People in my life know that I make a big deal out of pleasant coincidences. I generally refer to these auspicious confluence of events as synchronicities.
I started noticing synchronicities a few years ago. For a while, I’d keep track of them in my journals. Then, there were so many that I simply could not keep track of them.
For a while, I tried to figure out why these cool and interesting things were happening. I noticed some patterns. My synchronicities:
– did not seem to concern terribly important things (i.e. life and death situations, huge decisions or existential issues)
– were generally pleasant and delightful
– made me happy
– seemed to happen in “batches”
Years ago, I gave up trying to figure out why they happen. I did read Carl Jung’s work on synchronicities with some interest, though I did not delve deeply into the psychoanalytic framework he uses. These days, I interpret cool coincidences as evidence that (1) I’m in the right place at the right time (2) the Universe/God/Angels/Beings of Light/
Oprah were essentially reminding me that we live in a magical, matrix-like world (3) God loves me and has a sense of humor.
In any case, my recent trip to New England was full of cool synchronicities. The most noticeable coincidence was the plethora of Buddhas that seemed to follow my every step. When I arrived at my mom’s place in Portland, Maine, I noticed her collection of Buddha statues and took a few pictures. I had seen them before, but I felt some need to document them this time.
A few days later, I showed up at a friend’s place in Cambridge only to find a tiny Buddha statue on the bed in which I’d be sleeping. Again, I snapped a picture.
While walking in Harvard Square, I randomly bumped into a friend I hadn’t spoken with in years. That night, I swung by his apartment. At some point, I noticed a Buddha statue in one of the rooms. I was delighted, though not surprised, despite my friend being allergic to most things spiritual. He then proceeded to point out the half a dozen other Buddhas in his living room. An interesting conversation about the meaning of life, his interests in nature and my interests in Buddhism and especially Hinduism commenced.
Other coincidences during the trip (some less impressive than others):
(1) While driving through Cambridge, I felt compelled to stop by the Weeks Bridge, a beautiful pedestrian walkway that arches over the Charles River. The bridge overlooks my old place at Peabody Terrace, where I lived for 5 years as a graduate student at Harvard. I walked up the washed-out white steps of the bridge, beheld the water and entered into meditation while listening to the recording of my “Harvest Moon” cover (a song I’d become obsessed with). While on the bridge, I decided I wanted to grab a coffee. My heart led me to Petsi Pies, a cool cafe and bakery I used to frequent. At Petsi Pies, I ordered a mocha latte, still listening to my music. Then, I watched as they took down the morning menu and put up a chalk board for lunch. I blinked when I saw that the special of the day was the “Harvest Moon” sandwich. I’d never seen that there before, and they told me they didn’t have that special the previous day.
(2) Walking through the Cambridge Commons, a little park on Harvard’s campus, I noticed a couple walk past me. The woman was wearing a bright green summer dress with a striking gold necklace. Her hipster male friend had on a matching green t-shirt. About 55 minutes later, I walked back through the Commons to my car, and the same couple walked past me, in almost the exact same spot where we crossed paths an hour before.
(3) The Buddhas. The Buddhas!
(4) A lot of synchronicities seem to involve my bed. Staying in my friend Miriam’s home, I noticed that there was a TV box next to the bed where I would be sleeping. It said, in big letters: “BLACK CRYSTAL”. Okay, this one is a stretch, but it still made me smile.
(5) In my mother’s guestroom, I turned and saw a stack of books on the bedside table. One of the books said “Advaita” on its spine. I knew it was meant to be my book.
(6) At my friend’s Cambridge apartment, there was a Buddha on the bed in which I slept.
(7) Lying in bed at my friend’s place in Boston, I woke up to see a book on “Chi Running” on the floor nearby. The book explains a technique for running long distances without hurting one’s self — the subject of an extended conversation I had with someone about a week ago.
(8) Conversations with various people I did not know I would talk with revealed synchronistic interests, reflections and experiences that are too numerous to get into here . . .