My dog loves to play in the morning. He jumps in my lap and wants to lick and wrestle, which I am entirely unable to resist. Yet when I am meditating, he simply lies down and waits for me to finish. Something in him understands meditation and respects it. He gets the (okay, I’ll say it) vibe. The universal intelligence in him is connected to the universal intelligence meditating in and through me, and the two create a lovely respectful dance together.
I like to think that people are at least as smart as dogs, and something inside each of us recognizes and respects wisdom, beauty, and authentic love. When you are connected to higher power, doors open in miraculous ways. I saw a video of Mother Teresa on a mission to rescue a group of children from a children’s hospital in war-torn Beirut. Although factions were shooting at each other constantly, when Mother Teresa announced that she was going into the city to remove these children, the parties declared a cease-fire. At the appointed time, Mother Teresa and a group of her nuns drove two trucks into the quieted city and freed the children. The moment she and the kids were clear, the factions went back to fighting.
This noble example tells me two things: War is a choice and can be stopped at will; and the spirit’s commitment to peace is more powerful than the ego’s commitment to war. When authentic peace shows up in the face of conflict, peace ultimately prevails because peace springs from love, and war springs from fear, and love is always stronger than fear.
When Ram Dass visited India, he met a yogi, Hari Dass Baba, who had been silent for many years and taught Ram Dass a brief lesson each day by writing an aphorism on a small chalkboard. One day the lesson was: "Yogi in jungle need not fear. Snakes know heart." A major truth in a condensed nugget. When you are in harmony with life, you need not worry or struggle to protect yourself, for all of life bows in deference to the presence of the divine.
A Course in Miracles offers a profound poetic image describing how loved and powerful you are, simply by virtue of who you are:
There is a light in you which cannot die; whose presence is so holy that the world is sanctified because of you. All things that live bring gifts to you, and offer them in gratitude and gladness at your feet. The scent of flowers is their gift to you. The waves bow down before you, and the trees extend their arms to shield you from the heat, and lay their leaves before you on the ground that you may walk in softness, while the wind sinks to a whisper round your holy head.
This touching passage tells me that life loves to love you, and as you love yourself, you are aligned with your purpose and the purpose of everything that lives. It’s not egotistical to have rewarding, fulfilling relationships, and to expect things to go right. Several years ago Dee and I were traveling through England and had an appointment to meet my friend Robert Holden and his wife for dinner. When the couple did not show up at the restaurant at the appointed time, I telephoned Robert, and to my surprise I found him home. When I reminded him of our date, he apologetically told me that he had made a mistake and thought our meeting was for the following evening.
"That’s okay," I told him, seeking to soothe his sense of error. "These things happen."
Robert thought for a moment and replied, "Not to us!"
I had to laugh as I absorbed his point: Robert lives in the expectation of good, flow and success, and when something happens that seems to contradict well-being, it is a real anomaly. Contrast this attitude with the expectation that things generally go wrong except when they occasionally go right, and you will see why some people continually succeed and others continually fail.
Things are supposed to go right, and when we align our minds and hearts with this vision, they do. Coaching clients often ask me about how to find a happy relationship, marriage or life partner. I tell them that when you sincerely love yourself, you are in the perfect position to meet someone who agrees with you. So the path to finding a mate is not anxious searching and manipulating, but a calm knowing of who you are and what you deserve. Mother Teresa knew so surely that those children deserved to be safe from war; even people steeped in fear and war were moved to agree with her and act on the truth she knew.
There is a scene in Star Wars where Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are entering a city ruled by the Evil Empire. The imperial army is on the lookout for them, and they must pass by a border checkpoint. As they approach, a guard asks to see their papers. Obi-Wan, using a kind of hypnotic suggestion, tells the guard, "We’re not the ones you are looking for." As if on automatic, the guard tells the other soldiers, "They’re not the ones we’re looking for," and the two pass. Jedi of the Force need not fear the evil empire. Yogi in jungle need not fear. Snakes know heart. Sincere meditator need not struggle. Dogs know peace.