"I lived at the school like a ghost, a hidden creature of habit, moving in my own world. My highly regimented daily routine, filled with ritual, never varied. I felt I was in control and so I honed my inner sensitivity until I could note the spaces separating sensations. Sitting in meditation every morning, I would start practice with awareness of my breath, eliminating distraction, then find and follow the joy that arose, going up through the jhanas to equanimity. Concentrated, settled, and peaceful I directed my attention to whatever naturally arose in my mind and on one particular day I saw that a storm was about to break," Rose narrates the details of her life following W's disappearance. There is nothing he wants to hear more.
"My training was sufficiently advanced to let me see that the breaking storm was not a rainstorm but something more sinister. To make this kind of distinction I relied on my connections to nature: a moving cloud feels like an arm moving, leaves are my fingers, and sudden future events create a pressure on my chest. That is how I knew something was about to happen in the main courtyard. I jumped from my mat and hurried there, the change in routine already brewing an anxiety that became my strength. Life is precious and I would save all living things from suffering if I could but I also recognize that nature has her rules, things are born and die, and I wouldn't have reacted to this pressure for a natural occurrence. The strike I felt incoming was not personal, it was against the cosmic order, it was anti-dharmic.
When I reached the courtyard there was a group of boys playing in the center. From above came a shrill cry. A bird of prey dove at high speed toward a boy standing near the edge of the group. I did not think or plan but nudged the energy that was already in the space, shaping the moment using lingering anxiety. The pulse, rippling outward, displaced the bird. Barely missing the targeted boy, the raptor turned upward, beat its wings, gave another cry, and flew away.
No one in the courtyard watching the boys play saw anything more than a few ruffled feathers. I was pleased to be so adept, to make the movement happen so smoothly. I considered my ability to be an art form and myself an artist. A vague involuntary smile crossed my lips, nothing really, but enough that the headmaster, a much greater practitioner than me, who had also felt the pressure and rushed to the courtyard, found me out. That is how my ability was proven to him. He caught my eye and we both knew that we both knew. Nothing more was said but the next day I was given a red robe, a classroom, and a group of young boys to train." Rose reveals all she can to W, waits to see his reaction, and wishes she could say more.
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