i don't go to torah study because i want to get benefits in anyway from anybody. i simply love the sweetness of torah. i don't do spiritual study groups regularly because i want somebody to do something for me. i just enjoy the holy company of fellow yogis who love immersing in the lights of the scriptures. i couldn't have schemed or engineered or fantasized the scope and breadth of good fortunes that have been falling into my lap one after another at super-duper speed.
first case in point. i'm in bellevue trauma ward after a sleepless night. i'm allowed to stay there twenty-four hours, but not to sleep. i put together two chairs, doze off, feel someone tapping my shoulder. it's the night nurse whispering, my supervisor says you can't sleep here. the chinese in me who is scared of authority jolts me up. i'm in that enforced state of sleeplessness for goodness how long when someone says, are you suk wah? i say, yes. the person says, there's a call for you at the nurse station. my heart jumps and skips. i blankly say into the phone, hull-ooo? a guy's voice says from the other end of the line, suk wah, this is so-and-so. my mind stays blank. i could not recognize this name. after an awkward pause, he begins to speak. i cannot make any meaning out of the words until these two. torah study. suddenly i remember like seeing the sun popping above the horizon. yes. i know who he is. he sometimes goes to torah study in the rabbi's house. we rarely speak to each other except greeting each other shabbat shalom. i blurt out, yes, yes, ben-ji. this is the name i know him by. he goes straight to the point. suk wah, i know you need a place to stay, you can stay in my apartment. just like that. no questions asked. no conditions. a couple of weeks later i find out what transpires. judy, the point contact person in the shul, emails the entire shul population about my need to find a place to stay in the city. ben-ji's boyfriend, steve, gets it while in an airport somewhere in the world. he knows this apartment fits my needs. the trick is there is another person staying there but about to leave. so there's only a tiny window of time to get me the key to the apartment. meanwhile judy, under my strict instruction, would not give out my cell to anyone. so steve, whom i sometimes like to joke around with, says, call bellevue. as it turns out, i have a two bedroom garden level apartment all to myself. i can have a meditation room. i can chant facing a snow-covered garden. i can take a bus from around the corner and get off at the entrance to bellevue. to top it off, it's a beautifully done place. elegantly simple. chic with a lot of character.
second case in point. at the last minute i need a ride on a monday afternoon to drop off an envelope to the lawyer in new york. the first name that pops up is claire. she is my spiritual study buddy. i know she is off on mondays because we have to periodically adjust our weekly study schedule. i call her. she just comes. again. no question asked.
my guru says, again and again, to the effect, get the relationship with your inner self right and everything will be all right. well, it's more than all right. it's infinitely more spectacular than i could have imagined. but then, all this and all this are not why i meditate, chant and study and do the practices. it's because i love it. i can't stop doing them.