of that?!? Why even bother…

When I looked up I realized that I was now totally lost. This threw me into an even worse state—a total snit. I’m not great with directions, and it drives me crazy. I stomped along, muttering and cursing. After I wandered around for a bit, I looked up only to find the same Tudor house, but now it was across the street. I’d gone several blocks, but in a big circle. Now I was really mad. I stormed back up the walkway, determined to make something happen in this dumb daydream. I grabbed the big lion’s head knocker and slammed it down. “Open UP!” I yelled. I thought I heard a sound from inside, like muffled laughter. That got on my last nerve, and I reached down and grabbed the big doorknob, turned it, and opened the door. It swung inward, and there, standing in the foyer with his dog, was God.

He was doubled over in laughter. “Ohhhhh, ha-ha-ha, that was too funny! Oh, my ME! O.M.M.!!!” he cried, tears of laughter running down his cheeks. “Get it?!?! OMM?!?” He was really cracking himself up. “The look on your face!!! Ahhaaa-haa-haaa!” He was roaring with laughter, pointing at me and saying “I wish you could have seen your face!! Ohh-ho-ho-haa-ha-haaaaa…”

I was really angry. “Why didn’t you just open the door?!?” I yelled.

He gathered himself together, and walked up to me. “Look at my side of the door…. see?” I looked and the entire inside of the big door was perfectly smooth, no hinges, no fixtures… no knob. With a huge smile (he has very nice teeth), his eyes all crinkled up with glee, he said “See? There’s no knob on this side. I can’t open this door from this side.” He leaned in closer with that big smile and said, “You’re the only one who can.”

So, I came in, we had some tea and a nice chat. I met his dog, who turns out to be pretty nice, too. Really cute, kind of a border collie-mutt mix with an adorable bandana, goes by the name of Puck.

Happy trails!

* PS  Some folks have asked where the bit about “trudging the road of happy destiny” comes from. It’s the last paragraph of The Big Book, (before the stories), page 164:

“Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. May God bless you and keep you—until then.”