Walking down a tree-lined street on a cool Brooklyn night, we found ourselves with a friend from a former life: Michael, the lyric-tongued, shaved-head meditator we met in the courtyard of a Tibetan monastery in Kathmandu. The conversation looped in on itself in the way a remeeting may do: we spoke of the way things end and, in ending, don’t end.

Think about what happens, our friend the wandering yogi said. If what we really are is bundles of energy, if our thoughts are a part of us, then when people and places come into our minds again and again, they really are a part of our mental lives, and therefore part of ourselves.

Such a thing is powerful to hear, especially when it’s days after ending a relationship: when the person once ...

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