By Lucy Kingsley
Well, so much for mindfulness. I go to the small meditation hall to return a cushion. I leave my shoes outside. I go in and leave the cushion. I come out of the hall and put shoes back on to go down to dinner.
During dinner I sit in the back of the hall with friends. A woman makes an announcement that someone took her shoes from outside the small meditation hall, a pair of size six black clogs. Now she has a pair of white size seven and a half Nikes. She would like her own shoes back.
Realizing I went to the hall in my Nikes and not in my black clogs, I now understand that I am wearing her shoes. I start to blush. I bow to the people at my table, get up and start a very long, mindful walk past the entire international Sangha to the front of the hall where she is standing.
I bow to her and slip off her shoes. She returns the bow and then embraces me. We both start to laugh. I take several long breaths and begin to walk the long way back to my table. I have a blister on my foot from walking in someone else’s shoes.
Lucy Kingsley, Loving Balance of the Heart, lives and practices in Eugene, Oregon.