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December 15, 2005

Banquet of Love

On Monday, I had a psychotherapy session with Barry Vissell in Aptos, California and then met with some friends for dinner in Santa Cruz.

We ate at Malabar Cafe on Soquel Avenue. Malabar serves extremely tasty vegetarian Sri Lankan food. It is run by a really nice Sri Lankan chap named Raj. He studied catering and hotel management in the UK.

Due to my companions arriving late and because the kitchen closes relatively early (9 pm) on Mondays, Raj suggested that they provide a random selection of food from the kitchen and we pay whatever we felt was appropriate. I thought this was a great idea.

One my companions had already eaten dinner and the other had just had a root canal. So it was really only myself needing to eat. Nevertheless, we were provided with enough food for about ten people. It was a total banquet. We ate so many of their beautifully tasting dishes and took home masses in boxes. It was as if we were at a wedding, except that no one else turned up.

At the end of the meal, Raj asked me how much to charge on my card. I said that for all that was there, I would expect to pay hundreds of dollars. He asked me how much I was planning to spend. I thought $25 and told him $40. He said that was fine. I paid him $50, which included a $10 tip, which he thanked me for. It was totally unbelievable.

One of my companions was Charley Thweatt. After we had finished eating, he got his guitar from his car and brought it in. So our banquet also had beautiful music. I wanted to sing "Love finds its way within", which I had sung all the way back from Santa Cruz to Mountain View with my friend the previous evening. So we sang that and then Charley sang so many amazing songs. One song he wrote in Japanese had a lyric in it that translates into something like "feel now please", which was very funny. He sang another amazing song that came to him in Spanish on a boat traveling to the island of Iona one Spring.

We also made up some songs. The acoustics in the restaurant were incredible. We were singing until the last dishwasher was getting ready to go home.

This was an incredible, overwhelmingly lovely evening that I am so grateful for. I had been thinking about the concept that there is always enough, that there is an abundance and this evening really made that clear. It was a miracle evening.

Malabar Cafe: 1116 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2106 — 831-423-7906

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Charley Thweatt
Barry Vissell


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