Friday, April 8, 2011

odd stuff

It's nothing unusual, but there is something magical about it as well.

In the past two days, I have had contact with people I don't know. Two wrote emails. One called on the phone. Each was curious about Buddhism. And since I have had an interest in Buddhism in the past and since I have to all intents and purposes advertised that fact (web site, blog, etc.), they contacted me. In an ordinary way, it makes some sense: Find what looks like a source, then check it out.

Because I find something stale in Buddhist talk, I generally try to steer people somewhere else, some place that is more committed and lively. But a single live human being yanks me back. This is real. This is earnest. This is alive and touching. And this deserves a response. It's not that I am any sort of back-slapping guru capable of handing out all the succulent answers. And certainly my answers aren't the only answers. But the situation puts me on the spot, somehow, nudges me from a snooze.

How did it happen that three people who neither know me or know each other end up on my doorstep? One coming at it from the martial arts side of things. One who has a daughter and wants to shape her life differently. One who has to do some homework. Each of them poking me in the wake-up ribs. Each of them living, breathing and totally un-theoretical beings.

Well, the intellectual mind can explain it all: Put out the advertising and someone will buy your widget. But for my own purposes, I'm pretty much out of the widget business I once indulged. These breathing beings wake me up. This is honest stuff and honesty is not something to sleep through.

It's not "compassion," or anyway I wouldn't call it that. It's just alive. Life responds to life, I guess I think.

Let's call it "serendipity," display a smug smirk and let it be.

But it still feels somehow magical to me ... three people in two days. How odd.

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