Part one of my visit to Mickey Singer’s Temple of the Universe in Florida focused on two areas: My experience of the man himself and the life-changing advice he gave me at the end of our walk. Today’s article is about another discussion we had on our walk dealing with the late, great teacher, Ram Dass.
I can’t remember how Ram Dass first came up in our discussion, but when he did Mickey told me the story of when the great man himself came to visit the Temple. Mickey had just finished the final version of his Medical Manager software and had to drop it off, where I’m not sure.
Mickey and Ram Dass take a drive
So Ram Dass gets in the passenger seat and off they go. Mickey had him hold onto the software package. Ram Dass matter-of-factly asked Mickey: “So. Is this thing any good?” To which Mickey replied, “I don’t know. I guess we’ll see.”
It wasn’t too long after that that package Ram Dass was holding became the number one software program used by doctors’ offices for billing.
Back to the walk. Early on we talked about adversity and how it presents opportunities to let go of our “stuff.” And Mickey said,
“As Ram Dass would say, ‘use it to go to God.’”
So we continue on in our journey talking about all kinds of spiritual topics. Then I bring up my own, very human, very normal life situation. I said,
“I have to be honest. I find it really hard sometimes to keep my cool with three kids, fourteen, twelve and six. Sometimes it just drives me crazy.”
And what did Mickey do? He stopped. Looked at me over his glasses and said,
“Use it to go to God.”
I’ve heard Ram Dass say this in many talks I’ve viewed. But hearing Mickey Singer, my favorite teacher on planet earth, say this to me, in person, really drove it home.
It’s about letting go of our baggage
Use it to go to God. What does that mean? It means use the instances when your egoic baggage is poked to let go of that stuff.
The sum of all that baggage adds up to the egoic mind — all of our sensitivities, insecurities and the like that accrue when we experience something and don’t let it pass through us.
So where does the God part come in? I love how Meher Baba, one of Mickey’s favorite saints, put it:
“Man minus mind equals God.”
In other words, when we release all of our baggage, all that’s left is God. I know the “G” word elicits all kinds of responses from people.
For our sake here, let’s just say that letting go of our stuff gets us closer to what I believe is our natural, beautiful and loving self — what many say is the God inside us.
Use it to go to God. I love how simple, constructive and positive it is. When we’re hit with tough feelings and tough situations, we use it. We don’t complain about it or sigh about it or get frustrated by it. We view it as an opportunity to become deeper, better beings.
Which is work. Hard work.
My challenging day
Just yesterday I had to do a lot of that work because of what I would call a challenging day. Not awful. The further I travel on this path, the rarer are my awful days.
But yesterday was challenging. My son got hit in the head at his lacrosse game so we entered the maze of the concussion world. He had zero symptoms of dizziness, memory loss, confusion, vomiting, sleep troubles, etc. Bottom line is he had a mild headache for about an hour afterward and then nothing for the past two days. I got a doctor to examine him today and he cleared him.
By the way, I’m happy that our school system is strict on this concussion stuff as it can affect people for the rest of their lives if not treated properly. But that’s a different article for a different day.
A guy who bugs me
I also spent some time with someone who simply rubs me the wrong way. He gets under my skin. Which is MY problem. My challenge.
I must have said to myself ten times, when I got poked by him, “Use it to go to God.” Then I’d relax, feel the feeling that had arisen and do my utmost to, ask Mickey would say, “Not get involved with it.” It was exhausting work. But it’s the most important work we humans can do.
Those two challenges combined to form a third one: I got almost no work done yesterday. But that, too, was something I looked at and then used to go to God.
My recommendation is that you use Ram Dass’s words here to help you let go when you get poked.
Whatever it is. Your boss says something crappy. Or your spouse. Or your kid.
Summon those words! “I’m going to use this to go to God.”
If it resonates with you, go for it. It definitely strikes a chord with me, now more than ever after hearing it directly from my eloquent, wise teacher, Mickey Singer.