I am incredibly lucky. I have had a close personal relationship with three of the highest octane, world class gurus -- spiritual teachers who still walk the planet: Ram Dass, Zen Master Bernie Glassman and Deepak Chopra.
Back in 2000 when my dear friend Sabine Chaloupy took me to see her guru Amma in New York City, let's just say I that was ready to pooh-pooh the whole thing. Hugging? Really...? Are you serious? Whatever....
He swung into our line of vision, swiveling his wheelchair around finally to face us in his spacious living room, his back toward a large window with a vista onto the Pacific Ocean in Maui. Ram Dass was beaming, joyous.
To be mindful of the fact that life can end without warning at any moment certainly makes the desire to live more authentically that much stronger, but this is not the only reason for being present in the moment; it is also that the present is where life is actually lived.
We come into relationships often very much identified with our needs. I need this, I need security, I need refuge, I need friendship. And all of relationships are symbiotic in that sense. We come together because we fulfill each others' needs at some level or other.
Wavy Gravy, bowed but unbroken, walks into a deli-café in New York's SoHo, holding a fish on a leash. He's making the rounds in Manhattan, doing interviews to publicize a documentary -- about his life.
"How good it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in harmony." That was the huge banner hanging on the back wall of the church. Picture it: friendly people eager for a group experience of divine love. I wasn't feeling it.
Call yourself what you want, go to the ends of the earth, but if you're a Jew -- a non-practicing Jew, an atheist Jew, a JuBu, a Jewish Christian, or any other form of Jew you can think of -- you can never leave.