Winter 1992/Spring 1993 Back in London it didn’t take me long to realise that wanderlust or just lust had taken me a long way and I wanted to get back, but not to the dreary life in pursuit of profit I had left a year before. I wanted to get back to Mantak and Maneewan, learn more secrets, make more friends, have more fun. The marriage I thought I was returning to was over and the next one hadn’t started.
After a few frantic months camping on a friend’s sofa – incidentally and accidentally doing away with their pet hamster who stretched his neck over the edge of the cigar-box just as its lid snapped shut – running about as if my hair were on fire selling my remaining turquoise, my boat and everything that might hold me back from newly-planned career as wandering Taoist to stroll through life supremely at leisure, with a lewd interlude in Amsterdam watching my basqued-and-suspendered tulip-plucker watch herself at solo cultivation in the looking-glass, and buying an identical hamster for my friend, I bought another round-the-world ticket and headed back to Pattaya.
Mantak was telling the Story of the Secret. He heard of a Taoist master who kept a rare secret but would divulge it for the right price, being US$10,000 – including a month board and lodging at the Master’s apartment in a Hong Kong high-rise. Must be a very big secret! A few days into the visit Mantak asked when would the secret be revealed. ‘Tomorrow.’ And tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow. On the day he was due to fly home, he was given the secret. It was one he had already learned, from another ‘Master.’
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