"You don't look like an attorney"

I get this comment a lot.

Today I just nodded and said, "I suppose I look more like a veterinarian."

My new acquaintance smiled with recognition. "That's right."

I suppose it has to do with heart-head integration. My yoga teacher used to speak of integrating the head, the heart and the hand. Or the arm and spine, in the pose. Or whole body and being for that matter.

My friend said: "Your forehead is smooth."

I took that as a compliment -- either I had transcended physical reality and achieved a thought-free state after meditation, or my anti-aging skin product was working. But I think he referred to the fact that my third eye was open.

"What kind of law do you practice?" he next asked.

I get this question all the time too. Usually I reply: "The good kind." People laugh. It's so unexpected. I am on their side taking the usual stereotypes of lawyers and presenting the opposite.

This time, he interrupted his own question with an answer: "Universal law. That's your law practice," he said.

I liked that a lot.

****

Meditation tonight was very interesting. Another thing people often say when I tell them I a vegetarian is: "Do you eat fish?"

I suppose it's divisions in a religious sect: these micro-distinctions that sometimes apply and sometimes don't. Well, there are many kinds of vegans, vegetarians, lacto-ovo and who knows what else.

Many years ago I had a meditative experience in which a being came to me in the form of a crab. This crab, in its luminous light body, basically gave me the message that everything carries consciousness, and friends don't eat friends. This message was personal to me; it is no judgment on others who eat meat or fish. It was simply that I was to refrain from eating living creatures because I absorbed the karma, so to speak, of their traumatic deaths and because I had an unconscious ability to commune with them.

I have allowed myself fish once in a while, really in a denial of my own experience, and tonight I went to California Pizza kitchen for a salad with the optional salmon. I really enjoyed the taste, texture, and feel, and felt relatively unmoved. But then during the evening's meditation, there was that unmistakable, slow-motion movie of each bite of the fish flesh; the struggles of this being with the bait, tackle, hook, net, suffocation, being lumped with kin on a boat, objectified, strangulated and killed, then cut, chopped, packaged and finally heated and presented.

I did not have a physical reaction; no, I would not give anyone in the mental health profession any shred of evidence (if you will pardon the terrible pun on shred, which is what happened to the body of the individual fish-being I consumed) to credit some psychological theory about my meditation experience. There is no doubt, I communed with universal consciousness.

And so I practice universal law, that is my law practice and indeed my life practice. I am not a saint, nor even moderately quirky, but I do pay attention to what lights up inside when the lights outside go down. (An appropriate metaphor for today given the temporary darkening to save energy for Earth Day).

And now it's back to eating only things that have roots in the ground or grow off trees. And that with infinite respect and love.

Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen today.

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