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As he sat in the dark meditation hut Henry couldn’t keep his mind on truly meditating, at least not in the usual sense. At first he sat in pose with legs crossed and palms up but he eventually just took a seat on the bench that surrounded the room, feet on the floor, hands at his side. He looked around at the room and could see how it had at one point been modified. He studied the wall sconces which emitted light both up and down and decided to turn them off. He then walked across the room to a set of windows and noticed one of the frames was warped and slightly ajar. In the view out the window he noticed ivy enveloping its way up tree trunk in its own version of a cancerous effort to choke out its host.
Deciding there was nothing he could do about either the window or ivy he walked back to his place on the bench and set about trying to meditate again, eventually setting his eyes upon a largish speck of dirt in on the floor the middle of the room directly in front of him. He just sat there and gazed at it, light and shadow like a tiny brown planet in brown sky.
The tricky thing about meditation is that you can’t really turn off your mind, at least not the average person and Henry counted himself average. Henry was no Zen master but he was good enough that he could set unresolvable thoughts aside if only to shift focus to other unresolvable thoughts. Well one thing led to another and after awhile he finally began to think about his parents. Yet that pain was all too dark and in the past so Henry soon tabled those thoughts as well.
An attendant entered with a dust broom to clean the floor and swept the speck away. Henry missed the speck immediately; that little bit of dirt had been there for him. He looked for another but there was only the smooth wooden floor with its intricate pattern of grain and seams. Finally ready, he again crossed his legs, said three ahhs, brought his palms into equanimity and closed his eyes. At first thoughts of past again entered his consciousness but he soon brought his mind back to present, the calm light, the brown noise emanating from the creek below, the thump of his heart, the feeling of his body steadily breathing.
Henry was safe and somewhere out there was pain and hurt and sorrow but not here, not in this moment.
Henry eventually opened his eyes, looked down at his watch and was surprised to see that four hours had passed.
He then saw something moving out of the corner of his eye and looked towards the glass entry door where he saw a woman walking back up the path that lead to the wooden hut. He stood up neither stiff nor sore, walked over to the door and opened it. Down at the stoop he saw a note slipped into one of his shoes. He picked up the note and opened its single fold and read; We all care for you Henry and hope you feel better soon.
The note was signed with a heart.
His eyes filled with tears as he heaved and began to cry. Up at the top of the path stood his friend Kelsey looking back down at him and in a moment she ran back down the steps and embraced Henry, holding him until the crying stopped.


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