Fired off in the World of Wi-Fi

I find myself in Big City, NC for a weekend meditation retreat. Out of both convenience and curiosity, I decipher a way to stay at Keller’s house to cut down on the commute. Nevermind that we’ve just meditated for a few hours, my throat is sore, and I have to open at the coffeehouse tomorrow morning (NOT part of the meditation weekend, though I will be engaging in a particular practice while I make espresso beverages).

With a wireless connection down at Keller’s house and no wireless capabilities on my laptop, it is agreed that we can park at the local pub and mooch off their wireless using Keller’s laptop. This will allow him to answer on-call emails for work and me to blog…In a 1964 VW Vanagan, in a pub parking lot, at almost midnight, while we’re supposedely on retreat…

No pressure, right?

The air in the city is tighter than in the mountains, as if heat molecules were crowding into a coleseum rather than settling along a clothesline off my back porch. But still, the June night is surprisingly cool and comfortable and with the crescent moon smiling slightly, I can still make out a deep azure blue horizon of the Blue Ridge Mountains for about 270 degrees around.

The training for this weekend’s retreat is about being a “warrior in the world.” It is a Shambhala concept that redefines the notion of being a warrior and places it at a very basic, simple, human level. Ultimately, it has to do with living an open-hearted life, something that requires gentleness and bravery – hence the term warrior.

Our instructor travelled from Charlotte to teach this weekend and we had a brief moment to chat before I left. “Be a warrior barista,” he laughed when I told him I had to miss the morning teaching and meditation due to work. “No really, it’s a perfect situation. Work with what you know in the environment of the coffeehouse.” His young face shone bright pink under the meditation hall lights. Flecks of grey hair sparkled in his thick hair. “Have you heard of the term ‘footloose and fancy free’?”

I nod yes.

“That’s it. That’s your day tomorrow. Take the teachings and go with it.”

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