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It Is All Rather Easy
Mike: James, I want to say hi… then I thought I had better say something… seems every time I write it makes sense to say something… so let me just write to you and leave the saying something as you decide.
When I went to Tiruvannamalai there were many obstacles… to meet with you was a tenuous connection at best… we had spoken on Skype, as you may recall… still, I had no idea what I was doing going to India… no idea what Vedanta was… still, I was desperate… as you would say, I had been softened up. I had called a friend, a doctor, a few hours before I was to go to the airport, to ask for his help… I was wondering what the hell was I doing going to a place the name of which I could not even pronounce.
For many years I have struggled with a strange debilitating energy… even now I do not know exactly what it was… I had been deeply loved by someone and in a sad way I had not understood the opportunity, the blessing she was in my life… I have sadly used women all my life and I abused her the most… abuse through dishonesty… I hurt her and myself greatly… she has got on with her life yet has not got on with her life… no more than I have, a constant and inexplicable experience for both of us.
I have travelled a great deal these past years… could not settle… what happened was, out of the blue I was “stopped”… totally stopped… on an edge… feeling an abyss that bundled my mortality, mistakes, selfishness and abuses all together… I had nowhere to go… it drained me for days… I had not really been free of it for years.
I was in that fragile state when I left for Tiruvannamalai last Christmas to meet you… a friend took me to the airport, which was good as I was in a daze.
The good news is I have not been “stopped” since I met you and you shared Vedanta with me… I have been settled at home…. I know a quietness, an “it is all right”… it is wonderful… an evolving freedom.
The saying about seeing the ordinary in an extraordinary way came to me today… I see it now as seeing the ordinary in an ordinary way… made me smile… for that is how it is… the extraordinary, the big deal, is not the way it happens… and yet it is the way it happens.
I always have had the belief, if I can get out of my own way magic happens… good days are days I am getting out of my own way. Not doing… not planning… just being here in my beautiful home… magic is happening…. it is all rather easy, as you say.
I see the futility of so many past actions… activities that were so important now I see as futile. You would say there is no doing… and I’d agree.
I like your teaching very much… your teaching of Vedanta is very special… your teaching energy is blessed… adhesive… I easily relate to you… you are honest.
I listen to your lessons here in Brisbane while I watch images of India, Tiruvannamalai, Arunachala… the sanyassis, dogs and monkeys in the street I rode my bike along each morning… and I am back there with you.
So much was special in Tiruvannamalai… there was this guy across the road from Sunshine who rented me push bikes… he was living a dharmic life, was blissful and happy… he rented me three bikes, all of which broke down… never said a word, never asked for money… he was a teacher.
You know I have a carbon road bike and a touring bike with all the gear, yet I love his heavy awkward, faulty, fixed-geared bikes more. To ride his bikes was a privilege.
I am living dharmically… am settled at home… living alone… I let your words and energy flow through my day… I give thanks to Isvara in my thoughts… I don’t do… I see much that makes sense… I get out of my own way… I observe my experiences.
I miss the bike guy and I miss you too, James. I hope you find your new home to stay put in… be good for you… be good to come visit you again when you are settled.
James: I love your letters, Mike. I posted the last one on the website, The Skinny Wheel Experience. They are eloquent and filled with feeling. I am so happy that self-knowledge has come to stay and that it has moved the apparent you off center-stage. The way you describe it is beautiful. I am sorry for the delay replying but – same old story – very busy. I am at the end of a six-week European tour, a different venue every week, knackered, of course, and about to head down to Spain where Isabella and I are in the process of buying two houses on the top of a mountain near the Costa del Sol. We will do seminars from there starting this fall. You are most welcome. Take care of yourself – or better yet, let the Lord do the work – and keep me posted. I really love your letters – and you.