Arriving in San Diego, I held a series of satsangs in different venues, sleeping at night in the van at a Walmart parking lot. Yes, Walmart has been good to me! The weather was quite cool, so cool that one night, I found a hotel room to enjoy the warmth. Then I met Deep, a young fellow who created meditation music and played the Tibetan Singing Bowls. He allowed me to sleep on his couch for a few days.
One day, I joined his Tibetan Bowl meditation in Encinitas in the evening. It was very healing and relaxing. At the end, he kindly asked me to announce my satsang event to the group. In that gathering, I gave my card to several interested people, including a man who did not have a home. A few days later, I held a gathering in Escondido. He called me that day to get directions since he was traveling by bus. A few minutes into the satsang, he sat down and was immediately engrossed in concentration and meditation. After an engaging gathering, I packed up my things and received the donations. Ah, almost enough to cover the marketing costs of the satsang! I smiled.
I overheard the man asking his friend about getting a ride back to his abode. The ride was full. I offered a seat in my van. "Are you sure it's on your way?" he asked. "That's not an issue," I replied. "I'll take you wherever you need to go." So he piled his belongings into the van. They consisted of a roller with a big box and suitcase on top. On the way back, he was excited to tell me about his life - about the spiritual people he had met and the spiritual events he had attended. "The most important thing in life," he said, "is Prem. It means divine love. With that Prem in your heart, life will always be good." I smiled and gave him some bananas I had just bought at the store that day.
After a 20 minute drive, he asked me to stop on the side of the road next to a hilly area. I carried some of his belongings through an opening in the fence, and we climbed up to the hill and arrived at a secluded area overlooking the distant town. The brushy place was lit by the light of the moon and the stars. He had 2 tents, one for his belongings and the other for his bed. I stood there, shivering in the cold as he continued to tell me his life story. A few months ago, a drunk man had come to his camp and beat him until his arm had broken. There was bunch of broken bottle glass on the ground which he had spent days carefully picking up to keep the area clean. In that moment, I felt the money in my pocket.
"I'm going now," I said to him. "May I give you a gift?" He nodded, and I placed the donations of the satsang in his hand. "So nice to meet you, my friend." And I walked back down the hill with tears in my eyes. It was quite cold that night....
A couple days later, I joined Deep in his morning ritual, honoring the different Gods, Goddesses, and bodhisattvas with prayer, mantra, incense, and bell sounds. What an honor to share this holy ritual with him. Indeed, Deep is a rare bodhisattva, tirelessly serving humanity with his non-profit organization and meditations. As I departed, he gave me a Tibetan Singing Bowl and wished me well on my journey. Thank you, Deep.