“I know love is all I need.
That’s all I know.”
I’ve had a few experiences in my life that I would describe as “spiritual.” That word – spiritual – is special to me. When I connect with it, not just “think” about it; I experience it. I am it and it is “I.”
People know me as Doug Craig or Dr. Craig. There is one person left on the planet who knows me as her son. One who calls me husband, two who call me dad and two others who understand I am their little brother and some special others who think of me as their spiritual brother or friend. Others may not be sure about me or perhaps dislike me for some reason. These people are all deeply precious to me.
Whatever they see or think about me, it is true for them. I am that guy they think I am, at least in their minds. It is part of their truth and it is part of mine. Since I cannot leave myself and see me from another point of view, I am somewhat trapped here on the inside, alone with my conceptualized self. It is what my thinking self thinks it is. I tell me who I am and I believe. Mostly I believe.
And I am more than what I see in the mirror. Much more. And so are you. I am a human who can have spiritual experiences and yet it seems more true to say I am spirit having this amazing, human experience, typing these words on my old beat up MacBook on a lazy, Sunday morning while Randy Crowell repeatedly sings out of my I-Pod that “love is all I need.”
All my life I have been led and all my life I have stumbled blindly along, happy to be led, happy someone knew where I should go. Twenty-seven years ago it led me to the small, earnest town of Red Bluff, California where I started my private practice. I was dumbfounded to discover that people would actually pay me to sit with them for an hour. I still find that astounding. They come in and talk and I listen and then I talk and they listen and so it goes back and forth, each of us trusting that something important will evolve from our gentle pact to be together in this sacred way.
As my practice grew, there came a day when I saw eight clients in a row without a break. Today, that would be a breeze but back then, I felt as if I had ascended a steep mountain with heavy rocks in my pockets. For 480 steady minutes I sat with eight different people, hour after hour, in a small windowless room with a desk and two chairs. We just poured ourselves into the room and let it mix and allowed whatever magic was ready to trigger itself into existence.
As the last client left the room, I used what energy remained to close the door and surrender to the floor. There was just enough rug space to lay my six-foot frame out straight where I could stare up at the florescent ceiling and breathe. Something was happening. A peculiar percolation. I was no longer “me” or at least not the me I had been. My thinking self was quiet for a change. It was like he just got tired and vacated the premises; and in the silence he left behind, there extended an endless room without walls or ceilings or floors. I didn’t care. I felt exhausted, wrung out, spent. I floated on the floor like a piece of seaweed rising and falling in some dark ocean, content to be there as to be anywhere.
And then these words uttered themselves and I found myself thinking and then saying and then being them. Simple words. Not terribly profound but precious like jewels that someone forgot and left for me to find. The first phrase said, “See what is real.” And then, “Know what is important.” And finally, “See all things come together as one.”
That was it. Later as I drove home up I-5, I remained high, buzzed by the day and sauced by the holy trance that held me in her mesmerizing grip. The deep room was still with me and I could feel it stretching out and beyond my mind, body and car; anchored only by those words that meant nothing and everything; words that became my friend and guide, my sanctuary and hope; words that I have clung to over the years; words that I trust; words that quietly remain to remind, help and heal.
Nowadays it is my routine to see 11 or 12 clients a day, four days a week and one shorter day of ten. As the years have passed, I have learned how to use my energy; how to be in the moment with each person; how to give it my all and find a plentiful supply remains. Non-resistance is key. Surrender. Acceptance. Willingness. Patience. Trust. It is not me that does this of course. I am just a window that learned how to open.
I am presently teaching a class about Becoming Light in which we learn Methods of Mindfulness. One of the main messages is to operate from our observing self, not our thinking self. Each of us possesses this “Great Room” within. Jesus called it the “Kingdom of Heaven.” I call it home. It contains “the peace that passeth all understanding.” We all have it. We don’t get there with thought. It is only when we quit trying to control, only when we quit resisting everything that it can emerge. It can only be found in the timeless now. It is always here, waiting to be seen, known and loved.
And I know love is all I need. That’s all I know.
Doug Craig graduated from college in Ohio with a journalism degree and got married during the Carter administration. He graduated from graduate school with a doctorate in Psychology, got divorced, moved to Redding, re-married and started his private practice during the Reagan administration. He had his kids during the first Bush administration. Since then he has done nothing noteworthy besides write a little poetry, survive a motorcycle crash, buy and sell an electric car, raise his kids, manage to stay married and maintain his practice for almost 25 years. He believes in magic and is a Sacramento Kings fan.