A Man On The Fence

The Opening Begins

The Opening Begins

Near REDINGER LAKE, CA—He had stopped by the dam three times that day, admiring the lake, but noticeably curious about the man sitting in an easy chair in a van. Finally, as daylight faded, he set up his tent and came over and introduced himself.

When I said that my name was also Wayne, he did that odd push-pull thing (when their Soul draws them in but their mind pushes them away) as if the coincidence of our names confirmed something in him for which his mind wasn’t ready to admit.

I too was in conflict.

He was telling me how he had been down the road a ways, shooting his gun, taking target practice. My mind told me I could be of no use to him—that he was not a spiritual seeker, that he was simply out camping and enjoying himself. But She urged me on and I said, “This is a good place to meditate. It’s quiet and peaceful here.”

His shock was apparent as the resistance of his mind collapsed and he said that meditation was exactly what he needed, that he was trying to be a Buddhist and he went to his car and handed me a small book of sayings. He said he worked at his parents Chinese restaurant and needed some time to de-stress and to quiet his busy mind.

I nodded as much to Her as to his words and She/We/I said, I like sitting by the lake and looking out over it at the trees on the other side and visualizing the life force that moves inside them—knowing the force which gives life to those trees is the same force which gives life to me. Some call it Tao, some call it God, maybe a Buddhist would call it Source, but regardless, it’s there and it’s real and it is only our minds which stand in the way of recognizing it. It’s ironic that we have to separate ourselves from our thoughts in order to find unity with the All.

He went quiet then and gazed out at the trees across the lake.

He was a man on a fence. He wanted the Spiritual, but he clung to the Material. His quest for solitude, if only for a weekend, was a step in the right direction—a chance for him to sample the One without the noise of the other.

She had said what he needed to hear, so I wished him well and climbed in my van and drove up the winding road to a fallback camp I kept my eye on—a quiet place in the mountains with a view and with solitude and wildlife and woods.

It’s ironic that we have to separate ourselves from our thoughts in order to find unity with the All.

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4 thoughts on “A Man On The Fence

  1. What a beautiful photo and story!

    When I was young, I stayed at a place that had a garden gazebo. A sign over its entry said, “Come apart and rest awhile.” I thought that was so funny, because I figured “come apart” meant something like “fall apart” rather than “withdraw.” Now I see value in both meanings.

  2. What a lovely experience. It’s funny how our minds differentiate between what’s “spiritual” or “material”. To discern seems to be the function of our rational mind. And a chance encounter with another reveals “no mind” is One Mind – the unity of ALL. Thank you Wayne, and Wayne.

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