This story appears in the book Toward an Interior Sun: Awakening by a Master, and the Difficult Journey toward Discipleship. In this collection of short stories, Max Reif digs deep to offer an entertaining and insightful account of this arduous spiritual trek. The tales lead the reader from epiphanies of youth, to the life of a spiritual seeker, to a deepening awareness of the maturity required for true discipleship. Learn more about the book.

I’m sitting in my psychiatrist Dr. Cho’s office in the basement of St. Vincent’s Hospital, where the psych ward is. We’re somewhere near Staten Island harbor. I don’t know exactly what direction it’s in, because I was pretty disoriented when Boris and Martin brought me in here a month ago. I couldn’t speak.

I believe now that that was because I was choked with rage toward Boris. Amazing, to find oneself in such a bizarre state, unable to verbalize a single word! And not due to any physical cause, either.

Dr. Cho is behind his desk, waiting for me to say what it is I want. Our meeting’s a bit unusual. Usually, we patients are at the beck and call of our doctors. That is, if we’re not totally ignored, warehoused to pace the halls, go to OT, and gain weight on the carb-rich meals they serve here, until discharge. Yesterday, however, I requested to see my doctor.

“Yes, Mr. Markley?” says the doctor, his big square, bespectacled face surveying me.

“Dr. Cho, I was wondering whether the hospital makes referrals to halfway houses.” I’ve been lying awake for hours every night, now that my discharge is imminent, scanning my mind for a solution to the problem that I have nowhere to go. I certainly won’t go back to Boris’s, and I know very few other people in New York City. Nor do I feel strong enough, not to mention wealthy enough, to live alone.

Read the rest of this story in Max Reif’s book, Toward an Interior Sun: Awakening by a Master, and the Difficult Journey Toward Discipleship»

image: Sebastian Grünwald via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons BY—no changes)