Many years ago I was asked what attracted me to Mr. Gold and his method of teaching the ideas. My response was and still is that it is practical. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a practical person so naturally a practical method of working was a perfect match for my temperament.
Not long after I had been introduced to Mr. Gold’s work, at an invitation only invocational dinner, ( I had no idea what I was getting myself into.) I began attending a weekly study group and we were working with the “Big 24”. It was called that because there are twenty-four exercises in Practical Work on Self – the book we were studying at the time.
All twenty-four exercises could be done in ordinary day to day life. What a wonderful opportunity to use my life.
My understanding of the first exercise, “Awakening the Machine”, was that I was to use the usual attention to observe the posture and movements of the machine with no psychological or emotional significance.
Doing the exercise proved to be a life changing experience.
I had been gifted a Porsche on my 30th birthday by my husband from whom I was now divorced. I found myself using it as my “school taxi”.
I loved driving that car and put it through its paces more than once.
On the day in question I had driven my daughter to her after school program and was on my way home. I thought it would be a great opportunity to do the exercise as there was a lot of movement required throughout the body to drive the car.
I stopped at the red light at the top of a hill. As I revved up turning right through the now green light (being sure to do the exercise – keeping my attention on the left leg/foot action of the clutch and the right leg/foot on the accelerator with the left hand on the steering wheel and the right hand on the gear shift, head cocked to one side, eyes checking the rear view mirror) the world suddenly changed. The colors became clearer and brighter and everything slowed down. I was acutely aware of the need to continue to keep pace with traffic and though everything seemed slower keeping in the flow of the traffic felt very fluid and easeful. I found myself aware of the drivers in the other cars and of the atmosphere between us which seemed to glow a light honey gold. It took me the usual time to get home (about 10 mins). I felt a great deal of gratitude toward my car for delivering me safely and said so – knowing that it was a living creature. I went inside and began to write – still feeling myself apart and and a part of what was happening. The experience lasted a total of half an hour and was unforgettable.
I had tried the zafu cushion, done meditation retreats, sat in the company of several teachers but nothing had the same effect as the practice of the exercise Awakening the Machine. I had discovered the Power of Attention . Even attention as untrained as mine seemed able, through the practice of the exercise of Awakening the Machine, to open my eyes to a world I longed to make a part of my life.
I was hooked.