Students of Bhanté, either from Claymont or from the College for Continuous Education in the UK, requested him over Memorial Day weekend to perform a ceremony.
He asked me to book his ticket. The best fare I could find was on American Airlines departing and returning to BWI, Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore.
When we arrived at BWI, upon entering the terminal we were met with a huge banner: ‘People Express: The Low-Cost Carrier’. Bhanté scanned it and asked if he was flying on People Express. My response was that his ticket is on American Airlines.
He asked me to find out if People Express had a better fare. The terminal was quite busy because Memorial Day weekend is one of the days in the year when travelers abound.
I asked for a supervisor at People Express. I asked if he would check BWI-LAX and to his surprise he found one seat. I asked if he could check the return for Monday, Memorial Day. While the computer checked, he informed me it is unlikely that a seat would be available as most flights were by then over-booked.
Again to his surprise, the computer found a seat. He printed the ticket. Looking at the ticket, he seemed perplexed. Asking what was going on, he informed me that the fare was their lowest fare; what you might get if you booked many months in advance.
Not quite knowing what to do at that moment, two choices were offered to the supervisor. First choice, the gentleman in saffron robes about 20 feet away can come over and perhaps explain what happened. Second choice is to clear my credit card and save yourself a few minutes. Taking the second choice, I brought the ticket to Bhanté and he asked if we had saved any money. Yes, $39 if my memory is accurate. His point seemed to be that this was someone else’s money and we had to be assiduous stewards. He made his point.
The total fare was ~$294 compared to $255.
Bhanté came back from that weekend in his usual, radiant state. He rarely spoke about events that occurred. He spoke about the moment and about related moments that he and others present had shared.
If you are wondering if Bhanté was able to mentally influence circumstances, including machines, my experience is that answer is up to each of us who spends unencumbered time with people like him. As “mind-boggling” as this episode may seem, there are many other moments where it seemed there was a distortion in the space-time continuum.