The attendant broke my reverie to motion me to a room off the bedroom. I followed him through an archway to the bath. I noticed a small room discreetly tucked into the wall behind the arch leading to the bath. In it was a low commode, primitive but suitable for my purposes. Opposite the commode room on the other side of the entrance to the bath was a low chair. The floor throughout was tiled in a beautiful mosaic that led right to the edge of the bath. The bath was sunken in the floor with steps that descended into the water like an ancient Roman bathhouse. Wisps of steam rose from the water’s surface. The smell of sulfur tingled in my nose. I deduced the bath water probably came from a natural underground hot spring. The smell and sight of the bath triggered a similar sense that I had at the hot springs in Banff, Alberta.
Cautiously I entered the bath, feeling the water, hot at first, but meditatively I lower my body into its womblike appeal. Lying in the bath, my body submerged, I cupped the water in my hands and lowered my head, allowing the water to slowly caress my face. I was overwhelmed at all the events unfolding before me. I was not even sure how much time had elapsed from the start of the sightseeing boat tour, the storm and rescue, ending with the journey to this monastery. Was it two, three days, a week? The timeframe was uncertain. Exhausted by the series of events and feeling intoxicated by my utopian surroundings, I rose to half chest in the water. I wave my hands away from me in the water. The ripples radiate away bouncing into the bath’s wall.
A very low sound starts to thrum in my mind, like the vibration of a large gong, without having heard it struck. Slowly and with increasing impetus it seems to vibrate and radiate from my very being. I hear the sound of my heart beating louder and louder with every breath. Ripples of energy radiate from my chest with each heartbeat. The bath water, no longer soothing, seems to get more turbulent with each beat. Visions of the storm and the giant waves danced in my mind.
Sounds seem to permeate from all around me, incorporating all frequencies, like white and black noises dueling with each other. Piecing high sounds, like hundreds of hospital monitors, tie up my cerebellum. Low vibrations, subsonic vibrations sounding like a thousand Tibetan monks chanting, daze me until lights are flashing behind closed eyes. Then quietly it passes and the feelings dissipate into the breeze as the sound of distant chimes dot the background. A fragrance titillates my senses as the waters lay still. Through my nose I draw a deep breath and fill my lungs and chest to their capacity, slowly I exhale to a total stillness. Cupping the water to my face I wonder what caused the hallucination that just absorbed me.