A funny event after three days of quiet meditation

May 30, 2013

While looking for another story, I just ran across this old story from 2009, and thought I would share it again. It raises an interesting question: "If you meditate really hard, and really pay attention, can you hear the thoughts of others?"

After staying at the Tibetan Cultural Center (formerly known as TCC, now TMBCC) for three nights, I stopped at a new bakery in Bloomington on the way out of town. As I was waiting to fill my coffee cup at a self-serve coffee island (like they have at Panera Bread), a woman was standing in my way. She wasn't filling her coffee, she was just standing there. (If you know me, you know that patience in a situation like this isn't one of my strengths.)

I wasn't looking at her at that moment, but I heard her say that she was looking for a stirrer for her coffee, so I said, "Oh, they're just over on the other side," as I pointed to the other side of the island. With this the woman stared at me as though I was the most rude person on the planet, and then walked over to the other side and got a stirrer.

I have no idea what happened, but it made me wonder if (a) she actually said anything at all, or if she did, (b) maybe she thought my comment was rude. Other than the cashier, she was the first person I had spoken to since Thursday, so I also thought maybe (c) I didn't say what I thought I did. (I find it hard to verbalize thoughts after several days of deep meditation.)

Whatever happened, I thought the interaction was pretty funny.

I originally posted this story as part of Three nights at the TMBCC.

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