the only way to be

It’s Christmas Day. 3pm. I’m waiting for a flat white in Starbucks, Uptown, Victoria BC. Next to me is a slender guy in his mid-sixties, wearing neatly pressed blue jeans, a grey jacket, flat grey cap, with a neatly trimmed grey beard. We’re both in line, waiting for our orders. We get to talking. He tells me this is the only Starbucks in town open Christmas Day. I mention that maybe every place should be closed Christmas Day. Maybe drop the shopping. Close everything down. On the other hand, here I am. I told him it was the same deal in the UK. He told me he had a niece in Windsor. That he liked to visit Windsor when he was stopping over on his way to India. I asked why he went over to India. For the meditation, he smiled. Said his life had changed in 2001 when he learned how to meditate. Said he’d learned how to leave his body. Said he was now just able to do it at will; like leaving his car in the parking lot. Said it was the only way to be.

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