Stepping Into Wonder in New York

by Karl Smerecnik on November 6, 2011

“What you seek is seeking you.” – Rumi


Tonight, in the dark of my seat among the audience, whilst David Darling improvised on the cello, and Coleman Barks improvised readings of Rumi, and Dionesia Garcia improvised a whirling Dervish dance, I was moved to a awe-enveloped place of wonder.

An Experience of Stepping Into Wonder

The concert consisted of readings of Ibn’Arabi and Rumi by two poets, both accompanied by several musical performers. The readings of Ibn’Arabi were moving but it was not until David and Coleman began expressing the beauty of Rumi through words and music that my heart was broken open. I hung on every word Coleman spoke. He was a well of wisdom, authenticity, and humor. David’s improvisations of Bach, blues, and his own songs melded perfectly with Coleman’s reading and commentary.

I sat in utter reverence for the moments I was experiencing. Each word and note were wrapped in such beauty I couldn’t believe they were real. It was an experience of splendor that everyone in the room felt within the depths of their souls; it was a beauty that was beyond the knowing of the mind. It was so delicate and yet so engulfing. After the final piece, there was complete silence from the performers and approximately 300 audience members. The moment was too precious to disturb. Everyone in the room knew, knew with a conviction that could only be felt with the heart, that something extraordinarily special had occurred. Though the silence lasted less than a minute, which is actually a long time for silence in a crowded concert hall at the end of performance, it was the perfect synthesis of Rumi’s wisdom: “silence is the root of everything.”

As I walked out of the concert hall and through the Columbia University campus, overwhelmed by the unexplainable brilliance of what I experienced, I felt there was something welling up inside of me that needed to express itself. I walked over to sit down on a nearby bench.

An incredible feeling came over me, a deep knowing that I had been desperately searching for the past two years. A truth that stood in the face of all of the inner anguish, depression, anger, sorrow, and confusion that I have been struggling through for so many months. A truth that defied the hopeless thoughts I so often harbored in my mind. I began quietly weeping as I whispered to myself with a complete conviction and trust, “there is a beautiful purpose for my life.”

All of the searching, questioning, studying, praying, cursing, agonizing, pondering, and wondering had not been in vain. It was my process, my journey, my dark night of the soul, my burden, my dharma. I had to endure my unknowing and live my questions in order to grow into a place of knowing.

My eyes remained closed as I continued sit on the bench in the cold November evening. My mind was still as I remained in the deep state of knowing that I had a meaningful place in this world, that my deepest longings and passions were a sacred part of my journey, and that the things I was seeking were also seeking me. My body shifted between sobs and stillness as I came to fully embrace these insights. I gave up caring what the passersby may have been thinking about me. There was a change taking place in my life and it was significant. I had come to a new place of knowing.

Finally Knowing

I have been led to New York by an inner guidance of intuition. I knew there was something for me to experience here. Ever since getting here things have been flowing. Sychnronicities have been arising. It has felt incredibly natural and familiar to be here. Tonight I experienced a spiritual epiphany. Though I still have no idea of what I am going to do here in New York, I now have much greater confidence that I am where I need to be as well as an increased trust in my intuition and spiritual direction. I have learned yet again that knowing is best experienced with the heart, not the mind. I know that my success in life will be dependent on how well I tune myself to the movements of my inner voice.

My posts on this blog have been more focused on relaying information and strategies than on sharing my personal story. Maybe it’s time to change that. Various people have suggested I share more of my experiences and personal context. I hope that this story has contributed to your pursuit of wonder and I would greatly enjoying hearing if it has.

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” -¬† Rumi

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ina November 6, 2011 at 18:15

So glad you are enjoying it here.


andrea November 16, 2011 at 06:45

Karl…I teared up reading this post…so gloriously expressed. I miss you, friend. And I am so so thrilled for you and your continuing adventuring/wandering/wondering/epiphanying :)


stepintowonder November 16, 2011 at 16:59

Thank you for your comment Andrea, it brought me such a big smile :) .


Mary K. Armstrong November 20, 2011 at 15:58

I'm so glad you reached out to me on Twitter to share your own experience in following your inner path on your visit to New York. Good to be connected.


stepintowonder November 20, 2011 at 21:24

Hi Mary, thanks for your note. Also glad to be connected.


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