In November 2012, I took my first-ever private retreat at Vajrapani Institute in the Santa Cruz mountains. For two days, I was by myself in my own little cabin, alone with my thoughts, my Self, my dreams. The institute is affiliated with the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, and the lay people who run it dedicate themselves towards the practice of serving others. Opening up the retreat center to visitors like me is part of their practice. They believe that by providing a vehicle for others to delve deep within, they are serving all of humanity. They even delivered delicious meals to me each day! It was an amazing experience, one that I intend to repeat in 2013.
While I was on my retreat, I spent a lot of time meditating. One book I used as part of this process is Sanaya Roman’s Soul Love. I can’t recommend Roman’s books highly enough. Over the years, and long before I became involved in meditation or metaphysical subjects, they have been life transforming for me.
As I mention in my book Active Consciousness, I use three of these books (Living With Joy, Personal Power Through Awareness, and Spiritual Growth) on a daily basis as part of a morning “divination” exercise. While still in bed, I choose one of these three books (based on an energetic/emotional sensation within me) and then focus on my coming day. I then ask for any message that might be useful for me and open to a page at random. I believe that this divination process utilizes the mechanism of synchronicity to bring a helpful “coincidence” to me — in this case, a useful message for that day. I have been doing this successfully for so many years now that it no longer surprises me that the message I receive is almost always completely apt and specific to the day at hand.
But for many years, Roman’s book Soul Love had somehow eluded me. It felt too advanced, too beyond my level of development. Its goal is to enhance the development of various qualities of Love within the Self. I finally felt ready for it about a year ago and am slowly making my way through its messages and exercises. And so I brought it to Vajrapani too.
One of the chapters in Soul Love talks about the magnetic quality of Love. As Roman writes, “As you radiate soul love, you are magnetic to the beauty and love within people and to all good things that the universe has to offer.” Once again, it’s really all about synchronicity. Our state of being — our inherent vibratory state — brings us, through the mechanism of synchronicity, people and experiences and dreams that match or fit us in some way. That’s because vibrations tends to “attract” things of like vibrations, bringing them together in space and time. We literally magnetize our future to us in some way.
As I was meditating on this very message, the miraculous occurred. It was mid-morning and I was sitting on the small deck of my little cabin, overlooking a beautiful sunlit copse of oak trees. I had managed to achieve a very deep and joyful state of meditative bliss, and was even feeling the loving presence of Lama Thubten Yeshe with me. Lama Yeshe, the founder of Vajrapani, was cremated only a few yards from my cabin, the location marked by a beautiful stupa dedicated to his memory. And as I sat in this rapt state of joy, the incredible happened.
Suddenly, I felt and heard a rapid vibration of air lightly touching my face. I opened my eyes, and much to my utter amazement, a hummingbird was hovering less than an inch from my nose. It was looking straight into my eyes.
Of course I startled a bit. The bird shifted slightly to my right, and then flew off. But I knew right away what had happened. I immediately thanked the bird and Lama Yeshe as tears welled up in my eyes.
My state of joyful and loving bliss, and perhaps my readings about the magnetic quality of Love too, had magnetized a hummingbird — an important Native American symbol of Love and Joy — to me. I had experienced a most profound synchronicity. I also took this visit from the hummingbird as a sign from Lama Yeshe. Although I am not a Buddhist and had never even heard of Lama Yeshe before my retreat, I felt I had developed a very loving connection with him during my stay at Vajrapani.
In Jamie Sams’ and David Carson’s book Medicine Cards, they write the following about Hummingbird as an animal symbol:
“If Hummingbird is your personal medicine, you love life and its joys. Your presence brings joy to others. You join people together in relationships which bring out the best in them. You know instinctively where beauty abides and, near or far, you journey to your ideal. You move comfortably within a beautiful environment and help others taste the succulent nectar of life.”
As we get off to a brand new year, may we all become more aware and enlivened by of the power of synchronicity in our lives. May we magnetize to ourselves, through our own unique and dynamic state of being, the joy and wonders of Love that are, in truth, manifest everywhere we look — from the dew on a blade of grass to the flap of a hummingbird’s wings. May we all co-create together a more beautiful world!