Sherman Buck Urban Spirituality
April 29, 2001 Jill Martin
November 11, 2000
Got a phone call very early this morning from someone who was upset about their computer at work where I do work-study. This really bothered me. Not only because it was at 7:15 am, but also because they were angry to the point of projecting their stuff onto me. I was not feeling to happy about receiving future phone calls every time something went wrong. I thought about not calling, but realized they were in transition. When I called they went off on me immediately. I had to forcefully tell them to stop. Then I walked them through the process of fixing the problem. Afterwards I kept future tripping on the idea of getting future phone calls at all hours of the day. This was not appealing at all. I couldnít let it go and wound up being late.
On the way to work, riding my bike down San Pablo, I got into the thoughts again and had to let them go again. Something happened inside me because this space opened up when I let go. This place of peace was deep. I felt like Ty (my friendís young nephew whom I befriended), a child-like innocence of acceptance of what is. I was reminded of my Rebirthing experience of experiencing my birth. After the traumas of having my umbilical cord cut before I was breathing, being spanked, and being circumcised, they took me away from my mother. This was my first abandonment issue and this was so traumatic. As an infant there was nothing I could do except let go. It was this same space. This humbled me and I felt this vulnerability.
I continued riding along till I came to this red light just before Grand Ave. Waiting at the light I heard some male voice call out to me, ďHello good sir!Ē I looked over and there was this African American male, about my age or older, wearing blue-collar work clothes, wearing glasses, and smoking a cigarette. Then he says, ďDo you feel like a champion?Ē I said, ďThe sun is out and I have my health, itís a good day.Ē I was still feeling that peace I had fallen into. At this point something felt odd. I lifted up my sunglasses to make eye contact with him. Then he immediately says, ďIím thinking of going to school, ď talking to me as if I was a friend of his. This was even more puzzling to me. He says, ďI want to be a printer!Ē His face was open, genuine, full of enthusiasm, and magic. There was this openness. I had this sense that there was something else going on that I couldnít see, couldnít put my finger on. I asked him, ďWhatís stopping you?Ē he said something I donít recall now. Then I said, ďYou should go check it out.Ē He said, ďIím going down today,Ē or something to that affect.
At this point the light turns green. All the while we were talking I had this odd feeling that something wasnít right. I couldnít put my finger on it either, but it began when he called to me, when I lifted up my glasses. There was this connection. I told him I had to get going and that it was nice talking to him. Then I wished him a nice day. He wished me the same too. I was perplexed by now. I rode away and began to get emotional. As I approached Grand avenue tears began to flow down my cheeks. Something profound had happened, yet I knew not what it was. By now Iím stopped at Grand and San Pablo Avenue and the tears are just beginning to pour out. As I ride on I can barely see because of the tears. I literally am close to sobbing. I headed up Grand Avenue as fast as I can with a clear intention that I have to get to Laurel at school. I had to hold back the sobs.
I arrive at school and lock my bike up, crying all the while. Then I head up the stairs where several women look at me oddly. I see Laurel and head straight over to her. She is talking to someone, but I walk right up to her and she hugs me. Then she pulls away and looks at me and I just broke down and sobbed. Laurel pulled me to her and just held me till I was done. Everyone thought it was probably just having an authentic interaction with someone. But, I have had those before and this was not like this at all. Later when I told this to Bill, an older 50ish student, he jokingly said, ďMaybe it was an angel!Ē I dismissed that at first. But, later throughout the morning I would think about the event at different times. Each time I thought about this I would begin to get upset and cry. After several times of this occurring I began to entertain the idea that it was an angel. It most definitely would explain the odd feeling I had of something else going on that I couldnít see. I was not the same after that.
December 28, 2000
At work today I took my morning coffee break and went up Shattuck a few blocks to get coffee. I walked into the place and waited behind this guy in his late 20ís or early 30ís. He had this wooden flute around his shoulder. At the last minute he changed his order from an espresso to a drip coffee. For some reason my attention was drawn to this. Then I got my coffee and went over next to where he was standing near the condiments. As I reached for the coffee he remarked very calmly, ďyou have a lot of energy.Ē I proceeded to talk a bit with him about some spiritual things. Then he reaches over and puts his hand on my heart chakra, looking me right in the eye. I didnít feel threatened at all, didnít flinch, nor even say anything to him. I just looked at him and was open to him. He said goodbye to me and I wished him a happy new year. After he left it occurred to me that here was someone whom I could relate too. It was only a few moments. I decided to go outside and see if I could catch him. I went to the corner and looked all four directions and he was not to be seen anywhere. That was really bizarre. No one could walk that fast.
January 04, 2001
Iím sitting here reading the book ďAngel Energy,Ē at lunchtime, reading some true stories about peopleís experiences with angels. Reading them literally caused me to get emotional and cry. I had to contain myself because I was not in a safe place to cry. I realized this was an indicator for me validating my own recent experience.
February 17, 2001
This afternoon I went to San Francisco to attend an open house at the university Iím hoping to attend for my doctorate. Afterwards I went downtown to shop for a few clothes. I spent a couple of hours finding a few items that resonated with my spirit. Afterwards I got a short bite to eat and just watched the people. No one makes eye contact. No one is present. Then I went to Nordstromís to see if there were any sale items there. (Nordstromís is an upscale department store). As I stood near the escalator reading the store map, these two guys got on the escalator. I looked up and one sneered at me for the way I was dressed. For some reason this bothered me. I was wearing a fleece pullover, rain pants, and my biking shoes, with backpack. I realized I had been shamed for not dressing appropriately to be in Nordstromís, especially for one my age. It bothered me because for quite I have known I have been invisible. I guess I could have rationalized it had I been wearing some wild outfit or doing something outlandish, but I was just standing there looking for directions. I hadnít even said anything.
Even in saying and doing nothing, one is not impervious to others judgments. It really doesnít matter what you do, you can never be good enough for anyone really. Which is why self-love is so essential and so lacking in the world. I have known this for some time, but this sank into my knowingness beyond my mind, sinking deeper into my being. I thought I had come to a place where I could just live simply and still be me. This is not so. For as long as I continue to awaken myself I stand out as if I had a huge banner with a large spotlight that says I'm awake. This is the energy that others feel and they donít like it when someone defies the rules of staying small and unconscious. I rode the elevators down several floors looking at all these people obsessed with buying things to fill the void in themselves; people vying to be better than someone else, people talking about petty superficial things. I approached the front exit doors to see if it had stopped raining. It hadnít, so I walked over to the wall to get my coat out.
As I walked over I saw through the milling crowds this elder woman, 70 or 80, sitting crumpled on the floor near the front door. She was up against the wall propped up like a doll, with her few belongings by her side. People stood right near her, walked by her and she did not exist in their eyes. Nobody as much as even looked at her. For some reason as soon as I saw her, this sob almost came out of me. I was so moved by this that I had to control the sobs that wanted to come out. I began to get very emotional. Here was this shopping mall full of people buying like there was no tomorrow and they avoided even acknowledging this woman. I was so upset about this. Then something within me said to give her twenty dollars. I put my jacket on, then pulled twenty dollars out of my wallet, composed myself enough and walked over to her and got down on my knees. Her head was bowed down, covered with her large brimmed rain hat. I said hello as I touched her leg.
Her head lifted up slowly. As she did so I handed her the money, telling her to go buy herself a nice warm meal. She looked at me with this old wrinkled face and I noticed she had these incredibly crystal clear blue eyes. She was more present than anyone I have ever met, her spirit shown like that of a small infant. Some part of me wanted to take her to lunch, but I knew if I did I would just break down and sob. She took the money I handed her, and then she said, ďyou're a good person.Ē This struck me because we are all good people. I immediately said that she was a good person. It occurred to me instantly that she was thinking I was good because I gave. I saw her as good for just being. I had to go because my emotions were ready to let go. I wished her well and got up.
Almost immediately this young guy walks up to me. I felt like he invaded my space, sticking his hand close to mine and telling me that was a nice thing I did. He insisted on shaking my hand. This felt really odd. Still deeply moved about this I mumbled thanks and yet I was really annoyed with this guy. I could see this woman standing half out the door with her daughter, looking at me in disgust, as if I had done some unspeakable thing for giving the woman the money, like how dare you show us what we donít want to see. It then occurred to me that the guy shook my hand because he was uncomfortable and had to assuage his own uneasiness. Why should I be thanked for giving money, for caring? This really bothered me. It made me think of the countless people who give big money for the tax right off or the thanks. It reminds me of the countless people who want to throw big parties in honor of those who give ďgenerouslyĒ. What that guy did bothered me even more. I was so upset. I walked down the sidewalk on the brink of tears the whole way.
There was no way I could console my feelings, not even the money I gave was enough to assuage what I was feeling. Here were all these people just plain oblivious. I shut everyone out at that moment; they no longer existed for me in the same way that I had not existed for them. It was a stepping stone for me to no longer care about who they were and what they thought of me. I think what I was feeling was how I am not seen and avoided in this extremely dysfunctional culture. I have known and felt this, but today I felt it to the core of my being. Today was the day that I remembered how I felt as a small child and came to realize I was not loved for who I was and what I wished to become. In that same moment I ceased to exist. I became what was expected.
This is what all cultures do in varying degrees. People donít want to see, will do whatever they have too, to not see. They will explain it away with reasons that the majority agrees too so they can continue to say it is not their problem, so as to fit in. The human race is sick and I am that too. Just as I cannot give away all of my money, neither can everyone else. But there are those who can afford too. What is most important is to be able to acknowledge them as human beings, to be seen. I am finding great peace of mind and joy in talking to those who are invisible to the many. Many times they are more authentic than the visible. I donít know what it is that I am being drawn to do, but I do know that is being revealed to me in ways that touch me deeply in my heart and soul.
February, 26, 2001
Recently I met this Native American male, about late 20ís or early 30ís, outside UCS one night. He was sleeping in the doorway of the elderly care site next door. We began to talk for a while. This opportunity allowed me to become aware of the ego conflict going on inside myself. This incessant worrying about being asked for money kept coming up. After we talked, he asked for money and I gave him what change I had in my pocket. I was told a few days later that someone from UCS had called the police on him for loitering around the front of UCS. I wondered who had called and why they felt uncomfortable. This made me question what goes on here at this school. There is so much discussion on the need to do social work in the world. This made me remember Cecil Williams book, ďNo Hiding Place.Ē In it he talks about his own deep process of looking at not only what is wrong with the external, but also what was going on inside himself as a mirror of the external world. He went on to talk about how his organization had to do more than just talk, do more than just give, that they had to do deep healing work. I thought of this place. It does a lot of talking. It does a lot of ritual. Yet it doesnít do a lot of deep healing inner work and bodywork. It doesnít do the shadow work that Jeremy Taylor talks about either.
So, a few days later I run into this guy again at the corner of Grand Avenue and Broadway. I stop to talk to him. I am much more relaxed this time. I have had time to do some inner work on my issues surrounding being asked for money. I was on my bike, going to go get some dinner. We said our greetings and shook hands. We began to talk about the divine in the world. Talked about how our thoughts and beliefs can be delusional. Funny, but he began to tell me how he has these wars going on in his mind. He said it is really difficult at times to stop them. I shared my own process with him about stopping my own mind. There were shared ah-haís between us both as we talked. Then he told me this story about a friend of his who would drive down to Mt. Diablo near Stockton. One particular time it was completely foggy. His friend drove as if there were no fog, totally being guided by spirit. I didnít think this very spiritual in hindsight. But, right after that this Native American said I would get more knowingness of this guidance. It struck me when he said this. It was as if he knew something, was speaking in a future tense. When I think about this guy, how he feels to me, I donít sense the typical desperateness, low moral, dullness. He is very intelligent from my perspective. Even when he asks, heís asking for what he wants with no concern of whether or not he gets it. I had this sense of him being totally open to whatever spirit had in mind for him.
March 07, 2001
On my way to school I passed by the gambling/eatery place at the corner of Park Avenue and San Pablo. I started to pass these two African American guys who were walking towards Park Ave. There was this other African American guy who was walking away from them yelling out loud ďFools!Ē and then laughing. My first impressions were that he was drunk and that they were his friends. I rode up to the next intersection and leaned on the light post near the curb waiting for the light to turn green. A few moments later this guy who yelled out ďFools,Ē came walking up to me. I took off my sunglasses as he spoke to me. He talked to me as if I knew him. Odd?! ďTheyíre gamblers, alcoholics, and fools.Ē Then he told me to look at them. I didnít. Instead I said I had to join the service and go bankrupt to realize some things and that is what they are doing. He reached out and touched my arm. This moved me because this is not something normally one does in ďmodern cultureĒ. The traffic began to move, as the light had turned green. I had to go, but I wanted to return his warmth. So, I embraced his arm too. Then we shook hands and I wished him well. I think he is another angel.
March 25, 2001
Iím at the Sufism Symposium in Fremont, California. Just finished listening to this elder woman from Egypt speaking about spirituality. As I listened I had this realization surface about all the religions. For some time now I have felt that all religions lead to the same place, the Oneness. Yet, there are many different takes on religions. Some say they are about different levels of spiritual development. Others say they are completely different and have no commonality at all. Some of the more older and wiser speakers alluded to the fact that Sufism was the next level, a more pure form of spiritual teachings. Hearing this threw up a warning flag for me, made me wonder about their intentions. This woman had taken over her fatherís Sufism school and also led several womenís groups as well. Something quite profound and daring to do in any of the Northern African states. While she spoke I had this sense of learning how to hear the language of all religions, learning how to translate languages allows the opportunity to communicate across barriers. This larger language then can see and feel beyond the words into ones open or closed heart, where actions of compassion, unconditional love, acceptance, support, and nurturance all flow from the heart. I imagined what this would feel like. Then I went inside my own self and felt this.
This kind of knowing would surely move us beyond the need to stay attached to specific clothing, ornaments, words, gestures, beliefs, and titles, in the name of spirit. It would let go of the idea of God, God as man, and be more inclusive and sensitive to the divine paradox. At the end of her presentation I was feeling this radiant warmth in my heart chakra. People began to get up and leave. Then I noticed this older man standing next to me. He was of African descent and was wearing this wonderfully colored long garment. Dare I call this a dress if worn by a man? Why not? I felt this warmth from him and so I said hello to him. He responded in kind. For a moment I had this odd feeling he was standing there waiting for me, as if we needed to talk about something. I was the only soul who rode their bike from the BART station to the hotel. And, they didnít even have a bike rack. Go figure, rich people donít need them. I stood out like a sore thumb with my backpack and biking shoes.
April 5, 2001
Riding my bike home late after painting. I was stopped on San Pablo Avenue, right at the 580-bridge overpass. Not soon after I stopped I heard a car pull behind me, just to my left. Then the car horn honked. When it honked again I turned and looked to see what was going on. Here was this African American woman leaning out the passenger window. She had a female friend driving. She immediately tells me to get out of the way. I was in the bike lane where IĎm supposed to be. There was room for her to get by me to make a right hand turn. I have had people do this kind of thing before. When it has occurred I get all upset and angry. For some reason I was not bothered by this. I was feeling incredulous at her audacity. I calmly told her to go around and turned facing frontward on my bike. She blew up, calling me a bitch and a few other sundry words.
This too didnít bother me, for I just turned slowly around. I found my attention drawn to the backseat of the car where I saw this small boy sitting watching the whole scene. I looked at the woman and said, ďBless you.Ē Then I turned away, waiting for the light to change. I was expecting her to really get pissed off. Instead there was this silence. It was so eerie and calm. The light turned green and I assumed they turned right, for they never passed by me. The rest of the ride home I kept playing over the whole scene in my mind, wondering at how my attitude changed things totally. I was amazed at my calmness, a depth I have never experienced before.
The difference this time was it was not just a mental thing I did, but it was heartfelt. I liked this feeling, for it changed things in ways that I could not do. I felt spiritís presence then and could see what a difference it could make. I kept thinking about that little boy in the back seat. I hope it made a difference to him. I can remember sitting in the back seat of my grandmotherís car as a child listening to her ranting and ravings at the other drivers. What a mouth she had. Whew. I had this sense that I had just grown a lot.
April 11, 2001
Riding my bike to school this morning got me into this realization that sunk in deeply to my being. I began to see all these things that are unacceptable to me. I have known about these and felt these too. But, this morning it really sunk to anther level. I began to speak out loud to myself, spirit, the divine, and the world in general. I spoke about each thing I saw, felt, and thought of as unacceptable. This really moved me till I wanted to yell out in a rage at all this fucking shit that is so far from unconditional love. I am still irate about this as I write this. This also includes those who stifle others on their spiritual path because they are afraid of letting go further into the realm of infinite spirit. I guess my rage is also my fear of moving further into the depths of this spiritual dimension, for it will surely mean the demise of any sense of a regular life, as if I have any regular life left anymore. I donít fit in with the left or the right. I now understand completely what happens to children. They are not allowed to just be and to follow their hearts. I am free to do this, but there are some incredible roadblocks, walls, legal rules, mindsets, loads of guilt and shame tactics, intimidations, and yes, even death. Imagine that. How quaint, makes me want to puke.
April 18, 2001
This starts out as a dream: Iím in this room with 20 or so people, all dressed in similar brown robed attire with pants and shirts. The front is open, a modern place, carpeting in the room. Itís a gathering of people come together for some purpose. While having their meeting or discussion, this 40ish women approaches with her young son of 10 or so. He knows where he is going, has a purpose and it is not the mother who leads him. She is there to guide, nourish, and protect him. He seems to be mentally retarded or to have some genetic dis-ease that makes him different from others. But, he is extremely gifted, more so than most. He approaches this altar or else itís a low counter, where upon he kneels and implores the group members to help these particular people by donating money or maybe just helping in some way I donít recall now. Some of them give small offerings of such. This appeases the boy to some extent. This seems to be a reoccurring event for the boy, to approach these members for a donation. The mother thanks the members as her son leaves.
A later time comes and the boy arrives again with the mother behind him. Only this time the boy is in an extremely painful state. He drops down to his knees and falls forward onto the floor. He begs, imploring them to do something. The boy is almost hysterical, obviously in great discomfort, by the suffering of these people he is in touch with. It is as if he has the ability to feel what everyone else is feeling, even though he is not there with them. As if he is on some other planet or such. The group is deeply bothered, touched by this boy. Some in the group donít appreciate the mother bringing the boy there. The mother names the boys condition, asking forgiveness for her son. Several members accuse her of projecting her beliefs onto the boy. At this point I stand up from where I sat with the group and walk out across the walkway to the observation balcony, which is all enclosed in huge multi-paned glass windows. The view is of a mountain range directly across from this balcony and this building is at the same incredibly high vista point as the mountain peaks across the way. I sit down.
I hear a familiar voice from behind me as a woman friend approaches. Somehow she touches my inner eye, putting a finger at each corner of the eye. If this were done in real life the palm would block the view. I can still see the view though. I can feel this touching. She asks me, ďAre you ready?Ē I say yes. She then asks me if I am religious. I say, ďI guess so,Ē after a few moments of thinking about it. At this point I begin to see these patterns, psychedelic patterns of a tan background with these black lines. I see these lines moving as if waves, crossing back and forth from different directions. These feel and look like fractals as well. I realize that something is going to be revealed to me. These waves appear to be like layers opening up.
At some point I realize I can hear the birds singing outside where I live, its 4:30am, and I can also feel my body, the Kundalini energy flowing intensely, more so than normal. I am aware that I am in an altered state between both worlds. Then out of the patterns this dark hole begins to uncover and enlarge. This opens a channel in my awareness of remembrance. I immediately realize this woman is my dearest closest friend back at my spiritual home. I remember she is blind, gifted with inner sight and abilities beyond measure. This remembrance is such a shock for me that I immediately break down and begin to cry inconsolably. The homesickness is so overwhelming that these great sobs release within me.
This is instantaneously and so powerful that it begins to move me towards what I can only describe as blowing a circuit, being overloaded, shutting down, etc. I can feel all this tension that had been building up in my upper back and neck begin to move, there is this charge that is familiar to me from my experiences with Rebirthing and breath work. I can feel it begin to move up and out my crown chakra. I know that if I cannot control my emotions then she will have to leave, for this is the way it works. She is aware of the damage that can be done if this is kept open to long. I beg her to not leave and grab a hold of the sides of the bed with both hands and with all the inner strength I can muster I suppress all this emotion. This lasts for about a few seconds and then it just flows on again. I know she will have to leave and begin to feel her pull away.
I am moved so deeply by this loss that I just begin to cry. I am aware that it is very early in the morning and because there are other tenants in the house above me, who could hear me, I stifle these sobs that wish to pour forth. I lay there for hours just crying and heaving. Every time I thought about it the tears would increase again. As I walked to the bathroom I began to shake all over. This was so overwhelming for me. I realized I had been given an experience to feel where we come from. It almost did me in. I was an emotional wreck the rest of the day and for days afterwards. I remember reading somewhere that it was said that God/Goddess could awaken us immediately, but the energy would be so intense that it would take 20 or 40 men to hold the person down. I can see how this could be. Wow.
April 24, 2001
Had this interesting experience just now at Borderís Books @ 8:12 pm. The Amtrak train pulled into the Emeryville train station across from the bookstore. The rumble and vibration of the locomotives set off several car alarms in the adjacent parking lot. These alarms all sounded different. This was so funny that I laughed out loud. I immediately had this imaginative scene in my minds eye of a whole parking lot full of cars, where each car had an alarm, and they all go off at the same time. There would be this singing in cacophony, sounding rather annoying, yet sounding like a musical piece in an abstract sort of way. Just amazing and no one even thinks anything wrong with this. It made me see the absurdity of security, how all these people who came running out to shut off their alarms, didnít see this cosmic humor. They probably thought someone was trying to break into their car or steal it.
April 29, 2001
Iím at UC Berkeley and across from me is an older man who Iíve seen before. Funny, but I saw him down at the other end of shops on Telegraph Ave. I took my time walking up to the university, taking my time, stopping to get an apple fritter and to look at some of the vended items along the way. I stopped to eat the fritter and drink some coffee. I noticed him partly shielded by the advertising boards. He is a tall, gaunt looking man, bearded, grayish/white hair. I noticed him talking to himself. A bit later he arose and stepped out into full view. It seemed like he was an intermediary between two divine beings having a discussion. His hands moved and gestured to the skies and back down to the earth. His movements were full of compassion, sensitivity, grace, sensuousness, and a feminine touch. I donít mean this as a negative, but there was such gentleness and intimacy as he discussed whatever was coming up.
At times I could see shadows of a martial art and Tai Chi, and his own movements entwined with them. Various people walked by as he moved out whatever was going on within and around him. As suddenly as he had begun to move, he would suddenly sit down as if frustrated by whatever didnít get worked out. Then he would be back up again a few minutes later, trying to work it out in some way. This whole process looked and felt very intuitive to me. I had this incredible feeling that his movements were like the dances of peopleís whole lives done in a short movement. I donít know how to describe this or explain it. But, this is what I intuited.
This was so profound for me to bear witness too. I actually felt like I was watching some divine play being acted out. As I watched him I also watched the people who walked by. Some would look at him, some with mockery, and some wouldnít even acknowledge his presence. I was amazed at his lack of ďstage frightĒ if you will. He didnít care what anyone thought, wasnít even interested because he was so caught up in his own puzzling dilemma. This really moved me, for I had this wonderful ah-ha about life. Watching his dance flow around made me aware of how it mirrored the subtle winds blowing around me, how the papers and debris were like puppets being gently coaxed around. At one point I saw him move and then abruptly sit down and slump, as if he were a puppet. And this seems right to me, in that we are divine puppets, only organic living beings imbued with spirit.
As I felt the wind I began to watch it too. It occurred to me how this flow goes on all around us. Itís not just the wind that flows, but people flow too, all around in different ways, paths, and situations. I could see how this man and the wind were the same. I imagined being up high watching the flow of people walking about down various streets, some driving cars all over, and still this expansion took a further larger viewpoint, till I could see it like the various currents flowing about in the vast ocean; a vast ocean of people. Each individual entwined together into a harmonious flow. I could see the divine working its own way through him and each person was also this perspective, no matter what we might judge it to be. I didnít get a sense of good or bad, it was just all a flow of the divine one. I was really moved by this, felt I was obligated to really see this man, this divine creature express himself in ways that I am sure were beyond my understanding in the moment. I saw all these pieces of paper illuminating the dance of the wind and mirroring the dance of humans, the divine, and then it was gone. The man was just a man, the wind just the wind, the paper just the paper, and I just another man sitting in the city.
Afterwards I thought about this, having had time to let it settle in. I realized that the more I begin to see beyond the physical shell of the person and intuit with my heart, a whole other world begins to show itself. I no longer see people as people or things as things. There is this profound show of which I am a participant in. This requires my being present as much as possible and to participate fully as I can in every moment. I find this role quite pleasant, freeing, and satisfying in ways I have never felt before. One just begins to notice.
So, these are my experiences that have stood out for me. I have included the first one back in November because it sets the stage for the others that have occurred. I have had time to digest all these experiences. I have shared these with my own closest friend and mentor and have come to realize that some of these were divine beings. There has been similar reaction each time upon being in their presence, which was beginning to cry for no apparent reason. I had a dream with a similar situation in it, where I entered a room to get my backpack. Upon opening the door I see all these light beings sitting around this table. The energy of their presence is so intense I immediately back up out of the room closing the door. In the hallway were two women who are part of this group of light beings. They tell me it is ok for me to be in there with them.
My mentor told me that I have been given wonderful opportunities to experience these beings. When I asked why I reacted by crying, she told me it was because we are so far removed from unconditional love that the experience moves us to tears for remembering what was lost upon coming here. Since then I continue to ponder on these beings I have met. I believe that the divine works in many ways. I believe they can present themselves at will in anything and anyone. They have created some deep changes in me in ways that go beyond mere explanations. Later I thought about the elder woman with those blue eyes. The feeling I had of being seen completely by someone for the first time just blows me away. I wonder what they came to talk with me about, if I had been able to be fully conscious in their presence and energy emanations?!
Since then I have had a spiritual opening which has provided me with a knowingness of this to be true. This energy is what love is, so powerful and infinite that it can overwhelm a person not ready for it; damned near burned me out. But, I must have been ready for it, for as Jeremy Taylor says about dreams, if we were not ready for it, the dream would not have been remembered. I wonder about this world we live in now. Nothing is ever as it seems to me anymore. The divine is everywhere and it makes me wonder when it will show itself again. I can't wait for it, but will have to be open to whatever and whenever.
So, where does riding my bike around town fit into this? Well for starters, many of these experiences were when I was on my bike. I find the experience of biking very freeing for me. There is no stress in this mode of travel. I am very intimate with the elements. I know what the weather is. There is no being out of touch with it in some artificial environment in a car. I feel the wind, rain, the cold, and the heat. I smell the foul odors, pollution, and it makes me very aware of what is going on. When I ride my bike down the side of the streets I have to stay very vigilant to the street to avoid nails and all the broken glass shards that are everywhere.
One morning I had this profound realization to how people in their cars donít understand why I donít ride on the side by the curbs. They donít worry about flat tires, because nowadays tires are made to literally run over anything and not go flat. This is another level of awareness gone to what is going on in the environment. The same goes for seeing all the oil spills, gas spills, and other pollutants strewn about. Being on a bike affords a very intimate viewpoint of the world. There are no doors, sills, hoods, trunks, blocking out the complete view. When I ride my bike I hear Nature all around me. Once in awhile I can hear the birds above the drone of traffic.
When I ride down the streets the drivers in cars, trucks, buses, donít seem too concerned about how close they get. This morning it occurred to me that they drive in those cars the same way they interact with other humans. It is like bumper cars at the carnivals. Lets see whom we can intimidate or project our frustrations on to at the moment. Last week I had this truck almost hit me, going by really close. I followed him to Grand Avenue where I found him parked outside the Mercedes-Benz shop. I rode my bike past him right into the shop. I got off and went into the receptionist and asked to see the manager. While I waited, the young male driver acted like nothing was wrong. I went in finally and told the manager what happened. He apologized and said he would have a talk with the driver.Makes me wonder at times. So, why do I go through all the trouble? Well, it is enjoyable, stress-free, exhilarating, and makes me feel carefree. I can stop on a dime, turn around really quick, and find a parking spot immediately. Owning a bike is a lot more cheaper than owning a car. Recently I put several hundred dollars in upgraded new parts and a tune-up onto my bike. As I rode away from the shop I figured its cost me about $300 per year to own it. I realize I no longer have to spend big money on tires, tune-ups, oil changes, insurance, gas, registration fee, license fee, parking fees, all the chemicals needed, and car washes.
There are some disadvantages. I have to do double and triple runs to do my grocery shopping sometimes. Getting somewhere doesnít happen quickly if it is over a half hour away. I have to plan things in advance. I have had to teach myself to wait a little longer or to do without. When it is raining I am not so inclined to go out. Going on trips doesnít happen so often. So, I donít get to the ocean beaches, or the mountains or other cities. Being new to the area I donít have friends to do those things with either. But, I wouldnít have it any other way. I like this because in an odd way it feels very spiritual. By this I mean I am in touch with everything as I ride.
As my experiences attest too, I have met some interesting people along the way. I have stopped to help those in need. One time it was a guy who ran out of gas and I helped him push his car out of the street. When I am stopped at a light, near the cross walk, people are walking by right there in front of me. I am not distanced by the hood of a care, nor enclosed safely behind the cockpit and windshield. I say hello often to those who are open to it. Sometimes people are rude, but over all it is a great way to be in the world. I am a participant, not an observer. Oh, and a payoff to this is the exercise that one gets. I recommend this to everyone.