We are in the hangar. It is a vast carpeted room like an airport, the front wall of tinted windows lets the lights stream in. Normally this would be meditation class, but for the last 6 months meditation class has been preparation for our trip. We have various teachers who have come in and spoke to us, taught us methods and tricks of the mind and body – many who have been back and forth multiple times. Sensei has been many times, he is human and more than human – I sometimes wonder how he calculates his age. We have rehearsed things that make no sense to us yet – Mostly we play games, because it is a format that doesn’t need explanation. Then we meditate.
Now there are more than 50 of us sitting each spaced a few meters apart. Today we have been meditating for hours, it took a lot of training to get to this point. Sitting in lotus, on the carpet, mind are clear, no intention, breathing. Calming the mind and body. Hollow and empty. The sun is shifting, the shadows of the columns in the room lengthening and creeping in the late afternoon. Sensei is speaking, and now nurses are coming around giving each of us a glass of thick pulpy liquid like orange juice. We have rehearsed this so many times, with lemonade. We sip it slowly, in the warm creeping sunlight, and begin to settle into dreamtime.
I am feeling heavy, spacy. Now what is sensei doing? – a strange dance, among the students. This is not capoeira, we did that yesterday. No, not quite capoeira, a strange dance weaving among the students, attacking them, stabbing playfully with his fingers, pressure points, he is chuckling. What a strange sight to see, this old monk feinting, poking, tickling, as the students try to guard and dodge with limbs heavy like iron. Trying to grab him, and falling over with limbs locked in lotus in rigor mortis. I am trying to laugh but already my body is heavy, dark, far away, falling, so I watch, watch the world on it’s side for hours, as they collect the kids one at a time, then watch the ceiling as it slides along over me as I am carried, then static white of a plastic molded tub settles in front of my eyes and rising custard like a tide creeping up my vision, and then nothing.