The pain was gone at last. The rest is easy, just head into the light and ignore the distractions of the world. Silently the man congratulated himself on preparing so well. Slowly, savouring the moment, he opened his eyes.
The light, the glowing doorway to eternity, was before him. Deep within he felt the warm satisfaction of being right. Jackson might have got that corner office, the girl and the BMW but one day he would be standing here and know the wisdom of investing in the spiritual. As his eyes adjusted he saw the Master sitting at his feet on the dirty maroon floor.
Dressed, as always, in simple black cotton he looked, as always, utterly serene.
“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.”
The master looked up at him with a sad smile and said, “Moron.”
“I studied at your feet for seven years; paid good money to learn to die – but now I see any idiot can walk into the light.”
“You’re an idiot. What are you waiting for?”
In life, the Master had never spoken to him with such disrespect.
“Did you ever teach me anything useful?”
“Did I ever teach you anything?”
“Well I might have missed some lessons but I read the book and it didn’t mention any smoky, red office cubicles. I took all that stuff really seriously.”
The man considered all he had sacrificed: the steak he resisted; the hours of Zazen; endless fees and hours of effort.
The Master rose smoothly, walked away into the doorway of light. He closed the door behind him.