“There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe.
The horizontal threads are in space.
The vertical threads are in time.
At every crossing of the threads, there is an individual.
And every individual is a crystal bead.
And every crystal bead reflects not only the light
from every other crystal in the net,
but also every other reflection throughout the entire universe.”
~ Indra’s Net – from the Vedas of ancient India, 7000 years old
All things appear and disappear
because of the concurrence of causes and conditions.
Nothing ever exists entirely alone;
everything is in relation to everything else.
“Synchronicity is choreographed by a great,
pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature,
and is manifest in each of us through what we call the soul.”
~ Deepak Chopra, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
Introduction to Synchronicity Sutras and Stories
Have you ever wondered about mysterious meaningful or noteworthy “coincidences” or ‘synchronicities’ in your life, or in lives of others known to you? Countless people experience such strange “coincidences” without recognizing them as miraculous spiritual experiences, and often without paying much attention to their possible significance.
What are synchronicities? How do they happen? How shall we interpret them? Why are they noteworthy or meaningful? How can they inspire us? Can they help further our spiritual evolution?
Since synchronicities are often defined as meaningful or noteworthy “coincidences” in sequential time, what can they tell us about the nature of time? Without sequential time, there can’t be a “coincidence” in time. Do synchronicities originate beyond time, in the eternal NOW?
The word “synchronicity” was coined by Carl Jung to describe “temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events”. Jung also variously described synchronicity as an “‘acausal connecting principle'”, “meaningful coincidence” and “acausal parallelism”.
But ancient Hermetic teachings, say – and we accept – that in this world:
“Every Cause has its Effect;
every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law;
Chance is but a name for Law not recognized;
there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.”
~ The Kybalion
And according to Buddhism, “All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.” Thus, Buddhism recognizes that all phenomena and events arise from coinciding causes and conditions.
Apart from coincidences in time, the word “synchronicity” is sometimes also used to describe inner premonitions which later happen in the phenomenal world. (E.g. Before 9/11, 2001, many people had ‘synchronistic’ premonitions of the destruction of the World Trade Center.)
Thus, the concept of synchronicity — when seen in a wider context — raises strong doubts about existence of “coincidence” at all. Before the concept was known by this name, people often referred to such synchronistic events as portents or omens.
On SillySutras.com we accept that nothing in space/time escapes the law of cause and effect. But synchronicity indicates that there is much to the Universe beyond our understanding of cause and effect; that the subtleties of the mind and matter are somehow mysteriously interconnected.
So here we define synchronicities as:
“Noteworthy ‘premonitions’ or ‘coincidences’ in time mysteriously arising from unexplained causes and conditions which connect events, actions and thoughts; and, which show us that in Nature, there is no time and there are no coincidences – that everything that is, was, or will be is NOW; and, that everything is inter-connected and happens in harmony and synchrony – concurrently, not coincidentally.”
According to Deepak Chopra, although the term “synchronicity” was coined in the twentieth century by Dr. Carl Jung, it may correspond to concepts described by ancient Indian Rishis or seers thousands of years ago. If so, how? Why?
By exploring synchronicity and by recounting synchronistic experiences and stories, this silly sutra site is dedicated to our co-creating an ever better reality by awakening us to our infinite potentialities and by furthering our wondrous experience and appreciation of our mysterious and miraculous world.
And so may it be!
“There are no mistakes, no coincidences,
all events are blessings given to us to learn from.”
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
On retiring one Saturday night, I planned going to Trader Joe’s first thing in the morning, for bananas and other needed provisions. But I was unexpectedly delayed for over two hours.
From 6:30 to 9:30 I experienced recurrence of traumatic post-colonoscopy diarrheal episodes. Finally, by 10 a.m., I was pooped out and showered and ready to go to Trader Joe’s. But when I got into my garaged Prius, the battery was dead. Almost another hour passed before AAA had responded to my emergency call and jumped the Prius’ battery to get me going. But instead of heading straight to Trader Joe’s, I needed first to drive for twenty minutes to recharge the battery. So, I finally arrived at TJ’s a couple of hours later than planned.
There I discovered that two important items on my shopping list – gluten-free rice bread and blackberries (which are anti-diarrheal) – were not on the shelf. Disappointed, I was about to check out empty carted when a smiling TJ employee offered to look in the stock room for the missing items. So, instead of checking out, I waited for longer than expected.
While I was waiting, a special friend from my Aquatic Beach kook group appeared in the store. It was Hippy Dave, the singing, cycling, sadhu who is one of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever met. (Dave’s birthday is May 8th, horoscopically exactly opposite my November 8 birthdate.) Because of cold and inclement weather at the beach I hadn’t seen Dave for a couple of months.
But there in Trader Joe’s, Dave and I had our usual wonderful synergistic ‘satsang’, greatly recharging our spiritual and psychic batteries. And while we talked the smiling Trader Joe’s man finally emerged from the stock room, triumphantly holding up my non-glutenous bread and anti-diarrheal blackberries.
The diarrhea, the dead battery, and the empty bread and berry shelves, together proved to be consecutive disguised blessings. But for their unexpected sequential occurrence, I wouldn’t have met Sri Dave and enjoyed our great Trader Joe’s satsang. And but for the smiling TJ man, I would have checked out empty carted before Dave’s arrival.
Moral of the story:
Look for the disguised blessing in every experience, especially in every difficult experience.
Hippie Dave and Ron reciting poetry at Aquatic Beach, 10/29/13
To satisfy possible curiosity about Hippie Dave, here is a rare video of him spontaneously reciting from memory one of his many extraordinary poems:
“I am open to the guidance of synchronicity,
and do not let expectations hinder my path.”
~ Dalai Lama
“Synchronicity is choreographed by a great, pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature, and is manifest in each of us through what we call the soul.”
~ Deepak Chopra, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
Apples and The Road Not Taken
On a Monday, I purchased two bags of Granny Smith apples at the Rainbow Grocery. I had then been accustomed to eating just half an apple daily. But the apples were a bit small and especially delicious. So instead of eating just half an apple (as I’d been doing) I started eating a whole apple daily. On Friday I realized that I wouldn’t have enough apples to last until my next planned trip to Rainbow, and thought that I’d need four more apples before then.
Later, on taking my usual walk through Fort Mason to the beach at Aquatic Park, I was walking up the steep bayside paved road for pedestrians and bicycles, when as I came to the summit my path crossed synchronistically with that of my friend Carol Schuldt (the legendary then 76 year old swimmer/surfer/cyclist). Like a mountain goat she emerged from walking on the natural steep bayside cliff below the road, and she climbed up onto the paved path where I was walking.
I asked in astonishment, “Carol what were you doing walking down there?” She replied that she didn’t like to walk in crowded places where others walk, but was glad to see me because she had brought me something in her backpack.
Thereupon, I told Carol she reminded me of a famous poem called “The Road Not Taken”. But momentarily I forgot the poet author’s name. Whereupon, Carol (who is not well read in literature and poetry) promptly reminded me that it was Robert Frost. I asked, “Carol, how did you know that?” In reply she told me that three days ago someone left a book of Frost’s poetry in front of her house. She picked it up and randomly opened it to a page where that poem appeared. Here it is:
The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Carol and I then walked together to the beach, where she removed her backpack, and gave me four fresh apples which she’d brought for me.
“Every feature of the Porziuncola lifts the heart and mind to God”
~ St. Padre Pio
“The winds of grace are always blowing, but you have to raise the sail.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna
Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.
~ Francis of Assisi
“The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today”
~ Francis Of Assisi
Remember with gratitude,
Life is beatitude –
Even its sorrows and pain;
For we’re all in God’s Grace,
Every time, every place, and
Forever (S)HE will reign!
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
A Day of Grace: Rediscovering the Porziuncola
When I moved from Chicago to San Francisco in 1960, I was largely uninformed about religions other than Judaism, and knew virtually nothing about saints. Even though Saint Francis of Assisi was patron saint of my new home, I remained ignorant of his life story until after my profound spiritual opening in 1976.
Then, through a series of synchronistic inner visions and outer events I developed a deep inner rapport with Saint Francis. And his prayer became – and remained – an important part of my daily spiritual practice.
On retirement from law practice in 1992, I made pilgrimages to India and Italy to pay my respects both to my spiritual master Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas and to Saint Francis.
On arriving in Italy in Springtime 1992, I rented a car at the Rome airport and drove northward to the Umbrian town of Assisi, where Francis was born and resided for most of his extraordinary life. As I arrived at the outskirts of Assisi, I immediately experienced a remarkable feeling of déjà vu, and was so overcome with emotion that I had to pull over to the side of the road as I began crying deeply and intensely for a long time.
My subsequent stay in Assisi and excursion to Mount La Verna in Tuscany – where Francis became the first saint to receive the crucifixion stigmata of Christ – proved magical, with unforgettable spiritual experiences.
One of the most profound of those experiences happened as I visited a tiny frescoed chapel called Porziuncola [“the little portion”]. It had been restored from a ruined condition by Francis and his early followers to become first home of the Franciscan order. Here, Francesco lived, wrote his rule, created his order of friars minor and consecrated his friend Clara (Chiara), who became Santa Clara, founder of a female order dedicated to Franciscan ideals of holiness and poverty. Francis so loved this little place that he chose to die there.
As I entered the Porziuncola at Assisi, I experienced a palpable aura of love and was overcome with emotion, cried deeply and intensely and lost track of time. Ever since then, a memory of that exquisitely simple little chapel and its aura of supernal Love has remained enshrined in my heart. Although I have never since returned that holy Assisi place, which Saint Francis named and loved, my cherished memory of the Porziuncola was revived following a surprising and synchronistic ‘holy encounter’ in San Francisco, almost twenty years later. Here’s what happened.
After retirement many years ago, it became my practice to walk almost daily along San Francisco Bay. Most often I walked to the Bay following pedestrian paths beside the Fort Mason Great Meadow, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), our nation’s newest National Park.
As I arrived at Fort Mason on a beautiful and sunny June morning, I was obliged to detour from my usual path to the Bay. The National Park Service had closed the pedestrian paths around the Great Meadow for repaving. So to reach the Bay I had to walk across the grassy meadow. There I saw a very unusual sight. Perhaps hundreds of children, attended by mostly senior adults, many dressed in white, were gathered in the meadow. Many tents were set up for children’s activities, such as face painting and fortune telling. Sweet music was playing on loud speakers.
I was quite impressed by this charming scene, of sweet children and caring adults, and I sensed an especially loving atmosphere pervading the meadow. Curious, I asked the first chaperone I encountered, “what’s happening?”. A lovely senior lady told me that this was a children’s fair sponsored by the Meher School of Lafayette (a San Francisco suburb) for its students and for children from less affluent San Francisco neighborhoods, who had also been invited. [*see footnote]
Inspired by the love I perceived and felt there, I continued walking through the meadow and toward the Bay. After hiking out to the end of San Francisco Municipal Pier, I began returning home. Soon, I noticed an unopened bottle of spring water apparently dropped by a cyclist. I picked up the water bottle, determined to give it to someone at the children’s festival in the Great Meadow.
As I arrived again at the meadow, I was met by a tall friendly (and thirsty) man named Peter, who seemed to be watching out at the perimeter of the children’s gathering. Though we’d never met, he somehow seemed familiar. In greeting me Peter asked, “would you like to know what’s happening?” After I recounted what I already knew about the festival and gladly gave Peter the bottle of spring water, he told me more details of this event.
Peter explained that this gathering was like a mini-Umbrian children’s festival inspired by universal values of Saint Francis of Assisi which are similar to those of the Meher School; and, that periodically the school sponsors a play about the life of Francis performed at various venues, including at The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, located in San Francisco’s oldest church in the North Beach district.
I was very surprised when Peter mentioned a national shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi located in San Francisco. Though I’d then lived in San Francisco more than fifty years, I don’t remember ever before hearing about such a national shrine. Moreover as Peter described the shrine, I was amazed to learn that it included an almost exact replica of the Porziuncola at Assisi, recently constructed at the instance of former San Francisco supervisor Angela Alioto.
Peter and I then exchanged stories about our respective springtime visits to Assisi and our heartfelt affinity with Saint Francis. On parting we shared contact information.
A few days later, I received an email invitation from Peter’s friend and colleague, Terry, to tour the San Francisco Porziuncola shrine, which I quickly accepted. Terry, was both music director of the Meher School’s sponsoring non-profit organization, Sufism Reoriented, and a member of the Knights of St. Francis, a volunteer organization which helps safeguard the national shrine.
The tour proved magical for me. With Terry and Peter as guides, I beheld for the first time the San Francisco “Porziuncola Nuova”. Before entering, I noticed carved in Italian on the second marble step a quote from Francesco: “Vi voglio tutti in Paradiso” [“I want you ALL in Paradise”]. On learning what those words meant, I experienced instant heart-felt emotion and tears.
As I entered the sanctuary that emotion deepened, and soon overcome by it I was obliged to sit silently in a pew, just as I did in Assisi. And, as in Assisi, profuse tears flowed. Unable to talk, I sat and cried for a while as Peter compassionately attempted to comfort me. In the San Francisco Porziuncola I didn’t lose track of time as I did in Assisi, and after crying for a while resumed conversation with Terry and Peter.
But I continued feeling so emotional in that sacred space that I was unable to focus on details of the beautiful pictorial art and artifacts around me, which I later observed on other visits.
I did however notice a prominently displayed letter Tau, the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet which in biblical times closely resembled the letter T. [See below.] The Tau was adopted by Francesco as his own symbol or logo which he painted on the walls and doors of places where he stayed, and used in his writings as his only signature. (Synchronistically, I had a few days earlier been discussing with a friend possible use of a Tau as a logo for The Perennial Wisdom Foundation, the new non-profit corporation which I was then forming.)
Before exiting the “Porziuncola Nuova” I gazed upon and gently touched one of the holiest Franciscan relics in the world, a beautifully displayed rock believed to have been used by Francis as a crude tool in his reconstruction of the Porziuncola.
After departing the shrine, Terry and Peter and I adjourned for lunch in a nearby restaurant, where we shared stories of how Divine Grace has continuously blessed our lives, as it did on that magical day.
And in now reflecting on that wonderful day of rediscovery, I realize that it couldn’t have happened but for my synchronistic detours through the grassy Great Meadow and desire to share a bottle of spring water which I happened to find while walking by the Bay.
It seems that Divine Grace often works through synchronicity, and that the more alert we become to such synchronicity the more it happens.
What do you think?
* I later learned that this children’s fair was part of an ongoing national program called Francis in the Schools founded in 2010 by Dr. Carol Weyland Conner, spiritual director of Sufism Reoriented.
“Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there”
~ The Night Before Christmas, by
Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston
Have you ever wondered about origins of the Santa Claus legend long associated with Christmas celebrations? Why do people associate a mythical red cheeked jolly bearded old man from the North Pole with Christmas? Why is he archetypically depicted as attired in a furry red and white suit and flying through the air in a gift laden sleigh drawn by happy reindeer? Why does he supposedly deliver his gifts nocturnally via chimneys?
I began wondering about these questions after experiencing a Santa suit synchronicity. And I found interesting esoteric answers. Many people might suppose that the popular Santa (or Father Christmas) image began in 1823 with publication of the “Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem. But the poem was sourced from customs and legends which long antedated the nineteenth century.
I’ll tell about that after first recounting my Santa suit synchronicity story.
Santa Suit Synchronicity
Especially since my mid-life spiritual awakening, some circumstance or artifact has often fortuitously or synchronistically appeared in my life fulfilling a wish or perceived need. In my spiritual memoirs, I call these experiences “manifestation miracles”. Such “miracles” have been much too numerous for me to totally recall and recount. But, I will be sharing some memoirs stories about them, including this story about manifesting a Santa Claus costume.
On a Friday afternoon, I experienced a blissful spinal healing session at “SoulWorks”, the office of San Francisco healer and chiropractor, Dr. Melanie Hernand. During that session I was continuously and spontaneously laughing a lot. Maybe that laughter sounded to Dr. Hernand like “Ho! Ho! Ho!”. For afterwards, she asked me if I would come as Santa Claus to the “SoulWorks” holiday Christmas party, a benefit for The Healing Hearts Project and children of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. With little hesitation I told Dr. Hernand that I would be Santa Claus at the SoulWorks party, if she helped me find a costume. She agreed.
So, joyously I exited SoulWorks that Friday afternoon knowing that I needed a Santa Claus costume. Miraculously the costume manifested that very night without any further thought or effort.
On Friday night I returned home after happily attending a program given by Visionary Activist astrologer Caroline Casey at The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) where I was Board chairman during the 1980’s. It was my first visit to CIIS since leaving there twenty five years previously. And I very much enjoyed and appreciated Caroline’s presentation there.
I returned to my apartment building still in a blissful mood, and stopped in the lobby to get my mail. There I met my neighbor Ronelle Strand who was about to walk her dog, Cali, before retiring. Since Ronelle was one of a few people to whom I had given a SoulWorks gift certificate, I mentioned to her that I had just agreed to be Santa at the SoulWorks holiday party. Whereupon she told me that her Bay Music entertainment booking service business had some rental costumes, including a Santa suit which had been in storage and unrented for many years. She offered it, and it was perfect.
Then, awaiting the Santa suit party, I began wondering about the origins of the Santa story. Whereupon, I fortuitously happened to notice on Caroline Casey’s Facebook page, a You Tube link to this two minute BBC video entitled, “Magic mushrooms & Reindeer – Weird Nature”
I watched the video, was intrigued, and wanted to learn more. So, I consulted Dr. Google and fortuitously found interesting esoteric answers to my questions about the Santa Claus myth in a detailed article entitled “The Influence of Fly Agaric on the Iconography of Father Christmas” , also published by BBC.
Apparently, the Santa Claus legend arose from shamanic traditions of tribal peoples in pre-Christian Northern Europe, whose sacred psychedelic source was the red and white amanita muscaria mushroom, also known as “fly agaric”, a fungus found in pine and birch woods of western North America, northern Europe, and Asia.
Red-robed Chimney Climbing Santas
Supposedly, Siberian shamans have used amanita muscaria for recreational or ritualistic purposes for thousands of years. During mushroom-induced trances, they would twitch and sweat before falling into a deep coma-like sleep. During this coma, the shaman’s soul consciousness left his body and ascended to the ‘spirit world’ where it communicated with the spirits about major health problems, such as outbreaks of sickness in the village.
On awaking, with new knowledge from subtle sources, the shamans found their muscular systems had been so stimulated that they were able to perform spectacular physical feats with seemingly little effort – like making a gigantic leap to clear a small obstacle. The mushrooms similarly affected reindeer, and mushroom intoxicated reindeer traditionally guarded each shaman.
The shamans lived in yurts, tepee-like shelters made of reindeer skin, with roofs supported by birch poles and smoke-holes at the top. During midwinter festivals of renewal, the shamans gathered the mushrooms from under sacred trees. While harvesting the toadstools, they would wear special attire, consisting of red and white fur-trimmed coats and long black boots, very much like the modern day depiction of Santa Claus. They’d then enter their yurts through the smoke-holes, carrying sacks full of dried fly agaric mushrooms, descending the birch pole to the floor. Once inside, the shamans performed ceremonies and shared the toadstool’s psychotropic gifts with those gathered inside. Then they left as they entered, climbing up the pole and back through the smoke-hole.
Reindeer, known as caribou in North America, are deer found in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Europe and North America. They feed on grass and lichens, but also crave the fly agaric toadstool, Amanita muscaria, because of its intoxicating and euphoric effects.
The Sami have a custom of feeding fly agaric to their deer and collecting the urine to drink. The reindeer’s digestive system metabolizes the allegedly poisonous components of the toadstool, leaving urine with the hallucinogenic and psychotropic elements of the fungus intact. Drinking the urine gives a ‘high’ similar to taking LSD. Under the hallucinatory effects of the drink, the Sami thought their reindeer were flying through space, looking down on the world. The reindeers’ so crave the toadstool hallucinogens that they have been known to eat snow on which intoxicated humans have urinated, creating a reciprocating cycle.
Apparently, when the first Christian missionaries reached Lapland and heard stories of such reindeer flight, they integrated those tales into Western folklore concerning Saint Nicholas. So, the association of reindeer with Christmas was well established for centuries before the 1843 publication of the The Night Before Christmas poem, and the 1949 hit song, ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ popularized it with masses of people.
And to All a Good Night
Thus it seems probable that the traditional image of Santa Claus originated in shamanistic rituals involving the red and white amanita muscaria mushroom gathered by shamans wearing red and white fur-trimmed coats. From climbing into chimneys and gift giving, to dressing in red and white and flying through the air with reindeer, travelers and storytellers have fused these ancient customs with other pagan traditions and imagery. And these pagan customs have pragmatically been adapted and integrated by Christianity into its Christmas traditions.
Ho! Ho! Ho! And to All a Good Night.
“There are no mistakes, no coincidences,
all events are blessings given to us to learn from.”
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
“He who has not looked on Sorrow will never see Joy.”
“… joy and sorrow are inseparable. . .
together they come and when one sits alone with you . . .
remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”
~ Kahlil Gibran
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,
the more joy you can contain.”
~ Kahlil Gibran
From Blanked Out to Blissed Out
After a period of many overcast and rainy San Francisco days, I awakened on a Monday morning gratefully beholding the sun shining on the City and the Bay. So, I decided to enjoy the day with a brisk morning walk in the sun before my noon appointment at Soul Works chiropractic.
But first, I went on-line and attended to current emails and SillySutras.com website issues. Consulting ‘Dr. Google’, I discovered a suggested code change which might correct a non-functioning website plugin that had stopped working months ago. Then, shortly before I planned to begin my walk in the sun, I decided to try correcting the faulty plugin, and made the suggested code change. But when I pushed the “save” button at the bottom of the plugin edit page, everything went blank – both SillySutras.com and my WordPress administrative dock.
So, it appeared that my website was down and blanked out, and that – unable to access my administrative page – I needed immediate help from others to fix it. But I realized that if I then tried getting help, I wouldn’t have time for a walk by the Bay, and my noon chiropractic appointment. Nonetheless, instead of postponing my walk and appointment, I decided intuitively to walk in the sun and to my chiropractic appointment leaving the website blanked-out. That spontaneous decision was contrary to my long-time lawyer’s habit of quickly and compulsively correcting any such problems.
After a delightfully brisk walk through Fort Mason open space and onto the SF Municipal Pier jutting into SF Bay, I arrived at Soul Works chiropractic in a very happy mood. But I was still wondering about my blanked-out website. So I asked Adriene, the lovely new Soul Works receptionist, if she would check SillySutras.com on her computer to see if it was visible or down.
Adriene told me that “synchronistically” she too had a WordPress website, and she immediately understood my problem. She checked my website on-line and found that it was blank – just a white page with absolutely no public display or data. So, she recommended that I contact my web hosting service as soon as possible.
At other times I might have become tense or upset and postponed my chiropractic session until after arranging to fix my crashed website. But, somehow, through all of this I stayed calm, and I felt that the synchronicity of talking to Adriene who had her own website using the identical WordPress platform that ran SillySutras.com was a sign from the Universe that I was in the right place at the right time. Moreover, after my wonderful brisk walk beside the Bay I was feeling especially happy and peaceful.
So in that happy state, I stretched out on the chiropractic table, stilled my mind, and began deep relaxed breathing. Then, while lying prone on the chiropractor’s table with a ‘blanked-out’ mind, I suddenly saw the day’s ‘blanked-out’ website incident as a ‘cosmic joke’, testing whether Ron would witness it non-reactively and respond peacefully and appropriately – or whether he’d react reflexively, emotionally and impulsively. Thereupon, with that realization, I went into a state of bliss and was laughing continuously – sometimes singing – for half an hour.
Over thirty years ago, while driving home to San Francisco from a retreat with my beloved Guru, Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, I was suddenly taken out of my body and into a very subtle higher spiritual realm from which this world appeared as a mere play of consciousness – a sort of cosmic joke – where every appearance and happening was causally pre-determined by Cosmic Consciousness.
Though that experience was life-changing and unforgettable, it is difficult for me to mindfully remember it in daily life, especially when viewing with compassion, and sometimes with tears, the disharmony and terrible suffering of Humankind and other life in this crazy world. But on the Soul Works chiropractic table with a blanked-out mind, I remembered the ‘cosmic joke’ blissfully, and laughed continuously.
Emerging from Soul Works, I realized that it was infinitely more important for Ron to access his inner bliss with a ‘blanked-out’ mind, than his Silly Sutra writings on a ‘blanked-out’ website. So that Monday’s website emergency proved a disguised blessing, affording Ron an opportunity to witness his website crash dispassionately and non-reactively, and, hopefully to learn from that experience.
Moral of the story:
Every adverse experience may be a disguised blessing – an opportunity to learn something important. And synchronicities seen during such experiences can be signs that we are “in the flow” at the right time and place, despite apparent problems. viz.
“When events seeming random, happen in tandem,
it’s then we know we’re in the flow.”
Life on earth has its unavoidable ‘ups and downs’ – its inevitable difficulties. So learning to experience life’s adversities skillfully and with equanimity helps us live happier lives and furthers our evolution.
Here is a previously posted silly sutras poem which encapsulates the inevitability of life’s ‘ups and downs’:
In duality domain
wrapped in pain.
Within each joy
is an oy/oy/oy.
So, when you’re feeling forlorn,
Misery is the mother of Bliss.
PS. If you are reading this posting on SillySutras.com, you know that it is no longer blanked-out, and that Ron’s editing mistake was completely corrected after he enjoyed a few blissed out hours with a blanked-out mind. Hurray!
On returning home from Soul Works I found an email from Lana Walker, my professional website advisor. I immediately replied telling her of the website white-out problem, which she quickly fixed a few hours after it began. And more people accessed the website that Monday, than any other day that week.
In this world of relativity, we are all relatives.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“We are born and reborn countless number of times, and it is possible that each being has been our parent at one time or another. Therefore, it is likely that all beings in this universe have familial connections.”
~ H. H. Dalai Lama, from ‘The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom”.
“When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him, you will see yourself. As you treat him, you will treat yourself. As you think of him, you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose sight of yourself.”
~ A Course in Miracles (ACIM)
“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
~ Fred Rogers
“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven
is my brother and sister and mother.”
~ Matthew 12:50
Ask and it shall be given; Seek and ye shall find.
~ Matthew 7:7
A “Holy Encounter” ~ Synchronicity Story
Have you ever met a stranger who seemed familiar, or with whom you felt an effortless instant rapport? If so, did you wonder why?
Buddhists might explain such meetings as reencounters with people we’ve known in other lifetimes. They say that our mind-stream incarnates so many times that we may have familial connections with all other beings.
In all events, however we may explain such encounters, we can view them as synchronistic evolutionary opportunities. A Course in Miracles (ACIM) teaches that every encounter can be a “Holy Encounter”, enabling us find “salvation” by transcending our illusionary self identification with seeming separation and by discovering our true wholeness and Holiness – our true self identity with Universal Spirit.
In recent years I have had many synchronistic meetings with strangers which have become “holy encounters”. One such meeting happened on a late September afternoon.
While walking by the Bay, I stopped and sat at a picnic table in a beautiful Fort Mason nature place. Soon a stranger named Nick appeared, and we engaged in an extraordinary and extended dialogue about perennial spiritual questions, the kinds of questions that motivated me to launch Silly.Sutras.com. While we talked, Nick’s energy seemed familiar, even though we’d never before met.
The next day Nick sent me an email asking to be added to the SillySutras circulation list. Also, he expressed appreciation for our meeting (in which he had asked many questions), and he asked one more question, which he said he’d forgotten to previously ask, viz:
“Throughout the days, there is a witness who watches all the events of my life; whether in calmness or through the most frantic events he remains unperturbed. Who is this observer?”
I replied to Nick, an observant Christian, as follows:
“The answer to your question is – like the Kingdom of Heaven – within. Seeking it you shall find it.
Do you equate your word “witness” with “awareness” or “consciousness”? If so, here is an apt quotation from Ramana Maharshi, a renowned mystic master from the past century:
‘Consciousness is always Self-Consciousness. If you are conscious of anything, you are essentially conscious of yourself.’
~ Ramana Maharshi”
More than six months after our synchronistic encounter and exchange of messages, I was surprised by an email from Nick, telling about his experience when we met.
In reply, I asked Nick’s permission to share his letter on-line. He agreed, and explained:
“I wrote because I felt the need to express my gratitude, to you, of course, but above all to our celestial Father, for this blessing.”
Here is Nick’s letter:
My name is Nick; I don’t know if you remember me. We met last fall. I had just lost my beloved mother. I was walking along the shore in dazed despair. At one point, near the Municipal Pier, I thought: “If there were just one person, one soul in this whole city that I could talk to!”
I think it an odd paradox that it’s precisely death, the ultimate “limiting factor”, that should, perhaps more than any event, bring humans face-to-face with the Infinite. It was precisely this quandary, more than immediate injury and loss, that pained and perplexed me that day.
When I got to the top of Fort Mason, at Black Point, I walked toward the picnic tables. There, at the spot where my mother and I used to gaze out upon the Bay, I saw a small figure, sitting silently at a table; it reminded me of a heron or some other seabird I had spied, in stillness on the shore.
At that point, I felt I had “arrived” and had the urge to speak. But, at a loss on how to engage the conversation, I remember instead awkwardly staring out at the water. You broke the ice with these words:
“It’s good to be here!”
A little startled, I asked whether this was intended as a geographical or metaphysical statement. Your answer, I believe, was that it could be understood as either (I rather agreed with the first; less with the second interpretation; though, of course, the two seem difficult to separate).
I don’t remember too many of the particulars of the wide-ranging conversation that followed across the picnic table (St. Francis, Buddha, the Kaddish, suicide, the apocalypse..) . What I do recall is that it precisely addressed all the points that caused me such perplexity that day, and that in its course my wounds seemed to get bandaged up, my pains assuaged.
Most vividly, I remember you asking me whether I knew the meaning of the term “synchronicity”, which, in answer to my avowed ignorance, you proceeded to define. In truth, I required few explanations: a while earlier, down by the Maritime Museum, when I’d exclaimed “God, if there were just someone in the world to talk to!”, this hadn’t been a prayer in any formal sense, not even a request with any expectation of fulfillment, but a simple cri du coeur.* [*cry from the heart; heartfelt appeal]
Now I understood what synchronicity meant.
I’m afraid I detained you longer than reasonable, as twilight settled over the trees.
You gave me your card, I checked out your website and signed up for your episodic postings.
Whether freezing my ass off in my mother’s drafty old farmhouse in Burgundy in the dead of last winter, hiking some warm canyon in the Southwest, or just sitting in my room here in San Francisco, scratching my head and wondering what’s next, these have proved a reliable source of comfort and elevation. Most often, as I read them, I can’t help but repeat “Yes, yes, yes!” ; sometimes I disagree, or don’t understand. They’ve made a difference for the better in my life, and I eagerly look forward to them. All and all, they have the effect of a gentle voice enjoining me to wake up from an overlong nightmare. Which brings to mind [this verse from Pedro Calderon De La Barca’s play La vida es sueño – Life is a Dream ]:
¿Qué es la vida? Un frenesí.
¿Qué es la vida? Una ilusión,
una sombra, una ficción,
y el mayor bien es pequeño;
que toda la vida es sueño,
y los sueños, sueños son.*
I’m still confused ; still sorely miss my mother, angel of beauty; but I’m very grateful to have made your acquaintance. And when I take a walk at Fort Mason, I always hope I’ll find you sitting at the table. No luck, so far. I reckon you just can’t force synchronicity…
What is life? A frenzy.
What is life? An illusion,
A shadow, a fiction,
And the greatest profit is small;
For all of life is a dream,
And dreams, are nothing but dreams.
Moral of this story:
Heartfelt calls to the Divine will be answered and rewarded.
Every encounter with others; especially each synchronistic encounter, can be a “Holy Encounter”.
How can the divine Oneness be seen?
In beautiful forms, breathtaking wonders, awe-inspiring miracles?
The Tao is not obliged to present itself in this way.
If you are willing to be lived by it, you will see it everywhere,
even in the most ordinary things.
~ Lao Tzu
In prior posts I have told how after my spiritual awakening my life became filled with ever more amazing synchronicities, some of which I called “manifestation miracles”. (See https://sillysutras.com/synchronistic-manifestation-miracles-rons-memoirs/ ) Sometimes manifestation synchronicities respecting particular things – like plants – have happened to me recurrently. Here is a story of how the universe repeatedly provided comfortable running shoes for me when I needed them.
On living alone after divorce, I began jogging almost every morning before walking to work. So I started wearing running shoes for the first time. After trying on many different shoe brands, I discovered that New Balance (which were then sold in narrow widths) fit me best. Thereafter, for many years I only bought narrow New Balance running shoes.
But gradually my feet widened and expanded with age. And in 1988, my jogging days were ended when my left leg, knee and ankle were injured in an auto accident. But I kept walking regularly and continued wearing New Balance running shoes to absorb impact of walking on hard surfaces.
After the accident my lower left leg and foot often became swollen. The New Balance shoes then sometimes felt tight around the ankle area, but from habit I continued wearing them without exploring other brands. And I wore different New Balance shoes on different days, with colors matching my clothes.
About seven years ago, I was contemplating replacement of a very worn pair of blue running shoes. But for the first time, I didn’t have to buy needed new shoes.
One afternoon, as I was taking my regular walk toward the San Francisco Marina and Golden Gate, I noticed a pair of almost new blue running shoes on a Marina park bench. (*See footnote) I walked past the shoes without examining them, assuming that they had been placed there for a few minutes by someone who was about to emerge from a boat moored at the adjoining Marina.
But on returning from the Golden Gate Bridge over an hour later, I saw the same blue shoes still on the park bench. After momentarily walking past them, I went over to the bench and examined them with curiosity. They were barely worn Asics shoes, a brand with which I was then unfamiliar.
I looked into the shoes and saw that they were a size larger than I had ever before worn. So I didn’t think they would fit me. But then I placed them beside the shoes I was wearing, and they appeared to be about the same length.
Then, I sat on the bench, tried them on, and found them quite comfortable – even more comfortable around my swollen left ankle than my New Balance shoes. So, I took them home and began wearing them regularly, though I had never before worn a pair of previously owned shoes.
They were much more comfortable than the worn out blue New Balance shoes which they replaced. And the more I wore them, the more I liked them. I liked them so much that I continued obliviously using them for many years, long after their soles were completely worn and uneven.
Then two years ago, I told the story of how the universe had manifested those shoes to Rob Tobias, a singer/songwriter musician and videographer, who is making a documentary film about me called “Walks With Ron”. When I showed him the Asics shoes, Rob expressed amazement that I was still wearing them in such a worn-out condition. Tactfully, he suggested I should replace them. And I realized that he was right; that I needed to buy a new pair of blue running shoes.
But before I looked for a new pair of blue shoes, the universe provided them.
Very soon after Rob Tobias advised me to replace my over-worn Asics, I was returning from an afternoon walk to the SF Municipal Pier when I saw a pair of blue running shoes, which apparently someone had disposed of at a curb-side near my apartment. I picked them up, saw that they were in very good condition, and that miraculously they were Asics, and exactly the same size as the comfortable blue Asics I had found years ago which now needed replacement.
So, I put them in a plastic bag and carried them home. Of course, they proved quite comfortable and I began wearing them regularly. I have so far logged in many miles in those shoes, and am still contentedly using them.
About a year after the universe provided that second pair of blue Asics shoes, I needed a new pair of neutral colored running shoes to wear with brown shade clothes. For many years, I had been wearing a neutral colored New Balance pair with soles that had become completely worn out.
So, I went to a nearby store looking for new neutral colored shoes – either New Balance or Asics. But I didn’t find anything that I liked. I left the store planning to look elsewhere. But soon that became unnecessary.
For the third time the universe presented me with exactly the shoes I was looking for.
Within two weeks, on a ledge near my apartment building, I found an almost brand new pair of neutral colored running shoes. Again they were perfectly comfortable. And again they were Asics – a third Asics “manifestation miracle”. I regularly wear them with pleasure, when not wearing my blue Asics.
I confess that, while I haven’t become blasé about these miracles, I am no longer so surprised when they happen. But, with utmost gratitude, I accept them as signs and reminders that I am living a very lucky and blessed life, and becoming ever more harmonious with Nature and ‘in-sync’ with the unseen implicate order of the universe.
*The shoes were located very near the same place where I later fortuitously discovered (in a dumpster) a rare video showing my 1982 trip to India. See https://sillysutras.com/synchronicity-story-miraculously-manifesting-memories-of-a-spiritual-pilgrimage-to-india-and-nepal/
“Synchronicity is an ever present reality
for those who have eyes to see.”
~ Carl Jung
“Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.”
~ James 1:17
“Synchronicity is choreographed by a great, pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature, and is manifest in each of us through what we call the soul.”
~ Deepak Chopra, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.
“As I look back upon my own life, I see how many events – which at the time appeared horribly painful or unnecessary – contained remarkable lessons which I sometimes did not understand until many years later. Now life appears to me – more and more – as a gorgeous Persian rug. Seen from underneath (that is, from the ordinary human viewpoint), it may be a mess of loose strands, knots, pieces of wool hanging in a disorderly manner; but seen from above – from another level of perspective – what perfect order, harmony and beauty!”
~ Pierre Pradervand
Why The Choir Was Late: Introduction
When the West Side Baptist Church in Beatrice, Nebraska, was demolished by an explosion on Wednesday, March 1, 1950, fifteen people were supposed to be there. But miraculously the church was empty and no one was injured.
Choir practice at the church always began punctually at 7:20 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. Choir members were usually prompt and ready to sing by 7:25 p.m. But at 7:25 p.m., when the explosion occurred, nobody was there.
The blast collapsed the church, caused power outages which forced a nearby radio station off the air, shattered windows in surrounding homes and could be heard around the town.
Miraculously not one of the people who should have been present had yet arrived when the building collapsed. Every one of the choir’s fifteen members escaped injury, saved by an astonishing fortuitious “coincidence”. For different apparent reasons, all were late for practice that night.
Though amazing, this story actually did happen. See e.g. Snopes. Also see Beatrice Daily Sun article commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the explosion entitled: “Church explosion 60 years ago not forgotten – Remember the miracle”
Embedded below is an excellent and accurate video portrayal of the story. Watch it after reading the story.
The following article telling the story originally appeared in the March 27, 1950 issue of Life Magazine, was reprinted in the June 1950 issue of Reader’s Digest, and in the 1951 30th Anniversary Reader’s Digest Reader. And it was republished in 1991 by Time-Life Books in World of Luck: Library of Curious and Unusual Facts.
Why The Choir Was Late by George H. Edeal
It happened on the evening of March 1 in the town of Beatrice, Nebraska. In the afternoon the Reverend Walter Klempel had gone to the West Side Baptist Church to get things ready for choir practice. He lit the furnace – most of the singers were in the habit of arriving around 7:15, and it was chilly in the church – and went home to dinner. But at 7:10, when it was time for him to go back to the church with his wife and daughter, Marilyn Ruth, it turned out that Marilyn Ruth’s dress was soiled, so Mrs. Klempel ironed another. Thus they were still at home when it happened.
Ladona Vandegrift, a high school sophomore, was having trouble with a geometry problem. She knew practice began promptly and always came early. But she stayed to finish the problem.
Royena Estes was ready, but the car would not start. So she and her sister, Sadie, called Ladona Vandegrift, and asked her to pick them up. But Ladona was the girl with the geometry problem, and the Estes sisters had to wait.
Mrs. Leonard Schuster would ordinarily have arrived at 7:20 with her small daughter, Susan. But on this particular evening she had to go to her mother’s house to help her get ready for a missionary meeting.
Herbert Kipf, lathe operator, would have been ahead of time but had put off an important letter. “I can’t think why,” he said. He lingered over it and was late.
It was a cold evening. Stenographer Joyce Black, feeling “just plain lazy,” stayed in her warm house until the last possible moment. She was almost ready to leave.
Because his wife was away, machinist Harvey Ahl was taking care of his two boys. He was going to take them to practice with him, but somehow he got wound up talking. When he looked at his watch, he saw he was already late.
Marilyn Paul, the pianist, had planned to arrive half an hour early. However, she fell asleep after dinner, and when her mother awakened her at 7:15 she had time only to tidy up and start out.
Mrs. F.E. Paul, choir director, and mother of the pianist, was late simply because her daughter was. She had tried unsuccessfully to awaken the girl earlier.
High school girls Lucille Jones and Dorothy Wood are neighbors and customarily go to practice together. Lucille was listening to a 7-to-7:30 radio program and broke her habit of promptness because she wanted to hear the end. Dorothy waited for her.
At 7:25, with a roar heard in almost every corner of Beatrice, the West Side Baptist Church blew up. The walls fell outward, the heavy wooden roof crashed straight down like the weight in a deadfall. But, because of such matters as a soiled dress, a cat nap, an unfinished letter, a geometry problem and a stalled car, all of the members of the choir were late – something which had never happened before.
Firemen thought the explosion had been caused by natural gas, which may have leaked into the church from a broken pipe outside and been ignited by the fire in the furnace. The Beatrice choir members had no particular theory about the fire’s cause, but each of them began to reflect on the heretofore inconsequential details of his life, wondering at exactly what point it is that one can say,
“This is an act of God.”
After reading the story and watching the video, consider how such an amazing synchronistic event might have happened.
Though various choir members gave various explanations for being late for choir practice that night, was there an underlying common Cause for all of them fortuitously missing death or injury in the church explosion?
Were all of the choir members subliminally guided from a deep level of higher consciousness – a level at which everyone and everything is connected?
Were they unconsciously entrained with and guided by what Einstein calls “Universal Intelligence”?
Was it predestined that all of them would live unharmed; that none would die?
We can only speculate on answers to these questions, or on other possible explanations. But whatever our views, such marvels and blessings can infuse us with awe and gratitude for our miraculous life in this wondrous world and with abiding faith in the eternal mystery of Divine Love –
And so may it be!
Ron’s Reflections on “Why The Choir Was Late”
From a long life of learning, I have gratefully discovered a mysterious Divine Power which is Source of everything that appears or happens in our universe. And with abiding Faith in THAT Power, I’ve realized that life always gives us whatever experiences we need for spiritual evolution, often through ‘miraculous’ synchronicities. [ see e.g. I’ve Found A Faith-Based Life ] So synchronicities can be important spiritual experiences.
Of all SillySutras “Synchronicity” stories probably the most miraculous and Faith inspiring is Why The Choir Was Late. More than any other posting, I believe it can help encourage us to surrender ego illusions of separation from immortal SELF; and, to abandon and transcend our physical fears and worries of death, disease or suffering, which are now everywhere exacerbated in this unprecedented “new normal” era.
Can you intuit the deep significance of this story? Was it “luck” that saved fifteen lives, or was it destiny, or Divine Love?
Perhaps you’ll share my perspective that the choir story instills total Faith in our immortal SELF? As a lawyer I’ve granted general power of attorney to THAT Power to guide my life.
In all events, may our inner reflections on this miraculous story help bring all of us ever increasing happiness and peace of mind.
And so may it be!
Ask and it shall be given;
Seek and ye shall find.
~ Matthew 7:7; Luke 11.9-13
“A yogi, seated in solitude and alone,
should constantly try to contemplate on the Supreme Being
after bringing the mind and senses under control,
and becoming free from desires and proprietorship.
One should sit on his or her own firm seat that is neither too high nor too low, covered with sacred Kush grass, a deerskin, and a cloth, one over the other, in a clean spot.
Sitting there (in a comfortable position) and concentrating the mind on God, controlling the thoughts and the activities of the senses, one should practice meditation for self-purification.”
~ The Bhagavad-Gita – 6:10-12, Krishna to Arjuna
My life has become filled with frequent ‘miraculous’ synchronistic “Manifestation Miracles” – noteworthy manifestations of desired circumstances or artifacts without my consciously willing them. Mostly I’ve been given what I wished. But sometimes the universe sent something else, which proved better than what I thought I wanted.
Here is a story about a synchronistic ‘miraculous’ gift from the Lone Arranger that proved more useful than what I thought I was seeking.
A Reindeer Gift For Peaceful Meditations
Before my midlife spiritual awakening, I didn’t intentionally meditate and was unaware of the crucial importance of a stilled mind. Thereafter, until meeting Guruji – my spiritual master, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas – I sometimes experienced spontaneous meditative states with unprecedented inner experiences. But only after meeting Guruji did I begin regular meditation practice and learn of the spiritually supreme importance of a quiet mind.
Guruji gave us various Sanskrit spiritual practices, but his most important message was to “meditate regularly”. And inspired by Guruji I was strongly motivated to meditate.
Guruji taught that our meditations would be aided by sitting in firm but relaxed postures in places conducive to peacefulness. Also, at a meditation retreat Guruji revealed that if we sat on a deerskin its tranquil vibrations would help our meditations.
At first, I tried to follow Guruji’s meditation advice by sitting and praying in quiet places with relaxed straight spine posture. But I didn’t look for a deerskin on which to meditate.
Although Guruji and Krishna (in the The Bhagavad-Gita) recommended meditating on deerskins, I was reluctant to follow that advice. I’d always loved deer as beautiful, graceful, and peaceful creatures, not needed as a food source or as hunters’ trophies. So I questioned hunting and killing such innocent animals as a sport, or for commercial exploitation, rather than only for necessary sustenance. *(see footnote)
In 1980, my apartment was the last place Guruji stayed before returning to India. Following his departure, I had an amazing experience of Guruji’s shakti energy while carrying his mattress to a van in my garage. Thereupon, I realized that my living room sofa where Guruji had sat had been transformed to become a holy relic imbued with his spiritual energy. So I made it into an altar, where for over thirty years I worshiped, prayed, cried and meditated, and experienced Guruji’s holy energy still emanating from it. ( see https://sillysutras.com/experiencing-unforgettable-divine-shakti-rons-memoirs/)
After I set up the altar my friend Kusuma gave me a small meditation rug with artistic drawings of deer on it. So instead of sitting on a deerskin asana (sitting place) in front of the sofa-altar, I sat there on that rug with images of deer. And rather than receiving ‘spiritual tail-wind’ from subtle deer vibrations, I received it from the sofa which was infused with Guruji’s shakti.
But, with mixed emotions, I kept wondering if my meditation experience could be enhanced by a real deerskin asana as suggested by Guruji. By this time I had stopped eating all animal flesh and was reluctant to use clothing and other products fabricated from any animals. For example, whenever feasible I wore non-leather shoes.
Yet, because of Guruji’s recommendation, I finally decided to seek from a taxidermist a small deerskin on which sit in meditation. But I didn’t know how to find taxidermists. It was then long before the computer-Google-Amazon era, and no taxidermists were then listed in the San Francisco telephone directory. So I obtained a regional business telephone directory, in which I found a few California taxidermist listings.
After a couple of unsuccessful phone inquiries, I called a woman taxidermist near Yosemite national park, who pleasantly answered the phone. I explained that I wanted to buy from her a small piece of deer-hide to use for meditation.
She told me she had no deer-hide and did not foresee obtaining any soon. But then – almost as an afterthought – she told me that she had two caribou pelts which she could not use and asked if I would be interested in one of them.
At first, confused about caribou, I asked her to describe the pelts. Her response reminded me that caribou are “reindeer”, like Santa’s legendary helpers; that they are part of the same ruminant mammal family that includes deer, but with longer fur. After listening to a description of the pelts, I intuited that I might be able to use one, and asked what she’d charge. Surprisingly, she said she be happy to give it to me without charge, and she promptly offered to mail it to me if I wanted it. So I gave her my address, but insisted on at least paying her shipping costs. But she graciously declined.
A few days later, the postman delivered a bulky parcel containing a beautiful caribou pelt. But it was much bigger than I had imagined and was so irregularly shaped that it clearly was inappropriate for placement in front of my altar. With guilty conscience for accepting a gift I couldn’t use, I wondered what to do with the caribou pelt – whether I should return it to the generous taxidermist. But she had told me she had no use for it and was happy to dispose of it.
Then suddenly – Eureka! – I had a flash of insight that the reindeer pelt might be draped over an upholstered lounge chair opposite the sofa-altar. And it worked. The pelt fit perfectly and looked great on the chair! And it was so peacefully comfortable to sit on!
Thereafter, for about twenty five years, I spent countless blissed-out hours sitting on that transformed reindeer chair, when not in vajrasana pose at my altar. Only after the peace-giving reindeer pelt was disintegrating from sunlight did I reluctantly dispose of it, with great gratitude for the many blessings it had brought.
Moral of this reindeer synchronicity story
For evolution, we synchronistically get what we need when we need it, whether or not we know it or think we want it.
Such synchronicities can infuse us with feelings of awe and gratitude for all miraculous and mysterious Life on this precious planet. They show that we’re in the flow; that we are in harmony with Nature. And the more we are in harmony with the universe, the more blessings we receive.
*To me, the senseless slaughter to near extinction of many precious species like buffalo and wolves has been brutally insane and emblematic of unsustainable alienation from Nature of many non-indigenous North Americans. So I didn’t want to indirectly participate in such senseless killings.
Except for extremely rare Buddha-like beings, virtually all humans are caught by ego in the karmic cycle of death and rebirth. But, depending on whether or not we use our conditioned minds to satisfy or subdue ego, we can either deter or advance our spiritual evolution toward transcendence of karmic suffering. (See https://sillysutras.com/what-is-the-human-mind-is-it-best-friend-or-worst-enemy/.)
I’ve theorized that there is a sort of ‘cosmic law of supply and demand’ which provides what we need when we need it for our spiritual evolution – a ‘cosmic incentive system’. Sometimes we are given painful experiences to help us advance, and sometimes when spiritually motivated we may ‘ask and receive’ or ‘seek and find’ that which spurs spiritual evolution – as demonstrated by the foregoing A Reindeer Gift Synchronicity Story.
May all such synchronicities, whether pleasant or painful, infuse us with feelings of awe and gratitude for our miraculous and mysterious Life on this precious planet.
And so may it be!