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Nurturing Jeanne's Nature (story)

As I sat in the chair the voice of the speaker faded slightly, and then seemed to disappear into the distance.

All I could hear was the muffled murmur of the speaker, whose name was Jeanne. Even the laughter of the audience could barely distract me.

Thus was I in the zone, going with the flow as it were.

It felt great to be unfettered like this! I relished in the simple realization that here was an "I" that was at one with all people in the room yet was still an individual. Though words cannot describe this duality of all-as-one and the One.

Indeed, this One is not apart from all-as-one yet is a vital part of the One.

As Jeanne continued her monologue, I found that I could follow her and simultaneously focus on my inner journey with little effort.

"It wasn't until later" she said, "that I realized that I am not the only person to whom this happened."

Nor I!

Although I am not unique, and have a lot to contribute to the community, the synchronicity that has colored my life recently is a welcome bonus for me.

Gratefulness and thanksgiving offers a greater bounty than mere pettiness can; of this I am sure, though it cannot be proven by reason alone.

Having reflected deeply on this, I could not speak of it without sounding mad. So I sat there in silence, contemplating its deeper meaning.

"Self and the other are concepts formulated by the mind. As objects of the mind, they have no independent existence from it."

This thought came to me in the form of the inner voice, the internal narrator that notes what happens around oneself yet gives scant warning that danger is near.

For danger is rarely noticed when the distraction of the libido overwhelms the person's tendency towards paranoia.

Paranoia in this case is when a person whose inner dialog does not reliably distinguish between friend and foe. When libido is in its proximity, paranoia is forgotten momentary.

"...I'd forgotten to be self conscious when schooled under his love."

And I too forgot to be conscious of love. It was unnecessary in this context, in a room of fans who admired Jeanne.

Thus it is self love that keeps self respect intact. At root here is my willingness to listen to Jeanne, whose open narrative uncannily echoes my own thoughts.

"...echoes of my thoughts faded away. I could see that I was home."

Ah, Jeanne, I feel at home with my ears bathed in the beautiful timbre of your voice.

"My voice when speaking maintains a timbre to command attention."

And attention I give thee, Jeanne.

At this point in the narrative, I will have to give an overview of what happened next, so as not to confuse people using the current form.

Once Jeanne finished speaking, I made the point of standing up and clapping. Then the rest of our group clapped in unison.

Near the end of the queue, I stepped up and said, "Jeanne, such a lovely book-signing! It is as though what you said echoed in every thought in my head. What I mean is, sychronicity."

Jeanne smiled, saying graciously, "Thank you. To who should I sign your copy of my book to?"

"Just sign it; 'To the lover, by the beloved'." Jeanne paused, and looked at me questioning. "That's from Rumi, isn't it?" she asked.

"Yes, Rumi knew but never acknowledged emptiness. For every created moment, the creator plays a vital part, as though to learn the world by the act of its creation."

Jeanne's eyes glazed over for a moment. "Hmmm... OK then." she said, as she wrote in longhand script, "To the Lover, by the Beloved".

"So, thanks, and if you're available, please join me for a bite to each at the local pizza place."

"Well, I..."

"Jeanne, you can get two slices with a drink for $4.25 or a slice and pop for $3.25!"

Her eyes widened and she smiled brightly. "Ok, you got me sold! I'm a sucker for a cheap date."

Inwardly I smiled. This lady lives by a strict budget even though she's a world-famous author.

During our pizza "date", Jeanne told me about her view of meditation and how it opened up her eyes to an alternative to the usual zeitgeist of the West.

Zeitgeist in context of Western society refers to what the status quo worships without question: individualism as influenced by Jewish and Christian thought with overlays of neo-Platonian, Cartesian and recently secular philosophies.

Even atheists worship this zeitgeist as humanism, having pared away or negated the overtly religious sources.

At this point in the narrative, again I revert back to the continual flow...

Zeitgeist, the soul of a society, its status quo held in awe.

"I still wonder about what I wrote in your copy of my book."

Your book is about synchronicity.

"And your comment about synchronicity..."

Synchronicity is represented by the creator in the act of creating the created. He learns by that act what's involved...

" creating. His creation also teaches him what he created..."

Yet under it all, we are all one.

"All one..."

"Jeanne," I said, interrupting her, "you actually wrote 'From the Lover to the Loved'."

Oh, did I?" She laughs. I smiled, and replied,"Yes, but the love of which Rumi spoke is both between man and God, and God and man."

"Yes, yes! God created all of us out of love, because his original creations, the angels... That led to rebellion."

"Yes, and in that act of rebellion, Shaitan had ego arise, even though it was assumed by Christologists that as a creature who could only do God's will, in rebelling, Shaitan did not need to have ego."

"Well, angels and demons, they don't need ego since they exercise the will of divine Ego, God himself."

"True, but Jeanne, be it love or creation, it's best to leave Ego out of the equation."

"Why? Ego is will."

"Well, according to Buddhism, that will can be tainted by delusion, such that Buddha Nature is obscured by afflictions."

"True enough." Jeanne looked at her watch, and pursed her lips, lips so red...

"Oh, my! I must depart."

"May I give you my number?" I asked.

"Can't stay. Gotta go! Email me at the address on the inside back cover of my book!"

So when I got home, I read her book called "Loving-kindness: Is It Nature or Nurture?".

According to her thesis Nature is Buddha Nature while Nurture is meditation. Nature is also other power. Nurture in contract is self power. By using both forms of spiritual action and power, one accesses loving-kindness as though it is a divine gift.

By the time I finished her book, it'd been about a week. During that time I also did my Buddha Remembrance, chanting the Nembutsu seven times after each chapter, and usually twenty-one times in the morning and evening, after awakening in the morning and before falling asleep at night.

As a True Pure Land Buddhist, I'd be inculcated in this ritual since my teens. It is said that once you dedicate yourself to Buddha Remembrance, you will see changes happen such as joy, ability to interpret sutras, and most importantly, Bodhi Mind.

Bodhi Mind is the mind that aspires to be Buddha and desires to help others to Buddhahood with the help of the spiritual compassion and wisdom.

Although I have seen the changes in my life, when I found others who wrote of the same thing, I needed to listen to them and check them out, to see if their Buddhist-inspired message is close to what the Buddha taught.

That was why I was at Jeanne's book signing at the local bookstore.

After reading much of Jeanne's book, I realized that she had excluded one other thing: that mind is a quality of human nature and the heart, of nurture. Together they are referred to as heart-mind to signify the delicate balance between reason, emotions and feelings.

In my email to Jeanne, I told her of this. It was noon, and I didn't expect to receive a reply in the next 24 hours.

When I checked my mail after supper, I saw in my email reader,

From: Jeanne
To: Stephen
Date: 20130125.1346
Subject: Re: You missed the heart-mind

>in your Nature vs Nurture.
> Meditation helps moderate the balance between reason and emotions.
> For without establishing the heart-mind, one is either biased to
> nature or nurture, i.e. controlled by emotions or controlled by
> reason and logic. Holistically, it is vital to remain balanced.

I agree with you here! If you reread the Chapter on Nature and Nurture
you would see that I do mention heart-mind.

BTW I enjoyed our "date". Want to try sush at Ichiban-ya?

So I wrote back to her quickly.

From: Stephen
To: Jeanne
Date: 20130125.1351
Subject: Date is on!

Sure, meet you in an hour!

To get to Ichiban-ya, you take a bus to Scott Road Station and catch a Skytrain to Vancouver. Burrard Station is the nearest station to Ichiban-ya, which is near Robson and Thurlow.

It's run by Chinese, but their food is authentic. The sushi, the sashimi, and even the robata is delicious.

I say this because I have been there enough times to know, plus Jeanne knows that too, because it came up in the previous Friday's conversation.

So after walking down into the dimly lit restaurant, I scoped her out and sat across from her.

"Hi, how was transit?" she asked.

"Long but exciting."

"how exciting?"

"Well, because I'm meeting my favorite local author on loving-kindness and how to apply it to this life..."

She smiled. "Oh, you just have a fan's crush on me. Though I'm greatly intrigued by your thoughts on heart-mind..."

I grinned and sighed. "It"s more than a crush, Jeanne..."

At this point in the narrative, we had a dinner date. We ate, and then we tipped well...

"I can't believe the bill came to over $30!" I exclaim as we walk toward her apartment in the West End.

"Well, it was your fault for orderin' the big sake."

"Hey, I was only, only tying to impress you by pretending to be saké host."

"Yes, but you poured more often for me than I could for you."

"Yes, I did! And you point is?"

"My point? My point is, are you trying to take advantage of me?"

"Jeanne, yes, but in a good way. Though you have advantage over me."

"Well, I am 5'9 and you are 5'1. Also I outweigh you by... never mind about my weight!"

"Lady, looks good from where I am staggering..."

"Oh you!"

"Oh, and you could have two small sakes when I asked you if we should go for two small saké or a large to share..."

"But I love sake!"

"See? I wasn't trying to take advantage of you. I was just indulging your love for sake."

At this point in the narrative, we arrived at Jeanne's apartment in the West End. something is supposed to happen at this point, and the narrative has to use a few euphemisms that go beyond "taking advantage of a woman". However, I was so wasted, being 5'1, that I passed out while waiting for her to "slip into something nice."

Sp she undressed me, slid me into bed, and snuggled up to me. Only when I awoke, I thought we had "done it".

She looked so sexy in her nightie.

When she awake, I looked into her eyes and asked, "Did we um...?"

"No, I took your clothes off and slid you into bed. It's not up to the lady to take advantage of the guy."

"Oh. Hey, that's sexist."

"No, it isn't. You and I know once I chose the big bottle, we were going to get lucky."

"Ok then, I'm sorry for passing out on you."

"Wanna make up for it now?" she ask, slyly grinning at me.

At this point in the narrative, we enter a slippery slope into pornographic. All I can say is, I got mojo! ;)

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