When a psychic monk confronts you
April 19, 2016:
Recently, I had a very strange interaction with Master T, a monk who helps lead my Buddhism class. He asked the class about our experience with meditation. Everyone went around and seemed to give variations of the same answers, myself included. Nonetheless, I didn’t want to sugar coat anything and the truth was that I found the practice of meditation to be ironic. In the midst of my stressful day, I was supposed to make more time for yet one more thing, something that was meant to soothe my stress. After sharing this with the class, Master T asked that I stay late and speak with him. In my head I thought, “Shit, maybe I should have just lied, because now I have to sit there and learn how to meditate all over again.”
After class, I approached Master T and Professor Jirapat, who translated for Master T. “I have been observing you for a long time now,” he began. He requested to ask me a few questions and I agreed. He started by asking about my family life. He then asked if I tend to argue with my parents a lot. A little freaked out by his accuracy, I continuously turned to my professor and asked why he was saying this stuff to me. The questions Master T asked seemed to be loaded questions, as if he already knew the answers.
Here’s where it got even weirder. Master T told me that of everyone in class that day, he felt particularly strong energy from me. He then said that it’s his gift to teach my family how to meditate. He wanted me to teach them when I returned home. He said that he sees something very lucky happening to us soon, but we have to meditate. He insisted that some time in the future, he would reappear in my life and help me with something.
I was extremely confused. Why did he pick me out to begin with? What had he observed about me? Why did he feel that me, of all people, needed to meditate? Whenever I questioned him, his responses were vague and ambiguous. Regardless, I just had a psychic monk confront me and tell me I needed to make a change in my life, so I felt obligated to do it.
You might be thinking that this encounter was not enough to believe that Master T is psychic, but there’s more. A friend on my trip recently experienced a tragedy and she says that Master T “just knew.” Aside from that, you’ve never heard someone speak with such poise and wisdom before. The guy is literal Buddha.
The meditation retreat that I embarked on last week changed me. It made me hyper-self aware. It has come to my attention that it is extremely difficult for me to live in the moment. I always have to be worrying about something. I always have to be doing more and doing better. I’ve realized that this is a shitty way to live life because it’s a set-up for disappointment.
So, it seems perfectly fit to take this personal struggle as an opportunity to practice meditation. I’ve done it about five times on my own now, times when my mind is running too fast for me to catch up with it. Meditation is hard. Focusing on nothing is hard, but I’ve slowly improved. It’s a perfect way to center and refresh.
February 10, 2017
A lot has happened since that experience. My grandpa spontaneously passed away, my brother got into UC Berkeley, my other brother had his bar-mitzvah and I’ve been through several different phases in life. I tried to teach my family how to meditate, but they didn’t exactly take it up as a routine. The summer that I got back from Thailand was miserable. I was borderline depressed and aimed to focus solely on work, working out and meditating. Meditating helped me get through it.
I still haven’t heard from Master T. I still go through my ups and downs as I try to get through the school week, always aiming to achieve more and more. Whenever I get anxious, I close my eyes and remember the meditation retreat I so bravely mastered. I remember sleeping on the bare floor with cockroaches and barely eating. I remember my whole group sitting for hours as we tried to think about nothing. I hear Master T’s voice saying “Come back home, center. When you breath in, your nose is your home.”