Now it’s only about midday and my body is telling me that it needs some form of nourishment. I leave the comfort of my bed and walk over to the dining room. Outside, there are a few people practicing some form of martial arts. I think that I should probably do something to help my body connect with my mind. I remember that Sanji wants me to practice some Tai Chi and Wing Chung as a part of my training, and I am totally all for that.
I open the door to the dining hall, and I see Tai, and he sees me. He is sitting with two other students and he beckons me to sit with them. The group is seated around a circular table with an open seat at the far right corner, and that seat is adjacent to Tai.
“Hey Ton, I heard you have had a crazy night.”
“Hey Tai, and you two are?”
“Oh, sorry. This is Nowa. He is known around here as the Granite Horse because he most commonly uses earth and fights with Karate, and this is Chico. He is from northern Brazil and he specializes in fire and Jiu Jitsu.”
I reach across the table to Nowa and he smiles and shakes my hand,
“Nice to meet you!”
I then extend my hand to Chico and he doesn’t move, but a small blue hand that appears to be made out of fire meets mine. I am a little started,
“Don’t worry. That’s Chico’s special fire. Somehow his fire is not hot; although he doesn’t use that fire for fighting. Mostly for daily tasks.”
Skeptically, I stare at the hand made of fire and the I grab it assuming that there will be at least some heat, yet oddly enough there is none. Instead, there is a gentle feeling that I can’t actually describe. Then I sit down, and my stomach almost roars.
“That’s right you haven’t eaten in a few days.”
“Yeah, where’s the food anyway? I don’t see a kitchen or anything.”
“The food is right in front of you?”
I am a little confused since there is nothing in front of us but water and a few loaves of bread.
“Shoot! No one has explained the dining hall to you yet. Some novices begin nourishing the body with physical food, but once a Master approves of it and the novice has proven that they can bring their body to the Representative Realm, they are asked to only rely on spiritual nourishment.”
“So…There’s no food?”
“Kind of. Let me show you the way food works here since I have been here a while.”
Before moving on, I look around and I notice most, if not all people here sitting completely still unless they are coming or leaving. I also think of my previous meals here. The meals have been short and either alone or with the Masters, who also simply watched me eat while they had nothing.
Tai takes my hand and he tells me to close my eyes and enter my usual meditative pose. I enter the lotus position and I close my eyes, and everything goes black. Within seconds, I am transported to a room with Tai. Apparently, Chico and Nowa are already seated and eating. Tai is with us as well, but his eyes are still closed, and he is completely silent, but they he jerks to life and begins breathing.
“Guys, have you been here long?”
Chico looks over at Nowa and then back at Tai and myself,
“I don’t think so. Maybe 15 to 20 minutes.”
In a bit of shock,
“But we have only been speaking outside for maybe a few seconds. How is that possible?”
Tai looks at me a little shocked,
“I’m actually surprised you are already here. It takes most people a few minutes to bring their spirit to the Representative.”
“Tai. Ton asked a question about time in the Representative.”
“Oh that’s right. The Representative and the outside world are two different dimensions, and therefore time spent here may be hours if not days and only amount to maybe a few minutes in the outside world.”
“So that’s why Om wanted me to train in here.”
“Partly, yes. I am assuming that he also wanted to avoid altering the fabric of reality. If something is done, say that alters gravity in the real world, there’s a chance that the other laws of reality may be altered and once all of the laws are messed up, we may see life as we know it, disappear.”
“Ah, so mainly for safety purposes.”
Yes, and also for practice getting to the Representative for times like this when you really want food.”
“Ok. I am here, so how do I find food?”
“You make it.”
“Hmm…How do I do that?”
“The same way you don’t basically everything here. You imagine it. Is there something that you really want?”
“I haven’t had pizza in a while. Let’s do that.”
“I don’t think I have ever actually had pizza, but let’s give it a shot. Close your eyes, and imagine everything about it. The way that it looks, the way that it smells, and anything else you can think of for it.”
“I can do that!”
I close my eyes and imagine my uncle’s old pizza shop in the South End of Boston. I imagine walking through the front doors and the wave of dry but beautiful heating washing over me and almost knocking me over. I think of his daughter asking for my order, which almost always ends of being the same thing, two slices with sausage and pepperoni and a small soda. I imagine her yelling back to my uncle to make a full pizza with sausage and pepperoni, and her telling me to wait. My moth waters just thinking about it. When she hands me a plate with two slices, Tai tells me to open my eyes and in front of me is a full pizza floating, and it is steaming. I almost lose all control and begin eating every slice that I get my hands on.
When I am finished. Tai takes my hand,
“Now, have you left the Representative before?”
“Yeah, when I fought Demmi, I simply sat down and left.”
“That’s not completely usual. Most people have to separate their spirit selves from their representative body. We can see what you can do anyway. Luckily Nowa and I and pretty good at taking care of sleeping bodies if you end up simply bringing your Representative body to the outside world.”
Tai takes my hand and tells me to enter into the Lotus Position again to make sure that both this and the outside bodies are in the same position, so I abide. I breathe and notice that his form disappears. Next, Nowa and Chico leave and I am left alone in the Representative. I try my best to separate this form from my spirit, but I say screw it, and simply leave the Representative.
I return to the outside world and Tai looks at me,
“Did you separate from your physical presence?”
“No, I go impatient and simply left.”
“Well, you aren’t dead and you did just eat, so you should be good.”