The Place HTML version

her smiling at me every now and then. I didn’t even know what I ate that night because I wasn’t even there. The
next day found me looking through my books for the answers to what had happened. I went from cover to
cover, but there was nothing in any book to help me understand what took place. It was simply MY
understanding of a new reality.
Of course, I said to myself. How stupid can I be! The book is simply a guideline. The answers would have
come from within me since that’s where the questions emanate from! At that moment, I was as complete as I
could be. Now I was more convinced than ever I was capable of finding The Place, and I knew my meditations
were the key.
Chapter Five: Out of Body
Life isn’t what you think it is; neither is death!
Summer, 1978
Seven years had passed since my first successful meditation. College seemed like something that took place
in another lifetime. The many things I learned through my studies of Zen had taken a back seat to my new
ambitions. I was married to my college sweetheart and living in the suburbs of Boston. I was working in the city
as a financial planner. I’d been at it for a few years and looked forward to making it a career. I was making
great money and had a beautiful home. It seemed like nothing could stop me. Life was as good as it gets, or so I
It was one o’clock in the afternoon. I was driving to an appointment south of Boston I had scheduled a month
ago, one I had been excited about for some time. I was meeting the owner of a large baking company. It was my
first call on a large business, and I knew this market was where the money was. As I traveled down the
Southeast Expressway out of Boston, I found myself imagining how the appointment would go, including
gathering the information and filling out the forms. I would return some weeks later to have the contracts signed
and the deal closed. That would open the door to more opportunities and, of course, more financial rewards.
The car windows were down, and the cool air that flowed through them on that hot summer day was
welcome. My suit jacket was neatly folded on the seat next to me, and my briefcase sat on the floor of the back
seat. I was really enjoying my life and loved nothing more than driving my sports car whenever the opportunity
presented itself.
I loved the woman I was married to, and I felt like I was on top of the world. Life simply couldn’t get any
better. As I saw the city skyline disappear in the rear-view mirror, I noticed a black Camaro speeding toward me
from behind. My first instinct was to hit the gas, but I realized the Camaro was going much faster than I was. I
looked quickly into the lane next to me. It was clear, so I turned into it. Suddenly, I spotted another car coming
up fast in that lane as well. It was almost on top of me. It was racing the Camaro! I spun the wheel hard,
returning to the lane I left just seconds earlier. The second car flew past and caught my rear bumper as it did so.
I suddenly found myself spinning counter-clockwise, out of control. I hit the guard rail, and the car flew into
the air. It landed upside down, sliding for more than a hundred feet before catching the front wheel on a metal
barrier, flipping the car upright, and bringing it to a screeching halt some one hundred and fifty feet from the
initial impact point. I don’t remember anything from the time I started spinning. This account was from the
police report I read a few days later. It bore the testimony of several eyewitnesses to the accident.
What I do remember clearly is what took place after the car came to a stop. I was floating about seventy-five
feet above my car. The vehicle was completely demolished. There was black smoke making its way into the
sky. I could tell it was my car by the size and color. The shape, however, was masked in a heap of twisted metal
and broken glass. I noticed a man slumped over the steering wheel. As I continued to stare, I began to recognize
something familiar about him. The traffic was a distraction, but I couldn’t stop staring at the man harnessed in
the seat belt, sitting there and not moving. Suddenly, I found myself in a state of shock as I realized I was
looking at myself!
“How could it be?” I asked, pausing to get my bearings. Then it hit me. “I must be dead!”