The Stargate Conference during the weekend of October 16- 18 was a time of incredible synchronicity for me, and some of it was downright funny.
It started on Friday afternoon, when I rubbed the belly of a fat, golden Buddha statue on the grounds. I had heard that, in Buddhism, rubbing the fat Buddha's belly is supposed to bring good luck, but then absolutely everything started to go wrong!
First, most of our speakers were delayed in arriving, leaving us to talk to the attendees all alone, up on an empty stage, on Friday evening. It was so awkward that Whitley and I felt like maybe we should tell some jokes or belt out a song, or something.
It had taken us only a few hours to drive from LA to Joshua Tree on Friday afternoon, but Starfire Tor and Brandon Scott were incredibly delayed, hitting traffic jam after traffic jam on the highway. They were on the road for almost 8 hours!
Then William Henry's luggage was put on another plane, so he had to wait for it at the airport. Since it contained not only his clothes, but everything he needed for his power-point presentation, he couldn't wait for the airline to deliver it to the retreat center. Was this Buddha secretly malevolent?
As I was walking through the crowd talking with people, a man came over and told me about his daughter, who was very ill from breast cancer. I had brought a collection of baseball caps with me and when we had a little free time before lunch, I put on the one I talked about in an earlier diary and asked everyone in the audience who wanted to pray for her to take a moment to do so.
Shortly before this, Whitley had come over and whispered to me that he was avoiding a man whom he suspected wanted to recruit him for a sort of "cult" religion that is very popular with famous folks in Hollywood (getting Whitley on board would have been a terrific coup for them). I had already spotted him because, unlike the "rumpled Midwestern" look of most of the attendees, this guy had the rich casual look that is so familiar from the movie biz: slim, well-tailored black pants and expensive sunglasses. I then realized that my public prayer had probably put an end to his missionary activity, so he would give up and go home. I decided that maybe that Buddha was on my side, after all.
At our star watch on Friday night, we didn't see any UFOs, but Whitley did hear an incredible story: A young man told the group about a lucid dream he'd had that he was driving to his father's house. He went in and was greeted by his dad, who told him that the father of a close friend was working in the garage and would like to see him. He went into the garage, and this man told him to tell his own son that he was okay. The young man agreed and then left, intending to give his friend the message. As he drove away, though, he remembered that his father had been dead for years. He immediately turned around and went back, but this time he found that his car was blocked by a gate in the road. A man at the gate (Saint Peter?) told him that he'd had a one-time- only pass and could not return, because it was not yet his time. When he woke up in the morning, he remembered the dream vividly, and was deeply shocked to find that his friend's father, who was suffering from cancer, had died that very night. Because of his dream, he was able to give his friend a very welcome message during his time of grief. From that day on, as well, he ceased to doubt that there is an afterlife.
On Sunday morning before we left, I met a woman in the bookstore who said she was glad I was there because she wanted to talk to me since her sister had just died of breast cancer, the same disease the woman we said the group prayer for has. She was surprised to see me there because she said she head felt "compelled" to go to the bookstore that morning. Then who should show up but the man whose daughter we prayed for! I introduced them because I thought they could bring comfort to one another and I hope they bonded.
My head was whirling from all these synchronicities, and then came the biggest one of all. The day before Starfire and Brandon were scheduled to speak, someone had come into the auditorium where we were holding our talks to try to deliver a bunch of green balloons that he said were meant for a six-year-old child. Since there were no children at the conference, we told him he had the wrong place.
Then Starfire and Brandon told about a time slip they had experienced in a shopping mall with a young boy who was carrying a red balloon. They said that they often noticed balloons around during their time slip experiences. I took the microphone and said that I'd first heard this story shortly after I'd received the Green Man Message, so I had told them to be on the lookout for green balloons and that, in fact, someone had tried to deliver a bunch of green balloons the day before. A man in the audience said, "I know where they are, they're tied up outside," and he went out and brought them in and we passed them out. I thought to myself, "That Buddha must be having a big laugh."
We had supper with Starfire and Brandon at a restaurant near the retreat before we all headed out to the highway and went our separate ways. Starfire said she'd had a vision that Whitley should start a think tank. I realized that this was the final synchronicity of the weekend because the conference HAD BEEN a think thank. So many ideas and experiences were shared that we all went home with lots of new things to ponder.
As we drove home, I reflected that I was extremely glad that, before we left, I had gone up to that trickster Buddha again and patted his belly and apologized to him. He certainly gave me a lot to think about!
UPDATE: A reader writes: "Anne's way off, rubbing the Buddha for good luck a myth, it has nothing to do with Buddhism. In Buddhism rubbing the Buddha's belly is considered disprespectful and BAD LUCK, not good. So it's no wonder that 'absolutely everything started to go wrong' as Anne says! Take it from someone with a PhD. in Buddhist Studies: It's not good luck to rub the Buddha's belly. It IS good luck to offer flowers, incense and saffron-flavored water, the way they do in Thai Restaurants."
NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.