Breakfast, Coffee, Compassion, Eggs, Fathers, God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jewish, Lunch with the Lord, Magic, Meals, Mediation, Neighbors, relationships, Rituals, Salvation, Sons, Teachings, Yahweh, YHWH, Zen Koans
It was mid-morning and I was punch-drunk from the blur of time that had swirled by ever since arriving at my teacher’s house the day before. I had not spoken with Jerry for over a year and it did not matter – it never does with those to whom one is deeply connected – and I’ve been soul connected with Jerry for a long time……many times perhaps. Who knows?
I met Jerry at a meeting for folks interested in the teachings of Rudolph Steiner (Montessori schools). Needless to say there were just the three of us and I was the only one in attendance that had no clue who Rudolph Steiner was. That didn’t matter either. I didn’t go to that meeting to find out – I went to meet Jerry. That was 35 years ago give or take. He was my first friend in a new home town and I liked that he smoked Camels, and has a cool partner and he seemed to cotton to me right away.
I had left home after receiving the call of God which came to me as I was standing in line at Furrs Cafeteria on a Sunday morning with my family. Suddenly, clear as a bell God spoke to me and said: “Robert, if you are ever going to live your own life you have to leave Springfield.” What I still find interesting after all these years since that day, is that upon hearing this voice in my head, my only response was “Where?” And God gave me options and Albuquerque was the one I chose. I went to the meeting and Jerry stepped into a vacancy I had in my heart for a father – an older man who could be and wanted to be present with me, a fatherly friend who could and would teach me what was important to know in life and how to find out for myself with just a little gentle guidance now and then.
Jerry is a wise man and a smart ass. Brilliantly intelligent, imaginative and creative in ways I can barely grasp. He’s an artist, a fiddle player, a shaman, a builder, an architect, a plumber, school board member, and as I have grown more rooted in my own spiritual path, Jerry has become more of a Kalyāṇa-mittatā which in Buddhism means “a spiritual friend.” He was raised Catholic but he thinks and lives and encounters Jewish archetypes in his relationship with the Unknowable and unspeakable YHWH and those tend to be hard but with me, Jerry is soft and gentle he listens with his heart and he gently helps me see. Bottom line, I know Jerry – I see his heart and I know he see’s mine. For Jerry, it’s simple. There is only one law in the universe – and God is love….
….and God can be seen in an egg and all that life requires of any one of us is one cup of coffee…..
“Robert,” Jerry said as we sat in the morning light, “The only thing that you owe anyone in this life is a cup of coffee. Just one and if you decide to buy a second cup, well, that’s on you. But (said with a big grin) you owe everybody in this world a cup of coffee.” He let me stew on that a bit while he went to the fridge for an egg and cracked it open and we watched the yolk plop into the pan. “Now here’s the magical part, every time you crack, peel, or cook an egg say to yourself: legs, beaks, feathers.” He looked up at me with his dead serious eyes and cackled with glee and after a blink or two I sorta got it too. Sorta, I say because both are deep teachings about connections and compassion, about gratitude and right actions and keeping the commandment to love your neighbor as you love self……and when we do that…..some say Jesus shows up too. I don’t know but he’s welcome to have some eggs and coffee and take a shower if has a mind too.
Me, I have a mind to practice remembering how deeply interconnected and interwoven all of life is with itself – with love – with God – with the Unknown and the Mystery of what we are too! I plan to offer to buy a cup of coffee to every soul I meet and if I like you and you like me you’ll buy me one too and we can drink in remembrance of the plants, the soil, the rain, the sun, the wind, the efforts and hands of all that touched the coffee that now sits warmly in our stomachs and remember that God is love and all we see, touch, drink, smell, taste, and chew upon is of God too.