Prison Can be Bliss!
I recently had the direct experience of being in prison.
As a Canadian citizen we have shared entry privileges with US citizens. I was given entry to the USA on Aug 28th and told to leave by Sept 12th, which I did.
Yesterday my computer screen was not working so I decided to cross the border from Mexico and go to Best Buy to see if they could fix it, and return the same day.
At the border they looked at my passport, handcuffed me and put me in a cell with about 14 Africans and Haitians. They told me I would most likely be deported back to Canada and barred from the USA for 5 years,
that it would probably take 4-5 days to deport me, and I would be in the cell until I was deported.
After about 20 hours in the freezing cold cell, on the floor with a “holy” blanket and no vegetarian food they brought me for a meeting with an inspector.
The first guy I encountered 20 hours previously had hardly let me speak. He read my file and immediately had me handcuffed, but not giving any reason, and I could hear the other Customs people saying “What is the cause for holding?” Eventually I heard them say “Canadian Overstay” meaning that I had been too long in the USA on my visa, which was not true, and I had proof.
The second guy read the docs and I pointed out that I had been given entry on August the 28th and followed the rules and left on the 12th. So he rescinded my 5 year ban to just deportation.
Then I said “Well, can I just exit back to Mexico and make my own way back to Canada rather than all the cost of processing, holding and deporting me? I am happy to look after myself.” They said “No, we cannot put you back into Mexico, that may put you at risk and we would be responsible.” That did not make sense…
Then I said “Well how about I just get my own plane ticket from LA back to Canada?” They said “Yes that is possible, we can parole you and that may work. The Chief Supervisor will decide and she will be back in tomorrow.”
So back to the cell I went. I was really enjoying chatting to the different Africans there about their journeys, some had paid up to $30,000 total, over 2 years to travel from Eretrea, Sudan and Ethiopia to South Africa. Then to fly to Brazil and then walk/ travel from there to Mexico, and spend 3 months in a Mexican jail before catching the 5-day bus ride to Tijuana and the border.
They had very wild stories.
I was also enjoying great meditations and doing yoga on my own. In fact, the space I was in was truly great, I felt so complete and blissful. I was able to do the quiet chanting for hours at a time.
Some of the guards came and took me out of the cell to ask me about meditation because they had heard me speaking about it. They wanted to know the benefits and what books to read.
I was about to be sent off to the next “prison” when the Chief Supervisor appeared, like some sort of angel, really! She was really excited to tell me that she had looked at my documents and seen that i Iad a green card back when I was in Santa Fe, and handed it back in when I moved to Canada because the border people said I had to. But I had not given up the card willingly, so that meant that I was still a US immigrant, and could come and go as I pleased. She was astonished that others had missed this and treated me so badly.
She then led me back to the Mexican border and showed me how to come for the meeting next week without going through the big line up. I was not allowed into the USA yet but was at least out of the cell! She gave me a big smile and sent me on my way!
My learning from this experience? Enlightened living can be enjoyed in all situations, all we have to do is to choose to decide to live an enlightening life.