How I ended up sleeping with a woman I never spoke to

July 22, 2014

Once upon a time I stayed at a Zen Center for a few days. There were all sorts of different people in the center, some full-time residents, some short-timers like me, and others just daily visitors, mostly from the nearby college. Those of us in the program weren’t supposed to speak, so we quietly went about doing our assigned duties and meditating most of the day.

As I prepared to go to bed one evening, I turned to find a young woman standing in my doorway.

“Hi. I’m just a visitor from the school,” she said, pointing in the direction of the college. “Look, it’s late, and I don’t want to walk back to the school. Can I stay with you?”

I wasn’t supposed to speak, and I wondered if this was some sort of test to get me to speak. I started to raise my hand to object and say something, but she spoke first.

“Just sleep,” she said.

After a few moments I decided to put the principles of (a) empathy, (b) equanimity, and (c) “what the heck” to work, so I stood up and waved my hand to welcome her into the room.

In the wee hours of the morning she got up to go to the bathroom, I got up to go to meditation practice, and I never saw her again.

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