Several years ago, my husband and I had the honor and challenge of providing love and support for two of our most beloved friends during the days surrounding the untimely passing of a younger brother/brother-in-law.
Mr. Yogi and I did not know the brother well. But because of the experience and through the intervening years, I feel as if I have come to know this man’s spirit. Now, I feel a connection to him.
There was something that struck me about the time we spent supporting our friends, working to infuse love and support into a very difficult situation.
As we visited with the friends and family of the deceased, no one spoke about what this man did for a living. No one talked about what a great job he had done of paying his bills on time, or maintaining the property where he lived, or always being on time to all of his appointments, or any of those kinds of things about which we can sometimes stress ourselves to do “correctly.”
People talked about who Peter was as a person. They talked about his kindness, that he liked to go hiking and traveling. They talked about how much fun it was to spend time with him, that he could make people laugh, and that it felt good being in his presence.
I remember one woman at his wake explaining that his presence in her life was irreplaceable. She said that losing someone as beloved as this particular friend didn’t make the next most beloved friend on her list “bump up a spot.”
At the wake, one of the brothers had a voice mail from the departed on his phone. He played it for the gathered mourners. There was Peter’s voice, still alive. We all marveled at what the message had to say.
In the midst of his courageous fight with cancer, this beautiful man was worried that his mom was doing ok. It wasn’t until he had finished expressing his concerns about the well being of others that he got around to letting the sibling know about his day, his life in the face of his own mortality.
I was reminded of Peter the other day when I was doing my daily meditation from the book “A Course in Miracles,” also known as “ACIM.” The lesson theme was, “I will be still an instant and go home.”
Or in other words, I will experience the knowingness, the stillness, the beauty, the peace, the love within my heart that connects me to The Universe and every other living being in the world. That is where I will choose to live, and direct my energies and desires.
Learning to “be still,” is nothing new. The practice of becoming still has been part of the human experience for centuries. Historical evidence suggests it was practiced by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians.
The Buddha, sat in silence beneath the Boddhi tree seeking enlightenment. The New Testament says that Jesus of Nazareth went into the desert to meditate. Native peoples of the Americas have long kept sacred such traditions as have the Hindu Yogis.
Modern-day-Wiccans draw on these ancient practices when they perform the act of “grounding and centering” before moving forward with their ritualistic practices. Twenty first-century-scientists and medical doctors encourage us to still our minds, to meditate, so as to promote better physical and emotional health.
Becoming still and connecting with the heart is what we all do when we find ourselves holding our breath and counting to 10 so as not to fall victim to an uncomfortable and ugly emotional outburst.
I thought of Peter when I did this meditation because my daily connection to inner stillness is what helps me be my best self and return the love I receive from The Universe each day, just as Peter returned universal love to others during his lifetime.
Peter’s friends and loved ones could feel love coming through his personality. It made them want to be with him and to experience joy in his presence.
The ACIM lesson for that day stated, “. . . There is a child in you . . .This childhood is eternal with an innocence that will endure forever.”
I found the lesson of the innocent child helpful in connecting with the love and beauty within my heart. It brought to mind the numerous expressions of unconditional love and the smiles and on the faces of the children I have known throughout my life.
Often children, untroubled by the responsibilities and realities of grown up life, are able to connect naturally to the joy and beauty of The Universe. We adults, on the other hand, sometimes have to work a little harder to remind ourselves of those connections.
I think of the children who studied music with me in the days before I came truck driving with my husband. Those kids are young adults now. Also, I think about the peers in my life I have known since childhood.
In both cases there existed an eternal knowiness within those youthful personalities. It was a place, where as a child, I connected with my friends on a deep and enduring level.
It was a place within my music students and me where we connected with the essence of being, of joy, of beauty and of creating – in this case creating music. We all are capable of creating joy and beauty, no matter how old or young we may be at any given moment.
That’s why I thought of Peter Dunne during my lesson that day. His connection to his own place of peace manifested in joy not only in his own life but also in the lives of all he touched.
*Housekeeping note for The Trucking Yogi Blog – Back in April I posted some links to a couple video clips to keep my readers entertained while I “regained my creative composure” after an unusually hectic and chaotic month. Turns out my respite stretched all the way through the month of June. Thanks for waiting for my return and for being a Trucking Yogi reader!