Most of humanity is living in a world full of psychic debris; they are following the voice of the mind, as if it is real. That is all fine and good, to each his own, but once you have discovered your true being, mind doesn’t, as the old saying goes, ‘hold a candle’. When sincerely investigated, mind loses its allure. You are no longer deluded by a transitory whorl that comes and goes. Simple being, the always existent presence, changeless reality, becomes the candle. Mind cannot attain presence because beingness (presence) is already here each and every moment.
That brings me to shopping, one of my favorite jobs. I know, I know, a guy who likes to shop. STOP. It’s not like that. Let me share a delight. I aimlessly wander, not looking for anything in particular, just like all the rest, with the same ‘I’ll know when I find it’ mentality. Here is the difference, my secret.
I go to the outlet malls, the grocery stores, and any place where the shopping hoards might reside, for one reason: to see infants. Yes, mothers bring those adorable, precious beings, propped up on numerous odd contraptions, dressed in miniature wardrobes (conditioned for battle early). These infants (not short for infantry), often newborns, exude a profound presence. I am in awe of that presence. Walking around a corner, music blaring, people talking loudly and then—a beaming ray of light, eyes wide, greets me in this silent world. My entire day is transformed in one instant. With an infant, nothing stands between their authentic self. They are simply happy to just be, conscious and happy, their life mission is complete. Nothing to achieve, to do, to conquer—the trail of the holy grail stops here.
Infants are a deep reminder of what my purpose is. We lock eyes for a few seconds or even a minute before they are whisked off by an unsuspecting mother. They crane their little necks in an odd fashion just to keep the connection as long as heavenly possible. Than we might run into each other again on another aisle. Sometimes it happens spontaneously, but if the truth be told, an article could be written about a new type of stalker.
Most of the time our little communions go completely unnoticed. After all there’s shopping to do, bills to pay, resentments to feed, and apparently an illusory mind to follow. Every once in a while, a mother recognizes that some deep connection is taking place. She will get the sense that something magical is occurring but makes a cardinal mistake by trying to make sense of it.
We often meet one last time, my infant teacher and me, at the checkout line.
“Sir, sir, are you ready?! The cashier attempts to sound cheerful. The other customers become impatient, some schmuck has put them behind schedule again. I politely apologize and mush onward, a smile on my face. Time for a final glance and an inward thank you to my tiny friend with that smile so divine and presence so deep.