May all beings be at peace. May all beings be free of suffering. May all beings remember who they are.
I wonder what happened to our angels. Wonder what happened to us asking for help. I wonder what happened to make us think that we were the center of the universe somehow or another. We're not touched and blessed by all of these other beings that have bodies and don't have bodies. How did we somehow invent this state of separation, aloneness, loneliness, and isolation?
Years ago, I was in a hospital waiting room, waiting for my father to make this transition. We're in a little country town called Rhinebeck, New York. My mother was downstairs having a cup of coffee or a cigarette, I think. I was alone in the waiting room with my nose buried in a five-year-old Ladies Home Journal. Without any warning, the door opened and a little girl came in, wheeling a wheelchair. She had a little teddy bear in the wheelchair. I am such a bleeding introvert that normally I just would've pretended that I didn't see her because I was wrapped up in my own grief, my own waiting. But I didn't, I looked up and put my magazine down.
This little girl is probably about five or six years old. I said, hi, she said, hi back.
"So what's your name?"
She said, "My name is Missy."
Missy sounded like she had a cleft palate and I'm not sure if that's why she was in the hospital or not. We carried on a nice little conversation for a while until my mother got there. Mom loved kids, and they have their own little conversation about teddy bears and doll dresses and things that only a mother and a six-year-old could understand.
In the gospel, it seems like the major message is that of loving one another, but there's another theme that goes all the way through, a number of quotations, a number of statements, a number of reinforcements of a particular idea of a particular belief. And that is not only that you are loved not only can you love, not only are you the recipient of unconditional love, but you are never alone.
Time and time again in different ways that message is expressed, yet how easily I forget. I remember in grade school, this is sort of a funny thing. You all know that I grew up Catholic in a Catholic grade school. One of the things we did, I remember - I think I was in first or second grade - we were supposed to bring a handkerchief with us to school or a napkin or Kleenex or something of the sort. And you were to put it on one side of your seat, one side of your desk because that's where your guardian angel stays. I got very grown-up all of a sudden, and that was for kids.
So how quickly I forgot about my angels. They kind of went the way of the Easter Bunny. And then I thought a little bit later on in my life, and things became a little bit more spiritual in some ways. And in some ways, a little bit more painful. How sad, but I lost contact with these beings that are all over.
One of my teachers likes to say, there are, there are tons, scads, of angels just hanging around, waiting for you to ask them for help. And part of me thinks that sounds so childish. And yet another part of me says, "Oh, thank God, because I don't know about you, but there are certainly moments in my life that I could use all the help." But you have to ask - that's the thing. We have free will and angels don't come in, you have to call them. These supernatural beings don't come into your realm of space until you asked them to. So to of be part of that life, you have to invite them in. But I forget that too. I look at how lonely and how isolated we have become, not just because of a pandemic, but because of the way we live our lives. And we wonder why we have such a difficult time believing in a God that we can't see. We can't even believe in our brothers and sisters that are like beings that are gathered around, but we can't see them. The Dalai Lama said that our problem in the Western world is that we try to fill our spirituality with material things, and it doesn't work because we don't realize what else is going on. Both within us and around us.
We've learned separateness. We were taught separateness. We learned to believe that our whole system of society is based on separateness. All of our advertising is how to be better than or different from somebody else. It's all about personality. It's all about ego-conscious, never about my soul and my spirit. We've got so much stuff and we're dying of loneliness. There are beings around us all the time waiting for us to ask, to be healed, to be helped, to be touched.
Mother Theresa once said the reason you are not at peace is because you have forgotten we belong to one another. We belong to one another. Can you feel it? You can feel it in the emptiness of our hearts sometimes, what it is that we're yearning for? And we fill it up with food, with candy, with ice cream, with relationships that don't last really, because our heart craves to rest in the arms of an angel.
"Why not come to me? All you who labor and are burdened. And I will give you rest."
Do you know something is happening here in the last 20, 30, 40 years? It seems that seems like a long time, but it really isn't, not for an old man like me anyway. Know what? Starting about 1980, something that caught on with, with sort of mainstream people in spirituality was the course in miracles evolved around the eighties. And then, then all of a sudden, all of this stuff started happening. We started getting all of Abraham and this guy and that guy, we got all sorts of what we call channeled information.
And we resonated with that. Not because it was coming from someplace else, but because it touched us. And then we realized, well, this is coming from another. This is coming from a non-physical source. Even though it comes manifest in a book or something like that, this is coming from a place that none of us probably were even aware of before, or if we were, it was over there. Some of that, that's airy fairyland. In some of the books that I'm using right now in some of my classes, by Paul Selling - what he calls the guides, this group of non-corporeal beings who are dictating this particular work, all of these books and these workshops and things, they said, "We're here to help you."
This is part of our trip. Our trip is our relationship with you. And we're to help you on your journey by raising your vibration also. I had an image in my mind when I started thinking about this. When I started teaching this, I came across an image of an Olympic sport called curling. And if you're familiar with sort of an advanced form of shuffleboard where you have this stone that you roll on the ice and you roll it into this circle that is scored with different points. But one of the odd things about it is that if you're the one who throws the stone, part of your team is made up of two other people who have these brooms, and they're sweeping like crazy in front of this stone to get rid of any debris that might be in its way, but also to sort of soften and melt the ice so it moves in the proper direction.
What I became aware of is that that's kind of the guides. Guides don't touch you, don't push you forward. You're the stone that's moving forward. They're - if you ask them to - sweeping like crazy in front of you so you get to where you need to go. How many times have you or I been lifted out of a depression or really down place? What do you think that comes from? Sometimes I know there might be a monk who's 2000 miles away. He was praying for me, but there are a lot of times when that happens because I have been sometimes, without even thinking about it, in the arms of an angel.
We're here this particular Sunday morning not to deny that, not to throw that away, not to make that an exceptional circumstance because it's not. It's an event that can happen at any moment. Any time all we have to do is ask. I am here for you. It is the deepest truth that we are all connected with one another.
We begin to realize when can ask for help at any moment that we don't have to. I don't have to do it. I, first of all, I can't do it all by myself, but I don't have to do it all by myself. What a relief. It's the journey of my personality. Self is the journey of my soul. I don't have to do this all by myself. I can let go. I can ask for help.
It's so touching because here's this person obviously in pain and difficulty recognizing that the angel is not going to solve my situation necessarily, but it's going to give me the strength and the comfort I might need to be able to face whatever it is I need to do. If it's grieving or if it's letting go, whatever form that might happen to take. I am not alone. I can let go.
Do I have to be in a whole lot of pain before I can let go? Or can I just recognize? I could see peace instead of this, I could have asked. I could ask for help. I could do this differently. I don't have to do it all by myself. I can't do it all by myself, but I certainly don't even have to try. Then it's silly to think that all of this help that we're talking about just happens to come from an outside source. It's not outside of you. It's connected to you, just as you are connected with the Christ consciousness. What the Buddhist might call the Buddha-mind when you are connected to the small voices. How often do we stop? Just to listen to that? It can speak to you in words that can also speak to you in silence. It can speak to you in the openness of love or compassion, or just giving you the experience somehow deep within your own being that you are not alone.
Can I be open to that?
So we have to ask for help and be open to help. And it's there. None of us would be here on a Sunday morning unless it was there sometime in our lives. Now we're just being encouraged to recognize. It's always there. It's not just there when you're in pain. You don't just have to wait until you need help. I don't have to wait until I really need to be loved to ask somebody to love me. What would it be like if I just recognize that I'm just a human being who is walking a path and struggling like everybody else? It would be really nice if I could recognize how loved I am at this moment.
Take it in. See, that's another thing we can ask for, to help who we were. Sometimes we don't even take it in. I don't know why, but I don't help me. Help me, help me, help me. You know, I'm over here doing whatever it is I'm asking for help with. Let me be open to that truth. Let me be open to that small voice. Let me open to that Christ consciousness. Let me be open to that Buddha-mind. And it's happening all around everywhere, everything. Carl Young said, "God is all that happens to me. All that crosses my path that is filled with surprise for which I am totally unprepared for."
It's there. It's still there. What's more important than your life or my life. Politics or prayer, which has more power? Who is my mother and I in this hospital waiting room, talking to a little girl with a Teddy bear in her wheelchair, grieving, and yet somehow experiencing the presence of an angel because angels can take many, many different forms? Sometimes they can be people. Sometimes they can be an open door. Sometimes they can be a flower in a wall. After we had about a five-minute talk with Missy, the nurse came into the waiting room. I like to call her Nurse Ratchet. She kind of read Missy the riot act about being outside of a room and doing whatever it was she was doing. Missy just very comfortably picked up her little Teddy and sat in her wheelchair put it in her lap. The nurse wheeled around. Never saw her again. You can't tell me that wasn't an angel. Each one of us probably has many, many life experiences that if we were to look at them they could not have happened unless there was supernatural help around. Unless that happened in some way, somehow being outside or not outside of ourselves, but outside of our common knowledge of how things happen.
I would encourage us this morning or this afternoon to call back some of those experiences to recognize the truth of them, not in the past so much, but to recognize the truth of them within your being right now. One of my favorite Old Testament stories is about Jacob and the angel. You never hear the beginning of the story, so I'm not quite sure how it began, but Jacob got into a wrestling match with an angel. He didn't really know what or who this was at first, but they were, they were tussling all night long, so far so at it that Jacob got his hip knocked out, always walked with a limp a little bit later on. When the sun started coming up, he realized he was wrestling with an angel. And the angels essentially said, "I got to go now, man."
And Jacob said, "I will not go until you bless me."
What would it be like if we said that to the angels around us this morning, "I will not let you go till you bless me?" You know, what's so beautiful. I don't know what's going on with you, but I know what's gone. Well, it's me is as soon as I said that, I experienced myself being blessed by you. through you, and with you.
May all beings be at peace. May all beings be free of suffering. May all beings remember who they are. You are always have been and will be in the arms of an angel.