To live a mindful life from my point of view is to live a heartful life, live a life from the heart. It is not always easy, that is for sure, but it is well worth it. I guarantee it. I have been living the kind of life where I am putting effort and diligence and persistence in bringing myself to living a hard life. It is not something that I think I'm going to perfect in this life, but perfection isn't necessarily the point of living a heartful life. It's going in the right, enlightened direction. I hesitate to use the word right direction as if there is a right and wrong, but we are going in an enlightened direction, and sometimes that direction is not straight. It has a lot of curves along the way, doesn't it?
In my own practice of walking the path of enlightenment and trying to live a mindful and a heartful life, I have discovered that the universe is so full of abundance and true wealth and support. It is always already there. It is just waiting for me to realize it and to open myself to benefit from it so that my life then becomes a blessing to others. Just by practicing mindfulness and heartfulness, I started a long time ago a group in Los Angeles, and then a group in Berkeley, in Oakland, which was for young adults, and then a large, large group in San Francisco, and then I helped with groups in Minnesota.
And then here in Texas, I started a small little Thursday night group, and it kept meeting until recently, a very small group. And I started this other group, which has been in existence for three years now. And now there is a Grapevine group that has been in existence for a year and a half or so, and now we have just started a Plano group on Thursdays, and we had 32 people show up for the planning meeting and the first meditation. So they are very excited. And the neat thing is, they are benefiting more than any of the other groups because I've learned from all the mistakes I made along the way, and so they are getting the full benefit of my present, current wisdom and experience. So they're very blessed, and I am very grateful, and we can rejoice.
It is also because of you. Because of you, I have learned so much, and we can pass on our wisdom. You know that movie Pay It Forward? All the blessings and even the negative experiences we go through all teach us, and then we can bless others with our experience and our wisdom. That is the way it is. That is the way the universe is. And because of this practice and because of you, I have been given the opportunity to really just open my heart to receive divine inspiration in various ways, in poetry that I've written the songs that I have written. Because we did not have the musician for tonight, I just played some of my own songs that I've written. Those came because of the practice. Most of the songs I have written came from me going to a retreat and getting still enough to listen to the music within myself. So this practice is very important for me and for you. Thank you so much for supporting me and allowing the music to come through. I have 10 songs that I would like to record, and I'm still waiting for the money to start recording them, but I know that the money will come, because I do not believe that the songs were accidents. I believe they were given to me to be shared, so I know that they will be shared at the right time.
And the same is true for you. You all have gifts. You all have opportunities. You all have talents. They are not accidents. Your beauty, your wisdom, your uniqueness, they are not accidents. Even your negative experiences in life, all of them can be made into fertilizer, into compost to create the beautiful garden business world for the benefit of all beings. You see, it is not wasteful at all. The universe never wastes anything. Everything is used, both the positive and the negative. Everything is used to further the cause of enlightenment, wisdom, compassion, and beauty.
So, we are about to embark on the next phase of our journey as a spiritual community in Dallas. I have no idea what it is going to look like yet, but no matter what, we are in this together.