Saturday, Feb. 22, 2019.
The rest of yesterday was a good experience. I arrived at my hotel – East, in Miami – around 5:30pm. I set my luggage in my room, then promptly went out to explore the terrain. The weather is lovely here in Miami – a comfortable, breezy 73 degrees last night, and an equally comfortable 80 degrees today.
I ventured through the adjacent mall here in Brickell Plaza, looking for a reasonably priced polo shirt, but the lowest price I found was $68.00, so I passed on that. Instead, I went and had an excellent organic veggie burger and a cold-pressed carrot/lime/orange/cayenne juice at a local venue called Dr. Smoods. It was perfect. I considered how much I am enjoying eating less, lighter, and healthier these days, pretty much abandoning my former taste for seafood. I just don’t care to eat creatures anymore. But for me, that’s an easy choice. I only began to eat seafood as a compromise after I married to make things easier on my family and myself, as none of them have vegetarian inclinations. It was ok, but time to move on in the dietary department.
I’m focused on detoxifying my body, gradually. I made some fresh celery and ginger juice at home this past week, and the positive effects were astonishing. I felt lighter, internally balanced, and noted that my skin had a glow and my eyes seemed wider and brighter. Juicing, I realized, is the way to go, going forward. It is the fountain of youth.
After eating my burger, I returned to the hotel and got a glass of French rose at one of the bars, and returned to my room. I enjoyed the view of downtown Miami and its network of waterways from my balcony on the 30thfloor. It struck me as a modern Venice.
I decided to take a walk, not venturing farther than the front of my hotel. From the street, I noticed a Haagen Das store and thought ice cream might be a nice treat. When I got there, the flavors didn’t appeal to me, so I made my way down the hall to Le Roy Rene, the US branch of a French confectionary based in Aix en Provence, which my wife, daughter and I had visited a couple of years ago. This was a great find, and I ordered a Lavender gelato. I was surprised that I liked it.
I returned to my room with a refill of Rose and watched mini lectures about yoga practice on Youtube. I found some randomly selected topics of interest, and then some offered by my current teacher. True to form, Bhagavan inadvertently would comment on something that seemed to be the right thing to hear at the moment on some prescient concern or topic I’d been questioning. In short, I took away some nice lessons and watched my spiritually awareness expand in just that short time. I guess it would be easy to say that my internal spiritual growth is now so accelerated that I can almost witness the potency as its occurring.
But then again, this, of course, is what is supposed to happen after receiving diksha. So much of it is evocative of being with Baba Muktananda when I was younger. In fact, I was struck by remarks Bhagavan made that were identical to lessons Baba had taught me 40 years ago. Two that come to mind was Bhagavan’s advice to rise each day before the sun rises over the horizon, to ask for blessings for the day at that time with gratitude, and when you eat, leave your belly half empty. I smiled at the latter, because I have been employing that lesson for the past 40 years since hearing Baba recommend it. Less is more when it comes to meal consumption.
It was small suggestions like that that reassured me that Bhagavan is a master yogi. The man is simply enlightened, can hone in on the minute nuances of any psychological issue with surgical precision and a simultaneous ease of candor as if it is no big deal. And I – we – are all learning that nothing is a big deal. In one video he was talking about embracing all of your bad habits because there is nothing you can do about it. They are there. If you try to avoid or hide them, they just persist and eat away from the inside. By embracing them fully, for what they are and with awareness and acceptance of them, you initiate the process of being released from their influence. That’s how liberation works. That’s how moksha, mukti gradually comes about. I found this video particularly enlightening.
After a while, I joined two of my company’s clients from Long Island, a lovely gay couple whose names are both Steve. We refer to them as “The Steves.” The Steves and I have known and fraternized for at least the last five years, often at company functions. The first time we hung out was in Las Vegas. We were all there for a company function at the studio and home of artist Michael Godard. The Steves and I were then the first to arrive at our hotel – the Mandalay Bay resort – finding ourselves in line together for check in. Since then, we’ve become good friends, and last night reinforced that, as I learned they live close to Yaphank, Long Island, where I drove to do some research about two years ago. That trip might be another blog topic at some point.The Steves and I chatted about a good deal of topics, and made for a very enjoyable evening. I did not realize that 4 hours had passed until I asked one Steve the time and it was after midnight. At that point, we said good night, and went to our rooms.