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Lions Roar : July 2014
dId medItatIon save Allan Lokos’s life? Well, there was this one time. The short of it: an indigestion-type feeling hit one evening, was noted but not much worried about. next thing Lokos knew, he was on the floor of his bathroom at 5 a.m. he was rushed to the ER, where it was guessed that he was in atrial fibrillation, putting him at risk of a stroke. As he was waiting to be seen, it occurred to him: “What could be a better place for meditation?” So he set to it. Finally, when he was exam- ined, it seemed that Lokos had, thanks to the practice, brought his heart back to normal function. he was given tests and prescriptions but, sure enough, was declared recovered in a few weeks. It’s a great story, nice and neat. Did meditation help? It seems rea- sonable to think so. But then, there was this other time, in Burma, on Christmas Day, 2012. Lokos laughingly encapsulates it this way: “It was a trip I wanted to go on, and I loved it. Except for one little thing!” It’S maratHon Sunday mornInG on new York’s upper West Side. A cool hush is in the autumn air. The neighborhood is extra quiet, ground transport having been snarled up in much of the city. I arrive at the Community Meditation Center (CMC) no problem and am greeted by Susanna Weiss, Allan Lokos’s spouse and, as he’s put it, “perfect part- ner.” She’s natural and charming, and maybe even a bit familiar, to a film fan at least: the actress Laura Dern is a dead ringer for her. “Burma was just opening up, so it was an honor to go,” Lokos recalls of his ill-fated trip. Desmond Tutu was reported to be praying for the plane-crash victims and to exclaim “Oh, thank God!” when he’d heard Lokos and Weiss had survived. “That’s like a five-star blessing,” Lokos’s friend and mentor Sharon Salzberg joked. PhOTOS BY DOnnA SVEnnEVIK Prepare Now Death can come at any time, so the Buddha warned us to get ready now. Knowing that helped Buddhist teacher Allan Lokos after a terrible airplane crash. rod meade SPerry has his story. SHAMBHALA SUN JULy 2014 62