I am inside a distorted version of my previous residence, home to my old landlady, Peggy. There are other young men standing in the furnished living room with me. At the far end of the room, a magnificent being stands. He is an older man in years, but as vigorous as the most vigorous young man among us. In the kitchen behind him, Peggy is mumbling something to herself in the kitchen. The man is of Asian descent with a smoothly shaven head and black eyes that gaze at me from across the room with the intensity of a great cat. He is our guru and we are his students. The journey begins as the room is suddenly filled with cold water, six inches deep. The man instructs us to lie down face-first and hold our heads below the surface for as long as we can. "Settle into the breathless state. Submerge yourself in its calming embrace. When you must rise for breath, do so. But if you can hold off one instant longer, do so. Breath and return to the breathless state."
I follow directions and relax into the water. The liquid is quite cold but with the physical numbing comes a mental awakening--a quiet bliss. When I lift my head for breath, the world is changed. My fellow students still lie about; guru still gazes at me from across the room. All the furniture is gone and the soft daylight from the windows has turned to black night. I am slightly astonished and stand up in alarm. I walk past guru to the kitchen, which is now a ruin and piled up with rotting cardboard and broken furniture. When I turn around, guru calmly suggests that I return to the water meditation. I am still stupified as I follow his direction. When I rise for breath again, I am lying alone in a clean, empty house. Guru gazes at me from across the room, a knowing smile creeping onto his stoic countenance. Again I walk about the house in a daze and again I return to the water at guru's suggestion. For the last time, I arise and find I am sitting beneath the green light of a forest canopy. The wind moves branches overhead while guru looks fondly into the distance. I sit patiently and guru stands patiently.
You are learning.