- I don t lift weights. I lug them over my head and then let my arm drop. I ve been lifting weights for so long I should be another incredible hulk. But I mMessage 1 of 1 , Oct 30, 2013View Source
I don't lift weights. I lug them over my head and then let my arm drop. I've been lifting weights for so long I should be another incredible hulk. But I'm not. I can no more gain muscle than I can lose weight. Sometimes that makes me sad. But, at the end of the day, at least there's always Chinese takeout.
Anyway, after my "lifting" "regimen" I use the sauna. It's nice to sit in a sauna and pretend I'm in Hawaii, rather than in Chicago. Ah, Hawaii with its endless white beaches and rainforests. Ah, Chicago with its endless rainy days and bitter cold winters.
Surprisingly there are a lot of British people in Chicago. More surprisingly, they turn up in droves only during the winter. Do people in England envision Chicago to be some kind of tropical hideaway, teeming with exotic parrots and birds of paradise? Please, let me be the first one to disabuse you of this notion. Chicago in winter is like stepping on a rake. Really, that's how much fun it is. Don't come here expecting some kind of blooming tropical garden of eden, an island of lush flowering fruit trees and natives playing coconut drums over the hiss and rush of the surf. It's not like that at all. Stay on your side of the pond. It's better over there. Really.
Anyway, I was sitting in the sauna with Tom, my lawyer-friend. He asked me where I worked and I told him, and he said, Oh, isn't that the spiritual restaurant.
I said, "Well, we try!"
Then he asked me lots and lots of questions about our beliefs and practices. I gave him basic, informative answers. He didn't want anything more than that. For example, he asked if we believe, as certain religions do, that our path is the only way to salvation, and I said no. First of all, we use the term liberation and realization more than salvation. In other words, we are trying to transform our lives in the here and now by practicing spiritual disciplines.
Secondly, our Guru, Sri Chinmoy, respected all religions and honored people from many, many different faith traditions. I once saw him give the closing meditation to a beautiful interfaith service in Manhattan many years ago. Everyone else gave soulful speeches, whereas Sri Chinmoy closed the conference with a simple, silent meditation. Silence seemed like the perfect conclusion and summary.
Anyway, by answering this man's sincere questions I felt I brought more of my own aspiration and spiritual intensity to the fore. Maybe that's the reason I give meditation classes in the first place. Talking to brand-new seekers is one of the best ways to stay fresh and happy in our spiritual life.
Now, back to bench presses, egg-drop soup and the pound of warm, crystal-clear surf upon this bejeweled tropical isle.