Journey to New York, to visit my great friends, John and Ilda, was something I wanted for a long time. A wish to see the New York City was not so much on my mind, as was the wish to meet with friends again that I got to know them two years earlier in Hawaii. Even there, when we first made contact, I felt a great connection between us and a feeling that we know each other for a long time. I believe that our connection goes back to past lives. Among them, I felt like at home. We discussed most personal things without any problems. This is also because of our similar way of thinking.
In Hawaii, we attended the same workshop on A Course in Miracles, which was led by Gary Renard, author of the books: The Disappearance of the Universe, Your Immortal Reality and Love has Forgot No One. All these books, in simple terms explain the meaning of a spiritual thought system of A Course in Miracles. A path to love and inner peace.
After a five day workshop in Hawaii, we stayed in touch through Facebook. In early 2015, I started to play with the idea about going to New York to meet them again. We quickly aligned the dates and agreed to otherwise brief but beautiful gathering in June 2015, which was accompanied with new, deep insights and life lessons.
After a long, eagerly wait, June 4 finally came and I went on a joyful journey. Already on arrival at the Newark Airport and a long 2 hour wait in the queue, I felt a lot of excitement at the thought that I was just a few airport corridors away from my friends. After I was finished with border control, I hurried to the exit, and soon saw John, and then his wife Ilda, shortly thereafter. Their greeting and a hug is something I will remember forever. I was very touched by the warmth and joy that I had received from them at that moment. The feeling that they were so happy to see me, was indescribably beautiful.
I was especially happy of such reception, because I was having some worried thoughts before the arrival: “Seeing me, how happy will they be? Will I get in their way because I will be with them all the time? Would they rather use the time otherwise than to be with me?” I’m aware that these thoughts are the result of my feelings of inferiority and had nothing to do with our relationship. Because of the fear that they will leave me, these thoughts are particularly often present with people who are very close to me. Being conscious of this fact, I try as quickly as possible to be aware of the absurdity of these thoughts, which are produced by the ego – and at the same time, not identifying with them.
Often, this is very difficult, because negative thoughts can act very convincingly and this can quickly take us on a dark journey of destructive and self sabotage feelings and thoughts. However, by continuing the observation of these thoughts and not judging them, they lose the significance and weight, which then returns inner peace to our lives.
Thus began our 4 day gathering. While 4 days sounds like a little time, it was rich with new experiences, adventures and deep conversations. The latter were the ones which had the biggest meaning for me. In the morning at breakfast, while driving in the car, at lunch or while having a relaxing evening at home, we talked about relationships – especially “romantic” relationships, about job, about attitude towards money,.. All these topics were mainly based on the principles of A Course in Miracles, since we all try to live by them. In the case of relationships we talked about my “unsuccessful” romantic relationships and the desire to have a girl who would be on the “same frequency” with similar life views. At the same time I should also mention briefly the causes that are often behind this strong desire. They may be linked with a feeling of emptiness, loneliness, guilt, the need to escape and project our unconscious,.. (you can read more on these aspects here)
At this point, I will focus on the subject that is also linked to other areas of life – abundance. As in the case of “problems” with not having enough money, they helped me to realize and grasp the power of guilt in my subconscious mind and all the negative thoughts that are telling me, that I am not worthy of all this – having like-minded girlfriend, satisfactory job, enough money,..
As A Course in Miracles explains, all this is symbolically based on a false subconscious belief that we destroyed unity – the God who created us and loves us unconditionally. With apparent existence of duality, whose symbol is our world of separate bodies, the ego seeks to prove that unity is really destroyed. This of course are false ego thoughts that try to inspire a sense of guilt. So we try to make ourselves small, undetectable and unfortunate, so that God would not punish us for destroying unity. But of course God, our source and unity still exists in reality. We have just fallen asleep – fallen into ego’s story, that we have separated from our source. Therefore, all we need is a non judgemental observation / looking and awareness that thoughts of fear, sadness, guilt, anger,.. are only ego thoughts that are not true. In this way, we can wake up and return our mind fully into the oneness, which is eternal and non destroyable
So throughout our conversation, I have become increasingly aware of my unconscious, destructive thoughts and consequently life choices and actions, which are probably more or less shaping my life. And even if my ultimate goal is not to have a like-minded girlfriend, satisfactory job that will bring me enough money to live, I see a decisions and the awareness that I am worth it – a key factor. That I am worthy of abundance. However, I don’t mean this only as the external abundance, but as Eckhart Tolle says – the realization that in essence, abundance is what I am.
“The source of abundance is not outside you. It is part of who you are. Abundance comes only to those who already have it. It is a universal law. Both abundance and scarcity are inner states that manifest as your reality.” Eckhart Tolle
This will help me to recognize the illusory nature of guilt and speed up the process to my main objective – the inevitable return home – merging in the mind with all beings and the whole world in oneness, where joy and happiness are constants.
Enthusiasm and experience of the New York City – “The city that never sleeps.”
Despite the fact that I prefer nature and quiet places which are not so densely populated, I was very impressed by New York City. Among other things, I enjoyed precisely what I would rather prefer to avoid a few years ago – a crowd of people. I was completely taken over by the energy of this 8 million City. I currently live in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, which is quite big for our circumstances, but it has “only” 270 thousand inhabitants. And the whole country Slovenia has only 2 million people, which is a quarter of a New York City 🙂
As we drove along the highway from New Jersey – where my friends live – to New York City, I already saw huge skyscrapers in the distance, which are typical for this city. As we came out from the underwater tunnel leading into the city, my eyes and mouth went wide open. Uauu! 🙂 Skyscrapers, build side by side are just amazing to see – especially if you are not used to them. We continued to the very center of the city, where we parked in one of the garages. I wanted the get out of the car as soon as possible, so I could walk through the streets of Manhattan for the first time. I was just thrilled. While walking around slowly, I watched the crowd, numerous cars, high-rise buildings and at the same time listening to the noise of the city, which didn’t bother me at all. On the contrary, the vibrancy of the city felt inspiring and soothing at the same time. I never thought that I would enjoy this city so much, which doesn’t have a nickname in vain: “The city that never sleeps”. Of course, New Yorkers have also the option to “escape” from this chaotic and noisy urban life to a little more quiet and green part of the city. This part is called Central Park, where I believe that, if I would live in NYC, I would also sooner or later wanted to withdraw sometimes and go into the silence.
I can enjoy both the hustle and bustle of the city, as well as being alone in nature and silence. Many times I go to the city and just observe the people and all the happenings around. At the same time I try not to interpret or judge anything I see and experience. This is, of course, not so easy, because our conditioned ego mind is so used to constant judgments and comparisons. This is its food – it keeps itself alive with that. By comparing and judging our fellow human beings, we make them different from ourselves, which subconsciously deepens the idea of separation and reinforces our illusory loneliness and alienation from love and life.
On the other hand, I often go to the nature and mountains by myself. Although it is usually easier to calm down the flow of thoughts in the nature, peace of mind is however not connected with the outside environment. One can feel the peace in the chaotic city, whereas someone else may be in the woods, but still can not control his mind. Inner peace is a “function” of the mind and not the outside world.
This is something I can also observe in myself, because thoughts can sometimes be even louder and restless in the nature. Due to external silence or environment without distractions, internal unrest may come to the surface / to the conscious mind even easier. In both cases, non judgemental observation or looking and not identifying with thoughts, is what calms the mind and brings inner peace.
We walked the most beautiful tourist area of the Central Park. Here, too, there were a lot of people. I was particularly impressed with a large meadow in the middle of the park, where there were a lot of people lying in the sun and hanging out.
Among other things, we’ve visited some well known buildings or places, such as: Apple Store, The Plaza Hotel, Rockefeller Center, Tiffany Store, Trump Tower, World Trade Center, 5th Avenue, Times Square and some others. It was interesting to experience some of these luxury buildings and expensive shops.
Despite the fact, that I perceive them all as the big illusions, which are largely created in the world as a distraction from our internal content – various psychological pain, sadness, anger, guilt – so that we forget or suppress these problems for some time, I still enjoyed experiencing and admiring them.
In all this, I see the importance of awareness that no external thing can bring us joy or take away inner pain. Money is not the problem, the problem lies in the belief that it will make us happy.
In addition to the excellent presentation of the city, with the peak of its view from The Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, I was also being pampered with delicious lunches in different restaurants. Mmm, it was delicious and I am very grateful to my friends. And although it is all an illusion, like Gary Renard says: “You can have your cake and eat it too” 🙂
A wonderful evening with family
Evening spent with the family of friends, was also something memorable. In their company I felt like at home – as if they were my family. Nevertheless, as a result of a deep rooted fear of non-acceptance, I was not completely relaxed in their presence.
Already well-known voices, which among others occur when I give some event or meeting too much importance. As soon as this importance is taken away through observation – when I no longer bother with the outcome of the event and when I let go and have complete trust – then things tend to go in the right direction. And even if they don’t, they can no longer affect the state of inner peace, because true joy is not a subject to different external circumstances.
A phenomenal dinner was followed by a long singing and a piano performance by John’s son and his girlfriend – which made a special impression on me. I could listen to their singing and playing indefinitely. It was magical. I recorded the last part of their performance on my phone and when I later played the recordings at home, suddenly the desire to play the piano myself awakened. At that time I did not know exactly whether this enthusiasm would pass quickly, but it didn’t even after six months and now I am happily learning playing the piano.
Final thoughts, farewell and return to Slovenia
The last day quickly passed. After the breakfast, I played with their home pet one last time – dog Jules. I am a big animal lover in general, but I feel especially close to dogs.
After shopping for some souvenirs for my friends, we headed to the airport, where our wonderful gathering ended. But I believe that it is far from being the last.
Four days spent in New York were certainly one of the most beautiful days of my life. I have received a lot of warmth, generosity and kindness from my great friends and their family. This made the biggest impression on me. With that in mind I very much agree with the following thought:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” Maya Angelou
Through our conversations, I gained insights into some destructive patterns and thoughts that I still hold on to in my unconscious mind and which ultimately shape my life. With that I got awareness to move away form always guilty, unworthy Jernej and begin to accept the light and love within myself, which has always been and always will be my – and yours as well – the only reality and truth.
Finally, the experience of the New York City filled me up with energy, in spite of chaotic atmosphere of the city. I even thought something that would previously never crossed my mind: I could even live here for a while. 🙂
I will conclude with the famous phrase of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s: “I will be back!” 🙂