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After lunch, I get back late. I see the gong in the middle of the room and James in my seat. James points to the seat next to Carson and says, “That’s your seat.”

“And that’s your partner,” Shastri Sacamano says.

I feel embarrassed. “What? I don’t get to choose my partner?”

“Not this time,” Shastri Sacamano says.

Carson waits, head drooping. I go sit next to him.

Shastri Sacamano talks about the gong. “Is it real?” he says. “What is real? Is it the sum of its parts?” His words fade. I come down to earth with a bump. I’ve been avoiding Carson and I just got nailed. I feel tears behind my eyes. Resistance – ignorance feels like a wall. But I know I have to face this. The rookie part of me wants to know how this turns out. I won’t turn away.

When we face our partners, we answer the question: What is real? I nod to Carson and he starts to list everything he thinks real.

I fidget. I look down. My shoulders hurt...

Basic Goodness of Reality | Shambhala Times Community News Magazine

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