The pain was gone at last. The rest was is easy, just head into the light and ignore the distractions of the world. Silently John congratulated himself on preparing so well. Slowly, savouring the moment, he opened his eyes.
“After all”, he thought, “you only get to die once.”
The light, the glowing doorway to eternity, was before him. John felt the warm satisfaction of being right. Jackson might have got that corner office, the girl and the BMW but one day he’ll be sitting here and know John was wise to invest in the spiritual.
As his eyes adjusted he saw Master Sighn sitting on the dirty maroon floor. Dressed, as always, in simple black cotton he looked, as always, utterly serene.
John looked up sharply and spoke, “You taught me all about the light and a place of eternal gloom but you never mentioned a maroon carpet. So you don’t know everything after all.”
“Moron,” Master Sighn uttered impassively.
“I studied at your feet for seven years; paid good money to learn to die – and you ripped me off – any idiot can walk into the light.”
“You’re an idiot,” replied Sighn, “what are you waiting for?”
This reply, delivered with such disinterest, irritated John.
“Did you ever teach me anything useful?”
“It seems I never taught you anything.”
This time Sighn’s gentle tone really upset John who snapped, “Well I might have missed some lessons but I read the book and it didn’t mention any smoky, red office cubicles.”
John sat snarling and considered all he had sacrificed: the steak he resisted; the hours of Zazen practice, endless fees and classes and the hours of practising detachment. He always hated that stuff with a passion.
Master Singh sighed quietly. He stood slowly. He walked away into the light – closing the door behind him.