Warning: contains adult language, sexual references, impure thoughts, unconventional viewpoints and many of the other sensations that make the experience of being human so much damn fun.

Warning 2: I have been reading a lot of Osho’s teachings lately.

Warning 3: if you don’t know who Osho was, let me sum it up with the words of a new friend / teacher of mine who studied with Osho.  “I was looking for a respectable Guru, instead I got Osho.”

Sometimes I sit down to write and nothing comes out. Most of the time it starts as a seed.  Something that I experienced, like the billions of other experiences, but the difference being it doesn’t go away.  Instead it implants and grows until it sprouts … or in this case festers until it bursts.

The other day a friend of mine came to see me.

He had recently ended his relationship with his girlfriend.  It was one of those relationships that made no sense to anyone but him.  One of those relationships that was so dysfunctional that the absurdness of it all made it addictive.  The kind where no matter how much the shit hits the fan you turn the fan on faster and faster until you have shit spraying all over the walls.  Until the walls are totally covered in shit, and everyone tells you there is shit all over the walls, but somehow amidst the shit all you see is an image of an angel in white flowing robes.  You know the relationship I’m talking about, right?  Yeah, we all do.

So one day my friend had had enough shit, came to his senses and ended the relationship.  Only problem was his heart hadn’t caught up with his senses and he was in serious pain.  Pain isn’t a strong enough word, he was in withdrawals, like a heroin addict he was craving a little more chaos to spin around in the fans and dirty his life.

So a couple weeks into this process he couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t eat, he couldn’t think straight let alone exercise, meditate, or drink a green juice.  So he did what anyone in his circumstances is inclined to do … he sat on the floor listening to Adele, feeling miserable and eating hot flaming Cheetos.

And then he came to see me.  Because everyone knows I’ve been there.

When he arrived I knew what was up.  Not because I possess any special sensory ability, but because (I’m sorry to keep using this word) he looked like all that shit from the fan had fallen right on top of him.

He started to tell me the story.  All the neurotic details.  You know how this story goes.  Begging me, subliminally, to tell him to call her. Until he finally got to the end of the story and said, “What I really need is to go out, find a woman, and get laid.”  And then he looked at me with a look of embarrassment, relief, and guilt like the time my son admitted to me that he hadn’t brushed his teeth in a month.

I looked at him.  Without a word.  I just looked.

So he continued, “But I know I’m not supposed to do that ….”

Then another look that said, “right?” and  “pretty please can I?” and “that would be really bad … or good … UGGGGHHHH.”

Lemme stop right here and say this is what had been festering in me.  I’m going to call it spiritual superiority.  The concept perpetuated by the inauthentic words that don’t match the lives of “spiritual leaders” and the insanely high expectations of those of us who put those leaders on pedestals.  This idea that the path to enlightenment is paved with stones of purity, levitation, and angelic peaceful bliss with none of the human experiences that actually make the path what it is … a journey of experience and growth.

That has been, for me, the lesson of Osho.  A man of brilliant wisdom and amazing consciousness that deeply touches me today, years after his passing, through the Internet.  And yet he was human.  He appeared to get carried away, he indulged in excess, he had 99 Rolls Royces, and he said things so far outside the bounds of respectability … AND … I think that is his true teaching.  That all of that together — the spiritual seeking, the quiet connection with the divine, the human desires, wanting and having a fancy car or 99 – all of it, is the path.  And without it, there is no path, there is no lesson … there is no enlightenment.

Because it easy to say I don’t care about money … until the rent is due and you don’t have any.

It’s holy and special to talk in tongues that no one but you and God understand … until you have to ask another human for help.

And it’s a cool concept to practice unattachment … until your wife has cancer and you realize how much you love and need her in your life.

And that’s the beautiful paradox of it all. We all want to get to the peaceful mediation without the experiences that provoke the growth that leads us there.  So we make the experiences wrong.  We judge ourselves and others and we imagine that the leaders who write the books and teach the classes never walked through the fire.  But they did and continue to, even as they teach.  And so do we.  That is the path.


So I said to my friend, “Who says you are not supposed to?”

Now his look changed.  For a moment he snapped out of his misery and became perplexed.  “Well it’s not right ….”

And again I repeated the question, “Not right for who?”  (Or is it whom?)

More perplexed look, but now a glimmer of hope that he might actually be able to do it!

“Well, it’s not spiritual ….”

And once again I replied, “Why not?”

And he thought.  And I know what he was thinking, because like I said I’ve been there … a few times.  Cue the chuckles from my friends.  He was thinking, “I’m supposed sit in the pain, I am supposed to meditate, take deep breaths, walk on the beach, find kindness in the faces of all the strangers, enjoy a green juice, and realize the impermanence of the situation and from that understand that true love exists in me.”  Or something like that.

I didn’t tell my friend what to do.  I had no authority to do that.  I just smiled at him, I gave him a hug, and I told him we were all on the same path, with the same hopes, dreams, worries, and humanity.  Then I told him my favorite words in life, “I love you for who you are, not what you do.”

I won’t divulge any of the private secrets of what my friend did that night.  What happens on the path stays on the path.  But let’s just say my friend woke up the next morning with a smile on his face … in fact every cell in his body was smiling.  The misery was a little less intense.  The withdrawals subsided.  And so he got out of bed, he stretched into his body.  With the pressure released, he sat quietly for a bit in the joy of the moment.  He took a few gloriously deep breaths, put on his tennis shoes, and went for a walk on the beach.  He smiled and said hi as people walked by, noticing the kindness in their faces; he stopped at the juice bar and had a green juice.  He smiled realizing the impermanence of the pain from the break up and he pondered the essence of love.

And that’s the fucking paradox…

Big hugs of love,


  1. Ah, the Paradox. In my recent struggle with having sciatic pain down my left leg they have finally figured out what is wrong with me – a herniated disc. Unfortunately, given my complex medical conditions, I need to see a specialized specialist in order to have the surgery I need. They called to tell me my appointment is not until the end of November (it’s April now). Given by then my MRI will be over 8 months old, I’ll then have to wait for another one, then wait for a surgery to be booked, I could be looking at a year before they can do the surgery.

    I didn’t take this well. My first thought was I should be enlightened and take this as a blessing. But damn it, sciatic pain hurts. A lot. I can’t walk or stand for more than 3 minutes before I need to sit (sometimes even less). I can’t sleep at night without a bunch of pain pills, and then only for a few short hours before I’m awake again with screaming pain down my leg. Sitting hurts the least, but even that isn’t always assured to alleviated the pain. And now I have to deal with this for another whole year, when the solution is right there – they know the problem, they can fix it, but they are too busy to. It’s quite sad, but I do realize that I’m not the only one waiting and in pain. While our health care in Canada is “free” (with the cost of high taxes) the wait times are excessive. I had plans in the next year, things I wanted to do, dreams that were going to be fulfilled. Now that is questionable if I will be able to at all. And to be honest, it threw me into a pit of despair this week thinking about it. I didn’t want to do anything but wallow – I didn’t want to be enlightened.

    And this post made that okay. At first I felt guilty for feeling the way I did. After all I’m not dying. But dealing with chronic physical pain which I have done for over half my life, a lot of which has been utterly debilitating, takes its toll. I didn’t want to get up, didn’t want to do anything, and I cried. A lot.

    And then I read this blog post, and realized it was okay to take some time to be a little selfish, to wallow in my misery, to do what I needed to do for me. I didn’t have to be strong all the time, to be enlightened or wise, or be anything at all, other than myself. After a few days of this though I feel a bit better. Slowly I’m starting to cope, to put things in a better perspective. To again follow a better, healthier path, to stretch and meditated, and even eat (when I get depressed I don’t want to eat) my healthy green drinks. Taking the time out to be sad has made the days when I feel happy all the more precious.

    My daughter remarked ‘this weather is perfect, not too hot, not too cold, I wish it was like this every day!’ But if it was like that every day, then we wouldn’t really appreciate it. It’s the downs that make us cherish the ups in life.

    Now I’m looking into ways to cope with the pain in a more long term fashion. I have a slim hope to make it to the two concerts I have tickets for later in the year, both with favourite artists, one of which was my bucket list to do, and I even have meet and greet tickets. I’m hoping I’ll find a way to get there. They are things I’m doing with my son and my husband, both of which I was counting on to make memories. I think that’s one of the most difficult things, is planning for events that I may not be able to go to. I’ve had to deal with this many times and at some point, I stop trying to do things. I don’t want to give that up just yet though. I want to look forward to life. For even living in the moment, it is nice to look forward to things too.

    Thank you for your insight and your help. They mean a lot to me.

    Faith, hope and love. Kathleen.

    • Jason Garner says:

      Thank you Kathleen. Your sharing is so honest and real… and so complete. I really believe that this is what spirituality is all about. Not building a perfect life without challenges, but having the tools to find peace within the difficult moments. Big hugs of love and healing – Jason

      • Thank you for your love and support. It means a lot to me. 😀 You have taught me so much, and while there are days that I falter, overall I have been using the tools you have suggested and put them to good use. The last few days I have been letting go of the ‘what ifs’ and just focusing on the ‘right now’ and finding the beauty in the moment where possible.

        Faith, hope and love, Kathleen.

  2. WOW! I wish I had been doing this sooner. I had no idea Kathleen (and Jason!) I swear….I feel the same way these days. I’ve learned to appreciate life more now. I was trying so long to fix things in my life, and lately I have been wondering about the “what ifs”
    But NO MORE! I’m going to try really hard to appreciate the life that I have. And you’re right Kathleen! There is beauty in this world EVERYWHERE!!! You just need to look where to find it!!

    Hugs of love, Ray:)

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