Mantak and Me – Part 6: The End of the War

January 18th, 1992.  We picnicked on a a pretty coral island off Pattaya, not a scrap of shade but a soft breeze kept us cool and the mosquitos at bay.  Most of the other men were clustered as usual around Hatsumi, a beautiful Japanese whom we thought to be with Michael M, an Italian-American who claimed to be in the Witness Protection Program.  Would he have told us, really?  Or was this to warn us to keep off his girlfriend?  Which she really wasn’t, as it turned out when she traveled with me around North Thailand the next week. But he did play the guitar well.

Sitting nearby, Michael C, wrapped in a Tibetan robe of purple, meditated a few feet from two tall Dutch girls basking topless. Alvin L sat like a seaside Buddha, his giant belly glistening white in the light, while Vassilis performed Salutation to the Sun.  I found myself talking with Christoph, whom I had helped over the high sides of the boat that brought us out to the island, he missing his left arm and right leg, and his artificial limbs getting in the way.  I restrained myself from suggesting he pull them off and toss them on board separately.  We spoke about World War 2, the war that cost him his limbs in October 1944, his brother in February 1945, and me my father in 1942.  Christoph said he had been forced into the Hitler Youth as a boy and conscripted to fight to the end.

Mantak in shorts was showing Garry from Los Angeles how to eat crab and giving advice on the financial aspect of teaching the Tao. ‘If I had a dollar for everyone who said they were coming on a course I would never need to run any.’  I learned the truth of this myself over many years of runing courses!


Next week – America!

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About Kris Deva North

Author, Meditation Coach, Teacher of the Taoist Arts.
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