Tags: Buddhist monks, healing, string bracelet
It appeared that I was apparently stuck wearing a piece of smelly filthy string around my wrist for the rest of my life.
The way it happened was that I arranged to have myself blessed-and- healed by Buddhist Monks in 1996. I did it for a couple of reasons, some of them ironic. For instance , the fact that the healing was to take place in the upstairs loft of a trendy Malibu clothing boutique was a detail that really made me laugh. Especially because at the time I had a magazine column and was almost always seeking a topic I could write about for at least 1500 words.
But I would be remiss if I didn’t also own up to the fascination I had for new age frippery back then. I was never sure how much of what I attended I also sorta believed . All I knew was that I liked to hear about a variety of strange, vaguely spiritual, occasionally spooky, metaphysical type things. So that Saturday morning, about a week after I signed up and paid a fee, I climbed a staircase just behind a table that was piled high with animal print Capri pants on sale and was directed to a room where I met with my own personal healer monk. He was dressed in a traditional saffron colored robe, although I remember being kind of amused by his standard issue scuffed up western footwear. Diaphonous robes just don’t look right with Bass Weejuns.
He was also sporting some rather stylish wireframe glasses.
For about half an hour he chanted, or we chanted together. Sometimes he described vivid tableaus upon which I was supposed to meditate. I seem to remember one that involved a thousand flying swordsmen because I also remember fretting that perhaps I wasn’t visualizing them well enough, and would inadvertently compromise my results.
I do remember how the whole thing ended; I was splashed with some very special water and then my monk (if I might be so bold as to call him that) tied a red string around my left wrist.
“When the string falls off, you will be healed.” were his famous last words.
On my way out of the store, I felt so good I bought some Capri pants and a purse.
Cut to: Now.
The string was moldly, and kind of stinky. The red color been replaced by gray, which was good in a way because I didn’t like the idea of people assuming I had taken up the kaballah. But, it had also acquired a patina of yellow paint from the last time I redid my bedroom. It was one truly disgusting looking piece of string. But after a lifetime of watching horror movies and episodes of Twilight Zone that involved someone who had received and then ignored an ominous warning, I didn’t feel I could simply cut it off and throw it away. And anyway, it had to fall off on its own. The monks promised. But it was wrapped around my wrist in three unbroken strands that showed no signs of fraying. If they had said “This will fall off sometime around 2010” I think I might have run out of there screaming.
Then last night it fell off! It actually fell off, all on its own. I was so relieved and happy that it was almost worth the long wait. After fourteen fucking years of ugly wrist syndrome, I am finally free at last. And I guess I am finally also HEALED, though its not clear from what. At the very least I am healed from the ever present irritation of having to wear a decrepit string bracelet. And since I bothered to spend 14 years regarding the removal of this string as a bad omen, I think its only fair that I go ahead and take the falling off of the string as a good one.
I think 2010 is going to be the best year ever. At least in matters related to wrists and string and healing.