Spotlight on Our Sangha: Jonathan

Jun 10, 2021

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From the time I started coming to the Center, I immediately began attending the Monday and Thursday night General Program (GP) classes. Seven years later, I was still only attending GP. Many of the people I had met over the years had moved to either the Foundation Program (FP) or Teaching Training Program (TTP) but I’ve never been a good student and I panic when I hear the words “study” and “test”. So I planned on just sticking with GP which felt fluid and flexible.

Fast forward to around two-and-half years ago, I witnessed a catastrophic event in which a woman was hit by a car and died. She had been only ten paces behind me. I somehow left the sidewalk and then I’m there on the ground and she’s cradled in my arms as she’s leaving this world. From that situation, I realized I have no knowledge of what to do when I die. I realized I need to know this. I need to go deeper. So I committed to the Wednesday Foundation Program. Eventually we had our first test. I told the teacher I close up during tests, I panic, I’m a horrible test-taker. Even when I’m studying for a test I have a nervous mind. The teacher told me something that transformed things for me. She said I need to understand that I cannot fail this test. As long as I am offering up my studying to the Guru at my heart, my Guru is rejoicing in my efforts and it is impossible for me to fail. I could have cried hearing that. It had always been you pass or fail. You fail you’re a loser. Repeat. From then on, I have had a good time studying.

Earlier this year I was in Florida and there was a woman walking ahead of me crossing the road with her son. She had the right of way but the next thing she’s down on the ground bleeding and her son is screaming for help. Very quickly the police and ambulance arrive and taped off the area. To have this happen to me again felt like a loving shake, another reminder that I need to keep going deeper in my practice.

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