Yesterday around half past ten in the morning, I was coming to the tennis ground walking. I came to 150th Street and made a left turn and an immediate right turn. Then I saw two men working. One was on top of a large tree, cutting the branches, and the other was picking them up and putting them in a truck. I was trying to somehow manage to walk on the street and they were almost blocking the road. A young girl saw my predicament and gave me a smile.
When I drew near the two men, I said to the one who was cleaning the road, "How I wish you would come and cut down the tree in front of my house. It is quite dead. On the 23rd of September you were supposed to come."
The man answered, "Oh, you have to write to the authorities."
"I have written to them," I replied, "but they do not listen."
Then the man said to me, "I know you. Your picture is everywhere. I have come to quite a few of your meditation sessions at PS 86."
I could not recognise him at all. Then he said to me, "When I come to your meditation, I get so much peace, but it lasts only for one day. I have so many problems that the peace only lasts for one day."
I said, "I am glad that at least for one day your problems are solved."
He smiled at me and went on, "Please tell me how I can solve my daily problems."
I smiled at him. I was trying to move away. He said to me, "Wait! Wait! You have to give me a tip."
Idiot that I am, I said to him, "I am so sorry. I have no money today. I am not carrying any money."
He said to me, "I don't want no money." That kind of English he used. "I want you to give me a meditation tip."
Then he stood in front of me. I thought that by 'tip' he wanted me to give him money, but he wanted me to teach him how to meditate. He was asking me how he could make his mind calm and quiet. He was extremely sincere. I said, "All right."
The man up in the tree was observing us, but he did not mind at all. We were facing each other. First I asked him to breathe in very slowly and quietly. He did this very nicely and he was very, very happy. He said to me, "You are not only a great man, but you are a very good man."
WCB 81. 30 October 1998↩