Walking down the street, many people pass me by. Many lost in thought, pondering the next appointment, paying the bills, meeting the expectation of boss, family and friends.
A cool breeze massages my face; the sound of car horns fills the air. The hard concrete pounds the bottom of my shoes.
The smell of garbage wafts through my nose - I turn to see a homeless man lying against the building.
The world seems to be a hard place, I feel a sense of anxiety as I try to keep ahead of the threats. I feel a deep sense of helplessness.
Rounding a corner, I see a garden. As I approach, the sight of a yellow flower captures my attention. It is the most beautiful flower, standing tall in the middle of all this struggle.
The flower takes no offense to those who pass by, with all their suffering; it doesn't put it's fragrance up in competition with the garbage. The flower doesn't mind the constant sound of horns or the hard foundations which surround it. The flower simply sits in peace and perfumes the air.
Kneeling to smell it, I am overcome by the fragrance. The scent permeates my being, fills me to the brim. "I" am lost in the moment, absorbed by the experience.
As I stand, a shift seems to have taken place. The concrete jungle isn't a wall of threatening objects, but an extension of my beingness. Each person that passes by is nothing other than my very self. It seems that God is a solid field and each object is just an aspect of God. Each thing is arising in and as my very body. This small body which I had identified with is only a small fraction of THIS.
Slowly, a thought arises that I just had a spiritual experience. Now I want it back. I want to feel that way again. I smell the flower again to no avail - I leave the flower in search of more objects. I spend the rest of the afternoon trying to get it back, only being frustrated. I head toward the subway in anger at my failure, resenting each person I pass for being in my way.