Subtlety

     
 

“Questions show the mind's range, and answers, its subtlety” ~ Joseph Joubert

I had guessed how long she practiced from where they had placed her (way at front!) in the meditation hall. Hence, as soon as the silent vows were lifted, I picked her to annoy for guidance: "You've done this so many times, hasn't something changed in you?"

She looked at me compassionately; not a strand of her platinum hair waved.

I blushed. "Of course it has. How silly of me to ask that. Allow me to rephrase my question: did it take you away from the original faith that you were raised in?"

She said, in classical Rogerian terms, "What matters is, what it has done to yours?"

A kaleidoscope of cultural upbringing, brief Atheism and lewd mortal tendencies flashed quietly between us, before I said, "Islam was taught to us in vulgar tongues; it was always either hell or heaven and magical beings being transported between the worlds. Meditation has helped me understand Islam's subtler meanings."

She smiled again. Understanding. Or maybe just detached from what train of thoughts I was going through.

I asked her again, "Don't you get bored of repeating the same stuff over and over?"

"You're a yoga practitioner. Don't you get bored?"

I grinned. "The true teacher is the practice itself, huh?"

***

At another table, I heard a first time student speak vehemently about her meditation experience. "I felt incredible itches all over. You know what that means don't you? Ask that lady over there, she is a psychic in the magical matters of the meditation. Bet she can even guess the age you'll die in! I saw a DEMON HOVER ALL OVER ME!!"

I felt my head hit the table in front of me.

Alas, it isn't the practice that is subtle or vulgar. It was never the method, place, texts, prophets, goddesses or any of that crude signs of awesome that raised man his dignity and honed his merits and honored him with heaven or hell.

It had always been something beyond all of that, hadn't it? Something that all of us, if we waited and practiced long enough, will eventually understand, believe and fail to explain in more than a compassionate smile.

 
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