This blog is turning into the Chronicles of Erik. Things happen, and I blog them! Here’s another story…
Almost every Thursday since last semester, I go to a Mindfulness Workshop at my university. It is more of a meditation group and most of the attendees are regulars. Actually, I went to Capitol Reef with a small handful of students that go to the workshop. We all got really close and some of us still remain friends.
Jesse Schmidt is our mindfulness instructor and leads all of our meditations. He was central to our trip to Capitol Reef National Park Field Station which was actually a mindfulness retreat organized by two of the departments at the school. I know the details very well because I ended up writing an article for the school’s paper about it.
I feel privileged to have got to know Jesse better. He’s always been a big mystery to me because he’s not a typical adult by my standard. He’s exuberant, bright and has all the zest for life. That must have to do with his mindfulness practice. That guy has a way of communicating that I haven’t seen before. We roomed together at the lodge at the field station, and he set a positive example for me. This blog is not about Jesse, but it is related.
Jesse is always there, bright and early to lead the meditation on Thursdays. Sometimes I’m not there, but Jesse is always there. He’s always excited to talk to students about knowing, and being, and experiencing.
Last Thursday, the room filled with all the regular students. 10 am rolled around, and Jesse was nowhere to be seen. It’s strange. Jesse is always there, and I assume that he would inform the school if he couldn’t be there. The person he would inform is Lillian Mack. She also came with us to Capitol Reef and she is the one who works with Jesse and the school to have the workshop every Thursday. She was in the room with us that morning, and it was strange to her that Jesse wasn’t there. No phone call, no text, so naturally we began to worry. And I assume that Lillian was also nervous because now she was in a room of students ready to do a guided meditation and there was nobody there to lead. Five minutes after the hour and some a new face came in. She was a tall slender woman in her 30’s with long brown hair and a hesitant stance. Another man who introduced himself as a professor in the science department introduced her to us. Bella was from out of country and was there to help the professor give a presentation at our schools Roots of Knowledge stained-glass window. The two of them were scheduled to give the presentation later that day but she somehow got word of our mindfulness workshop and decided to sit in with us before her presentation.
My impression of her was this. Her body language was a bit shy. She had her arms crossed in front of her and her demeanor seemed to be more than polite. She was an attractive woman, and I assumed by the professors introduction that she was highly educated. She sat in the empty chair which is always where Jesse sits. For a few minutes we are talking about listening to a guided meditation on YouTube before she chimes in with her thick a thick Czech accent. She proposed with confidence to lead the guided meditation and tells us that she also leads university groups in mindfulness and meditation. What are the fucking odds? This woman comes in from far away and drops in to our workshop where our own instructor happens to be absent. Out of nowhere.
She leads an incredible and somewhat sacred meditation that is still sitting in my heart and comes forward with a mindful breath. Afterwards, she tell us more about herself and her background. From here I can’t relay the details of her conversation. My impression of this person is more that what she said. Her name is Bella.
Bella knows how to navigate her way through life. Her energy was pure. Her quality was kind. Her character showed strength. I know where those qualities come from. Bella has been around the block, I can tell. The stars line up very well for this person, and I am sincerely surprised by that. I’ve only met few people like this before.
How do I know this? Because when I sit at our meditation class, I empty my mind. I shut my mouth. I stop my mind’s business. This way I can be receptive. This way I can be intuitive. This way, everything pours into me. And this person Bella took me by surprise. I saw her goodness and her strife.
This was all very strange for my. It shouldn’t surprise me though. My life is just strange. Things like this happen, and I don’t know why. People with high quality and good energy pop into the story, then they pop out. All kinds of people. They all left me with an impression. They all give me a gift. Somebody told me a story. Somebody else gave me implicit advice. Somebody else showed me their soul. Somebody else says something that hits me like a train. And none of them really know. There is Dallin. There was Michal, there was Emma, there was Megan, there Angelica, there was Rikki. There was also Jenn. That was an entire chapter. Dramatic, beautiful, lovely. They just come and they go, and they all have something to contribute. Thank you all! I’m deeply grateful.
I can only call this grace. I always imagine my life like a novel unfolding. These characters come in for a moment. They high-jack the plot for a moment. It has been like this for a fifteen months. I don’t know where it comes from, but I never look a gift horse in the mouth.
Nothing was wrong with Jesse. He was somewhere else, probably sucking the juice out of his Thursday morning. I should also note that all the names in mentioned in this blog are pseudonyms. In case any of these people wish not to be know, I also wish to protect their privacy.
I must be doing something right.