Feeling the Love in Asheville, NC
It’s Not About the Biscuits….It’s About the Love
Our first morning in Asheville, we went to the Tupelo Honey Cafe. - a local place renowned for it’s sweet potato pancakes with real maple syrup. We were told that “we had to have” a sweet potato pancake. They were right. It was absolutely splendid…over the top delicious.
Tupelo Honey Cafe is also known for the big fluffy biscuits they give out when you first arrive. I love the way they ask, “Could I give you a biscuit with homemade raspberry jam, please?” You have to say Yes.
Our server was a sweet young man named Avery. It was a Wednesday morning and a bit slow, so Avery had time to chat. He talked about how at the end of his shift he would give the leftover biscuits to homeless and needy people on the street.
Avery has become known as “the biscuit guy” in downtown Asheville. People call him that when he walks through the streets. What a marvelous thing to be known for! We talked about how cool it was to be able to give out food (and really good food at that). Avery said…“Yah, but it’s not about the biscuits, it’s about the love.”
For us, Asheville has turned out to be all about the love. We have had one experience after the other…demonstrations of random acts of love and kindness. For example, we went to the YMCA to sign up for the gym and a sweet young lady said, “Here, let me just sign you up for a week for free. We’d love to have you.”
The entire city of Asheville is a beautiful patchwork of diversity – from the downtowners to the mountain people, to the young hipsters and the old hippies. From the food and the music, to the physical beauty and the hospitality. This city is a vibrant and vibrating place where you can definitely feel the love. It’s in the air. Like Avery, it’s out on the streets.
Asheville is a spiritual place. How can you be a city of love and not be a spiritual city? This place is spiritual just by virtue of being in the mountains. (I personally believe the higher up you go, the closer you get to God.)
Asheville seems to be a vortex for spiritual seekers and practitioners. Just like us, many people felt called here. However, many stopped in Asheville… and stayed.
The Inner Journey
On the same day that we went to Tupelo Honey Cafe, that evening we attended a service at the Center for Spiritual Living. Believe it or not, the topic for the evening was “Wake Up in Love, Walk in Love, and Go to Sleep in Love.” In other words, be in love all the time. A coincidence? I think not.
The question is, Can I walk in love… all the time? Can you?
On Sunday, we attended zazen (Zen meditation) at the Windhorse Meditation Center. After doing sitting and walking meditations for two hours, the teacher gave a talk about using deep meditation to find the love within, the universal love that resides in each of us, deep down under the busyness, the noise, and the monkey mind. She promises that a daily practice will help us to stay connected with that part of ourselves that is true love and who we are naturally meant to be.
The practice of meditation does help me stay centered in that deep place within… that place that just knows the value of all living things and knows what’s really important. Meditation helps me to go beneath all of my judgments, assumptions, comparisons, and fears and it helps me to stay in touch with the love that dwells inside.
My desire is to be a person who walks through this world and, just like Avery, I hope people feel the love when they see me pass by.
From My Point of View
“It doesn’t matter
where you are in life,
It’s who you have beside you.”
For those that have been wondering “What’s it like to be with your wife 24/7?” or “How did you get along driving and navigating in unknown territory?” I can honestly say so far it has been a very good experience. I think we have both eased into a new calmness and cooperation. Being separated from the usual and known has brought us closer together and more forgiving of each other. There has been a lot of love between us in Asheville!
Our server at Tupelo Honey Cafe touched both of us. The awareness for me was that Avery had not done anything profound. He was a waiter that did his job well, but he did it with love and kindness and you could feel it. What if we all did our jobs like Avery? This alone would change the world for the better.
All actions have a positive and a negative side. I realize that we left a lot of great people that we love and a place that we have really enjoyed in order to see new places and meet new people so that we can grow spiritually and intellectually. Life is a series of choices and there is always some pain giving birth to a new way of life. I already miss so many of you but know that I carry you with me on this journey and I look forward to the day when we can sit down again and I can say to you, “So what’s new with you?”
Tomorrow morning we leave Asheville and head up to the Southern Dharma Center in Hot Springs, NC, for a five-day silent retreat. I knew that there was no talking or noise. No cell phones or computers. I also knew there was no outside reading. But I just found out that there’s no writing either. (That will be hard for me.) This retreat is designed to take away all the external stimuli so that we can tune into the inner life, hear our inner wisdom, and feel the love. I am sure there will be a lot to talk about after this retreat. Stay tuned……
Come and Join Us on The Journey
We hope that throughout the year you will keep clicking through to see where we are. We are requesting input and feedback from all of you. Tell us where you’d like to go. Make suggestions for us. Ask us to check some places out for you! We are also hoping some of the places we visit and the experiences we share will ignite your life and maybe even set you off on your own spiritual journey. We’d love to hear from all of you.
Tags: Asheville, Center for Spiritual Living, Kathy Murphy, Marianne Williamson, Southern Dharma Center, Spiritual Journeys, Tupelo Honey Cafe, Windhorse Zen Community, YMCA, Yogaville, Zazen, Zen Meditation
20 Responses to “Feeling the Love in Asheville, NC”
having a very stressful work morning…reading your blog was very soothing!
Yum!!! All of it! Peace & love
Sounds fantastic!!! And I cannot wait to hear from you both after next week.
Lovin’ this sharing! See you on the other side of silence. Diane
Glad you like Asheville. I live nearby and have been going there for years. I can tell you, Asheville has not always been the diverse and artsy town it is now. Most of the city’s life was small city conservative and even more lovely. The best change in Asheville has been the addition of its collection of excellent restaurants….. so so many excellent restaurants!
Wow!! That’s it – Wow. So happy for you. So envious of this precious time together.
Looking fro love in all the right places.
Happy you are all relaxing in an unhurried and “unharried” pace!
I love all of you guys and am so thrilled that you’re following us along. I feel you with us. And that makes a difference.
Your trip sounds wonderful! I think of you all the time, and look forward to a long talk one of these days.
Hot Springs is one of my favorite trips. Relax and enjoy the winding trip that is only bested by the one to Taos-that I’ve taken, anyway. Much love to you!
I love Ashville! I also love that you are sharing this journey with us! Oh my …not writing for 5 days – I can’t even imagine! Miss you and sending white light and LOVE your way!
THANK YOU, Michael and Kathy, for taking the time to write to us and share your thoughts and feelings. That is very kind. I look forward to every word as you move through your special and unique journey!
Your email gave me a great feeling. It could not have come at a better
time. On tuesday Connie & I had to put our beloved dog down after 17 great years. Also caring for very senior parents. Beleive me we are with you enjoying your great adventure. Thanks Nick & Connie Dzendzel. PS I hope you visit New Foundland,
we loved it!
Cannot wait to hear about all of the things you’ll have to say after five days of silence!
I wonder if anyone’s head ever exploded from not talking or even writing for 5 days?!!
Mike and Kathy, Bob and I are sitting in bed having a great cup of coffee reading about your journey together. We love it. We have BIG smiles on our faces just knowing the courage it takes to step into the unknown. The call of LOVE is a very powerful calling…go for it and keep sharing with us your LOVE JOURNEY.
Brenda & Bob Craig
I feel the love just reading your blog. I want to live in that space all the time too!
Glad to have met you both on this epic journey! No doubt your love of each other and your warm curiosity about the world will carry you through. Thanks for being a touchstone on my own journey to peace and self-understanding. I return to my husband and family with renewed energy. Hope your stay at Yogaville is amazing. I’ll look forward to the post.
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