3-6-14 The prompt: Slow down, breath in, breath out. Relax, and start along the road
The kicking started in when we were ten miles into the trip from Putney to Chicago. It was me and Joanie in the front, Emma Rose in the back with a friend of Joanie’s and her son, the little fucker.
This was to be an awesome road trip, a “We’re off to see the Wizard” trip to see Master Raji dedicate the new meditation center in Naperville, outside of Chicago, and to get yours-truly initiated. We had all started off smiling and giddy with anticipation. Then the kicking started.
I have since forgotten the name of the little fucker and his mother. I’m not actually very surprised about this. It was traumatic to be traveling with spiritually evolved people who had no concept of what it meant to guide their progeny and teach them the lessons of living in the world while seeking spiritual awakening. The kid had free reign, and he knew it.
We were traveling west into the sunset. I was going to be the main driver, so we were all packed into “Bubbles”, the Ford Festiva that was my first actually new car. It was Katie who named the car, but she wasn’t along on this voyage. I suspect that she was spending spring vacation with Grandma down on Long Island. The lack of memory on occasions like this doesn’t worry me. I’ll just have to resign myself to being a very iffy memoirist.
So I’m in the driver’s seat, and Joanie is beside me up front. Emma Rose got to sit behind her mom, with the little fucker behind me and his mom on the hump in the middle. Her least redeeming feature was the partnership she had decided to form with her son in determining the path of their life together. I had learned years before with Katie that a decision-making partnership with a four year old kid is a bad idea. Mom in the back seat hadn’t received that memo.
We had gotten as far as I-91 South when the unruly tike decided that it would be amusing, for no real reason, to kick the back of the seat in front of him. Not one kick, but that rhythmic hobbyhorse thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk that came with swinging the leg back and forth repeatedly with no end in sight. I made the fateful error of objecting.
“Could you ask your son to stop kicking the back of my seat, please? It’s very annoying.” I was in full diplomatic mode, and practicing politeness so I could model it for the youngsters. It’s always good on a long road trip to model good behavior and teach the children well.
“Are you sure that it’s him?” said mom. What the hell, she was sitting right next to him.
“I’m pretty sure it’s not you, and the bumps in the highway aren’t big enough to feel like that. I’d really appreciate it if you could get him to stop, otherwise it’s going to be a very long trip in this very small car.”
Mom did something subtle with her hand in the back seat, and the kicking stopped for a bit. We cruised on toward our date with bliss.
Joanie was an old hand at this, having been initiated by Master Kirpal Singh in the early eighties. When he died, the mantle was passed down to his son Rajinder, hence the Master Raji moniker. He was the most recent in the lineage of Sikh mystical teachers of this magical meditation that I was learning. Joanie was a good teacher, and there was a great incentive to learn when she told me one day that she couldn’t imagine a relationship with someone who wasn’t a devotee of her master and the path of spirituality. Not wanting to have wasted the past many months of getting to know her and peering forward into a hopeful future, I asked the question.
“Who is this Master Kirpal that you keep mentioning, and what does he do?”
Thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk. The little fucker had woken up from the car-induced nap that he had been taking, and was back at it. I looked back at his mom in the back seat, reading her book and oblivious to everything around her.
“Uh, could you do to your son what you did before when you got him to stop kicking me in the butt, please?” I was a bit more pointed in my plea with her, and unapologetic. The little fucker kept it up for another two minutes or so, then tapered off. Mom went back to her book.
I had been meditating with Joanie’s group for about a year when she announced the impending opening of the new meditation center outside of Chicago that would serve as the US center for the initiated and their outreach in the States. She declared me ready for initiation, and we had planned the trip together. I had high hopes for the trip, and also for the aftermath.
Thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk. It was going to be a long trip. When we finally got there I sat in meditation with Master Rajinder and the fifty other initiates. When he touched me on the forehead while I sat with my eyes closed and asked me if I heard the Music of the Spheres, I lied.