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I found Kim cold on the side of the street begging for spare change from cars passing by. Her husband and she live outside. It is cold. Thankfully I was able to give her the warm scarf, socks, and beanie knitted by my friend and her late mother.

In the last month I have given away a lot of private gymnastics lessons. The parents wanting to take care of me have given me tins of tea, starbucks cards, nuts, and made me dinner. One parent gave me $100 gift card. I’ve been saving it for just the right moment.

When I was on the road, a night or two in a hotel were such a supreme blessing, and in more than one way allowed me to keep going.  I know what it is like to just want to put your feet up for 2 days. My best friends Winnie, Leo, George, Jed, Susan, Garry, Dave, Karen, Lindsey, Sandy, Watt, Teresa, Scott, Chuck, Bill, and many others took care of me by giving me food, hotels, and shoes. It was nice to be able to get two nights in a room for Kim.

My friend George wanted to help me to feed the homeless. So he bought me 16 boxes of pre-made cookie dough. This weekend, I was able to distribute quite a bit to those in need. It is nice to know that at the drop of a hat, I make someone’s day with a homemade (kind of) cookie.

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People often ask me, “Why are you doing these things?”

The answer is quite simple, it is within my power to do so.

I have been quiet for the last 3 weeks. A self imposed vow of silence except for when at the gym. In trying to be a monk of love…I have failed. I’ve been impatient. I’ve lost my temper. My words and thoughts got away from me on 5 different occasions and I made someone feel unloved.

That was one of my vows. It isn’t that I didn’t expect to fail occasionally, it was that I failed without even noticing…I had slowly begun to revert to who I was before I became Peace. Selfish, egotistical, and self-absorbed. I began to worry again.

I ran for 1 year and 6000 miles and never missed a meal. I never asked for anything but water, and without worrying, the universe “had my back”. But now, back in “Society”…I forgot. I forgot to just let go of it all. Let go and love.

I wear a shirt everyday that says “Peace.” Somedays it serves as an indictment. One person joked with me, yeah, your shirt should read “Asshole” then at least no one would expect more from you.

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Someone said to me, “Isn’t that why you are here? To teach us all “peace”?

“No”, I replied, “You already know everything that you ever need to know. You already know the difference between wrong and right. Between love and unlove. You already choose love a lot. The point is to become aware that you have a choice in the first place. That is enlightenment. ONCE you know you have a choice…which will you choose? Self or selfless? That IS the point.”

Although I have failed to love, and will probably be guilty of it again. Even though I am probably the world’s most shitty monk, I ask myself…”What is the alternative?” Go back to being a conceited, self absorbed, selfish, and un-compassionate guy I was before? Or realize that it is all just a test. One that I will continue to take till I learn it completely.

There is only one lesson in life…love.

 

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