A Child of Illusion
Yesterday I experienced a particularly restful meditation session before beginning my morning tasks. Mia and I are taking a Lojong, or mind training, class in the city and began our studies this week. This particular practice involves working with a series of slogans that, in some sense, coach one through the experience of cultivating ultimate bodhichitta. So far, one of my favorite slogans is “In postmeditation, be a child of a illusion.”
The simplest way to understand this experience is to understand that it is possible to carry the calmness, awareness, and mindfulness that accompany a meditation session into the activities of daily life. As one text points out, things to not feel as “claustrophobic.” We may not experience our day-to-day as claustrophobic, but in many cases that is because we haven’t experienced anything counter to that.
I slowly ate my lunch at Earth Fare, the largest health food store with a full cafeteria and bakery in the city. Time was not an issue. I was utterly uninterested in it. I walked through the crowd unperturbed and felt as though I was watching everything from a distance, while also being right in the thick of it. (Recall, this is the same day that I felt I was watching myself from some tiny pedestal in my gut. This feeling often accompanies deep sorrow, which is a settling, grounded feeling.)
At a certain point I thought popped into my mind. Cissy just walked in the store. She is here. I will see her soon. Within about forty seconds she rounded the bend and her gaze stumbled directly into mine from across the cafeteria. I smiled slowly and knowingly, not at all surprised to see her, but still totally impacted be the energy of her presence. I remember her pose as she saw me – she was mid-step – because she held it for several breaths before moving on.
There were at least several hundred people in the store, and I hadn’t even planned on being there. Seeing her was coincidence enough; knowing she would be there and being right about it felt quite intense.
I noticed she had come with a friend and clearly it was a planned lunch date. I finished my food slowly and meandered over to her table. She held my hand and gripped it gently, warmly. We held hands the entire time we talked. I wondered if she was taking my pulse? She introduced me to her friend. I thanked her for her work from last week’s appointment and told her I had met with Joe that morning to gather my herbs. She smiled softly when I said his name.
As our conversation ended I knelt down to be closer to eye level with her (she was sitting at her table all along, I was standing in the aisle). “You’re a very powerful woman, you know,” I said. She actually looked away for a moment quite quickly, then her eyes returned to me. Our hands dropped. I considered telling her that I knew she was in the store before I saw her, but decided against it. I don’t claim to be a psychic in any way, and didn’t want her to think I was pulling something hokey. “You really are,” I added, “I hope you know that.” Then I slowly got up and walked away. She said nothing but her eyes followed me all the way out the door.
Was it just you who knew she was there, or did she also know that you were there?
wow, i don’t know. maybe i’ll get the courage to ask her at my next appointment. … i’ll post about it for certain.