“The heart has its reasons that reason does not know.”
~ Blaise Pascal
After living alone for over thirty years, I cannot remember any recent time when I’ve felt lonely or bored. Though I very much enjoy and require regular interactions with people, animals and nature, I’m invariably happy and savor solitude whenever I am alone at home.
However, soon after my 1976 divorce there were many times when I felt quite lonely and craved adult companionship and social contact – especially on weekends when I was alone and not working.
Gradually, such feelings of loneliness faded away and finally disappeared. And I preferred being alone – while in my apartment and while regularly jogging or walking along the Bay or in nature places, like the Point Reyes National Seashore.
Moreover, with continuing spiritual practices and amazing synchronicities, more and more I experienced a subtle connection with everyone and everything, and realized that at a subtle level I was never really alone.
The last time I recall feeling rather lonely in my apartment was just after my beloved Guruji – Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas – returned to India in 1981. Until his departure, he and his entourage had been living with me for several weeks.
He was then constantly attended by several people who also slept in my apartment. And many others came every day as helpers and visitors.
Never before or since then has my apartment been the scene of so much activity, with so many people. Never before or since then has my apartment had such a palpably powerful and magnetic spiritual ambience.
Then after Guruji’s departure, in abrupt contrast to the period of his visit, I was suddenly living all alone again without any human company, and without Guruji’s extraordinary shakti energetic presence.
So, at first, I felt somewhat lonely – especially missing Guruji’s powerful presence. But, soon thereafter, I had an amazing synchronistic experience which assuaged my loneliness feelings, and which reminded me that I’m never really alone.
Here is what happened:
One lovely weekend morning, I arose from an extended period of prayer and meditation in my living room, unknowingly in an elevated and abstracted state of awareness. It was a beautiful sunny day, without any fog obscuring my panoramic view of the Golden Gate and the Bay.
Then, looking far westward toward the Golden Gate bridge I saw glimmering in the sunlight a distant lone white sea gull gracefully flying and hovering in the wind currents.
While gazing at that delightful scene in a ‘spaced out’ state and uninhibited by my usual limiting beliefs about “reality”, I silently and spontaneously asked the sea gull:
“Oh beautiful bird, won’t you please come here and visit me?”
And almost immediately the sea gull obliged.
It banked, turned and flew from far away directly toward me until it landed and perched on the West deck railing of my apartment, just a few feet away from where I was beholding it through a floor to ceiling living room window.
The sea gull and I gazed at each other for a few moments. Then I silently asked:
“Dear sea gull, please let me feed you; please fly to that North window that opens, so I can give you some food.”
And again the bird obliged.
It flew about thirty feet from the West railing where it was perched in front of me, to a concrete ledge, just outside the only ventilation window on the North side of my living room. Then, I walked near the sea gull’s new resting place, and already having established communication, I again silently asked it:
“Now, dear sea gull, will you please wait there until I can find some food and feed you?”
And again the bird obliged. It remained on that ledge until I found some bread and seeds, opened the North window, and fed it. Finally, after eating, the bird flew away. But that didn’t end our magical new relationship.
Not only did my new sea gull friend later return for a few more feedings, but for several months it often ‘reciprocated’ my kindness by treating me to extraordinary aerobatic displays.
Just as captive dolphins or other marine mammals might constantly swim round and round in their confining pool or tank, my sea gull friend often visited me by flying round and round a large open space between the front of my twelfth floor apartment (on the north side of my high-rise apartment building) and a row of five high-rise buildings half a block away on Vallejo street.
All of these extraordinary sea gull visitations happened when I was alone in my apartment, except one. On one occasion the bird appeared when I had a visitor from out of town, my friend Steve, who like me was both a lawyer and an initiate of Guruji.
After Steve witnessed my sea gull visitor, I remembered that Guruji once told us that some advanced yogis have the ability to enter or possess bodies of other creatures, even scorpions in caves conducive to meditation. So I wondered then whether Guruji had sent that sea gull to assuage my feelings of loneliness on his departure.
But, however it happened, the sea gull experience proved a crucial blessing because it synchronistically bestowed an important evolutionary insight about how our concepts of “reality” determine and disrupt our ‘relationship’ with Nature.
My communication and communion experience with the sea gull happened because I was in an elevated and intuitive state of consciousness uninhibited by my usual limiting beliefs about “reality”, and about our apparent separation from other life-forms.
Thus, that unforgettable experience demonstrated our human potential to intuitively feel loving oneness with all of Nature. It was a dramatic reminder of our cosmic consciousness connection with all seemingly separate life-forms.
As Einstein observed, “Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
Throughout human history indigenous societies have intuitively revered and communed with all of Nature. In such societies, my sea gull experience might have been considered quite ‘normal’, not at all unusual or noteworthy.
But in our present technological age, most humans have lost their innate ability to be attuned and harmonious with all of Nature. So, paradoxically, it is only our species – the species which considers itself most advanced – that is causing serious natural disruptions, disharmonies and ecological crises.
Like my sea gull friend, other creatures without any conceptions about “reality” are spontaneously harmonious with Nature.
So I view my sea gull communion experience as symbolic of our ever innate human potential – and urgent ecological imperative – for returning to an elevated heart level of awareness from which spontaneously, intuitively and harmoniously we shall honor and cooperate with Nature, thus allowing all life everywhere to survive and thrive.
And so it shall be!