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Rico and Me. A Mentor's Memoir. The Story Begins. . .

INTRODUCTION                  

I was 40 years old when I had my first seizure. It took place as I was having coffee near a courtyard fountain with some friends one sunny Sunday morning in Eugene, Oregon. I stirred my coffee, took a sip and then began shaking violently before falling back in my chair. I blacked out and the next thing I knew, I was lying face up on a stretcher being carried to an ambulance by paramedics. It turns out I inherited a type of epilepsy.                               

Since then, I’ve taken two pills every morning to keep myself out of danger. I tried to stop taking them once but that didn’t go so well—I ended up having three grand mal seizures in one day. Afterward, I had panic attacks for a while—afraid the pills wouldn’t work as I was driving or walking through traffic. Eventually, I came to accept the fact that whether they worked or not was out of my control. The truth is, whether you take pills or not, an accident or death can happen anytime. What’s important is making the most of every moment. I think about that every morning just before I swallow those two pills.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been searching for the meaning of life—probably because it has sometimes felt so cruel. At any bookstore or library, I instinctively find myself in the stacks of books on spirituality and religion. I’ve read hundreds of books covering Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, astrology, numerology, palmistry, alchemy and meditation. And although I have studied things ranging from mundane to magical, mentoring Rico has taught me the most. What I had always heard was true: I seem to have found life’s meaning right in my own back yard.

Me and Rico (2010)