In keeping with previous instructions, I had to up my meditation “game”. Now loathe to spend money on status symbols and unnecessary trinkets after the mindless indulgences of last year, last month’s “impulse” purchase of a well used mala was proving itself worthwhile as it kept my hands busy enough to allow my mind to shed itself of busy-ness.
And yet, somehow even with the assistance of a zafu cushion to stabilize my seating posture, I still fell asleep. I realized I had gone sideways in my morning meditation when I heard the clear voice coming from the space in front of me. Space that I knew was occupied by a large piece of furniture.
I accepted that the session was going to go off script and just rolled with it. “Yea. They’re comfy in my hands.” I rolled them in my palm and noted they felt as expected.
The voice now came from beside my right ear as if someone was leaning over my shoulder. “Not new, though.” If someone was there, the creaking of the bed would have given them away and the wall would have reflected their voice.
“Bought second-hand. Problem?” I turned my head to face where I heard the voice coming from and realized that not only were my eyes closed, but that I was unable to even open my eyes.
“No! No. Just… surprised. You usually don’t do other people’s stuff.” The voice now came from my left.
I rolled the mala beads between my fingers. I have almost memorized the difference between the carved bone beads and the carved wood beads. “Came via a trusted way. And the beads aren’t being repurposed. If anything, their history is helping me in the present. They’re like training wheels on a bicycle. Wouldn’t change a thing.” It’s like the mala remembers how the previous owner used them for meditation and is somehow guiding me to following the same practice.
“That’s good. Yes, good.” The voice came from in front of me, at the same level as my head. While the words would have indicated the end of the conversation, the tone they were spoken in announced that further words were to be delivered.
I waited for the rest of the thought to be spoken but the disembodied voice remained quiet. Too quiet. As if they were waiting for me to open the door for them to follow through.
Why open a door when you can kick it down? “Spit it out.”
“Oh, nothing! Nothing.”
“No, really… nothing. … It’s just… oh nothing.”
I looped the mala into a tight spiral around my hand. “If I have to stand up, it’s gonna be your asswhipping. WHAT!”
The voice spoke from directly behind my head, close enough that if there were a person, their lips would be brushing against my neck. Very quietly, they said, “Just that… have you considered other mantras? Other… prayers?”
“Other… ” I did not turn around but instead shook my head as I tried to process the meaning of the spoken words. “Say it plain, dammit!”
The voice continued from the position of relative safety. “Well… it’s just that… instead of a mala, have you considered a rosary?”
It is good that I was unable to open my eyes, or they would have rolled right out of my skull. “I have a fucking rosary, that I even prayed with… it’s in the bag right there.” Though my eyes were closed, I knew exactly where in the physical room the bag containing the reworked rosary was. I pointed at its location, and it illuminated itself in my mind’s eye for a brief and intense moment.
The voice moved to in front of me, at a distance that would place it within the furniture. “Well, yes… I’m aware of that… but…”
“Drag this out any further and I’m gonna om mani padme fuck you up.”
The voice now spoke from within the confines of my skull, confirming that the interaction was not happening in physical space and daring me to reach inside of myself to carry out the impotent threat. “That rosary is the same as any rosary, and not purposed for a particular thing. This mala was purposed for a particular thing by the previous owner and you are continuing that tradition with it. I’m questioning if you have considered a particular rosary for a particular purpose?”
I released my anger and sighed as I accepted I was never in control of the interaction. “A purpose that you have not spoken clearly yet.”
The voice continued from behind my eyes. “Well… you tend to get… reactive… when the subject is brought up.” The voice was clearly amused by their observation.
My annoyance matched their amusement. “Too late, I’m already re-fucking-active. If this is about [an upcoming commitment] then I’m going to wait for things to be revealed with time instead of buying a whole bunch of stuff I don’t need and won’t need.”
The voice now spoke from in front of my face. No heat or movement of air accompanied it though it was close enough to vibrate the hairs on my nose. “No, it’s not about that. You know… you weren’t supposed to give it away. But I understand why you felt you couldn’t keep it then. If you are going to face them, you need something between you and them, something you can use as a shield and a control rod like the kid tried to give you. A dedicated rosary would do.”
I had no idea what the voice was talking about. “What? What the hell are you talking…” In a flash I recalled all the visions of the black armored angel and the terror their presence brings with them. “Oh.”
The voice now spoke from directly above my head. “Yes. You understand now. I leave you to your meditation. Peace be upon you.”
The episode ended and I opened my eyes with full awareness and wakefulness. Despite all the actions I thought I had taken in the vision, I found I had not moved at all and my thumb was still resting on the mala.
To be honest, I was more perturbed that I would be spending unnecessary funds again to either obtain the materials to make a new rosary with, or purchasing an already made rosary. I noted that I would not be spending the funds today, that I had other instructions to follow, and settled myself back down in an attempt to recover the meditation session and have some modicum of peace for the day.
No peace was had.