Thirty years ago I was fortunate enough to study with what was, for lack of a better word, a spiritual master. I studied with him for about 10 years before he died. He wasn’t supposed to be a spiritual master, he was supposed to be a music teacher – but life is funny that way, it doesn’t always give you what you want, but sometimes it gives you what you need.
He didn’t have any living family except his wife (who became ill before he did), so at the end of his life my wife and I more or less took care of him – she cooked for him and I would take him to the hospital when he needed to go, run errands, and just generally try to be there if he needed me.
To say that I got the better part of the deal would be a gross understatement. He made my life better in a more profound way that anyone else I had ever known, except of course my wife.
I had never met anyone like him – he taught me things that would seem crazy to most people (then again, most people just aren’t that bright – George Carlin said it best: “Think about how dumb most people are – then remember half of them are dumber than that.”) – Oy. So for that reason, I don’t talk about him much.
He was so immensely influential to my personal development and growth as a human being, it’s impossible to really put into words. I still think about lessons he taught me every day – about music, metaphysics, human interpersonal dynamics, space and time, death – and I always immediately think “How lucky was I to know that guy.”
Here’s the thing about life: You never know when that person is going to walk into it.
If they do – Pay attention.