I've found myself thinking a lot over the past few days about coincidence and serendipity and their spiritual significance. For once, I'm going to have to rely on my own words, here, instead of quoting others, as I have not yet found any good writings on the subject. So, the standard disclaimer that these are my own ruminations and aren't to be taken too seriously applies double today.

I don't believe that coincidence or serendipity are entirely random. My rational mind wants to, but this is a rare case where gut feeling wins. Mostly random, yes, but I believe these moments are what we make of them. There is often hidden meaning in seemly random or odd events, but that meaning is what our pattern-seeking, conditioned, minds make of it. We make the meaning, but that doesn't mean that the universe isn't looking out for us.

Dependent Origination tells us that nothing has intrinsic reality, nothing is permanent, because all things are interrelated, dependent on one another, and always changing. The law of Karma, likewise, tells us that everything we do, our every action, thought and word, impacts our own lives and those of all other beings. With everything so interconnected, it's no wonder that life presents us with strange coincidences, serendipity, and even deja-vu. It's simply the echoes of our own actions coming back to us after bouncing off the rest of the universe.

So, what do they mean? I see them as lessons, as signs that things are going right or going wrong, or as signs that I'm heading in the right direction or making a mistake. Sometimes they are dire warnings, sometimes signposts, other times they're just a happy coincidence. How do I know which is which? Here again, I trust my gut and check in with my feelings on the matter at hand. The answer may not be immediately obvious, but it will usually come to me and will help guide the course of my decision making. By way of example, when my now ex-wife confirmed, after our 6-month cooling off, that she did still want a divorce, I was at a loss as to what to do or where to go. The very next day I was given the opportunity to work on a 6-month project out of state where I'd be put up in a corporate apartment. I saw that coincidence as the universe telling me that separation was the right course of action, so I took the contract. I've since come to understand that my divorce was the single largest catalyst of personal growth I've encountered and it was absolutely the right decision. The timing of that contract being available to me at that precise moment was unsettling at the time, but proved, as these things often do, that it was the way things should be. Things have a way of working out. It's just seldom in the way you may have thought it would. Just go with it.