Saturday, May 16, 2015

Here and There at the Same Time

Not much happened this week on the Spiritual Front.  I think the spiritual floodwaters are receding.  Now dealing with the aftermath.  
I think I came close to where the Japanese vampire hides during the day.  While walking  near the Norton Simon Museum, across the street where this grassy patch is located, I spotted a goose.  It was rooting through the grass.  
You don't see many geese in Pasadena.  As I walked past it on the sidewalk, not threatening or approaching it in any way, I said, "Just out here being goosey, Mr. Goose?"
That's when this bird turn on me.
I was turning away to continue my walk when I heard it.  This hissing sound, like an angry cat.  When I looked back, I saw the goose padding after me.  Wings spread wide.  Neck bent into a question mark.  Beak open.  Hissing at me with every step.  
I turned around and starting skipping backwards.  The goose kept coming.  My skipping turned into a reverse trot.  The goose was getting closer.  When I realized this bird was serious about doing me harm, I turned and started running down the sidewalk.  Only when I was near the corner of the street, did the goose stop its pursuit and returned to rooting in the grass for...  Bugs, or crumbs or whatever geese root in the grass for when not chasing after people.  He was acting as if nothing had ever happened.  
It was a ruse, of course.  As I walked away, I remembered that geese were used as watch animals during the middle ages.  Armies would pen them along the approaches to their camps.  The geese would honk and squawk (and probably chase and bite) anyone that approached.  
The goose was obviously guarding more than a patch of bug-filled ground.  It had to be guarding the entrance or approach to the Japanese vampire's daytime crypt.  Obviously.  
Unfortunately, after that incident, I didn't find any more clues to where the Japanese vampire's hideout.  The goose was gone the next time I walked through that area.  The vampire had heard the commotion, grabbed her goose and found herself another place to wait it out during daylight hours.  
But this encounter also got me to thinking, Am I ready for this?  I have been taking this river of spiritual energy running through my life since unblocking the rear door to my apartment as some sort of sign.  Changes were made.  Changes were coming.  I was turning into a Spiritual Warrior or a Modern Shaman.  
You don't start seeing beautiful Japanese vampires in grocery stories for no reason. 
But if I could be chased away buy some angry watch-bird, what sort of Modern Shaman could I be?  It wasn't even a watchdog!  
Though, as an aside, you have to admit choosing a goose was pretty clever of her.  If a dog started chasing people down the street, animal control would be called.  But if you called animal control over a goose chasing you, you just get laughed at.  
Not that I have any experience in that regard.  Pure speculation.  I swear.  
But like I said, it did get me thinking that I wasn't ready for all this.  Or, even worse, I might be too old for all this.  Past that time when you can be trained to become something like a Spiritual Warrior or a Modern Shaman.  
It would be like having a quota at work.  You have to sell so many cars by the end of the month.  Or you have to sell so much product in a day.  Then one day, your boss sends you an email saying your quota has been increased by 25%.  BAM!  Just like that, you're working just as hard as yesterday, but your falling behind in chunks.  And you start wondering what will happen when the fiscal reports come due.
That's what it's feeling like.  The Universe is trying to change me into some Modern Shaman but isn't giving me the means to do so.  How you train for something like this anyway?
Why, a pilgrimage, of course.  
I saw a documentary on NHK about the Shikoku Henro (四国遍路).  It's a pilgrimage on the island of Shikoku in Japan, where one visits all 88 of the temples established by a Buddhist monk posthumously known as Koubou Daishi in the Ninth Century.  People on this pilgrimage can travel by motorcycle, car or train, though the traditional way is to go on foot, visiting each of the 88 temples, and 130+ shrines on the same route, in a circuit that covers 750 miles.  There is a tradition amongst the people living along the pilgrimage route to help the pilgrims, giving them encouragement as well as gifts of food or even places to stay for the night.  
When I remembered this pilgrimage, I had a vision.  You might call it a day-dream produced by my vivid imagination, but I'm going to call it a vision.  I saw myself traveling through the mountains of Japan, wearing my wide brimmed conical hat, the white shirt that all henro wear, and carrying my walking staff.  I would meet someone on the way.  An old woman also dressed as a pilgrim.  Though apparently bent with age, she would be stronger than she appeared to be.  She would march from temple to temple, encouraging me to follow, imparting spiritual wisdom.  Waking the power within me.  By the time we returned to Ryouzenji (霊山寺), the Temple of the Sacred Mountain, I would be leaner, harder and bursting with a profound wisdom and power.  Evil forces would cringe when I approached.  I could cause miracles to happen with a flick of my fingertips.  
There were only two problems.  One, I wasn't in Japan.  Two, I had work the next day. 
Instead, I went walking in the rain.  About two thousand steps according to my pedometer.  Not bad.  Not a month long pilgrimage with an experienced Urban Mystic, though.  It did help me clear my mind a bit, get some sleep and get through the week. 
It didn't help me to feel more prepared the ride the Change that has Happened toward the Change to Take Place.  
I went hiking this morning as I usually did.  One of my colleagues from work joined me.  We met each other in the parking lot of the park.  
"Good Morning, Erick."  
"Good Morning, Sula.  How are you doing?"  
She nodded her head, left and right.  "About the same."  Sula is from Nepal.  She has family in the earthquake zone.  They are fine.  She is the most consistently happy person I know.  This question is closest she comes to being down.  
As we walked I talked a bit about my feelings to her.  I didn't tell her about the Japanese vampire, the guard-goose or any of that.  I did tell her about my desire to go on the Shikoku Henro.  Talking about walking twenty-five miles a day seemed an appropriate conversation on a two mile hike.  I told her about the need I felt to make myself ready for something. 
"Yes, yes.  You can do that.  Sometime I work for something very hard and it not come.  Sometime I don't do anything and it's there in my hand.  I just tell myself what will happen will happen.  I'm OK with that."  
Hmm.  I wasn't convinced.  Though, I do admit, with her Indian-sounding accent, it gave her words a very profoundly spiritual tone.    
Then, she looked at her watch.  "Hmm.  I guess Sula is still in bed."  
"But...  You're 'Sula'."  
"Ah.  No, no, no.  I said...  Chunla.  That's what I said.  I guess 'Chunla' is still in bed."  
Chunla is the name of another colleague who was supposed to join us on the trail, but hadn't arrived.  
But that's not what she said.  She said, "Sula."  Her own name.  She was clearly referring to herself, still in bed, while she was walking on the trail with me.  
Wow.  In this off-handed way, Sula had revealed to me that she was an Urban Mystic herself.  With the power of bilocation.  She was doing this to tell me that, while I was there on the hiking trail, I could be ELSEWHERE, in my head, gaining the power I needed to fulfill my role as a Modern Shaman.  She had used her mystical vision to see what was happening inside me and offered me this answer.  
"Ok.  I get it.  No bilocation going on here."  I gave her a wink to tell her that I got her message and that her secret was safe with me.  She pretended to give me a confused look, then smiled and started to talk about her boy's soccer game that was going to attend later. 
And while we walked, I tried to hear the jangle of rings attached to the end of the walking stick my OTHER hand held as I walked away from Ryouzenji.  


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