This is Michael H. Cohen, founding attorney and president of the Cohen Healthcare Law Group, and welcome to today’s Healthcare Legal Adventure.
I’ve been to the Zoo
“I’ve been to the zoo. I said, I’ve been to the zoo. Mister, I’ve been to the zoo!”
These are the opening lines of “The Zoo Story,” by Edward Albee, a play where I was cast as Jerry in high school. During that play I had to memorize a bunch of really long monologues, including the story of Jerry and the dog. I was thinking about “The Zoo Story” just a little while ago while I was in fact at the zoo with my son. What was it about the zoo that made that story so compelling?
“Zoo Story” is a lot about us and the animals. The way that, like them, we defend our territory. The way that we make contact and connection. The ways that we fight off connection or flee from it. The ways that we try to force connection. It’s about isolation and alienation in modern life, in life in New York City. It’s about dogs, and landladies, and cockroaches. It’s all about the human condition. It’s humorous and it’s dark, and it was quite a piece to perform in high school. All this went through my mind as I was looking at the Africa tram and waiting to go look at the vast African savanna at the San Diego zoo.
At the Africa tram
I made eye contact with a little boy. He was about my son’s age, and his face looked rather downcast. It was shaped in the same kind of frown as one of his parents. They looked like they were sharing the same kind of downcast emotion, and it seemed like he was being ignored. Anyway, I looked right in his eye, I beamed a light right in his eye, and he looked back at me and smiled. That’s the power of a smile. It’s also the power of energy healing. The way that I’ve learned to detect, and feel, and sense, and connect with another human being energetically. It’s emotional, there’s a physicality to it, but it also happens in a non-verbal way. Even though they’re physiological signals, there’re also other signals that are picked up by other senses.
That’s my kind of connection, and it wasn’t something that I knew about during “The Zoo Story.” Anyway, back to the zoo. I was there with my son, and I was feeling a moment of unity consciousness. I was feeling the wonderness of life, and how everything was connected. There are the flat plains, the love that I have for my son, it lifted me into and absolutely transcendental moment.
Moments of superhuman love
There are these moments, they happen quite spontaneously, where I feel completely flooded by a love that I cannot describe. It is superhuman, it is beyond human, its love of all creation. I had felt this kind of love while I was studying energy healing back during my days at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. I wrote about it in “A Friend of All Faiths.” There was one time that I stepped on a bus in New York City, and I literally started feeling the Christ consciousness spreading through my whole being for every single person on the bus. This warmth, this golden glow spread through me, and it went to every corner of the bus. When I got off the bus, I was back in my normal 3-D body, I was a regular person, preoccupied and worried about the next transportation change, and I was out of the experience. But I remembered enough about it to record it.
Yesterday I was walking through the park and I had a similar experience, only whereas back then in New York City, the experience was about feeling love for everyone else in the world, this time it was about the world feeling love for me. I felt the love, and the safety, and the support, and the anchoring of everything in the universe, of everything in all universes. Of the people around me, of the trees, of the sunlight, of my ancestors. That let me calm down and relax just a little bit. A little bit more, release a little bit of stress, and really soak up that feeling of wellbeing.
This has been an important area of personal research for me because as a healthcare lawyer involved in the field of medicine and wellness, and health and healing, we don’t often take time to go into these areas of spirituality. We’re talking a lot about technology, about the next piece of software, and the next device. My roots as a healthcare lawyer really reach into these moments, these moments that I first experienced, even when I was a Wall Street lawyer doing M&A, and banking law, and securities law, and I started studying transcendental meditation. 20 minutes of TM, and it would lift my awareness into a different plane, where I merged into everything.
There I am at the zoo, I’m experiencing unity consciousness, and I’m making a sweet connection with another kid, a human being. There’s a twinkle in his eye, there’s a twinkle in my eye. I put my hand on my son’s shoulder, and then I just keep walking.
The next thought that pops into my mind is, “How can anyone possibly hurt another human being? How can anyone possibly think that any person is different than them?” When you look at another person, and there’s every manner of person there. Every shape, every size, every political persuasion, reds and blues. Everybody to me, everyone looks the same. Everybody’s there with their family, waiting for the Africa train, waiting to see the animals, finding out which of the animals have bred, and who the new babies are, and how the population is doing. So I’m thinking all of this, and then I hear this message from the person who is the captain at the head of the tram.
We value diversity, so that our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, students, neighbors, each generations beyond them can continue enjoying life on earth as much as we have.
Realizing the Self
The next morning, I’m at the Self-Realization Fellowship at the temple at Encinitas founded by Parmahansa Yogananda. This temple has a beautiful service, titled an inspirational service, and it served as a reminder to always look within to go deeper in meditation, and to understand the world as a manifestation of spirit. Truly my work in healthcare, as a healthcare lawyer, is a manifestation of my work with spirit, it’s of spirit. It’s of bringing the spiritual into the material planes. It involves a contemplation of all the good things that we can do, and of course, all the hazards and dangers and risks, as well.
Although we talk about enforcement, and compliance, and regulation, and laws, and rules, and penalties, and procedures, and policies, and other such things, we’re really talking about empowerment, upliftment, and betterment. We’re talking how to get along in the big world zoo. We’re learning how we cooperate and collaborate, as opposed to compete. And if we do compete, it’s for a higher cause.
We learn about the dance of Maya and the veil of illusion. We learn about karma and dharma. We learn about who we are. We learn to penetrate all the deception, all the separation, to pierce through all the lies and all the distortion, and to turn toward all the people that are mongering hate, and all the people that are spreading the illusion that are some are different than others, and all the people that create high and low, and all the projections and all the defensiveness. We’re staring it squarely in the face, and we’re walking through these gates. We’re walking through these doorways. We’re passing these tests. The grades are unknown. The graders are unknown. We get hits and intimations.
Once in a while we get seized by feeling of incredible wellness, a feeling of incredible love, a feeling of incredible devotion. A feeling that we’re connected to every single one of our neighbors, to that person in the corner of the bus with whom you didn’t even make eye contact. You don’t even know anything about them. They’re not even from your race, or tribe, or … Probably they’re from your species, but you haven’t even talked to them. You may not have even seen them, but you can sense them. You know they’re there. And somewhere in your heart there’s a feeling of compassion, there’s a trace of compassion. There’s an emblem of understanding. There’s a signal to a higher realm. Something is happening, something is quaking. The whole earth is quaking.
It’s time. It’s time for the inner revolution. It’s time to seek peace, it’s time to understand. It’s time to go beyond rhetoric. What is rhetoric? Language. What is language? It’s another dance, another dance of the universal energy. Encoding our thought patterns into wavelengths we can read, and perceive, and understand. Yet there is a deeper language, there’s a deeper reality. There’s a deeper understanding of who we are. It’s an understanding that we perceive beyond the five sense. We perceive them in other sense. My teacher used to call this “high sense perception,” or HSP. She liked acronyms. She liked to make it sound scientific. I suppose there is a science, in some way.
There are higher levels of coding, deeper levels of coding that we don’t yet understand, that we can’t yet articulate. Why is it that I see an aura in blue and you see it in green, and some people don’t even see it at all? Why is it that maybe we can measure some of it with some instruments, from deep, from faraway places, and some of it we can’t measure? And some of it we can measure with our minds, and some of it we measure with our hearts. And some we measure with our fingertips, and some we measure with our thought waves. There are subtler and subtler levels of reality which we can only perceive once we have the inner technology, the inner engineering, as one very popular teacher from India named Sadhguru now teaches. Very popular. He is in the Silicon Valley, where people understand the language of outer engineering and inner engineering.
Is it the case that when one percent of the population does transcendental meditation, that crime actually gets lower, the crime rate, by at least an equivalent amount, maybe some multiple? I think that was a study published in a Journal of Peace Studies, perhaps connected with Yale that they used to cite back when I studied TM.
What is TM?
Total mindset, total meditation, taking our minds and getting rid of the garbage. Taking our meditation, reducing the fluctuations of the mind. As Patanjali said in his yoga sutras, removing the variances that take us to peaks and valleys that are only part of deluded reality. Finding the true north, finding the true compass. Finding who we are, feeling another person, sensing another person, having empathy. Putting their needs at the core, while still remaining rooted and grounded, and powerful.
It’s a delicate dance. Takes a lot of learning. It’s like riding an energetic bicycle, and we’re all in spin class. Those are some of the thoughts that came to me while I was on the Africa tram. Looking at the baby rhinoceros who had just made his way to a safe enclosure where he or she could learn to socialize with fellow creatures, well-guided by the masters, and directors, and feeders, and nurturers, and coders above, the biological scientists, and PhDs, and breeding specialists, and caretakers at the renowned San Diego Zoo. There I was with my biological son, my beautiful, beautiful, shining, bright boy, wedded through biology and through spirit, also, and connected through the heart. Doing the dance of creation, delighting in his playfulness, delighting in his being, wishing well, spreading smiles, learning to relax and simply allow the forces of universal wealth and wellness and healing and abundance and safety, and sensation, and transcendence, and transformation to flow through all my channels and all my beings.
That is my new “Zoo Story.” Not “The Zoo Story” of high school, which was dark and about isolation and trauma and sacrifice, but a zoo story of regeneration. A zoo story of the baby rhino entering into the new world. A world of peace, a world of understanding, a world of togetherness, a world of bonding, a world of empathy, a world of nurturing, a world of support, a world of wisdom. The wisdom of men and women come together as the divine masculine and the divine feminine. In the dance of the deities, the dance of the one deity, the dance of the one within many.
Continuing your healthcare legal adventure
You’ve been listening to the Healthcare Legal Adventures Podcast. This is Michael H. Cohen, president and founder of Cohen Healthcare Law Group. If you’d like to hear more episodes, simply go to cohenhealthcarelaw.com, go to the tab that says blog slash podcast, and you can download more episodes. Or visit our other website at healthcarelegaladventures.com, where you’ll find online courses, DYI forms, and other resources to help you with your healthcare and legal adventure. We’ll look forward to seeing you on the next episode.