Meditationclub.com offers one of the best explanations of The Nadi Palm Leaves Prophecy I've seen. The website features a description of a reading and gives a history saying "according to the legend, four thousand years ago God dictated a large number of messages to a group of sages. The sages wrote down everything God said to them on palm tree leaves. The leaves were then turned into small books for safekeeping."
"According to the story, people from all over the world would come to India in the future just to receive their message from God. The books are archived according to the date, time, and place of birth of each corresponding person. One has to call the Foundation first to see if there is a message waiting for you. If they find your message in the archives, then they proceed to give you an appointment with the Sri Shuka Nadi Interpreter."
"It is a well-documented fact that the palm leaves are ancient manuscripts written in Sanskrit. Most spiritual teachers in India endorse their authenticity. The only problem sometimes resides on the accuracy of the interpretation. These manuscripts were written in ancient Sanskrit, and the terms used in the past do not always reflect modern society."
When Lakshmi first told me about the Nadi Palm Leaves I thought she was joking. "Right, there is a palm leaf for everyone on earth just waiting for them." But Lakshmi insisted that it was true and that many people in India and around the world travel great distances to have their leaf interpreted.
From then on, whenever I am faced with a stupefying coincidence, a chance meeting, a streak of luck, I say to myself "it is written on my palm leaf." And so, what was once mere imagination, a dream state, or sheer coincidence is transcended to a greater calling or a sign post that says "you are here and here is the right place to be."
As I reflect of the last ten years, I realize I've experienced many of these palm leaf moments. Some profound, some simply amusing.
In 2002 I survived a harrowing car accident that rolled my car four times across three lanes of highway traffic and landed it on the embankment. I never lost consciousness as I rolled and rolled, the entire time repeating to myself "I'm going to hit something, I'm going to hit something" over and over. Once the car had stopped, I found myself suspended upside down with my seat belt holding me in place. Glass shards were all around me and amazingly, surprisingly, I was unscathed.
Everyone who watched the accident was shocked to see me crawl out of the window of the smashed vehicle. Everyone around me was convinced I had an angel on my shoulder. There was no other way I should have survived.
A few weeks before the accident I had the opportunity to meet the artist Peter Max in his studio in New York. The artist himself took me and my colleagues on a tour of his work space and promised to send each of us a signed poster of one of his works. When I returned to work after my car accident, the poster was waiting for me. Everyone who had gone on the tour got different posters, some from his America series, some from the Neo Fauve series. Mine was an image of an angel from his Angel series. It now hangs in my son's bedroom looking over his bed.
Shortly after the death of my Mom in 2006, my brother Topher and I were returning to Ann Arbor after cleaning out her apartment in our hometown of Rochester. My mother's nickname was Babsee and she had a vanity license plate on her car emblazoned with it. Topher and I were reminiscing about Mom and wondering how we were going to survive without her as I took the exit toward Ann Arbor. As my car slowed and caught up with the hatchback in front of us, I realized that its license plate read "Babsie" and was encircled with a license plate holder offering the slogan for everyone recovering from something, "easy does it, one day at a time." Topher and I looked at each other with amazement, glad that we were both in the car to witness this message from beyond.
Lately the coincidences are smaller but they still manage to awe me. Over the same cup of tea with Lakshmi last week, I mentioned in passing that I was disgusted by the racist remarks a man in Alabama made in a recent media interview regarding the election. This man had mentioned that he thought of Barack Obama as "other" -- not black or white -- a different race that didn't count because the bible clearly states that humans should not create new 'breeds." Lakshmi's eyes widened as I told her about the article and as I spoke she got up quietly, found her purse and took out a newspaper clipping. "Is this the article you mean?" she asked, astonished. And it was. Lakshmi had been so disturbed by it she cut it out to use as an illustration of the bigoted beliefs that still exist in the 21st century.
Last night I attended the fourth week of my creative writing workshop. Dan, my instructor, began the session with an exercise. He fanned out a selection of postcards in his hands, images face down, and asked us each to choose one randomly. He asserted that "the cards choose you to tell their story. Look at the image and think of something to write about."
As I looked around the room I saw that most of the cards revealed still lifes or pastoral scenes of long dead artists. As I chose mine, I pictured a peasant scene by Bruegel or a sketch by Picasso. Instead, as I turned over the card stock, I saw a little boy wearing a number 2 Yankees jersey, his back to the camera, alone in a sea of empty stadium seats.
My husband is a third generation Yankee fan. In the first formal portraits we had taken of both our boys they were dressed in their Yankee's outfits. Benjamin and Nate both own number 2 Yankee jerseys, the number of my husband's favorite player Derek Jeter. I was so alarmed by the coincidence, I waved the card in the air and exclaimed to the class "this is amazing! Look at this!" I then pulled out a photo I carry in my wallet of my husband and boys donned in Yankee gear, Ben in his number 2 jersey.
When I left class last night, I had a renewed sense of place and peace. I was meant to be in that class and meant to write. Or, at least, meant to write something about the Yankees.
I do not believe that all of these minute instances, these gifts of reassurance and peace, are written on my palm leaf in India. But, as each of these gifts reveal themselves, my belief in the existence of a celestial schematic increases. Maybe we are all born with a map imprinted on our souls and only in reflecting on the journey behind us and carefully reading the signs before us do we get to our intended destination safe and sound.