You know when you meet someone and you feel an instant connection? Like you’ve known them your whole life but really you’ve never met?
That’s a recognition of spirit. It’s a connection of heart on a deep level – on the truest level. When you feel that you tap into the awareness of an intrinsic connection that exists beyond time and space.
We call these chance meetings, though there isn’t any randomness to it at all…
This happened to me most recently on a plane ride from Albuquerque to Houston. Standing in the tunnel between airport and plane (I’m sure this has a name but can’t think of it) I turned around and found a friendly face.
We started talking and kept it up on our way to our seats, which happened to be in the same row. He had the aisle, I had the window, and there was a very nice space between us in the form of an empty seat. Ah, spaciousness.
I was just coming from a week long yoga training with my teacher, John Friend. He was on his way to work as a technician on an oil rig. You’d think two more different people would be hard to find, right?
But as we talked it became apparent that we’re both on very similar paths.
I don’t know if I’ve ever had such a pleasant conversation on a flight. I mean, we talked the WHOLE time!
We got rolling after I asked about his tattoo; Chinese characters depicting Strength, Love, Integrity, and Compassion. Then we got into philosophy, and we pretty much kept up that thread for a good 2 hours.
The time literally flew by, up at 30,000 feet talking about living the good life. By the good life I mean a positive attitude; core beliefs that support staying open minded and connected to your center.
We danced with topics like the way discipline serves delight, how the ego is only a problem when it forgets it’s a part of something bigger, and that every human being has the potential to shift and learn from every experience.
We talked about how you can learn something from everyone and every situation if you’re spacious enough to recognize it. We discussed balanced, mindful relationship, and I think it’s pretty cool that we both have that even though our respective partners weren’t there to participate in the discussion.
We came to a new idea together about common sense – I’d never really thought about the first word in this often used expression before. As we talked it dawned on me that the ‘common’ bit can be thought of as an integration of heart, mind, and spirit. Like if you’re in the flow of universal energy, listening to what feels right, and also considering what is logical in that time and space, following that collective guidance is common sense.
I kept looking into his blue eyes and easy smile and thinking “This is so awesome!” I got excited about the fact that he works on oil rigs because he’s taking the same basic philosophy that I teach and practice to these raw, hard working men out there.
I mean, think about how much that testosterone influenced environment can benefit from a positive outlook. Hey?
He lit up when he talked about his family and his passion, photography. I mean, he was pretty bright in general, even at the prospect of heading out for another 11 days or so of long hours and hard work in a potentially very dangerous environment. The way he spoke of the guys he woks with (who aren’t at all bad guys) showed a lot of wisdom. He’s willing to share his outlook with those who are open, and open to learn from what they have to say, all the while not taking anything personally. Yeah, man.
What a gift, to sit next to this human being and feel such a spark of beauty, respect and recognition. I admire the way he’s living his life and he honored me as well.
I told him he’s doing good yoga simply in the way he lives his life.
As we gathered our things after the planed landed I whispered blessings to him in my heart – may he be happy, may he be safe, may he realize his dreams of creative expression in photography and life.
He gave me a hug once we were in the airport and he was off. I don’t know if I’ve ever hugged anyone I’ve met in the airport before.
In the training I just came from, John Friend talked about this recognition of the heart. He spoke about how people come into your life at the perfect time, and how, if you’re spacious and paying attention, they will teach you something.
Our paths may never cross again, but I had two shri-filled hours with a kindred spirit. Among other things he showed me how the light of the heart can shine into even the grittiest places, and how equanimity, not taking it personally, and learning from every experience makes for a truly rich life. I am ever so grateful.
And to think I was planning to watch James Bond!
- What do you think about that instant recognition you feel with some people? Feel free to share your thoughts by commenting below.