Something incredible happened this morning.
I was walking to the park minutes after sunrise, thinking about all the synchronicity in my life: each and every day, I’m encountering events and people who inspire me with their energy, their essence and their willingness to be themselves, allowing us to form deep bonds within minutes of knowing one another. The interests and philosophies we share are so congruent that it’s as though we’ve known each other forever—and we probably have.
As I was contemplating all the synchronicity, I realized I hadn’t experienced anything particularly synchronous yesterday, and then an anecdote popped into my conscious awareness:
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Late-August 2014, I had been working out and playing in the park with a silver iPod strapped to my left arm. After the session, I removed the iPod, set it on a picnic table, and sat down on the grass to meditate. After 20 minutes in a cross-legged pose, I got up and walked back to my house and ate a meal. As I was putting my plate in the dishwasher, I realized I had left my iPod on the picnic table, so I ran back to the park. For those who know me well, they know that I hold the iPod as the greatest material human invention—I mean, all of your music in one place! At your fingertips, you can select any sound you’ve ever heard throughout your entire life, press a button, and let the vibrations fill your mind, body and soul! With that in mind, you can understand that I was really excited to retrieve my musical device from the park. But when I arrived back to the picnic table, my iPod was nowhere to be found. I searched the grass all around and asked a passerby if she might know where it had gone, but it was evident that someone had taken my iPod. ‘Oh well,’ I thought. ‘I hope whoever found it receives as much joy from that iPod and the music it contains as I have.’
The next morning, I hopped in my car to Yorkdale Mall to purchase a new space-metal black 160GB iPod (I like the older generations with the click-wheel because they have so much more space), and uploaded all of the music from my computer onto the new iPod. This made me think about the abundance of our universe: now, there are TWO iPods with all that beautiful music in existence! Today is a great day.
A few days later, I headed to Burning Man where the new iPod served us well. Throughout our week in the desert, every time we found ourselves back at the RV, that space-metal black gift from the Gods filled our vehicle with sounds from the heavens. The transcendent qualities of music never cease to amaze me. And while Burning Man warrants an entire book of its own, this isn’t a story about my trip to desert, so I’ll gloss over the magical time spent there, and jump to the morning after I returned home to Toronto.
On the morning of Thursday, September 4, 2014, I awoke with the intention of strapping on my iPod and going to the park to do handstands and other gymnastics work. But, my iPod was nowhere to be found. I searched my suitcase, my backpack, my car, everywhere in the house, but nothing. ‘Where could it have gone?’ I asked myself. ‘I was listening to it on the plane, and I’m certain I put it in my backpack,’ so I checked that backpack about ten times throughout the day, and despite my conviction that it had to be in there, I walked away disappointed after each time I looked. I really didn’t want to pay for a third iPod in only a matter of weeks, so I decided to leave the situation for a day or two and hope that it would turn up.
While meditating later that evening, I found myself back in the airplane seat on my flight home from Burning Man. I could see my space-metal black iPod, earphones, and a book about marketing resting in the pocket attached to the back of the seat in front of me. I watched as I got up from my seat without collecting any of those items—another iPod left behind. While this might sound strange to you: the notion of re-experiencing a memory through meditation, it is something I encounter regularly. For as long as I can remember, I’ve thought that time was non-linear. Rather than occurring in some sequential manner, I think time is much like space: all of it happening and accessible at once. E.g. the same way that Los Angeles and Toronto are happening right now, so are the years 1650 and 2015. Similarly to how you can hop on a plane and experience Los Angeles, you can hop into the spaceship of your consciousness and experience a past or future time—regardless of whether you have experienced said time as a human being.
Anyways, when I finished meditating, I called American Airlines to ask about the belongings I had forgotten, but the woman I spoke with said nothing had been turned in. And now, I figured I was giving the gift of music to yet another person, but for some reason, I didn’t feel like I’d have to fork over another $300 for a new one.
Minutes after sunrise the next morning of Friday, September 5, 2014, I was moving around by the river in the park when a man ran past me. As he did, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I had this feeling that he had taken my silver iPod that I had left on the picnic table a couple of weeks prior. I thought about confronting him, but decided against accusing the passerby of theft. Twenty minutes later, the man returned and asked my name.
“Michael Sanders,” I told him. And from his pocket, he pulled my silver iPod (when you turn it on, it says ‘Mike Sanders’ iPod, hence the man’s asking of my name).
“I found this a couple of weeks ago on the picnic table. I didn’t know where you lived, so I had no way of returning it. I re-formatted the iPod with all my music, podcasts and audiobooks, so hopefully you have yours backed up,” he said as he handed me my device.
“I do! Thanks man!” I said before scrolling through to see what music he liked: a lot of Black Sabbath and Aerosmith. Then, I checked out the audiobooks he had uploaded and I found "Contact" by Carl Sagan, the novel that was eventually turned into my mom’s favourite movie starring Jodie Foster—a story about wormholes, time travel, transcendence, synchronicity and the non-linearity of time. In other words, right up my alley. So, here I was, enamored by the whole sequence of events: I had my original iPod back with a new book to enjoy, and some flight attendant somewhere was enjoying my space-metal black iPod. Today is a great day.
* * *
Now, this brings me back to this morning: today, June 4, 2015. As I’m contemplating the events surrounding the iPod minutes after sunrise, I turn down the path to the park, and there’s the man who had taken the iPod in August of last year! Again, he’s running, and today marks the first time I’ve seen him since ten months ago! We exchange smiles and hellos before I continue to the park laughing. Just as I had been contemplating a lack of synchronicity from the day prior, the universe reminds me: don’t you worry! Everything is always synchronous all the time. But, the story doesn’t end here.
This morning, while listening to my iPod—a magical set by DJ Tennis recorded from 2014’s Burning Man—I hung my gymnastics rings in the park to play, train, move, and dance. Recently, I’ve been compelled to dance in a way whereby I rapidly shake, my body gyrating, wobbling, vibrating, jiggling, quaking and shuttering in a vertical orientation in which each note and beat ripple through my body, seemingly flowing from beneath my feet, through my body and soul, and up into the sky. This form of dancing is typically accompanied by a feeling of light pouring through me and connecting me to something divine. For those familiar, the movement is akin to some of the movements practiced in Kundalini yoga. It’s a very energizing form of movement. Often times, the dance will have me encounter a feeling of omnipresence—a oneness with all things, like I am more than just Michael Sanders, like I am everything at once.
This morning, in between sets of archer pull-ups and QDR progressions (gymnastics and Caporeira since those other terms are too esoteric for a blog post), the form of dancing described above was calling me again, and I engaged with it for a couple of minutes at a time. When I finished my scheduled workout, I took off my shoes and danced barefoot on the wet grass, instantly feeling my connection with Mother Earth deepen—a powerful grounding effect. I danced, gyrated, wiggled, shook, bobbed, bounced, jumped, and wobbled in the trees’ shade for 10 minutes, the movements filling each cell of my body, each thought in my mind, and my entire soul with a powerful energy. I then felt the Manno Le Tough/Tale of Us remix of Caribou’s “Can’t Do Without You” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hmTlDf5XVo) come in through my earphones and I sprinted to a different part of the park where the sun was beaming. There, for the next 7 minutes, I danced: shaking, vibrating, gyrating, a feeling of ascension accompanied by light pouring upwards through my body while at the same time warm light poured towards me from the sun. I raised my hands in the air, a feeling of celebration, wholeness, triumph, joy and gratitude, and I entered a realm I’ve been to a few times before (during my third Ayahuasca ceremony, during a regressive hypnotherapy session, and through other meditations, dancing and psychedelic experiences): a merging with Source, if you will—a place where there is nothing to want for; a place where everything is one; a place where all paradox is reconciled, all dichotomies revealed as a singularity (e.g. male and female as one thing, life and death as one thing, good and bad as one thing). And as I shook and danced, my body in the tall grasses with my feet grounded in the dirt, the bright sun warming my skin, my soul in this omnipresent nirvana, and my mind happy to witness it all, tears flowed from my eyes and streamed down my cheeks. The recognition that there is nothing to want for; the recognition that we already have it all.