In the latter half of the 1990’s, I was working in southern New Jersey, USA, directing the natural & organic products division of a prominent nationwide wholesale food distributor. After several decades in this business, I had achieved a level of success within my field that had brought me all the material and social blessings that I could have hoped for. Moreover, almost 3 decades of Zen practice had disabused me of the notion that any of it amounted to anything “personal”. It was simply service, and I also recognized intuitively that none of it was “my doing”, that I was simply being used. This had always been my “prayer” — that I might be an unobstructed instrument for the highest good of all — “Not my will, but Thine” — and helping to make natural and organic foods more widely available seemed in-line with that aspiration, particularly given the pervasive chemical adulteration and corruption of the food supply by mainstream purveyors.
At the time, our office had just been wired for the internet, and I was naturally curious about this new capacity, never having had a chance to explore it till then. During free moments, I began by browsing into “spiritual” topics, and was amazed by what was available for perusal. One late morning, in between financial spreadsheets and store designs, I happened upon a site that featured a picture of an Indian woman called Mother Meera. I had recently come across an article about manifestations of the Divine Feminine Principle in a magazine that featured a story about her, but I was unprepared for what followed.
As her “murti” (a pictorial image that expresses a Divine Spirit) slowly opened on my screen, I fell into a stunned silence, and over an hour passed before I felt that I was even able to actually exhale. I then rose, somewhat dizzily, from my desk, informed my secretary that I was going out for lunch, and drove to a near-by pond to walk along the banks and let what had just “happened” sort itself out.
Within moments into the stroll, I found my gaze lifted towards the sky, and as I glimpsed the brilliant sun above my head, a sudden unexpected water-falling cascade of deep sobbing tears erupted from my deepest core. I fell down on my knees, utterly overwhelmed and engulfed in wave upon wave of fluid blissful “Mercy”. That was the word that came to mind later, when trying to account for the experience. This was like nothing I could have ever imagined! I was devastated by the experience, and I could not cease from frequent bouts of weeping over the coming months. All my previous experiences could not touch this — it was a total vulnerability to the slightest appearance of anything, coupled with a tender rawness that found me broken open and flooded by a love I had no name for.
Although I had toyed with poetry back in college, I hadn’t written a word for 30 years, but now I suddenly could not stop — it was as if something urgently wanted to communicate itself. I was merely the vehicle for this majestic lovingness that wanted to express itself, and so I found myself scribbling spontaneously, repeating more often than not that “love is all that matters”.
After several months of this “communion”, I received an interior guidance that turned me over to a rather intense character I had never heard of – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. A woman friend who was undergoing cancer surgery told me during a hospital visit that she had no idea why, but she felt compelled to offer me a book that had come into her possession. It was a book of dialogues with Nisargadatta, called “I Am That”. Every day at lunch I read several paragraphs, and then spent the rest of the time allowing that amazing text’s teachings to seep in and penetrate. They both revealed the true nature of my previous experiences, and also clarified the whole field of “spiritual” pursuit.
As it so happened, this was time well-spent, and that’s an under-statement, for sure! I will be forever grateful for the Love that opened my heart, and then led me to the Teacher who would point me back to myself – to my true identity. Furthermore, the way was now prepared for me to meet my “Twin Flame” once more. A miraculous series of events immediately followed in quick succession, which conspired to move me back across the country to California, where I was to find my immortal Beloved in the form of the darling angel heart named Mazie, the one for whom I was meant, and the one who was meant for me.