When the book jumped at me

It started with the sign.

Robert Moss said, when you approach life as a dreamer, everything is a sign. The way the postal delivery clerk walks up your drive. The colour of the sky after the storm. The spot where the snow drops off the branch. It’s all ways the Everything is communicating with you.

I didn’t even see this particular sign in real life. Just a photo of it, in the school’s weekly circular. Be Well. Prenez soon. Ámhas ku swá7su. If you have been to town in the last week, you have surely seen it.

Ámhas ku swá7su. Good wishes.

It gave me pause. What a powerful wish this is. A way I can extend the called-upon kindness, even from within my stance of mild irritation,  or frustration rising. I shared the photo to the Wellness Almanac and before I realised what happened, I had written a blog post confessing my general pettiness these days, and committing to explore what it would be like, to not hate on myself for feeling petty, to not censor myself for my less-than Dalai Lama moments of irritation, but to simply append “and I wish you well”, to each thought…

Diane Zaste responded, in the Gratitude page she initiated for our community two years ago. (She has known it, lived it, experienced the way a gratitude practice had saved her, had been a life raft through tough times and she knew she was hungering for a little bit of community connection. So she created it, around this idea.)

She snapped a photo of a book she was reading, that had been recommended to her through another new facebook group, the Book Savvy Corner, in response to this “be well” experiment I was launching myself on…

The Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield.

I read the extract describing a practice of Seeing the Secret Goodness.

There was something about the kindness of the way Kornfield described the exercise that drew me in. I didn’t feel “shoulded”. I felt invited to come close.

“Wait for a day when you awaken in a fine mood, when your heart is open to the world. If such days are rare, choose the best you have… Aim to see as many beings as you can with a silent, loving respect. Go through the days as if you were the Dalai Lama undercover.

It tickled me. Be a secret Dalai Lama. This idea… of wandering through your days, undercover, imagining that beneath the jacket and gloves and toque and mask, you’re robed in orange monk’s robes. You’re benevolently blessing everyone. You’re sneakily spreading joy vibes. You’re seeing through all of their external layers, the weather protection, the heart protection armour, the posing and the game face, down to the golden shimmering sacredness beneath.

I scratched a note on my “books to get” wish list… The Wise Heart.

Two days later, I walked to work. It’s a 20 stair commute – up to the second level of my house, past the landing where my desk used to squat, and where the book case now prolapses forth contents, review copies of books and books gleaned from the library’s weeding shelf and second hand book sale… my armoury, my magazine, my storehouse… of inspiration, in case of some day when I’d need to fortify myself inside my house… Oh, hello COVID19. Thanks for justifying my book hoard.

Second to top stair, and there, at eye level, I was staring straight at it.

The Wise Heart.

That very book. I have it. On the “spiritual” shelf. For future enlightening. Has been sitting on the shelf since I gleaned it, thinking, that could be worth reading, some day, when I don’t hae another pile of library books to get through before I have to return them.

It leapt into my arms. 

Well, hello there. Where did you come from?

Oh, you know, just waiting until you were really primed.

Obviously, it’s time to read this, like, now. All the signs are clearly pointing in this direction. And if nothing else, I am willing to pay attention to the signs. And how wonderful, that the sign-people, the ones holding the LOOK THIS WAY are part of my community and include the school principal (thank you Ms Kubik!), some volunteer moms (thank you Tara and Shelley), Diane, my meditation teacher who has already dropped these seeds for this in my lap (thank you Susan), the library staff (always!)… as well as whatever invisible forces are at work, saying, look this way, look this way, this is your path…

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

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