Have you ever wondered what Hell is like? That’s where I journeyed the first time I saw my father’s ghost. Here’s a preview of his hell:
____Here I go again. A familiar tug at my third eye, a tingling sensation spread from my forehead pressing against my eye sockets and down to my upper lip as the music of Tibetan Buddhist monks chanting filled the meditation room. My spirit rose above my body as the veil between the meditation circle and the Tenth Hell of the Buddha disappeared. Before I could question what, I saw in my mind’s eye, the music pulled me deeper and deeper until I felt as if I’d slipped through Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole.
My vision blurred around the edges, but before me, an intricately carved kang sat in an alcove adorned with painted panels depicting the seasons.
Butterflies danced around spring white peonies, followed by ducks swimming by white lotus blossoms heralding summer. Balls of white chrysanthemums announced fall’s arrival while white plum blossoms created lacy patterns against a winter sky.
A Buddha-like man sat crossed legged on silk brocade cushions of saffron and maroon on the wooden kang used as a sofa or a bed. He propped his left elbow on a pile of pillows to his side, and his right arm rested on the scholar’s table that filled the middle of the kang during the day. Embroidered silk slippers sat at the ready on the saffron and maroon wool and silk rug with a classic shou/longevity medallion in the middle, and eight Taoist symbols of immortality adorned the border. Incense from bronze tripod incense burners strategically placed on each side of the kang wafted about him.
I recognized the man who sat folded up into a ball at the foot of the kang’s platform. I saw his white chef’s jacket pulled down exposing his flimsy undershirt. He sobbed as he pulled at his hair and slapped his exposed bony shoulders. Sweat dripped from his hairline and followed the curve of his back. He lifted his head. If I entertained any doubts before, they melted away when I saw my father’s face.
“Lord Buddha,” Dad said. “I am ashamed. I know what I did wrong.” Looking around at the others who writhed in agony in their corners of this hell, he knew his sins had caught up with him. “Will I be in the Tenth Hell forever?”
Want to know more? Check out my story, “Conversations with a Hungry Ghost: Memoir of a Reluctant Medium.”