Life is the path

A friend pointed out the following passage from the Bible to me today:

I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. (Isaiah 45:2-3)

If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time, then you’ll know that I’m not a Christian. (I’m a practicing Buddhist.) But this passage rings very true to me. There often is tremendous overlap between spiritual traditions; it’s often as if it’s just one big meta-narrative that is translated with different metaphors, examples, iconography, and so on. What is being spoken of in this passage, to my meager understanding, is the removal of obstructions.

I totally get this. I’ve been doing Green Tara practice for over a year now, and that practice is basically all about the removal of obstructions. I received a Red Tara empowerment about a month ago, and that practice has to do with the power of magnetizing, of bringing auspicious conditions to you so that obstacles can be surmounted and dispelled.

Somehow, I feel almost as if I walked through some sort of invisible portal yesterday, and that this traversal has shown to me the reality, workability, and hope in my situation.

Just to summarize, I’ve been in a marital crisis for almost 6 months now, and have been applying the best possible reconciliation strategies for 5 months. I saw improvement over the first 2 months, and then my wife totally reversed course and decided to try to destroy everything in sight. She moved out. She cut off contact. She turned cold. She did all sorts of things, all in the attempt to preserve her completely illegitimate adulterous relationship to a twice-divorced, serial adulterer. At this point, she has truly dug her heels in and is probably steeling herself for the final phase, which to her might be a sort of pitched battle to save that totally hopeless, inappropriate relationship. The power of the universe is not on her side.

But is it on mine? I don’t know. The last 36 hours has been interesting, indeed. It started with my wife coming home mid-morning to pick up the dog. I asked her to take care of the dog while I’m out of town, visiting family for Easter weekend. I had given the dog a bath, and there was a ton of hair everywhere as a result. I hadn’t had time to sweep or anything, as I needed to run out to the store to get the dog a couple of cans of food (Tripett) for the weekend. My wife brushed the dog, and then she did something really weird. She vacuumed the entire house. I told her she didn’t need to do that, but she insisted.

Let me ask you, dear reader: If your spouse really wanted to leave you in the dust, would they come home and vacuum your entire house?

I didn’t think so.

So that was the starter. I sent her off with the cans of dog food, plus a sweet roll and some potato chips — her favorites — and a lunch box that was hidden in the bag. I never heard anything back about that, but I’m guessing she has found that by now and hopefully consumed its contents.

Next came the surprise of the evening. I headed off to the airport after work to catch my flight. I had a first-class ticket booked with frequent flyer miles, so at least I could look forward to a relatively comfortable experience. I got to the off-site parking lot, boarded the shuttle van to the airport, and promptly noticed that I’d left my carry-on bag with my laptop in the car. The van drivers just brought me back to the lot after dropping off the other customers; I collected my bag and we set off back for the airport.

While en route I decided to check my flight times, and noticed in the itinerary that had been emailed me that my flight wasn’t until the following night. Huh? I mean, I’d checked it maybe a dozen times, and never noticed that detail. I’d had someone else book the flight for me, and gave them the details that I wanted to fly out on Friday night, not Saturday, and so I guess I’d just assumed that that was the date I’d been booked for. I thought to myself that this couldn’t be right, so I got off at the airport and checked my email once inside the terminal. It turns out I was wrong — I had showed up at the airport a day early.

Oh, well. I decided I probably should just go home. I checked the airline websites and it looked like I wouldn’t be able to rebook the ticket, even though it was in first class. So I picked up my bags and started to leave the terminal. I had made it down one escalator when I decided to turn back around and just ask a ticket agent if there was anything that could be done. There was only one first-class ticket desk open as I returned, and it was deserted. I asked the agent, and he said that it could be rebooked, but the fee would normally be $100. He said there was one seat left on the flight that night, and that, if I wanted it, he’d rebook me and just waive the fee. But, I’d have to move fast, as the seat could be sold at any time. I told him I’d have to call ahead to see if I could rearrange my pickup at the airport, so I stepped aside to allow him to help other customers.

I got my pickup rearranged, but now there were about 6 people in line in front of me. I got a bit nervous, thinking maybe the seat might get sold. But, as soon as I caught myself thinking that, I calmed down, and started saying “tsuiteiru” to myself over and over. This is something my wife and I would say when we wanted to find an empty parking spot, to avoid traffic, or have some other lucky circumstance happen. It basically means something like “lucky”, and we’d just repeat it again and again. When I got back to the front of the line, the agent told me the seat was still available, and rebooked me.

Obstacle #1 removed.

Then I got to my destination, and it was quite late, about 11:30 p.m. I picked up my bags and headed out to catch the shuttle that would take me to my final destination. I called the dispatch and told them I was on a different island than they’d expect, because it was the one nearer to baggage claim. They told me that would be no problem and gave me the van number and its driver’s name. About 10 minutes later, I saw the van coming, and it was in the wrong lane. I flagged the driver down, but he could not stop. He opened the door and said, “I’ll meet you at the next island.” Just after this happened, another shuttle van, one for an off-site parking lot, stopped and opened its door. The driver said, “Hop in, I’ll take you down there to help you catch your van.” The shuttle we were now pursuing was hidden behind a number of buses, so we couldn’t see if he was pulling over or not, but there briefly was a break in the traffic, and the driver honked to get the other driver’s attention. The driver of the van I was trying to get on rolled down his window, and said he’d pull over at the next island. He did, and I hopped off and got into the correct van.

Obstacle #2 removed. It’s as if the universe wanted me to be back here at my destination on Friday night, and not on Saturday as booked, and enabled me to make all the right mistakes and decisions to enable that to happen. Plus then a number of other lucky circumstances came together to make it real.

To me, the most important message is that I learned just how present I needed to be to allow all of this to happen. I had to decide to stay at the airport and not go home. The airport was not very busy, and the atmosphere was pretty calm. I was very humble and self-effacing with the ticket agent, and he was not terribly stressed out because there weren’t many people around. These guys do have quite a bit of discretion, and I guess he just felt that it might be nice to use his power in a good way. Then, at the final airport, I somehow flagged down the shuttle van in such a way that I caught the attention of a completely different driver, and that person felt compeled to help. It was all really pretty astonishing.

This tells me that, provided we just try to be truly present in our lives and engage in virtuous activity, good things can come to us. There’s no guarantee, of course, but you do tend to get back what you put out there. If you put out a bunch of negativity, chances are you won’t find a lot of happiness coming your way. But if you put out good energy, then that tends to attract more good energy, and that can manifest in all sorts of ways.

As a result, I just now feel very certain that I’ll reconcile with my wife sometime in the fairly near future. I’ve been putting a lot of good energy out there, but honestly there has been quite a bit of negativity mixed in with it that likely has been setting me back. I’ve just got to drop the negativity and go with the flow of positivity, be fully present, and see where that leads. I’m confident that good things are at the end of that path.