The road to enlightenment requires a commitment that few will stick to over time.
Like small stones or larger boulders on a dirt road, the enlightened path is strewn with mystics, teachers and seekers, sometimes stumbling over each other. Especially at the beginning of it. While the path is long and winding, those who walk it seldom go the distance. It becomes more and more challenging to remain on the road the further along you go. Especially with the magnetic pull and glamour of life’s many distractions.
The road also requires a commitment that few will stick to over time. Even the mystics and teachers often take detours from the road before returning and possibly reaching enlightenment. That’s why the phrase “one in 100,000 seek” is so potent. It’s often difficult to find that sincere seeker. You never know who they are, or where they live. Sometimes they show up unannounced with the briefest of messages. If you’re lucky enough to find “one” take note. For it might be a miracle and just the impetus you need to get back on the road.
While traveling through Colorado this past summer, I wasn’t looking for the “one.” In fact, the “one” never entered my mind until I was caught up in the grandeur of the vistas in front of me. I listened to the stories the whispering aspens told. Sitting on 10,000 foot peaks and looking out over vast canyons, I thought about the pioneers who dragged heavy wagons over those same gorges. Amid all their efforts I wondered if there was a “one” among them who pondered the scene and thus became a seeker.
Needing to refill our food supplies, I headed to the little unpainted store in the valley. Gathering up sandwiches, chips, and water I took them to the cashier. It was hard to tell her age. Her skin was dry and leathery brown. Her hair was lifeless and pulled tight in a bun. She wasn’t very talkative. But, as she placed the items in a bag I noticed her arm. From her wrist to almost her elbow she was covered in bands of bracelets. To my practiced eye, the “bracelets” were malas, but in the middle of nowhere I assumed she wouldn’t know what malas were. So I said, “Your bracelets are beautiful.” She replied, “They’re not bracelets, they’re malas.”
“I know,” said I.
There was nothing more for me to say. I studied her for a moment, touched the blue mala, and for the first time, she smiled. “I have many more on my altar at home,” she said handing me the bag of food in dismissal. In a valley, in the Rocky Mountains, in a store with no name, on an unpaved road, I’d stumbled on a pensive woman, whose arm was covered in multicolored malas. I sensed I’d met “one” of the “1 in 100,000.”
A month later I was sitting on a bench in front of a shopping center. I was moaning that this bustling enterprise felt energetically hollow. Some of the people going in and out of the various stores were robotic. A few ambled along with carts, while others were on a mission. No one made eye contact with anyone else. Watching the scene unfold, I pushed back into a more comfortable position on the bench to people watch and contemplate humanity.
It was then an old man with a British accent approached me. I had no idea where he’d come from—he just appeared out of nowhere. At first I thought he was a panhandler because he had one hand out in a begging position and the other flat over his chest. As I readied my “can you spare a dollar” retort the man put both hands into the prayer position. He said, “Good afternoon ma’am. I saw you sitting here and wanted to say that I wish God’s grace and blessings for you on this day, and for all your days.” Then he turned and walked away, disappearing behind a counter.
In a large shopping center, outside a crowded store, while shoppers noisily went about their tasks, a “seeker” sought me. In my reverie of people watching, he had been watching me. Just like the mala-cashier in the Rockies had appeared out of the desolate landscape, so too in a noisy shopping center, in a large city, while I bemoaned the state of humanity, a blessing had come from out of nowhere. Twice in six weeks: I’d stumbled on not one, but TWO of the “1 in 100,000s.” In a world gone mad with anger, hate, and divisiveness, it may be that the seekers are multiplying. I feel hope again!
Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Along with Patricia Cockerill, she has guided the Women’s Meditation Circle since January 2006 where it has been honored for five years in a row as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings Magazine. Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to www.starsoundings.com or email email@example.com.