Here is a short story from my journal…
I traveled a bit this summer and since I love coffee and shop locally when I can, found myself standing in line one morning at a wonderful, charming coffee house smelling that intoxicating aroma and practicing patience.
The man in front of me turned around, said hello, and struck up a conversation. Mildly annoyed at having to put sentences together to seem polite before my first cup of coffee he asked me the common, What do you do for a living? I replied shortly, I’m a counselor. Now this usually either ends the conversation or changes the subject, but this particular morning, the man looked directly at me and asked sincerely, Do people really change?
Hmm. I was caught off guard. Since my approach to counseling is not about ‘change’ but about shifting into what is already present I hesitated for a moment and weighed my response. Do I launch into an explanation - pre caffeine - about the nature of shifting - our spiritual reality - blah, blah, blah
or do I answer his question simply?
I chose the latter. Yes, it’s my experience that people change when they are in enough pain.
Recognition flashed in his eyes and his energy shifted. Seems I had struck a chord. He nodded his head and said, Yes, too much pain. He continued, So people come to you with their problems and you give them answers?
No, I help them find their own answers. Everyone already has what they are looking for - it’s inside. And when someone has the willingness to take a look, hidden inner treasures are discovered and life improves.
His next response surprised me, as well. Are you talking about meditation? I have heard all my life that meditation is good for me. But why should I meditate?
To know God, I again replied succinctly. One meditates to move inside beyond the chatter of the mind and delusions of the conditioned reality - to what is constant, everlasting and true.
We call it ‘God’ but you could call it the zero point field. It’s not about what you call it, it’s about knowing the experience of living it every day. That’s what I mean by ‘knowing’.
I paused and smiled.
By now we had our coffee and were standing outside enjoying a glorious mountain morning. He was quiet and I really didn’t have anything else to say. I was just about to thank him for the conversation and say good bye when he turned to me, looked me in the eyes, and said, I have asked that question to many people over the years and no one has answered with more clarity. Thank you.
Well, I appreciate your thanks but let me suggest you thank yourself. From your response I would say you were ready to ask the question and receive the answer from inside - I merely mirrored your own level of clarity.
Hmm. Now he was surprised. So, I created this conversation this morning to hear what I already knew but perhaps had not listened to before now? I nodded. Can I have other conversations that will also reveal the answers I am seeking?
I laughed. Of course, and, by the way, you reflect the part of me that keeps asking questions because she forgets. I guess I needed a reminder this morning.
He laughed this time. Hey, this is fun. I didn’t realize discovering the truth could be light instead of heavy and serious.
And what about your pain? I asked.
What pain? he laughed again. This is great! Everything has shifted. He looked at me suspiciously. Are you sure it’s not you? I’ve never had a conversation like this with anyone.
Well, it could be the caffeine, with a twinkle in my eye. I smiled again and nodded my head respectfully and walked away.