Letter for Friends

It is very strange how grace works in life and I have few better examples the the examples of people I’ve meet recently. It is true what they say, “if you hang around the barbershop long enough, you’re going to get a haircut.”

Something I’ve learned in life is that the heart always gets what it is looking for. In my life, there has been a constant battle between head and heart. Please understand, it is a very difficult position for me because I am constantly torn. There is a longing from the heart that cannot express itself in thoughts. My heart only knows what it wants and it has a longing to go there. My head doesn’t know much else about matters of the heart except for being trusting.

I am just trusting. My head is very often trying to find the meaning of everything and why things are happening. It is useful sometimes, but more often than not, I seem to spoil think by thinking about them to hard. My heart doesn’t care, it only know what feels right. It only knows longing, and so I have to honor both.

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I am a seeker. That is a fundamental shift from the head to the heart. To be a seeker is the ultimate in trusting. I have no problem with whatever happens, I’m just tying to be alive and progress on the path. I am trying to live from my heart so that I don’t misunderstand the ‘whole’ of life. For this story, I need to go back just a little to give some context. This is the story about my friend Liz and Austin. I don’t write about anybody who isn’t special.

To me, most people are the same. To me, most people are functioning very mechanically. To me, most people do not have spiritual maturity. Liz is worth a blog because she is not ordinary. I can’t put my finger on it, but in some way Liz is like me — running in conjunction to life, not parallel to it.

Why do these kinds of people come into my life? It is a great mystery and I actually don’t know why. It is certainly not a funny coincidence. I believe that everything in existence is at the mercy of some other force. Everything is connected. Whether or not I know the reason, I at least know that there is some causation between my disposition to life and the kind of people I am met with.

I have been searching for years, and if I knew what I was searching for then the search would end. One thing seems certain; that there is a very subtle void in each and everyone of us. Some people feel the void in their life. It is very subtle, but there is something which no religion, God, or ideology has satisfied for you. That is the void and once you feel it, it is natural to begin the search for that which you don’t know. I am no saying Liz is this way. Maybe she is, I have no idea. I am saying that I am that way, and it’s what prepared the ground for having meet the people I have meet, and having been to the placed that I have been.

Things began to really happen for me after I changed my outlook on life. That is for another story. But it is related because for years I have been trying to be as simple and humble as possible towards life. I am being practical. I know the things that I certainly know. I have no idea about the things I don’t know. So the search began and I began to hang around places that I could not describe what drew me there.

You can call it the ‘spiritual’ community. Anyways, I began to spend more time around people who were authentically in the search for spiritual matters. Mormon church is not that. There are some Mormons whose religious practice does come from a place of spirit. For the most part, most people in sacrament meeting are cultural Mormons and they really don’t know what it means to be spiritual.

I began going to the Hindu temples. I began going to the Buddhist Sangha. Anywhere I could be around people who were somewhat similar to me — I was there. I wanted to be in those kinds of places because my heart was drawing me there. My mind constantly said other things, but I have listened to my head for most of my life, and it has gotten me in intense trouble. I have been following my heart and it does not give me any meaning or reason. My heart just takes me where it takes me and this is where it took me. I trust it; I’m not asking to many questions as to ‘why’.

I was meditating at the Buddhist Sangha one week. I would be lying if I didn’t say that Liz caught my eye from across the room because she was attractive and I was attracted. Yes, that is how she came to my attention, although things weren’t much like that afterward.

I think it was the same week while I was at the Hindu temple across town; she was there also, and that is where I meet her. We were chanting the Maha Mantra, and I saw her there. She must have been there for some reason also and she must have been looking for something. I am not saying she is not found but you should understand that these are two different ways of worshiping; and like me, she was at both places. Hindu dharma and Buddhist dharma is not the same, and if fact they have vastly different dogmatic teachings on many aspect. But the essence of being meditative is the same and I think that is why she was there at both places. That is why was there at both places, because both practices teach meditation in some fashion or the other.

I learned quickly about Liz. She was only here with me for a short few months and I think that it was her who did most of the conversation. Differences are obvious, but she may not realize how similar the two of us are. I began to see that from the very beginning, her and I had a lot of themes in common. We were always platonic, and there was never anything more that that. So it was easy to become friends. She is a young person like me, only she is a few years ahead. What I have been wanting to do in life, it seems like she has done it or is doing it now.

It is not a matter of ‘if’ for me, it is only a matter of ‘when’; that is how much trust I have in existence. My hearts inclinations will be meet by life: I don’t have a doubt about that. It was strange to know Liz at the time that I did. It often felt like I was getting to know somebody who’d manifested so much of what her heart desired which I was also longing for that. There was no doubt about that. Liz was a very trusting person towards existence and subsequently knew how to make things happen. She seems to be quite adept at manifesting her desires. That is a skill that I aspire to. It is a relative statement that I am making. I my own respect I have become very good at rolling with the changes, but in comparison to Liz and people alike, my accomplishment seem small. I know they are not, but it often felt that way.

I sometimes felt shadowed by Liz and our friend Austin because both of them were further on the path of action than I was. I have trekked very far in life but that is mostly true about my mental space. I have done a lot of activities also, but both Liz and Austin seemed to have already been in my shoes. I have yet to be in theirs. I never felt less than them, but because they had years of experience with them and a maturity about life, I felt a bit intimidated.

How do I describe her? I can describe people in so many ways. It is easy because if you can see people in every respect truthfully that so many qualities are apparent about them. You just have to be honest. Liz is an easy person to be around, so it was very easy to see to see her behavior without not liking it. I’m not immune to disliking people. It almost never happens, but once in a while I genuinely dislike somebody, and the dislike never sticks around for very like. My first impression of people is almost always good, I rarely assume that somebody is indecent.

From the begging, my first impression was mysterious. It was mysterious to make a close friend who had so much in similar on an ideological level. It is strange when you meet somebody who is so less rigid about life than most other adults. These kinds of people are spiritual people. You know them because they have a good humor. Serious people are not spiritual because they don’t know how to be playful in life. Years go by for each one of us and we are all getting older. I don’t want to be the same as most people who become more rigid as they become older. They become more serious about life. I’ve been this way before and it is because I used to be very obsessed with defending the principle. I was a “principled man”. My dad taught me to be that way because he also has decent principles. But I am trying to be less serious about the whole theory of life. Liz seems that way also. She is getting older just like me, but as far as I’ve observed, she remains playful, childish, and open towards life. That is the way to be, and that is why I found her as a friend.

It was the perfect ingredient when Austin joined our friendship a few days later. He is the very reincarnation of a child. He was older than us both, but Austin was more playful and lighthearted that both Liz and I. He may be so young at heart that he forgot the problems it is to think to hard about life as an adult. And it is funny because he is a philosophy major, and a competent adult. I talk about philosophy on this blog but I only give it value if I’ve tested it in life, otherwise they are just playful ideas. Austin is the very embodiment of his philosophy — whatever it may be. He is just simple and lighthearted so his philosophy must be that way also.

Both of these people came at just the right time. I can’t imagine anything undesirable would have happens if I hadn’t meet them. But it is true that they were another massive swing of the pendulum in the book of my life. It happens over and over again. People come quickly, and then they leave quickly without a trace. Most recently it was Liz and Austin. Before that it was Megan. Before that it was Jenn. And none of these were comparable. They were all vastly different, and I was also vastly different during those times. This is what I’m calling GRACE. I don’t know where it comes from or for why. I’m just going with it with the same attitude. Whatever happens is good. When bad things happens, it’s also good! When good things happen, then good!

I am not sad that Liz left. Changing is a little rocky, but we are all used to it. Her and I both know that she living her life and this is exactly how it is going. It is a good thing that she left, because the truth is that if I were here, I wouldn’t be sticking around here much longer either. No place is better or worse. Another thing on the path is always better. She is doing a great thing and I can only describe her as a “free spirit”. Wear it like a proud badge because I’m not saying that many people are free spirits. Few people are I think because it takes big courage. It takes fearlessness to do what she is doing. That quality can take you from here to anywhere. You’re just on for the ride. And being a free spirit is not by vice or virtue.  It is a quality of heart that is the intent behind your actions. I don’t care what my friends say to me. They may be true or not true, it doesn’t matter. My friends are all golden apples. They people around me are all gems. That is the only way to be a friend. I’ve had so many acquaintances, but I’ve only had a few friends. Liz and Austin are my friends and they are like fine polished antiquities that nobody can take from my memory. That is true for everybody else who I have every been with. If I have been with you in the past — whether it is a family member, partner, or friend — you are precious in my memory. I don’t think bad things about you or anybody else. I only hope the best for you! Nothing can change my mind about that.

Sat Nam

Erik H.

Not edited as of 4/2/20

 

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